Denison University honored 11 faculty members with prestigious named chairs at the college's annual academic honors convocation, the highpoint of the academic year, Friday, April 19, in Swasey Chapel. Two of the professorships are new to the college. President Dale Knobel presented plaques representing the named chairs to the faculty member.
The James M. and Carolyn O. Gillingham Endowed Professorship was established in 2010 by James M. and Carolyn Oakes Gillingham, members of the Denison classes of 1949 and 1948, respectively. The chair is awarded in consistency with Denison policies for selecting recipients of endowed professorships, and will alternate between the Department of Chemistry and the Department of English. The Gillingham Chair was awarded to Kimberly M. Specht, associate professor of chemistry.
Specht teaches courses in general and organic chemistry and biochemistry. She holds a bachelor's from University of Notre Dame, and a master's and doctorate from Princeton University.
The Julian H. Robertson Jr. Endowed Professorship was established in 2008 by a group of donors consisting of alumni and friends of the college. John D. Lowenberg Sr., member of the Denison class of 1964 and Trustee, signed the agreement on behalf of all the donors. The donors honored Julian H. Robertson Jr. as a leader in the investment world and who has been instrumental in the growth and management of the college's endowment. The professorship recognizes exemplary achievements in teaching and scholarship and was awarded to Gabriele Dillmann, associate professor of modern languages.
Dillmann teaches course in the German language and Swiss literature and culture. She holds a bachelor's from Ruprecht-Karls-Universitat Heidelberg, Germany and California State University, Sacramento, and a master's and doctorate from University of California, Los Angeles.
Other faculty and their named chairs are:
- Bayley-Bowen Faculty Fellow (2013-2016) - Ashwin Lall, assistant professor of mathematics and computer science.
- William G. Bowen Distinguished Professor (2013-2018) - Sue Davis, associate professor of political science.
- Dominick Consolo Professor (2013-2018) - Margot Singer, associate professor of English and director of creative writing.
- Richard Lucier Professor (2013-2018) - Ching-chu Hu, associate professor of music.
- Jonathan R. Reynolds Distinguished Professor in Theatre (2013-2018) – Peter Pauzé, associate professor of theatre.
- William T. Utter/Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Professor (2013- 2018) – Adam J. Davis, associate professor of history.
- John and Christine Warner Professor (first professorship) (2013) – Joanna Grabski, associate professor of art history.
- John and Christine Warner Professor (second professorship) (2013) – John F. Shuler (Jack), assistant professor of English.
- Wickenden Chair of Chemistry (2013- 2018) – Jordan Fantini, associate professor of chemistry.
Awarded to Lall, the Bayley-Bowen Faculty Fellowship, established in 2004, was founded to honor the life-long personal and professional relationship between two of Denison's Life Trustees, David Bayley and William Bowen. The three-year fellowship is meant to recognize and encourage continued superior talent and outstanding scholarship and promise on the part of an untenured assistant professor who has just completed a successful third-year review.
Lall teaches courses in computer science and game design. His research covers error-estimating codes, threshold-based preference distributions and interactive regret minimization. Lall holds a bachelor's from Colgate University and a master's and doctorate from University of Rochester.
Awarded to Davis, the William G. Bowen Distinguished Professorship, established in 2007, was made possible by an extraordinary gift from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to honor Bill and Mary Ellen Bowen, both members of the Denison class of 1955. Bowen, often acclaimed as a visionary in the realm of higher education, served as president of the Mellon Foundation from 1988 until 2006, following a long and inspired presidency at Princeton University between 1972 and 1988.
Davis teaches courses on the politics of democratic states, politics of Russia, terrorism and political violence, ethnic conflict, Russian foreign and military policy, and issues and politics in Europe. Davis holds a bachelor's and master's from the University of Nevada Las Vegas and a doctorate from Emory University.
Awarded to Singer, the Dominic Consolo Professorship, was founded by Michael Eisner, a member of the Denison class of 1964, and named for one of Eisner's favorite professors at Denison. The professorship, established in 2008, recognizes the "exemplary achievements in teaching and scholarship" of a current faculty member while funding a portion of salary, benefits and research at the college.
Singer teaches courses in creative writing and senior seminars of writing and literature. She is the author of "The Pale of Settlement," winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. Singer holds a bachelor's from Harvard University, a master's form Oxford University and a doctorate from University of Utah.
Awarded to Ching-chu Hu, the Richard Lucier Professorship, established in 2008, recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated teaching and scholarship that enhances opportunities for students to study relevant and innovative ideas, which was the hallmark of Lucier's work during his tenure at Denison. Thousands of Denisonians remember with fondness his grasp of economics, engaging classroom persona, wide-ranging interests and trenchant wit.
Hu teaches courses in composition, music theory, conducting, and 20th century music. He holds a bachelor's from Yale, master's and a master's of fine arts from University of Iowa and a doctorate from University of Michigan.
Awarded to Pauzé, the Jonathan R. Reynolds Distinguished Professor in Theatre was established in 1994 with a grant from the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. The professorship recognizes the power of the arts and humanities, especially as they come together in theatre. The chair honors Jonathan R. Reynolds, 1965 Denison alumnus and prominent author and playwright.
Pauzé teaches courses in theatre, scenery and lighting and scenic design. He holds a bachelor's from Gordon College and a master's of fine arts from University of Georgia.
Awarded to Davis, the William T. Utter/Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Professor was established in 2007 by Williams, a member of the Denison class of 1942, in memory of and out of respect for Utter, an early professor of history at Denison.
Davis teaches survey courses on late antiquity and medieval Europe, as well as upper-level courses on religion and society in medieval Europe; the Crusades; Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages; the Renaissance/Reformation of the 12th century; the history of the university; and Renaissance Italy. He holds a bachelor's from Yale University and a doctorate from Princeton University.
Awarded to Grabski and Shuler, the John L. and Christine Warner Professorships are awarded to faculty members who have just completed a major project, such as a publication of a book, a juried art exhibition, a major performance, or a series of important scientific papers. Recipients are awarded the professorship largely on the basis of this major accomplishment. The Warner Professorships, established in 2004, recognize faculty who are active in their scholarly and artistic professions, and who are effective teachers in the classroom.
Grabski teaches courses in visual life in African cities, arts of post-colonial Africa, African art and visual culture, Africa on film, arts of Oceania, and an art history senior seminar. Grabski holds a bachelor's, master's and doctorate from Indiana University.
Shuler teaches courses in early American literature and Black Studies. He earned his bachelor's from Guilford College, masters of fine arts from Brooklyn College and doctorate from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.
Awarded to Fantini, the Wickenden Chair of Chemistry was established in 1965 by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Wickenden in "grateful appreciation of the many benefits received from Denison University by the Wickenden family.
Fantini teaches courses in chemistry and organic chemistry. He holds a bachelor's from Pennsylvania State University, and a master's and doctorate from Cornell University.