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Faculty and students recognized at Alfred University Honors Convocation

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Juliana Gray, professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Alfred University, addresses those gathered for Honors Convocation Friday afternoon. Also in the photo are, from left: Al Mancuso, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies; Mark Zupan, University president; and Gabrielle Gaustad, dean of the Inamori School of Engineering.

ALFRED, NY – Students and faculty were recognized for their achievements during the annual Honors Convocation Friday afternoon, April 21, in Miller Theater. Among the honorees were Bethany Johnson, associate professor of psychology at Alfred University, who received the prestigious Abigail Allen Award, and students Knox VanRenselaar and Owen Nelson, named winners of the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award.

Juliana Gray, professor of English and director of the University’s Honors Program, served as master of ceremonies and addressed the gathering of honored students, faculty and staff, family, and friends.

“This event is one of my favorites,” Gray commented. “What all the students here have in common is they challenged themselves, pushed themselves, and went beyond what was required of them to accomplish great things.”

Among the honored students were Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award recipients VanRenselaar and Owen Nelson. Winners of the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award are chosen on the basis of scholarship, extracurricular achievement, personal character and conduct and nominated by faculty, students, and staff. The award was established to honor Alfred University alumnus Marlin Miller ’54, HD ’89, ’19, a Life Trustee and Board of Trustees Chair emeritus, and one of Alfred University’s most generous supporters.

VanRenselaar, of Amsterdam, is a double major who earned bachelor’s degrees in history and theater (minor in adolescent education) in December 2022. Nelson is a materials science and engineering major from Amherst, NY. The two will also be honored at Alfred University’s commencement ceremony on May 13, where they will address the graduating class, faculty, administration, trustees, and guests.

In winning the Abigail Allen Award, Johnson, a member of the faculty at Alfred University since 2011, was cited for her advocacy for diversity and inclusivity in the University community. The award, which has been presented since 1999, is presented each year to a faculty/staff member who has contributed to the Alfred University campus and community by improving the quality of women’s lives.

For more than five years, Johnson has enriched and supported the Women’s and Gender Studies Program by regularly offering courses in the “Psychology of Gender” and “Human Sexuality.” She has also been a frequent guest speaker in the Women and Gender in Society course and remains one of the best-informed faculty on our campus about issues concerning gender and sexuality.

Johnson’s innovative pedagogy focuses on the importance of safe spaces for individuals from all walks of life. She continues to promote and design programming on campus and in the larger community in support of the LGBTQ community and is now the Director of the Alfred University Social Justice Studies program, where she helps to build an impactful curriculum that provides students with the tools to develop their own informed voice in a complex discourse.

Several other faculty members were also recognized during Honors Convocation.

Scott Misture, Inamori Professor of materials science and engineering, was presented with the John F. McMahon Excellence in Ceramic Teaching Award. The award is presented annually in honor of John F. McMahon for his many years of dedicated service to the University as both a professor and dean.

Twelve faculty members received the Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Awards for Excellence in Teaching, with recipients chosen based on a student vote. Following are the 2023 winners: H. Alan Beadle, instructor of computer science; Harpreet Bedi, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science; Kevin Curtin, professor of counseling and chair of the Division of Counseling and School Psychology; Danielle Gagne, professor of psychology; Juliana Gray, professor of English; Jason Green, clinical assistant professor of ceramic art; Theresa Gunn, associate professor of accountancy and associate dean, College of Business; Roger Loucks, professor of physics; Doris Möncke, associate professor of glass science; Katarina Riesing, associate professor of painting; Desmond Wallace, assistant professor of social sciences; and William Wheeler, assistant professor of sculpture.

Seven faculty members—one from each academic unit—were presented with Faculty Scholar Awards in recognition of excellence in research and scholarship. The 2023 awardees are: D. Chase Angier, professor or dance, Performing Arts Division; Ellen Bahr, systems librarian, University Libraries; Kevin Curtin, professor of counseling and chair of the Division of Counseling and School Psychology, Graduate and Continuing Studies; Juliana Gray, professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Scott Misture, Inamori Professor of materials science and engineering, Inamori School of Engineering; Meghan Jones, associate professor of art history, School of Art and Design; and Halil Zaim, visiting assistant professor of management, College of Business.

Two students—Adeye Jean Baptiste and Owen Nelson—were honored as recipients of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence. The award recognizes model students who have integrated academic excellence with other aspects of their lives, which may include the arts (creative and performing), athletics, career achievement, community service or leadership.

Twenty-three students were honored as Alfred University Scholars, an award recognizing the seniors who have completed the requirements of the Alfred University Honors Program. The 2023 recipients are: Ronan N. Adams, Everett G. Chandler, Jennalyn F. Conley, Grace M. Dunham, Eleanor G. Fanning, Ellie M. Gamble, Arden E. Hatch, Larissa Hageman, Emily L. Hart, Adeye Jean-Baptiste, Mackenzie A. Jordan, Rebecca L. Jewett, Nathaniel O. Marrero, Jonathan M. Nadolne, Owen T. Nelson, Karisma Patrick, Liz Radigan, Ro Robertson, Maximos M. Sereno, Avery Smith, Matthew N. Smuda, Morrigan Timothy, and Salyn Yancy

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