10 profs. receive College awards

by Eliza Relman | 8/1/11 10:00pm

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Biology professor Ryan Calsbeek was awarded the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Tenured Faculty for outstanding merit.
by Alexis Monroe / The Dartmouth

Crossley, the Charles A. and Elfriede A. Collis Professor of history, is a scholar of Chinese history whose research focuses on the Qing empire. She has taught at Dartmouth since 1985. The award for distinguished teaching was presented to Crossley on Class Day at the end of Spring term.

"The synergy between undergraduate teaching and preparing research for publication is widely recognized," Crossley said in the release. "But at Dartmouth, we have an optimal chance to actually put it into practice."

Former English professor Brenda Silver was recognized with the Elizabeth Howland Hand-Otis Norton Pierce Award for being an outstanding teacher of undergraduates. Silver, who retired from the College at the end of Spring term 2011, had taught at Dartmouth since coeducation was instituted in 1972.

"In terms of my own growth, the openness to new courses and to interdisciplinary collaboration has allowed me to branch out in both my teaching and my research: to move from modernism to postmodernism to cyberculture, learning from others as I went," Silver said in the release. "And, having arrived at Dartmouth with the first class of women students and helped create the programs and environment necessary for change, it gives me great pleasure to see women students and faculty flourishing at Dartmouth today."

Professor emeritus of history Gene Garthwaite was awarded the Robert A. Fish 1918 Memorial Prize, which is given to a recently retired faculty member for outstanding contributions to undergraduate teaching.

Garthwaite, who retired at the end of Spring term 2011, said that he most enjoyed his interactions with bright students during his 43 years teaching Iranian and Middle Eastern history at the College. He explained that both discussions with and work by students during class inspired his latest book, "The Persians."

"Dartmouth students do good work, respond to criticism and are willing to take risks," he said in an interview with The Dartmouth.

Biology professor Ryan Calsbeek was awarded the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Tenured Faculty. Calsbeek has conducted experiments with anole lizards to prove the existence of natural selection and evolution in the wild.

"I've never taught a group of students as intellectually engaged and motivated as my students at Dartmouth," Calsbeek said in an interview with The Dartmouth. "I go into class knowing I'm going to be challenged every day, and get asked questions that make me look at my subject in a whole new way."

Calsbeek noted that it is challenging to balance a career that is driven by both field science and teaching in the classroom, which involves catering to a range of student interests.

"It is a major challenge to constantly keep material up to date and interesting, and keep it accessible to a diverse student body with different interests and intellects," he said.

Spanish professor Antonio Gomez, who joined Dartmouth's faculty in 2005, was also awarded the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Tenured Faculty. Gomez focuses his teaching and research on historical memory and the representation of the Spanish Civil War, transatlantic relations between Latin America and Europe and the presence of the sublime in contemporary Spanish culture, according to the release.

History professor Robert Bonner was awarded the Wetterhahn Memorial Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly Achievement. Bonner is a historian of the 19th century American South and is currently researching the geopolitics of American slavery, according to the press release.

"I have two basic goals teaching American history here at Dartmouth first, to help students to imagine the past in all its complexity and human drama," Bonner wrote in an e-mail to The Dartmouth. "Second, to encourage the sort of historical thinking and writing that can make interpretive problems even richer than when they started out."

Bonner draws extensively from Rauner Special Collections Library and the Hood Museum, using artifacts and primary sources to enrich his teaching, according to the release.

Mathematics professor Alexander Barnett was also awarded the Karen E. Wetterhahn Memorial Award for Distinguished Creative or Scholarly Achievement. Barnett, an applied mathematician, collaborates with musicologists, mathematicians, biomedical imaging engineers and ecologists studying animal habits and ranges to model and solve problems in science and technology, the release reported.

Senior lecturer in Russian language and literature Alfia Rakova was awarded the Dean of the Faculty Teaching Award for Visiting and Adjunct Faculty. Rakova, who has been a senior lecturer at the College since 2007, teaches a range of Russian language classes, from introductory to advanced grammar.

"I enjoy breaking through my students' shyness about speaking Russian to those moments when I literally have to put a stop to the flow of their expression in Russian," Rakova said in an e-mail to The Dartmouth.

The Dean of the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentoring and Advising was awarded to physics and astronomy professor Robyn Millan in recognition of outstanding contributions to Dartmouth and overall career distinction. Millan, who studies the radiation belts that surround the earth, is also a principal advisor for GreenCube, an undergraduate student-driven research program for the development of low-resource spacecraft.

Psychology professor Paul Whalen was awarded the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Promoted Faculty. Whalen spearheaded the use of fMRI machine technology at Dartmouth, which became the first liberal arts school in the country to own and operate the machine over 10 years ago, the release said.

English professor Barbara Will also recieved the John M. Manley Huntington Award for Newly Promoted Faculty. Will, whose research focuses on Gertrude Stein and literary modernism, has written a new book titled "Unlikely Collaboration: Gertrude Stein, Bernard Fay, and the Vichy Dilemma," which will be released in September.