Faculty honored at annual President's Dinner

Author: Arts and Letters


Maureen Hallinan, a preeminent scholar in the sociology of education, has been selected by her peers at the University of Notre Dame as the recipient of the 2006 Faculty Award.

The William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of Sociology and director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, Hallinan was honored May 23 during the annual President’s Dinner.

“Her record of research and scholarship is matched only by her dedication to teaching and accomplishments in service to her department and to the University,” her award citation reads.

A member of the faculty since 1984 and an award-winning teacher and scholar, Hallinan is one of the nation’s leading researchers on education quality. Her ongoing, federally funded study “Comparative Analysis of Best Practices in U.S. Public and Private Elementary and Secondary Schools” is gathering unprecedented insight on the comparative achievement of public and Catholic school children.

President Award recipients, who are nominated by members of the faculty, also were announced at the dinner. They are Philip H. Bess, professor of architecture; Olivia Remie Constable,professor of history; Fernand “Tex” Dutile, professor of law; Agustin Fuentes, F.J. and H.M. O’Neill Family Associate Professor of Anthropology; and John Uhran Jr., senior associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering and a professor in both computer science and engineering and electrical engineering.

Bess arrived at Notre Dame in 2003 and assumed the directorship of the School of Architecture graduate program in 2004. He has since doubled the number of students admitted to the program, deepening its curriculum in the process. His urban design students have provided assistance both locally and nationally, including during a recent trip to Biloxi and D’Iberville in Mississippi to survey Hurricane Katrina damage. Such efforts “have widened the reach” of the school, his award citation states.

A member of the faculty since 1995, Constable is completing six years as director of graduate studies for the history department, where she became known “for her dedication to mentoring and guidance of a growing number of graduate students in a diverse group of subject areas.” She is the author or editor of three books and a specialist in medieval Spain, Mediterranean social and economic history, and Christian-Jewish-Muslim relations.

Dutile has served as “a superb teacher, scholar and administrator in the Law School” since joining the faculty in 1971. A professor of criminal law, he also “has become a master of the law of higher education,” his award citation states. As outgoing chair of Notre Dame’s Faculty Board of Athletics, “he has been the guardian of the integrity of Notre Dame’s athletic programs,” the citation adds.

Although a member of the faculty only since 2002, Fuentes’ energy and dedication to teaching and to mentoring students and their undergraduate research already have made “an enormous impact” on the University. In addition to his work in anthropology, Fuentes is the Flatley Director of Undergraduate and Post-Baccalaureate Fellowships and has been instrumental in supporting such programs as GLOBES, a new interdisciplinary initiative linking biology, society and the environment.

Uhran joined the faculty in 1966 and provided “significant leadership in establishing an undergraduate curriculum in the then nascent field of computer engineering,” his award citation reads. His legacy ranges from the development of state-of-the-art instructional laboratories to computer-aided design tools. He continues his work both in the evolution of engineering curricula and such fields as robotics.

The annual President’s Dinner awards presentations also recognized the unique contributions of several faculty members and representatives of the Office of Student Affairs with named awards that honor service especially reflective of Notre Dame’s mission.

The Rev. James A. Burns, C.S.C., Graduate School Award was presented to John Cavadini, chair and associate professor of theology and director of the Institute for Church Life, and to Daniel J. Costello Jr., Bettex Professor of Electrical Engineering. The Burns Award recipients are nominated by faculty and graduate students in recognition of teaching excellence and exemplary support to graduate education.

Cavadini has been “a shining example and a trusted advisor” who has built a competitive faculty in the field of patristics and who has sought partnerships to bring graduate education to teachers in Catholic schools and directors of religious education.

Costello is “a role model for what advisors should be.” He has directed more than 30 dissertations and 10 master’s theses and has “done much to increase the visibility of Electrical Engineering at Notre Dame.”

The Grenville Clark Award was presented to Martin Wolfson, associate professor of economics and policy studies and fellow for the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Wolfson has “raised his voice consistently to protect the rights, jobs and well-being of workers in St. Joseph County,” encouraging students to explore such issues as income distribution, plant closings, workers’ rights and economic development. The Clark Award honors members of the community whose volunteer activities and public service advance the cause of peace and human rights.

The Rev. John “Pop” Farley, C.S.C., Award was presented to Sister Susan Bruno, O.S.F., rector of Pasquerilla West since 1993 and Campus Ministry director of Notre Dame Encounter with Christ Retreats. Her additional duties range from co-chaplain of the Fighting Irish women’s basketball team to serving as a founding member of the Standing Committee on Gay and Lesbian Student Needs. The Farley Award is presented by Student Affairs to honor a person outside the classroom whose contributions enrich the religious, disciplinary, social, recreational and physical welfare of students.

The Thomas P. Madden Award for outstanding teaching of freshmen was presented to Eileen Hunt Botting, Rolfs Assistant Professor of Political Science, who often can be found in the midst of “the hubbub around her always-open office as first-year students stream in and out,” according to her citation. Botting receives consistently high ratings from her students, who have benefited from her work exposing freshmen to “complex primary material.”

The Reinhold Niebuhr Award was presented to Todd Whitmore, associate professor of theology and director of the program in Catholic Social Tradition, who has served “as the driving force behind the Notre Dame Task Force on Anti-sweatshop Initiatives.” He also pioneered the Program in Catholic Social Tradition as an interdisciplinary academic minor. The award recognizes a faculty member, student or administrator whose life and teachings exemplify the concerns of Niebuhr, the late Protestant theologian and author.

The Research Achievement Award was presented to John G. Borkowski, McKenna Family Professor of Psychology, a visionary in the field of child and family development who has established “a superb record of research and scholarship through his outstanding contributions to the field of developmental psychology.” Notre Dame now ranks among the top 10 developmental programs in the country.

The Rev. Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., Award for exemplary contributions by a librarian was presented to Carole Richter Pilkinton, who helped guide the library through “the bewildering thicket of electronic resources” and for identifying methods for the most effective use of its financial resource. A recognized authority on electronic resources, she is “a creative problem-solver who is undaunted by challenging and complex issues.”

The Rev. William A. Toohey, C.S.C., Award for Preaching was presented to Rev. Daniel Parrish, C.S.C., the rector of Zahm Hall whose homilies “consistently bring together the teachings of the Church and real-life applications, relating on a personal level to Notre Dame students and others.” Father Parrish also directs the freshmen retreat program for Campus Ministry.

The Rev. William A. Toohey C.S.C. award for Social Justice was presented to Ken Milani, professor of accountancy and longtime director of the Tax Assistance Program. “He has devoted countless hours to training University students so they can provide free income tax return preparation to more than 3,000 low-income individuals in the Michiana area each year.”

Originally published by Gail Hinchion Mancini at newsinfo.nd.edu on May 26, 2006.