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With Dean George Watson are the recipients of the College Alumni
Achievement Awards: (from left) Ronald Finch, Michael Kalmbach, Lisa
Blunt Rochester and John Gaul.
The University of Delawares College of Arts and Sciences (CAS)
honored the accomplishments of alumni, faculty and students this
academic year at its annual spring Celebrating Achievement and Success
Dean George Watson told the audience in the Roselle Center for the
Arts that 2016-17 has been a banner year for the college, with faculty
and students receiving numerous prestigious honors for their
The May 15 celebration recognized four alumni and five faculty
members with college awards. Watson also honored CAS faculty members and
students who previously received University awards this year.
College Alumni Achievement Awards were presented to:
Ronald M. Finch graduated in 1956 with a bachelors degree in
history and went on to earn a doctoral degree at Columbia University and
to serve as a teacher, school administrator, board of education
president and director of the Delaware Division of Historical and
Cultural Affairs. In 2015, Finch gave his world-class Delmarva
Collection of books, manuscripts, documents and other archival materials
related to Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia to
UDs Morris Library. He also established two endowment funds at the
University to create a named faculty position and to support students
working with the Delmarva Collection.
John G. Gaul earned his bachelors degree in political science
in 1978 from UD and his law degree from Villanova University. He is the
managing member of the Philadelphia office of the Maron Marvel Bradley
Anderson and Tardy law firm, where he focuses on national mass toxic
tort litigation. He has served as a member of the UD Alumni Association
board and the CAS Deans Advisory Council. Gaul is an active volunteer
for many organizations and is especially involved in mentoring young
people. At UD, he volunteers with the Legal Profession Preparatory
Program to prepare undergraduates for law school and legal careers.
Michael T. Kalmbach received a master of fine arts degree from
UD in 2008 and has worked with various organizations to support the
arts and artists, particularly in Wilmington. In 2011, he received a
contract from the state Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health to
develop a space for artists on the behavioral health spectrum. The
resulting Creative Vision Factory fosters the creative potential of
individuals and cultivates their integration with the local community
through the arts. Kalmbach serves on the Delaware State Arts Council and
has received several awards. A painter, he exhibits his work throughout
Lisa Blunt Rochester earned a masters degree in urban affairs
and public policy at UD in 2002 and has spent her career in public
service. Elected last year to the U.S. House of Representatives, she is
Delawares lone member of Congress and the first woman and first African
American to hold that position for the First State. Previously, in
state government, she was a cabinet member under two governors and
served as state secretary of labor, deputy secretary of health and
social services, and state personnel director. She also was CEO of the
Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, an action-oriented public policy
organization focused on the inclusion of people of color.
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The college honored five faculty members with awards for outstanding advising, teaching, scholarship and service.
Jill Flynn, associate professor of English, was presented the
Excellence in Advising Award for her work with students in the English
education program. Flynn has distinguished herself as a devoted
teacher-adviser, caring and attentive guide and career advocate who
expertly helps her students navigate their academic and professional
lives, Watson said. He said she guides her students with patience and
positivity and serves as a role model for the kind of teacher they
strive to become.
P. Gabrielle Foreman, the Ned B. Allen Professor of English,
received this years Excellence in Teaching Award for her dedication to
and excellence in teaching, Watson said in presenting the award,
adding that her teaching evaluations from her students are consistently
excellent. She is cited in her letters of support for being a teacher
of integrity and passion, encouraging students to approach their
education with ferocity and curiosity, and shaping students scholarly
abilities, passion and activism, he said.
Jinfa Cai, professor of mathematical sciences, was one of two
faculty members to be honored with the CAS Excellence in Scholarship
Award. Cai is internationally recognized as a leader in mathematics
education research, with a rich and productive research program,
Watson said. His scholarship is evident not only in the quality of his
work, his citation record and external grant funding, but in being named
an American Education Research Association Fellow and editor-in-chief
of the top journal in his field, Watson said.
Stuart Kaufman, professor of political science and
international relations, was presented the second Excellence in
Scholarship Award, with Watson noting that his reputation and impact has
been evident in the number of top-tier and critically acclaimed
articles and books he has written. Kaufman, Watson said, has been cited
in his letters of support as a creative scholar who is addressing the
big questions of our time, one of the most accomplished scholars in his
discipline and for having a first-rate, original and creative mind.
Julio Carrion, professor of political science and
international relations, received the Excellence in Service Award for
his extraordinary work in a variety of capacities for the college and
for his profession, Watson said. Carrion is the founding director of the
CAS Center for Global and Area Studies, worked on strategic planning
for the college, directed a Fulbright Institute on American Values for
Argentine students and works with Freedom House, a worldwide advocate
for democracy and human rights.
Also at the Celebrating Achievement and Success event, Watson
recognized Patricia DeLeon, Trustees Distinguished Professor of
Biological Sciences, who has been selected
as the 2017 Francis Alison Faculty Award recipient, UDs highest
competitive faculty honor, and Salil Lachke, assistant professor of
biological sciences, who earlier this year received the Gerard J. Mangone Young Scholars Award.
Other faculty members and students who previously received University awards were honored at the college event as well.
Those included the four faculty members who were presented Excellence
in Undergraduate Advising and Mentoring awards at this months Faculty
Senate meeting: Robin Andreasen, associate professor of linguistics and
cognitive science and of philosophy; Lisa Jaremka, assistant professor
of psychological and brain sciences; Phillip Mink, assistant professor
of English; and Patricia M. Walsh, associate professor of biological
Also at the Faculty Senate meeting, Brian Ackerman, professor of
psychological and brain sciences, received an Excellence in Teaching
awardfor the third time in his UD career.
The CAS celebration also recognized graduating seniors Linda (Ellie)
Halfacre and Micah Petersen, who previously received this years Emalea Pusey Warner Award and Alexander J. Taylor Sr. Award,
respectively, from the UD Alumni Association as the outstanding woman
and man in the Class of 2017. Halfacre will graduate with a bachelors
degree in international relations and public policy, and Petersen with
bachelors degrees in Chinese studies and international relations and a
concurrent masters degree in geography.
The College of Arts and Sciences holds its celebration each May to
recognize the accomplishments of faculty and students during the
academic year and to honor prominent and successful alumni.
This years event began with a performance by the Graduate String Quartet, accompanied by a video
featuring some highlights of the year. A reception followed the
celebration, to honor the award recipients and the colleges 16 newly promoted faculty members.
The event, Watson said, recognizes not only individual honors but
also the ways our college as a whole continues to illuminate the minds
and hearts of our students and community through academics, research and
Article by Ann Manser; photo by Doug Baker