CUNY Trustees Name Nine Distinguished Professors in Humanities, Sciences and Social Sciences including the Poet Laureate of the United States

June 25, 2001 | The University

The Board of Trustees of The City University of New York named nine outstanding professors including a faculty member appointed Poet Laureate of the United States last week as University Distinguished Professors, CUNY Vice Chairman Benno C. Schmidt, Jr. announced today.

The group includes four highly respected scholars who were recruited to CUNY from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Temple University, the University of Nebraska and Moscow State University. Three outstanding CUNY faculty members were honored from Brooklyn College, Hunter College and Lehman College, and two were chosen from the ranks of the University Graduate Center. Their fields of expertise include Computer Science, History, English, French, Criminal Justice Administration, Political Science and Psychology.

“We are very pleased to recognize the extraordinary contributions of these dedicated scholars, writers and teachers as Distinguished Professors,” said Chancellor Matthew Goldstein. “These appointments are illustrative of the significant achievements of CUNY’s world-class faculty.”

The appointments, which were approved by the Trustees at their June 25th meeting, are effective September 1, 2001. They are: Billy Collins, Distinguished Professor of English, Lehman College; James Fyfe, Distinguished Professor of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Hunter College; David Nasaw, Distinguished Professor of History, The Graduate Center; Michael Cunningham, Distinguished Professor of English, Brooklyn College; Domna C. Stanton, Distinguished Professor of French, The Graduate Center; Louis Menand, Distinguished Professor of English, The Graduate Center; Sergei N. Artemov, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center and Steven Penrod, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The City University of New York, the nation’s leading urban public university, comprises 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, a graduate school, a law school and a medical school. Nearly 200,000 degree-credit students and 155,000 adult and continuing education students are enrolled throughout the five boroughs of the City of New York.

Biographies of the University Distinguished Professors

Billy Collins, Distinguished Professor of English at Lehman College. On June 21, 2001, Billy Collins was named Poet Laureate of the United States. Professor Collins is among the most widely read poets today. Collins’s poetry has appeared in anthologies, textbooks, and a variety of periodicals, including Poetry, American Poetry Review, American Scholar, Harper’s, Paris Review, and The New Yorker. His work has been featured in the Pushcart Prize anthology and The Best American Poetry for 1992, 1993, and 1997. He has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1992, he was chosen by the New York Public Library to serve as “Literary Lion.” His creative work consists of eight collections of poetry, including two that were reissued, and a ninth, Sailing Alone Around the Room: New and Selected Poems, that will be published this year. His others include Taking Off Emily Dickinson’s Clothes: Selected Poems; Questions About Angels; Picnic, Lightning; The Art of Drowning; The Apple that Astonished Paris; The Video Poems; and Pokerface. He is a much sought-after speaker who has read his poems in dozens of colleges and universities across the U.S. and abroad. Professor Collins has been a member of the faculty of Lehman College since 1969. He has been a Resident Poet at Sarah Lawrence College and Burren College of Art in Ireland, and a Visiting Writer at Ohio State University, Poets House in Northern Ireland and Lenoir-Rhyne College. Dr. Collins earned his B.S. at Holy Cross College and his Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside.

James Fyfe, Distinguished Professor of Law, Police Science and Criminal Justice Administration at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The nation’s leader scholar of the police, Dr. Fyfe is a prominent spokesperson for contemporary issues involving police. He first had significant impact on the field as co-author of Above the Law: Police and the Excessive Use of Force. He is the author and co-author of eight books and many monographs, book chapters and scholarly articles in professional journals and periodicals. Professor of Criminal Justice and a Senior Public Policy Research Fellow at Temple University, he was a member of the New York City Police Department for 16 years, during which he rose from Patrolman to Commanding Officer of the Police Academy Management Training Unit and Coordinator of the Police Academy Executive Development program. For his latest research project, a comprehensive study of dismissed police officers in New York City, he was given access to 20 years of NYPD records, a privilege seldom given to scholars. As Distinguished Professor, Dr. Fyfe will be coming home as a role model to his students. He earned his B.S. from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and his M.A. and Ph.D, all in Criminal Justice, from The State University of New York at Albany. Dr. Fyfe has also taught at American University, and as Visiting Professor at Charles Sturt University School of Police Studies and New South Wales Police Academy in Australia and at John Jay College as an Adjunct while he was completing his Ph.D. at SUNY, Albany.

Rosalind Petchesky, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Hunter College. Her groundbreaking interdisciplinary work on reproductive and sexual rights has guided the work of scholars around the world in reproductive health and justice and her writings, advocacy and networking has impacted international public policy. Professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies at Hunter College since 1987, she is the founder and International Coordinator of the International Reproductive Rights Research Action Group (IRRAG). She is considered the leading scholar of reproductive rights policy in the U.S. and Europe. Both the United States Supreme Court and the Canadian Supreme Court cited Professor Petchesky’s landmark 1987 article, “Fetal Images: The Power of Visual Culture in the Politics of Reproduction,” one of her most widely cited publications. The U.S. Supreme Court in a later case also cited her first book, Abortion and Women’s Choice: The State, Sexuality and Reproductive Freedom. As Director of Hunter’s Program in Women’s Studies, she initiated the Reproductive Rights Education Project in conjunction with Hunter’s Community Health Education faculty, a Rockefeller-funded three-year residency program that focused on gender and feminism in Third World contexts. Dr. Petchesky has won many honors and awards including a MacArthur Foundation “genius award.” She has also taught at Bryn Mawr College, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Columbia University, and The University of California, Santa Cruz. She earned her B.A. from Smith College, a diploma from the Centre des Hautes Etudes Europeenes in France, and her M.A and Ph.D. from Columbia University.

David Nasaw, Distinguished Professor of History at The Graduate Center. A leader in the field of American cultural history, Professor Nasaw gained a position of preeminence in the field with the recent publication of The Chief, his biography of William Randolph Hearst, which won the Bancroft Prize and the J. Anthony Lucas Book Prize and was nominated for the National Book Critics Circle biography prize. His 1993 book, Going Out: The Rise and Fall of Public Amusement, has become required reading across the country in undergraduate and graduate courses on the cultural history of modern America. His earlier books include Schooled to Order: A Social History of Public Schooling in the United States and Children of the City: At Work and At Play. Dr. Nasaw has been a member of the College of Staten Island faculty since 1978 and served as Acting Dean of Humanities there, and a member of the doctoral faculty at the Graduate Center since 1990, where he has served as Executive Officer of the Ph.D. Program in History. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors of the American Social History Project at CUNY since 1996. He has also been a Visiting Professor of History at Columbia University and at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professor Nasaw earned his B.A. from Bucknell University and his Ph.D. in History from Columbia University.

Michael Cunningham, Distinguished Professor of English at Brooklyn College. One of the pre-eminent fiction writers of his generation, he is the author of The Hours which won the Pulitzer Prize and the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1999 and is being made into a film starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore and Nicole Kidman. He penned A Home at the End of the World and Flesh and Blood, all published in this country by Farrar Straus & Giroux, as well as in many other countries. He is also the author of numerous short stories. Professor Cunningham has taught fiction writing in Columbia University’s M.F.A. program and this spring was the Donald I. Fine Professor in Creative Writing in Brooklyn College’s M.F.A. program. A graduate of Stanford University, he earned a Master of Arts Degree in Creative Writing at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop.

Domna C. Stanton, Distinguished Professor of French at the Graduate Center. Currently Elizabeth M. Douvan Collegiate Professor at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, she is considered the preeminent scholar of her generation in 17th Century French studies. Her impact has been felt for close to thirty years, as well, in early modern French studies, in French studies as a whole, in women’s studies, in the Modern Language Association, and within the Human Rights advocacy community. She was among the first to focus on the status of the feminine in literature and brought to the field the insights and methodologies of feminist criticism. She was one of the founding editors of Signs, a journal of feminist criticism. She is the author of seven influential books and a large body of essays and articles. Her first book, The Aristocrat as Art: A Study of the Honnete Homme and the Dandy in Seventeenth- and Nineteenth-Century French Literature, continues to be used in graduate courses across the country and her edited collection, Discourses of Sexuality, from Aristotle to Aids, is used in Women’s Studies classrooms and by scholars nationwide. Other landmark edited collections include The Defiant Muse: French Feminist Poems from the 12th to the 20th Centuries, and The Female Autograph: Memoirs, Letters, Journals and Autobiographies by Women. Her most recent book, Women, Writ, Women Writing: Gendered Discourse and Difference in Seventeeth-Century France, is due to be published this year. She is the first female editor of PMLA, the prestigious Modern Language Association publication and has shaped a new MLA publication called Texts and Translations. She sits on the advisory committee to many women’s studies centers. Since 1995, she has been actively engaged with the work of Human Rights Watch, of special importance to the Ph.D. Program in French which has just added several new options to its curriculum, including an option in “International Issues with a Human Rights Focus.” Dr. Stanton has also taught at Rutgers University, Harvard University, Barnard College and Columbia College.

Louis Menand, Distinguished Professor of English at The Graduate Center. Described by many as a leading “public intellectual,’ and “one of the most remarkable men of letters in the country,” Dr. Menand has been a renowned member of CUNY’s Ph.D. Program in English since 1993 and earlier taught at Queens College/CUNY, Princeton University and Columbia University. He has also been Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law, literary editor and staff writer at The New Yorker, associate editor of The New Republic and contributing editor of The New York Review of Books. He is author of The Metaphysical Club, just published to critical acclaim. It is the first of three books that will together comprise an intellectual history of America from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. The second, American Studies, will be published next year, and the final, which he is completing, will be The Free World: An Intellectual History of the Cold War. His other books include Discovering Modernism: T.S. Eliot and his Context, The Future of Academic Freedom, and Pragmatism: A Reader. He is co-editor of America in Theory and The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism, Volume 7: Modernism and the New Criticism. He earned his B.A. at Pomona College, His M.A. and Ph.D. at Columbia University, and studied at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard Law School.

Sergei N. Artemov, Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center. Widely regarded as one of the most influential and important researchers in the field of logic in computer science, Professor Artemov has taught since 1984 at Moscow State University where he founded and directed the renowned Local Problems of Computer Science Laboratory. He is currently Visiting Professor at the Mathematical Sciences Institute at Cornell University and has taught at leading universities worldwide. Among Professor Artemov’s most significant achievements are his solutions of both the Godel and the Brouwer-Heyting-Kolmogorov problems. His mentor was Andrei Kolmogorov, the founder of modern probability theory, considered one of the greatest mathematicians of the 20th Century. He has won many scholarly awards, including the Russian Presidential Medal, and has published more than 80 research papers. He has also edited the leading journals in his field and has been invited to deliver several major addresses, including the 1999 Spinoza Lecture for the European Association for Logic, Language and Information, and the 2002 Clifford Lectures. He earned a Diploma with Perfection in Mathematics from Moscow State University and a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Doctor of Sciences in Mathematics from the USSR Academy of Sciences.

Steven Penrod, Distinguished Professor of Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. One of the top figures nationally in the field of forensic psychology, Dr. Penrod is currently Gallup Professor in Law and Psychology at the University of Nebraska. He was formerly Davis Professor in Law at the University of Minnesota. One of the most widely published and most cited researchers in the history of Psychology and Law, his research includes assessing pretrial publicity effects, eyewitness identification, violence against women, and jury decision-making. His works in progress concern death penalty attitudes of juries and attorneys. Among his many honors was the American Psychological Association’s early career award. He is currently president of the American Psychology-Law Society, the most important organization in the discipline. Dr. Penrod has also taught at the University of Wisconsin, and was Visiting Professor of Law at Indiana University. He earned his B.A. at Yale College, his J.D. at Harvard Law School and his Ph.D. at Harvard University.