June 04, 2007

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LEWISBURG, Pa. — Several members of the Bucknell University staff were honored with awards during the University's Commencement ceremonies May 20.

The honorees were James Lavine, assistant professor of linguistics; Dan Mills, director of the Samek Art Gallery; Marie Pizzorno, associate professor of biology and cell biology/biochemistry; Alf Siewers, assistant professor of English; Lois Svard, professor of music; and Margot Vigeant, assistant professor of chemical engineering.

James Lavine received the Class of 1956 Lectureship, an award for inspirational teaching. The recipient gives a lecture during the academic year. Lavine, who joined the Bucknell faculty in 2001, was honored for his work to revive the linguistics program. "Students praise his infectious enthusiasm and love for the subjects he teaches, his accessibility, and his interest in their learning process," the citation noted.

Dan Mills received the Burma-Bucknell Award in recognition of his dedication to present a global perspective on art. In the past six years, the Samek Art Gallery has featured art and artists from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe as well as works exploring African-American and Native American art and the many cultures of New Orleans. Mills' citation noted, "As a result of his stewardship, the Gallery has become a focal point of cultural diversity on campus and in the greater Lewisburg community."

Marie Pizzorno received the William Pierce Bogar Jr., M.D. Award for Excellence in Teaching in the Natural Sciences. With the faculty since 1996, Pizzorno "consistently receives accolades for her teaching in introductory, advanced and interdisciplinary courses. She maintains an active lab that provides valuable research opportunity for students and has taken on a leadership role in the cell biology/biochemistry program."

Alf Siewers received a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. Siewers, who joined the faculty in 2002, was honored for revitalizing medieval studies as well as forging interdisciplinary connections with post-modern studies, ecological studies, science fiction, psychoanalysis, and film studies. "Students find him passionate about medieval literature and his courses thought-provokingly insightful," the citation read.

Lois Svard received the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Established in 1960, the award honors professors who make outstanding contributions towards the community, particularly through teaching. It is funded by the Lindback Foundation of Philadelphia, honoring a Bucknell trustee and honorary board chair.

With the Bucknell faculty since 1984, Svard was cited for creating "an instructional environment in which students genuinely learn and advance. Her scholarship includes performance and recently, research into the neurological processes involved in musical performance." Students praise her "enthusiasm and knowledge and for how much they have progressed musically."

Margot Vigeant received a Presidential Award for Teaching Excellence. Vigeant, who joined the faculty in 1999, was cited for "a sustained record of excellence in the classroom. She works tirelessly to broaden and improve the engineering curriculum and to build academic bridges between the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences by designing engineering courses that also reach out to non-engineering students."

Posted June 4, 2007