Six Hamilton faculty members were recognized for their research and creative successes with the Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards, presented by Dean of Faculty Patrick Reynolds on Class & Charter Day on May 9. The awards recognize individual accomplishment but reflect a richness and depth of scholarship and creative activity across the entire faculty.
Winslow Professor of Classics Carl Rubino and Stone Professor of Psychology Doug Weldon received the Career Achievement Award, which marks significant achievement over the course of a career. Associate Professor of Sociology Stephen Ellingson was the recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award, which recognizes significant achievement at the assistant or associate professor level.
Three faculty members received the Notable Year Achievement Awards, which recognize particular accomplishments in the past year: Associate Professor of Anthropology Nathan Goodale, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Russell Marcus and Associate Professor of Art Rebecca Murtaugh.
Carl Rubino, the Winslow Professor of Classics
Rubino was appointed to the faculty in 1989. His areas of expertise include Greek and Roman literature, philosophy and culture and film and the classics.
Rubino is a long-time collaborator of the Nobel Laureate physicist Ilya Prigogine and is known for his work on the connections between science and the humanities, with a focus on complexity theory, the problem of time and the impact of the theory of evolution on ethics. He has published and lectured on Greek and Roman literature, comparative literature and literary theory.
Rubino has been president of the Classical Association of the Atlantic States and appeared on the History Channel in a Lucasfilm documentary “Star Wars: The Legacy Revealed,” where he discussed the films’ roots in mythology. He received his doctorate from the University at Buffalo.
One nominator summarized Rubino’s contribution to Hamilton. “Throughout his long and distinguished career, Carl has always strived to show how classics is the bedrock of the humanities, even in modern times. He has searched for the impact of classics on both the deeply intellectual (like complexity theory) and popular culture.
“Carl has a wide a range of interests and expertise. He has given hundreds of talks both nationally and internationally (U.S.; Finland; U.K. – Oxford, St. Andrews, Bristol, Liverpool; New Zealand; Australia; Belgium; Havana, Cuba; Germany; France); has organized dozens of panels, has published over 60 articles, book chapters and reviews, has edited seven volumes, has organized 27 conferences, seminars and panels at colleges and universities, professional meetings, and in Havana. “
Another said, “Carl has been a consistent presence in the academy, not just in classics, through his many articles and presentations. He is really unusual in the field of classics—I would even use the word unique—for his variety of interests.”
Rubino is co-founder of the International Forum on the Implications of Complexity at the Instituto de Filosofia in Havana, which puts in organizational form ideas he developed during his collaboration with Ilya Prigogine. The Forum holds a large conference biennially, which attracts scholars from the rest of Latin America, the U.S., Europe, and all parts of Cuba
Rubino has been a longtime defender of college’s namesake, Alexander Hamilton, arguing back as far as 2004 that Hamilton should remain the face on the $10 bill. In that same year, Rubino played the role of Nathaniel Pendleton, Alexander Hamilton’s friend and second, at a re-enactment of the duel between Hamilton and Aaron Burr. This interest in Hamilton was inspired by “The Classical Tradition in American Political Life: Cicero, Hamilton, and Jefferson and the Making of the Republic,” a course Rubino developed and has taught at Hamilton.
Locally, he initiated and directed the “Imagining America” monthly lecture series at the Other Side gallery in Utica that features Hamilton faculty members.
Doug Weldon, the Stone Professor of Psychology and Director of the Neuroscience Program
Doug Weldon was appointed to the faculty in 1978. His research interests include the brain mechanisms of attention, the developmental neurobiology of learning and memory and the role of calcium-binding proteins in neural plasticity. He is a recipient of a National Research Service Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, and his work has been published in journals that include Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioural Brain Research and the Journal of Neuroscience Education. Weldon teaches courses in behavioral neuroscience and psychopharmacology, He earned his doctorate from the University at Buffalo. He served as coordinator of Science Curriculum and Facilities, 1996-2005, which oversaw the planning of the Taylor Science Center. In 2010 he received the Samuel and Helen Lang Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
In 2014 he was elected to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association (APA), which is the highest scholarly honor the organization can grant. According to the APA, those who qualify for Fellow status need to have “shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology.” The APA guidelines go on to state that those contributions need to have “had a national impact on the field of psychology beyond a local, state, or regional level.”
A Weldon nominator said, “It is quite impressive when well-known colleagues in our field deem one’s work as having ‘national impact.’ Doug isn’t just a lone scientist in his lab; he is also the quintessential Hamilton science professor who seamlessly integrates research with teaching.”
The writer continued, “It would be impressive if all that Doug accomplished while at Hamilton was his amazing research program. However, his scholarship comes as part of a complete package: an outstanding and beloved teacher who is selfless in his service commitments to our Department, the Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, and the broader College. “
Another colleague spoke of Weldon’s contributions to Hamilton: “ Clearly, there is the science center as a physical reminder of his hard work—it’s a crowning site on campus, both functional and attractive … Doug has also tirelessly led the Neuroscience program—and I would venture to guess that it is one of the most successful interdisciplinary programs on campus. The students it attracts are top notch, the standards are challenging, and both the students and faculty are proud to be a part of it.”
Another nominator wrote, “ Adequately capturing his achievements and contributions seems an impossible task. How can one characterize the day-to-day and year-to-year interactions that culminate in a life-time of decisions that affect curriculum, policy, and ethos of a department and institution for generations.
“Doug has given selflessly to his students, the department, and the institution,always raising the bar of expectations to help all of us believe that we can be better than we imagined.”
Stephen Ellingson, Associate Professor of Sociology
Stephen Ellingson, who was appointed to Hamilton’s faculty in 2004, studies the sociology of religion, sociology of culture and social movements and collective behavior. His current research examines the relationships among religious and nonreligious environmental organizations. He is the author of The Megachurch and the Mainline: Remaking Religious Tradition in the Twenty-First Century, which won the 2007 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.
Ellingson also co-authored The Sexual Organization of the City and Organizational Ethics in Health Care: Principles, Cases and Practical Solutions, which won the 2002 James A. Hamilton Book of the Year, American College of Health Care Executives. He co-edited Religion and Sexuality in Cross-Cultural Perspective.
He has also published articles in American Journal of Sociology, Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, and in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. Ellingson is a nationally recognized sociologist of religion and reviewers of his books have noted the various contributions he has made to the field.
He earned a doctorate in sociology from the University of Chicago.
Nathan Goodale, Associate Professor of Anthropology
Appointed to the faculty in 2009, Goodale focuses on the evolution and development of village communities, processes of subsistence intensification, including the origins of domestication and agriculture, and the adaptations of complex foragers. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in several geographic areas, including the western coast of Ireland and currently the Upper Columbia River valley in the Pacific Northwest.
Last summer Goodale directed The Slocan Narrows Archaeological Project in the Slocan Valley, British Columbia, as participants in Hamilton’s archaeology field school. Nine field school students spent six weeks there and excavated a 2,600-year-old pithouse at the project site.
Also in 2015 he contributed to and co-edited Lithic Technological Systems and Evolutionary Theory, co-edited with William Andrefsky Jr. (Cambridge University Press). The papers in this volume examine stone tool analysis from the perspective of cultural evolution theory.
Goodale co-authored “Empirical study of the effect of count time on the precision and accuracy of pXRF data” which was published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports and co-authored with colleagues Khori Newlander ’04 (visiting faculty during AY 14-15), Tom Jones and Dave Bailey.
Archaeology of Hamilton’s Founding” (Arch 110) class is excavating the property at 60 College Hill Road, looking for evidence that would link the structure back to its possible construction date of 1793.
Russell Marcus, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Appointed in 2007, Marcus has in the past two years published two books, Autonomy Platonism and the Indispensability Argument (Lexington Books, 2015) and An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mathematics (Bloomsbury Books, 2016). In addition, he also published five peer reviewed articles, two of which are in top philosophy journals Theoria and Synthese. Marcus also has published in Philosophia Mathematica, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, and Recognizing Teaching Excellence: The Lenssen Prize.
Rebecca Murtaugh, Associate Professor of Art
Murtaugh, who works in sculpture and ceramics, had two solo exhibitions in 2015: A local exhibition at the Earlville Opera House AND a second solo, at the Thomas Hunter Project Space in Manhattan provided her with the opportunity to interact with the students in the ceramics department at Hunter College.
Stout Projects in Bushwick exhibited five new sculptures in Murtaugh’s naugural three- person show titled “Occo Socko.” The show was very well received and attended and received positive reviews from writer James Panero in The New Criterion, which positions her work as an excellent defining example of contemporary art.
Murtaugh will be part of a two-person exhibition with Painter Alison Reimus at Demo Projects in Springfield, Ill., in June.
She has exhibited her work in exhibitions in New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., New Haven, Cleveland, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Nashville, Dallas, Seattle and San Francisco. Murtaugh's work has been written about in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Criterion, the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Artweek, Stone Canoe and Shamenet Magazine. She was the recipient of the John R. Hatch Excellence in Teaching Award in 2009.