These awards recognize individual accomplishment and reflect a richness and depth of scholarship and creative activity across the faculty.
Debra Boutin, the Samuel F. Pratt Professor of Mathematics, received the Career Achievement Award.
Mackenzie Cooley (history), Siobhan Robinson (psychology), Aaron Strong (environmental studies), Pavitra Sundar (literature and creative writing), and Anne Valente (literature and creative writing) were honored for Early Career Achievement.
Notable Year Achievement awards went to Marcelo Carosi (Hispanic studies), Justin Clark (philosophy), Chaise LaDousa (anthropology), and Keelah Williams (psychology).
Career Achievement Award
Munemo called Boutin “a prolific and distinguished scholar, a dedicated mentor, and a leader in her field.” A nominator cited Boutin’s many publications — three before coming to Hamilton in 1999, four more before tenure in 2005, 10 before promotion to full professor in 2010, and 15 since then. “The overall rate is considerably more than one peer-reviewed article per year, and all were published in competitive research journals,” the nominator said.
Boutin has also presented at many professional conferences and written a dozen classified papers that resulted from work with the Institute for Defense Analysis. Before coming to Hamilton, she served as a chief petty officer for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Naval Reserve from 1975 to 1995.
As a mentor, Boutin proposed a research project that involved five junior colleagues working collaboratively with another Hamilton professor. The work, the nominator said, “obtain[ed] new results and [laid] the groundwork for continued collaboration … that continues to this day. Due in part to the encouragement of Boutin, the junior faculty involved now have strong research records for tenure.”
Boutin’s scholarly reputation has led to further leadership roles. “She was on organizing committees for three international graph theory conferences, is regularly asked to be an outside reviewer for tenure and promotion cases for academic graph theorists, and she referees research manuscripts and writes reviews of recently published articles,” a colleague wrote.
Despite such demands on her time, she continues to give generously to her students and faculty colleagues, advising approximately 20 undergraduates per year, mentoring tenure-track faculty, serving on major College committees, and chairing the faculty in 2019-20, Munemo said.
Early Career Achievement Awards
Munemo noted that Cooley “had the most productive scholarly year of her already impressive career in 2022.” Her book, The Perfection of Nature: Animals, Breeding, and Race in the Renaissance was published in November by University of Chicago Press, widely recognized as the leading press for the history of science and intellectual history. She also produced a major edited volume that includes two essays by Hamilton students based on original research, something her nominator described as “incredibly rare in our field and which speaks to [Cooley’s] exemplarity as a teacher-scholar.”
The book is already being taught in premodern history classes and has led to invited lectures at some of the most prestigious global institutions, including Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, and the Smithsonian.
In addition to the monograph, Cooley published two peer-reviewed journal articles in 2022, which both won or were nominated for prestigious awards.
Cooley also launched a new research collaboration with a Harvard professor and a digital humanities expert that “seeks to develop a collection of textual references to drugs and other medical preparations in a form that is accessible to medical researchers, biochemists, and medical historians.” The project, which will be the basis for further grant applications, is tied to Cooley’s next monograph and will benefit from collaboration with Hamilton colleagues.
A nominator noted that Cooley’s “publication record would be impressive and rare even at a top-tier research university. At a small liberal arts college with a five-course teaching load, it is even more remarkable in its excellence — doubly so, since [Cooley] remains a dedicated and inspiring teacher, as well as tireless in her service to the College and community.”
Robinson is described by her nominators as “a prolific and well-respected behavioral neuroscientist,” “a true exemplar of a committed teacher-scholar,” and “an absolute role model” for making research more accessible and inclusive for students.” She is also a professor who is “incredibly productive, at the forefront of her field, and a tireless advocate for women and excluded groups in STEM.”
Since arriving at Hamilton in 2016, Robinson has published seven articles in peer-reviewed research journals, five of which involved Hamilton students. Four of those articles were published in 2021 alone. “[She] also had six presentations at the Society for Neuroscience annual conference, the top conference in her field, between 2017 and 2019, all with Hamilton student co-authors,” a nominator wrote.
A nominator noted: “Her excellence was clear early in her career, when she was awarded an NIH grant on its first submission, and has only gotten stronger since. For example, in addition to her extraordinary publication record, she [and co-investigators] secured a $2.4 million grant award from NASA!”
Equally important, Robinson’s scholarship is inherently linked to her mentorship of students. “It is remarkable how many student authors are part of her publications, given the highly intensive nature of her work,” a nominator wrote. “She is the most dedicated research supervisor I have ever encountered. No surprise then that her students at Hamilton simply love her and clamor to work on her research. She always steps up and sets an amazing example for the rest of us.”
“Typing (Strong’s) name into the search box for the College’s website returns 10 pages of results. That’s pretty impressive for someone who only joined the faculty in 2018,” Munemo said. “Among those results, you’ll find stories about scholarly papers published and presentations given, service to the community on campus and off, and awards won, including a Notable Year Award from the dean in 2021 and selection in 2019 as the Student Assembly’s recipient of the Sidney Wertimer Award, [which] came after just two semesters of teaching on College Hill.”
Munemo cited Strong’s extensive work with students. Last year was especially productive. His nominator cited three articles and book chapters in peer-reviewed journals, two conference presentations as a co-author, and five invited research presentations.
“These publications and presentations covered all four of his main research areas, and many of them involved Hamilton students as co-authors,” Strong’s colleague said. Additional papers submitted in 2022 are currently under peer review or revision after review, and the year ended with Strong and a colleague accompanying three Hamilton students to present their research at the American Geophysical Union Annual Meeting in Chicago. Strong also was invited to join a United Nations Ocean Acidification Research Group and a carbon offsets advisory council at Second Nature, a consortium of higher education institutions involved in fostering climate initiatives and solutions on college campuses. At Hamilton, he co-leads the Sustainability Working Group.
Since joining the Hamilton faculty in 2016, Sundar has continued an active research agenda, Munemo said. Most recently, she authored a monograph on sound studies in film and co-edited a volume on accents that one reviewer called “a creative and ambitious multidisciplinary collection of essays that clearly captures the academic and popular zeitgeist about race, listening, and power.” A second reviewer said the book “is fascinating and extremely valuable, brought to life through multiple case studies and contexts.”
In addition, Sundar co-edited two special issues of journals, published four articles, and contributed five essays to collections. She has also presented at several conferences and organized collaborative endeavors ranging from New York 6 and CNY Humanities Corridor groups to AHA! groups on campus, all of which stem from her efforts to pursue “scholarly projects that build from share interests,” a nominator wrote.
“Overall [Sundar] is an impressive scholar who has been on the forefront of creating an innovative field of soundwork within cinema and literary studies and who continues to push her research into new and exciting territories,” Munemo said.
Valente creates work that is “inventive, personal, and beautifully crafted, and is earning the attention it deserves from major publishers and literary presses,” according to the colleague who nominated her. Since joining Hamilton in 2017, Valente has published a novel, four stories, and six creative nonfiction essays in national literary magazines, and has been awarded several competitive fellowships and residencies. “This is in addition to her previous published novel, short story collection, chapbook, and 59 stories or essays in national literary journals,” her nominator noted.
Valente’s short stories appear in American Short Fiction, The Kenyon Review, One Story, and The Chicago Tribune, and her essays appear in The Believer, Guernica, Literary Hub, and The Washington Post. She has been awarded fellowships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference, and the Women’s International Study Center, and her work has been recognized in Best Small Fictions 2017 and Best American Essays 2022.
Valente completed a novel during her leave last year that is now with her agent and being submitted to presses. She also has a collection of stories and a collection of essays in the works. “It is astounding that she is able to maintain this pace of creative output and also continue to be such a conscientious literary citizen, conducting interviews with other authors, writing book reviews, and teaching at various writing conferences,” her colleague wrote.
Notable Year Awards
Munemo noted that Carosi has already won the Student Assembly’s Sidney Wertimer Award “for his inspired teaching, his involvement in student clubs, his brilliance, enthusiasm, and kindness.” Carosi’s scholarship, according to his nominator, includes “nine peer-reviewed publications, either published in the past few months or forthcoming this year,” which “speak volumes of the importance of his contributions to Hispanic studies … Using film and literature, he engages in critical race, in migration studies, in feminism, and in queer studies, demonstrating a clear commitment to sharing his research within and beyond the scholarly community through traditional scholarship and innovative digital projects,” the nominator wrote.
Carosi’s work has appeared or has been accepted to a broad range of publications, from Romance Quarterly and Latin American Theatre Review to the Journal of Cinema and Media Studies and The Journal of Popular Culture
. These are in addition to five articles, in different stages of review, sent in the past eight months to top peer-reviewed journals in film and media studies, literary analysis, and pop-culture studies. “Given his outstanding achievements early in his career, the Latin American Studies Association has recognized Carosi’s research with the 2022 Early Career Award in Film Studies,” Munemo said.
Clark published his first full manuscript on Plato and had both a book chapter on Socratic Virtue Intellectualism and a paper focusing on the Socratic account of friendship accepted for publication, Munemo said. His nominator called him “a brilliant teacher/scholar [who] incorporates his philosophy into his teaching and his interactions with students and colleagues alike.”
Several students expressed similar praise. Said one, “There are very few people like [Clark] who change your life. It is a gift to be a student of his. Here is a man who not only loves what he does but also lives it. I have often found those to be the best educators.”
Added another, “He’s also an eloquent and skillful lecturer who can respond to questions from students about numerous philosophical positions, and he embodies the pedagogical/interpretive principles of carefully listening to understand what the student is asking and affording them a charitable reading. However, he’s not dogmatic; he’s continuously curious and open minded to new and challenging ideas from students and is frank about the scope of his knowledge and expertise.”
In 2022, LaDousa was a prolific author with a number of projects published including a co-edited volume with a co-authored introduction; two co-authored journal articles; two book chapters; and an invited co-authored contribution to an online journal.
Much of this work draws on three decades of research and fieldwork in India and South Asia and focuses on teaching, education, language, and the anthropology of communication in South Asia. The co-edited volume, for which LaDousa also co-authored the introduction and contributed a chapter based on fieldwork in 2020 in Delhi and Gandhinagar, includes work by senior scholars as well as South Asian junior scholars.
One of LaDousa’s co-authored journal articles appeared in the Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, the journal of the Society for Linguistic Anthropology, published by the American Anthropological Association. The second was published in the Annual Review of Anthropology, an especially prestigious periodical. It is the second time LaDousa’s work has appeared in the Review.
LaDousa’s nominators are all active members of the department for which he serves as chair. “[He] exemplifies what excellence in teaching is in practice at Hamilton College — both in the classroom and [during] his well-attended office hours. We all appreciate Chaise as a teacher, scholar, mentor, colleague and friend,” they wrote.
According to one nominator, Williams had more than a notable year — “2022 was a stellar year” for her scholarship.” Williams had two papers published and two accepted for publication in Evolution and Human Behavior, the top journal in evolutionary psychology (two of these papers were first-authored), as well as a first-authored chapter published in The Oxford Handbook of Evolution and Emotions. Two of these papers were in her line of research on evolution and friendship jealousy, and three were in the area of evolutionary psychology, and legal decision-making.
Williams also has three co-authored papers currently under review, two at the top journal in social psychology (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology) and one in Evolution and Human Behavior. In addition, she served as co-editor of a forthcoming special issue in Evolution and Human Behavior, presented a paper at the NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society last April, and was accepted to give a symposium presentation at the European Association for Social Psychology conference in Poland this June.
In her spare time, the nominator said Williams spent “eight hours a day, six days a week, studying last May, June, and July [for] the Uniform Bar exam,” which she passed by scoring in the 98th percentile nationally. She is, according to her colleague, “developing a reputation as a leading scholar at the intersection of evolutionary psychology and the law,” and “Williams’ published papers have amassed 309 citations. Her top four most-cited papers average nearly 50 citations per paper.”