Six Faculty Members Retire from Denison
Posted: May 19, 2000
By Fleur Metzger
At Denison's 159th Commencement on Sunday (May 14), six of Denison's most experienced faculty members were honored. Those who retired at the end of this academic year include:
Elliot Borishanskybrought his love of music, composition and humor to the Music Department at Denison in 1968 and has delighted students and colleagues with his talents ever since.
A native of New York City, Borishansky was awarded the 1958 George Gershwin Memorial Award for his work "Music for Orchestra" that was subsequently performed by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Leonard Bernstein.
Among his original works that have been performed throughout the United States, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Australia and Canada is Alma Mater Indelible, written for Denison's Sesquicentennial celebration and performed at Denison in 1989 by the Jupiter Symphony. His published compositions include music for clarinet, solo piano, trumpet, treble voices and piano. He also has written music and lyrics for several Columbus Junior Theatre productions and is an Artist in the Schools for the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Borishansky was named associate professor in 1976 and professor in 1981. His belief in using humor in his teaching to relate to the total student led him to prepare a lecture titled "Humor in the Arts" that was presented throughout the Midwest. Along with musical composition, Borishansky writes one-act plays and plans to continue his creative efforts in both writing and composing during his retirement.
Richard Doyle's 33 years as a member of Denison's Department of Chemistry have enabled him to work with hundreds of students who have gone on to become successful doctors or professors of chemistry.
Doyle joined Denison's faculty in 1967 as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1974 and Professor in 1982. Since his postdoctoral days, Doyle's research interests have been focused on mushroom chemistry and biochemistry and amino acid synthesis. He has worked with students in both senior research and honors projects in these fields.
Doyle served as chair of the Chemistry Department from 1976-79 and 1988-91. He is a member of the American Chemical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science and North American Mycological Association.
Doyle is also secretary-treasurer and membership secretary of the Ohio Mushroom Society, a 200-member organization that goes on mushroom forays throughout the state of Ohio. His retirement will enable him to devote more time to mushroom research, as well as to travel with his wife Judy who has taught physics at Newark High School for 25 years.
Paul King's 33-year career at Denison is a positive example of the results of collaborative learning and teaching. His interdisciplinary scholarship with Professors David Woodyard (Religion) and Kent Maynard (Sociology/Anthropology) introduced hundreds of students to new aspects of all three subjects.
King became part of Denison's Department of Economics in 1967 when he was hired as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1974, professor in 1982, and named the John E. Harris Professor of Economics in 1995.
During 1977, King's interest in liberation theology led him and Woodyard to collaborate on an upper level course in religion and economics, "The Human Condition: Economic Factors and Theological Perspectives." In 1982, Professors King and Woodyard published their first co-authored book, Journey Toward Freedom: Economic Structures and Theological Perspectives. Six years later, he collaborated with Professors Woodyard and Maynard to publish Risking Liberation: Middle Class Powerlessness and Social Heroism. King's most recent co-authored book, Liberating Nature, was written with Woodyard and published by The Pilgrim Press in 1999. His grant with Economics Professor Robin Bartlett was instrumental in enabling the Economics Department to create a computer laboratory-enhanced curriculum in which the students can apply real world information to learned economic theory.
A more recent aspect of King's scholarship deals with sustainable development and the ability to allow economic activity to continue without damaging our environment. He hopes to continue that research during his retirement.
Anne Shaver's teaching career at Denison has been a 27-year work in progress, for in her words, she has "re-invented herself" at least three times during that period.
She arrived at Denison in 1973 as an assistant professor and one-year replacement in the English Department and then shared an appointment with the late Nan Nowik for two more years. She was promoted to associate professor in 1979, professor in 1988 and Lorena Woodrow Burke Chair of English in 1998. Her early teaching and research interests focused on Medieval/Renaissance work. Shaver's first book, Tristan and the Round Table, a translation of La Tavola Ritonda, was published in 1983.
After spending 1988-89 involved in the Women Writers' Project at Brown University, Shaver returned to Denison with a newfound interest in early women writers and developed courses to introduce her students to this genre. Her work with students in the Honors course "Computers in Shining Armor: Rescuing Early Women Writers" led to the publication of her second book, The Convent of Pleasure and Other Plays, an edition of works by Margaret Cavendish, Duchess of Newcastle, in 1999.
Since 1998 she has been teaching the Honors seminar "Issues in Diversity: Queer Theory." She praises the Honors Program for enabling faculty to create imaginative and challenging courses that are fun for both the professors and students. Shaver says, "My three NEH grants and Denison's flexibility gave me the opportunity to go on learning. That, in turn, is the teacher's charge: to inspire our students with the love of learning that will make them lifelong learners."
Shaver envisions her first year of retirement as lying in a hammock in the yard of her home on Sugarloaf Key, Fla., watching her fruit trees grow.
When Ilse Winter joined Denison's Modern Languages Department in 1967 as an Assistant Professor in German, all her colleagues in the department were males; today, more than half are women. She feels this change has had a positive impact.
A native of Pl?n, West Germany, Winter earned undergraduate degrees in Germany, followed by an M.A. (1965) and Ph.D. in German Literature (1971) from Rutgers University. At Denison, Winter was awarded several National Endowment for the Humanities grants, attending NEH Summer Seminars at the University of Minnesota (1977), Princeton University (1985) and Cornell University (1995). She was named Associate Professor in 1977 and Professor in 1984.
Her courses ranged from beginning and intermediate German all the way to "Masterpieces of 20th Century German Literature." Her Honors Program course, "Maniacs or Miracle Workers? How Literature Views Scientists" frequently attracted science majors who were amazed to find such fascinating fiction about scientists. Winter's goal as a professor was to raise her students' sensitivity to a foreign language and culture and to help them discover how stimulating and enjoyable it can be to communicate in a language other than English.
Winter and her husband, Professor of English Emeritus John N. Miller, are hobby farmers and she is looking forward to helping with some needed work on their property. They will travel to Germany to visit family as well to explore new places. As they say in Germany, she is leaving Denison with one eye laughing and the other eye crying.
Sandy Yorkahas put stars in the eyes of innumerable Denison students, citizens of thecommunity, members of Elderhostel and youngsters from nearby elementary, junior high and high schools during the past 22 years.
They might have seen the planets or experienced the wonder of observing a solar eclipse at Swasey Observatory, or viewed the night sky and its myriad of stars through the state-of-the-art Zeiss ZKP3 planetarium projector in F.W. Olin Science Hall. In all these instances, Yorka was a willing and enthusiastic instructor and observer, making astronomy come alive for her audiences.
Since 1982, four years after she came to Denison, Yorka has served as director of Swasey Observatory, presenting open houses at the observatory and, with the advent of Olin Science Hall in 1995, offering planetarium shows to students, community residents and returning alumni. Yorka has been director of the Reid and Polly Anderson Program in the Sciences since 1986. In that capacity, she has brought world-renowned scientists to lecture at the college. She also has overseen awarding of the Anderson Scholarships in Science and the selection of the Anderson Summer Research Assistantships, enabling hundreds of Denison students to do research with faculty on campus during the summer. She was named associate professor of physics and astronomy in 1990.
Over the years, she has given numerous workshops on astronomy and basic physical science for primary school teachers. In 1989, she was named an "Exemplar" by the Ohio Academy of Science to serve as a role model to inspire young Ohio women to choose science-related careers.
In retirement she plans to spend time looking through her telescope and doing some astrophotography at home.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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