Ninety-four percent of Bucknell first-year students return as sophomores. This is due in no small part to the excellence of our faculty.
Each year the Office of the Provost has the opportunity to recognize superior teaching skills with these awards:
Six Bucknell University faculty members were presented with awards that recognized their scholarly accomplishments during the 168th Commencement on Sunday, May 20, 2018.
Professor Carl Kirby, geology, received the William Pierce Boger Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences. Many of Kirby's teaching exercises and materials have been adopted by colleagues because of their effectiveness in engaging students and helping them understand complex scientific processes. He has supervised more than 30 undergraduate research projects, many leading to presentations and publications. Students described Kirby as passionate, accessible, accommodating, rigorous and concerned about student learning.
Professor Michael James, political science, was honored with the Class of 1956 Lectureship Award, a recognition of inspirational teaching. James is described as a demanding and rigorous colleague who teaches students to think critically and engage deeply with material, and who helps students understand the connections between theory and practice. Colleagues also noted that he is an active scholar who has been a model citizen with his contributions to the life of the University.
Professor Renee Gosson, French & Francophone studies, received the Christian R. & Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Colleagues, students and alumni said Gosson engages students as collaborators across all levels of instruction so that they feel invested in their learning both in and out of the classroom. Her teaching style is described as interactive, collaborative, available, enthusiastic and engaged.
Professor Abby Flynt, mathematics, was honored with one of two Presidential Awards for Teaching Excellence. Students described Flynt as a mentor, an ally in their learning and their development, and a faculty member who models what it means to be a community member by encouraging students to invest in one another. The selection committee was particularly impressed with her Data Science Integrated Perspectives course, co-taught with Brian King, which challenges students to develop critical thinking skills of analysis, synthesis and integration.
Professor Brian King, computer science, also received a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. King is known for his care and attention to course development and revision, and for his engagement with undergraduate research. He has helped colleagues re-envision the computer science program to more readily engage the needs of students and industry. As noted above, his Integrated Perspectives course on Data Science taught with Abby Flynt was also particularly noteworthy.
Professor Meenakshi Ponnuswami, English, received the Writing Across the Curriculum Award of Excellence in recognition of her strong engagement with and support of the Writing Program, in which she is considered a model faculty member. Many of her course materials are used by the Writing Center in faculty development workshops and training for peer writing tutors. She also meets with the peer writing tutors to help them better engage in their roles as collaborators in the teaching of writing.
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