Presidential Awards Honor Outstanding Faculty Members

June 27, 2013 | Hunter College

Presidential AwardeesPhotosforthe Web

In a festive ceremony on May 15, President Jennifer J. Raab presented 12 members of the Hunter faculty with the 2013 Presidential Awards for Excellence. Held every spring, the ceremony is an opportunity for President Raab and the entire Hunter faculty to honor distinguished members of the academic community.

The 2013 awards recognized contributions and achievement in a total of six areas: (1) scholarship or creative activity, (2) applied scholarship, (3) service and Hunter citizenship, (4) distinguished long-term service, (5) the Witten Award for full-time teaching, and (6) the Cecile B. Insdorf Award for part-time teaching.

The award for full-time teaching is funded by and named for Lisa and Richard Witten. Lisa Witten ’81 chairs the Hunter College Foundation, and is especially committed to the support and recognition of highly effective educators.

“As a former teacher and a proud Hunter graduate, I appreciate and respect Hunter’s faculty,” she said. “It is our family’s pleasure to support these devoted professors who contribute so much to Hunter’s students.”

It is a pleasure for everyone at Hunter to honor all of these individuals:

Scholarship or Creative Activity

Kelly Anderson, an associate professor, is deputy chair of the Department of Film & Media Studies. An independent producer and director, she has won prestigious awards for her work on many documentaries. Her latest work, My Brooklyn, reveals the policies and politics behind the reshaping of the Fulton Mall. In his letter nominating Anderson for the Presidential Award, Distinguished Professor Stuart Ewen praised My Brooklyn for being “one of the most outstanding documentaries to have appeared in the past few years,” and for spotlighting “the extent to which Hunter College has, over the past decade or two, emerged as a major national and international center for documentary media making.”

Ryan Keberle, a lecturer in the Department of Music, directs Hunter’s burgeoning program in jazz studies. A trombonist and composer who leads his quartet, Catharsis, and has received rave reviews for the recordings of his “little big band,” Double Quartet, he has performed around the globe, on TV and in film alongside superstars and legends of indie rock, soul and classical music as well as jazz.

Jessica Rothman, an assistant professor of anthropology and expert in primate ecology, has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, some appearing in such leading publications as Science and Nature. She conducts her fieldwork in Uganda, where her work is embedded in conservation and training programs linked to the Uganda Wildlife Authority and Makerere University. In 2010, she won CUNY’s Feliks Gross Endowment Award, and this year she received a CUNY Collaborative Grant.

Applied Scholarship

Lorna Thorpe, a professor at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter and the director of the Program in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, has played a central role in promoting excellence in research, service and teaching. She fought the spread of TB when she worked and trained at the Centers for Disease Control and was the director of the Division of Epidemiology at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. This past year she won a $3.4 million foundation grant to lead a major study of the health of New York City residents.

Service and Hunter Citizenship

Joseph Saladino, a lecturer and the director of Undergraduate Programs at the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing, is universally praised for his generosity and expertise. Dean Gail McCain has described the extent of his dedication to both the academic community and the larger community as “one-hundred percent.” Beyond the campus, as a volunteer representing Hunter in the Clinical and Translational Science Center consortium, he is nursing faculty preceptor for Weill Cornell’s Heart to Heart Clinic, and he has been a volunteer for the Hauppauge Fire Department for more than 30 years.

Andrea Savage Abramovitz, an associate professor and the associate dean for academic and faculty affairs at the Silberman School of Social Work, is a dedicated teacher, researcher and administrator. She has been deputy executive officer of the School’s doctoral program and chair of its Curriculum Committee, has served on the Middle States Reaccreditation Committee, and has also served the College as chair of its Institutional Board.

Distinguished Long-Term Service

Tamara Green, a professor of classical and oriental studies, has served as department chair for 32 years and has won nearly every teaching and service award given by the College. During her tenure as chair, thriving undergraduate programs have been created in Japanese, Arabic and Chinese, and master’s programs have been created in the teaching of Latin and Chinese. Colleagues and students continually express admiration for her inspired leadership and her exceptional grace, tenacity and good humor.

Marjorie Honig, a professor of economics, has served continuously as chair of the Department of Economics and Accounting since joining the Hunter faculty in 1981. Due to her energetic leadership and adept management of the integration of the economics and accounting programs, the department is a thriving academic community. An expert on aging and retirement, she has served beyond Hunter as co-director of research at the International Longevity Center and as a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Witten Award for Full-Time Teaching

Derrick Brazill, an associate professor of biological sciences, won the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. He received the highest teaching evaluations ever in the year-long cell biology sequence, and works through the Pre-Health Committee with those considering careers in medicine. He has served on the Mellon Curriculum Committee and as program director of the NIH-funded Minority Access to Research Careers program. Professor Shirley Raps, chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, called him “an exceptional academic,” and a former student praised him for being a teacher who “wove wit into each lesson.”

Avi Liveson, a professor of economics and accounting, has been a member of the faculty since 1986 and served as director of Hunter’s popular program in accounting from 2001 to 2008. Specializing in topics like business law and taxes and federal income taxation, which many find technical and challenging, he instills in his students a zest for those subjects while helping them prepare for graduate work, CPA license exams, and careers in accounting. Last year he was named by the Princeton Review as one of the top 300 professors in America.

Donna McGregor, a doctoral lecturer and undergraduate advisor in chemistry, teaches and organizes much of the 100-level chemistry curriculum. One student recently described her as “the embodiment of the ideal college professor,” while another noted that her teaching style and enthusiasm help her students “learn to love chemistry just as she had learned to love it.” Beyond Hunter, McGregor’s teaching talents have been recognized by The Wall Street Journal and HuffingtonPost, which reported on her creative role in the Arts Across the Curriculum initiative.

Cecile B. Insdorf Award for Part-Time Teaching

Marcus Artigliere, an adjunct professor in the School of Education, helped design the first online course in the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages program. His innovative work has been funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and last year he won a Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Grant. Colleagues consult him whenever they need the latest information on the NYC Department of Education’s policies and practices, and students praise him not only for being an exceptional instructor, but for devoting hours to online communication and face-to-face mentoring.