October 14, 2010


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By Christina Masciere Wallace

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Several faculty members have been appointed or reappointed this fall to endowed academic positions, a recognition of high academic achievement in their respective fields, Bucknell University Provost Mick Smyer announced today.

"Endowed chairs and professorships recognize professional excellence," said Smyer. "Faculty chosen for this honor are among Bucknell's most accomplished scholars and most effective teachers. Their exemplary work inspires their students and peers alike, and ensures a strong academic program."

Funded by external gifts and awarded for specific terms, endowed academic positions benefit the University in perpetuity. They reward exceptional performance and help Bucknell attract and retain the best faculty.

Presidential Professorships, originally funded by grants from the Hewlett and Mellon foundations, were awarded to the following professors: 

  • Janet Jones, classics, who will research the cultural landscapes encountered by Alexander the Great and his successors in the eastern Mediterranean and central Asia in the fourth to first centuries B.C., with an emphasis on the environmental impact of urbanization in Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey) during the Hellenistic period.
  • Karen Morin, geography, who will work toward completion of an intellectual history of post-Civil War American geography, as well as her continuing study of relationships between religion, gender and space.
  • Ron Ziemian, civil and environmental engineering, who will research and travel with the goal of expanding the capability of his advanced computational structural analysis software to include seismic factors.

The National Endowment for the Humanities Chair in the Humanities was awarded to Elisabeth Guerrero, Spanish. The position, which is Bucknell's second NEH Chair in the Humanities, was made possible by the growth of the endowment for the first chair. Guerrero will use her funding to complete her new book, The Cosmic Generation: Cultural Production After the Mexico Revolution, which examines the work and influence of four Mexican intellectuals in the early 20th century — a choreographer, a composer, a muralist and a philosopher. She will pursue archival research, give lectures and travel to international conferences, and purchase research materials.

The David and Patricia Ekedahl Professorship in Environmental Studies was awarded to Peter Wilshusen, environmental studies. Wilshusen plans to use the professorship to facilitate scholarly exchanges by faculty and students on topics of environmental interest across campus, including a speakers series associated with the Environmental Studies Program and a Social Science Colloquium. The position will also help fund his new research of market-based approaches to biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation, as well as student research of these topics.

As announced this past spring, the Howard I. Scott Clinical Professor of Global Commerce, Strategy and Leadership was awarded to William Gruver. Professor Gruver will offer courses in the School of Management and the International Relations Department and courses that support the College Core Curriculum.

Also as previously announced, the David Morton and Leanne Trout Professorship of French & Francophone Studies was awarded to Angèle Kingué, foreign language programs. Kingué is finishing a novel and beginning an oral history project in which she will interview members of various Cameroon communities.

Endowed chair reappointments
Smyer also announced reappointments to three endowed academic positions.

Gary Steiner, philosophy, was reappointed to the John Howard Harris Chair in Philosophy. Steiner's research focuses on the cognitive abilities and moral status of non-human animals. He will continue to lecture and write on this topic as he finishes a book titled Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, to be published by Columbia University Press in 2012.

Mark Bettner, management, was reappointed to the Christian R. Lindback Chair in Business Administration. Bettner, whose scholarly interest is accounting as metaphor, has used his Lindback funding for journal subscriptions, books, and travel for professional conferences and student case competitions; including expenses for junior faculty coauthors and students. His funding has also supported his research of academic papers as well as two accounting textbooks he coauthored for McGraw-Hill.

James Lavine, foreign language programs, was reappointed to the Ruth Everett Sierzega Chair in Linguistics. Lavine will continue his research and travel to gather data and analyze how Slavic and Baltic languages inform and extend current knowledge of common human syntax.

Endowed academic positions are among the top fundraising priorities in the current comprehensive campaign. || Read more about chairs and professorships

Contact: Division of Communications

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