Convocation: Faculty, Staff Receive Awards, Promotions
St. Lawrence University honored several employees with awards for their outstanding service and recognized a number of faculty promotions during Convocation. The event was held on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Gunnison Memorial Chapel, marking the start of another academic year.
Elun Gabriel, associate professor of history and associate dean for Academic Advising, received the Louis and Frances Maslow Award, while Mindy Pitre, associate professor of anthropology and J. Ansil Ramsay Professorship in Public Health in STEM, received the J. Calvin Keene Award.
The Rev. Kathleen Buckley, University Chaplain, received the John P. “Jack” Taylor Distinguished Career Service Award, and Wendy Stowe, senior clerk in the Office of Admissions, received the Thomas F. Coakley Distinguished Career Service Award.
The Maslow Award was established in 1980 and goes to the faculty member who has shown the most interest in and understanding of the education and welfare of the student body as a whole.
According to one nominator, Gabriel “goes beyond just being ‘interested in’ or ‘understanding’ our students and their educational needs. In all of the varied aspects of his work he is a tireless advocate for and champion of our students,” and his abiding concern for their well-being and success shine through in all that he does. Gabriel challenges and expects students to take responsibility for themselves but also to reach out for the help and support they may need. His nominators write that he is “tough but always sympathetic too,” always remembering that the complex truth of each of us is about both capacity for inspiration and vulnerability to many hardships and pitfalls, not least those we create for ourselves. His principles have been the guiding lights of this colleague’s career as a scholar, a teacher, and an administrator, and most recently as one of the leaders of the University’s cross-divisional initiative to improve retention and achievement for all St. Lawrence students. Through his efforts, St. Lawrence students learn to do their best work and become the people they want to be. At the same time, he has helped St. Lawrence become a better version of itself, recognizing and achieving the ideals that define us as an institution in ways that would not have been possible without his efforts.
The Keene Award was established in 1975 and is given to a faculty member in recognition of high standards of personal scholarship, effective teaching and moral concern.
One nominator wrote about Pitre that, “She is an incredible teacher. She listens to what students have to say and what they are interested in,” and will go out of her way to introduce them to new sources and ideas related to their interests. One student said of Pitre that, “she encourages us to do better than our best and never gives up on a student. My academic confidence has grown so much because of her.” Another noted that, “she understands that there are times when difficult dialogue about topics like gender and race happen in the classroom, and she welcomes these with open arms and is respectful of all students and their opinions.” One student nominator said, Pitre “loves getting students involved in her work.” Pitre has applied these same principles to her work with colleagues. Through her dedication, creative thinking, and unfailing fairness and integrity, Pitre has become an esteemed and respected voice at St. Lawrence. The regard of her peers has been reflected in her election to the Professional Standards Committee, and in her energetic, open-minded, and forward-thinking guiding role in the creation of the University’s new program in public health, for which she has been recognized the J. Ansil Ramsay Chair in Public Health.
The Taylor Award was established in 1995 and recognizes distinguished service to the University by an administrator who has worked at least 12 years at St. Lawrence.
Buckley is in every respect the soul of the University. Her public work demonstrates her love, commitment, and high standards, and is clearly visible to the entire campus community (and beyond). What may be less visible is her tireless work behind the scenes, as she contributes to nurturing and caring for diversity, creating opportunities for people to connect in new ways across lines of difference and thus to benefit from diversity. Buckley organizes effective and meaningful public responses to the crises that affect our campus community and spends hours behind the scenes offering compassionate care to students, faculty, and staff who are in great personal distress. She offers mediation, restorative circles, and intergroup dialogue events, healing relationships, repairing harm, reconciling conflicts: in all of this work, she renews and restores community. Countless Laurentians around the world consider her their pastor.
The Coakley Award was established in 2010 and honors distinguished service to the University by an active, permanent hourly employee who has worked at St. Lawrence for a minimum of 10 years.
Stowe is one of the longest serving staff members at St. Lawrence, an employee who is the go-to when we need historical information. As important, Stowe has updated skills and duties every year and provides the highest level of service to the department and the University. One nominator shared that, “Our award recipient is the most dedicated person I have ever met.” Stowe is a humble, generous, smart, dedicated, and tireless Laurentian.
Faculty receiving tenure and promoted to associate professor:
- Sara Ashpole, associate professor of environmental studies and faculty coordinator for Sustainability Program
- Stephen Barnard, associate professor of sociology
- Eloise Brezault, associate professor of Francophone and African studies
- Adam Fox, associate professor of psychology
- Adam Hill, associate professor of chemistry
- Choong-Soo Lee, associate professor of computer science
- Kristin McKie, associate professor of African studies and government
- Judith Nagel-Myers, associate professor of geology
- Allison Rowland, Maurer associate professor of performance and communication arts
Faculty promoted to professor:
- Aileen O’Donoghue, Priest professor of physics