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Six Honored With Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards


Six Hamilton faculty members were recognized for their research and creative successes with the Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards, presented by Dean of Faculty Margaret Gentry on Class & Charter Day on May 8. The awards recognize individual accomplishment but reflect a richness and depth of scholarship and creative activity across the entire faculty.

Professor of French Bonnie Krueger and Professor of Geosciences Barbara Tewksbury received the Career Achievement Award. Associate Professor of Biology Wei-Jen Chang was the recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award.

Three faculty members received the Notable Year Achievement Awards which recognize particular accomplishments in the past year: Professor of Government Alan Cafruny, Assistant Professor of Biology Cynthia Downs and Associate Professor of Government Sharon Rivera.

Tara McKee, Nat Strout and Quincy Newell
Tara McKee, Nat Strout and Quincy Newell

New this year, the Dean’s Exceptional Service (DES) Awards recognized faculty who have contributed exceptional service to the College. Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing Nat Strout was named the Career recipient, which marks significant service over the course of a career. Associate Professor of Psychology Tara McKee and Associate Professor of Religious Studies Quincy Newell received Notable Year recognition for particular service in the past academic year.

In addition, Professor of Computer Science Richard Decker received Student Assembly’s Sidney Wertimer Award.

Career Achievement Award
Roberta Krueger
Roberta Krueger

Roberta (Bonnie) Krueger, the Burgess Professor of French, has edited and contributed to the Cambridge Companion to Medieval Romance and is the author of Women Readers and the Ideology of Gender in Old French Verse Romance. She recently translated, with Jane H. M. Taylor, a late medieval French romance by Antoine de la Sale, published as Jean de Saintré: A Late Medieval Education in Love and Chivalry. Krueger has published numerous articles on medieval French romance and conduct literature and on medieval and Renaissance women writers.

Her latest project examines the interplay of didactic discourse and courtly and “uncourtly” fictions in French vernacular manuscript compilations, circa 1160-1450. She is a founding co-editor of the Medieval Feminist Newsletter and co-founder of the Society for Medieval Feminist Scholarship.

Barbara Tewksbury
Barbara Tewksbury

Barbara Tewksbury, the Upson Chair of Public Discourse, is a structural geologist, engaged in research projects in Iceland and Egypt. She has been a leader in the national geoscience education community for more than 15 years.

She has taught geology to new NASA astronauts and co-authored an article in the August issue of GSA Today, a publication of the Geological Society of America. “Geologic Training for America’s Astronauts” describes the rationale for changes over the past eight years in geology training for astronaut candidates and the focus for future geology training.

Tewksbury has been awarded nine different National Science Foundation grants to fund her research and work. A member of Hamilton’s faculty since 1978, she earned a doctorate in geology from University of Colorado and has held three different endowed chairs at Hamilton. Tewksbury was named New York State Professor of the Year in 1997 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and in 2004 she received the NAGT’s Neil Miner Award for exceptional contributions to the stimulation of interest in the earth sciences.

Early Career Achievement Award
Wei-Jen Chang
Wei-Jen Chang

Wei-Jen Chang, associate professor of biology, has written or co-written several professional articles in Gene, Protist, Molecular Biology and Evolution and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

This year he published a chapter in Biocommunication of Ciliates and co-authored an article in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

During his postdoctoral work at Princeton University, Chang studied gene evolution and genome organization in unicellular organisms. He joined the Hamilton faculty in 2006. Chang earned a bachelor’s degree from National Taiwan University and his master’s degree and doctorate from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Notable Year
Alan Cafruny
Alan Cafruny

During this academic year, Alan Cafruny co-authored the book titled The European Union and Global Capitalism: Origins, Development, Crisis. and published a chapter in The Palgrave Handbook of Critical International Political Economy, which he co-edited. Cafruny also wrote a monthly column for the Valdai International Discussion Club was interviewed by the BBC about President Trump’s presidency. He also directed Hamilton’s Program in Washington, D.C., during the spring semester.

Cynthia Downs
Cynthia Downs

Cynthia Downs this year co-authored a paper published by The American Naturalist. “Speeding up growth: selection for mass-independent maximal metabolic rate alters growth rates” describes the results of the authors’ study of the relationship of metabolic rates to pace-of-life. She also presented “Correlates of Immune Defenses in Golden Eagles” at the annual meeting of the Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology. 

Sharon Rivera
Sharon Rivera

During the past year, Sharon Werning Rivera’s research was published in two journals (Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization and Sravnitel’naya politika [Comparative Politics]).  Another article, co-authored with Visiting Assistant Professor of Government David Rivera, was accepted for publication in Problems of Post-Communism.  She also co-authored an op-ed on the electoral college and the 2016 presidential election on the online site Medium. In addition, the Washington Post’s blog The Monkey Cage published a synopsis of an analysis of Russian elite survey data that she wrote with students in her Levitt Research Group – James Bryan ’16, Emma Raynor ’18, and Hunter Sobczak ’17.  She will be continuing her work on that research in her new capacity as Principal Investigator of a major survey of Moscow-based foreign policy elites.

Dean’s Exceptional Service Award

Nat Strout teaches and studies the literature of the English Renaissance, in particular the drama of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Strout has published articles on poems and court masques by Ben Jonson, on John Ford’s play, ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and on the idea of mutuality in Shakespeare’s As You Like It. He is a contributor to Approaches to Teaching Shakespeare’s Hamlet, published by the Modern Language Association. Strout served as associate dean of faculty from 1992-96 and served as the Christian A. Johnson Excellence in Teaching Professor from 2005-08. He earned a doctorate from the University of Rochester.

Tara McKee’s research focuses on families coping with children with varying challenges such as developmental disabilities and behavior disorders and on the impact of such behaviors on the transition to college. McKee is author or co-author of numerous papers published in Journal of Attention Disorders, Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, Applied Social Psychology, Behaviour Research and Therapy, and Journal of the American Medical Association. McKee’s clinical work has focused on children in school settings and in-patient hospital settings

Quincy Newell this year was awarded a $40,000 Sabbatical Grant for Researchers by the Louisville Institute. The grant will support her book project titled Marginal Mormons: African Americans and Native Americans in the Nineteenth-Century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Student Assembly’s Sidney Wertimer Award
Richard Decker
Richard Decker

Richard Decker and Hamilton Professor of Computer Science Stuart Hirshfield are co-authors of several widely used computer science textbooks. Decker, who has been teaching computer science at Hamilton since 1985, received a master’s degree in number theory and algebra from Pennsylvania State University, a doctorate from Ohio State University and master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University. He has taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges and served as mathematics-statistics assistant at the U.S. Army Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Hamilton’s Student Assembly initiated the Wertimer Award in 2005 in memory of the late Sidney Wertimer, professor of economics emeritus, who died in February, 2005. The award recognizes a faculty member “who is recognized as a mentor and active participant within the Hamilton community.”

Contact Information


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