They are inspiring teachers and outstanding scholars whose work enhances the university’s reputation and guides students’ research journeys. They are mentors who become sources of personal and professional support for students who are away from home or who face personal or educational challenges during their graduate career. They are seen as faculty members who are dedicated to student success and who regularly become lifelong advocates in the professional world.
These attributes, and more, are why nine Syracuse University professors have been named recipients of the Excellence in Higher Education Award. The 2022 winners are:
- Patrick W. Berryassociate professor of writing, rhetoric and composition in the College of Arts and Sciences;
- carol faddaassociate professor of English at the College of Arts and Sciences;
- George Kallanderassociate professor and director of the graduate program in the history department of the Maxwell School;
- Shannon Monnatassociate professor of sociology and Lerner Professor of Public Health Promotion at the Maxwell School;
- Shikha Nangiaassociate professor of biomedical and chemical engineering and director of the graduate program in biological engineering at the College of Engineering and Computer Science;
- SP RajProfessor Emeritus and Chair of Marketing and Director of the MS in Marketing Program at the Whitman School of Management;
- Therese Singletonprofessor of anthropology at the Maxwell School;
- Sara Vasilenkoassistant professor of human development and family science at the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, and
- Bei Yu, Associate Professor and Program Director of the Ph.D. program in Information Science and Technology at the School of Information Studies.
Each year, the Graduate School recognizes faculty whose teaching and mentoring contribute significantly to higher education at Syracuse University. Applicants are evaluated for awards based on the supportive environments they create for research and graduate scholarship. superior teaching and consulting practice and responsible professional conduct; improving the academic and professional skills of students; and how they help students find jobs and succeed professionally. Letters of attestation from students and associates naming this year’s recipients also generally refer to an additional dimension: professors who are reliable and relevant resources offering one-on-one support to students who are struggling in personal life or who face challenges in terms of educational goals.
Patrick W. Berry researches literacy stories, digital media, and community production and outreach. Her recent book, “Doing Time, Writing Lives: Refiguring Literacy and Mass Incarceration,” which analyzes the teaching of academic writing in American prisons, won the Conference on Community’s 2019 Best Community Writing Book Award. Writing. His proponent (Ph.D. student Zackery R. Muñoz) recalled how Berry pushed him to attend a writing conference, recommended his work to an editor, and regularly connected with him on Zoom in 2020 while Muñoz had to be 2,000 miles from home, experienced the death of his mother and endured his first winter in Syracuse amid the COVID lockdown isolation.
carol fadda pursues research in Arab-Muslim American Studies, American Studies, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, and Transnational Studies. In “Contemporary Arab-American Literature: Transnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging,” she uses Arab-American literary and visual texts from the 1990s and beyond to challenge negative representations of Arabs and Muslims in the United States. His current project, “Carceral States and Dissident Citizenships: Stories of Resistance in an Age of “Terror,” highlights US global prison practices using Arabic and Muslim quotes of incarceration and confinement derived from the “War on Terror”. Her nominator (PhD student Natalie El-Eid) credits Fadda with being a living example that spaces exist and can be forged for Arab women in academia to succeed.
George Kallander is Director of the Graduate Program in the Department of History and Director of the East Asia Program at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. He teaches courses on Korea, Japan, the Korean War, East Asia and world history. Nominating Associate Professor Norman Kutcher indicates how Kallander’s skills add to the department’s Asian history teaching team, broaden the reputation of the program and the university, and attract students. He calls Kallander a source of information “on a wide range of national histories and an astonishingly broad period”, and cites his “extraordinary linguistic ability” to master the Korean, Mongolian, Japanese and Classical Chinese languages.
Shannon Monnat is a rural sociologist, demographer, and population health specialist who studies demographic and geographic patterns and differences in health and mortality, including how these differences explain drug use and overdose rates. Monnat is also Director of the Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion, Co-Director of the Policy, Place and Population Health Lab, Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research, and Affiliate Fellow at the Aging Studies Institute. The student nominees (Joshua Grove and Yue Sun) highlight Professor Monnat’s strong mentorship, her facilitation of unique opportunities in graduate research, and her well-organized and engaging speaking style.
Shikha Nangia studies the blood-brain barrier using theoretical and computational techniques, and how drug molecules transport across the blood-brain barrier. His NSF-CAREER-funded project seeks a cure for brain-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. His group also focuses on multi-scale computational modeling of nanomaterials, including nanomedicine, nanodrug carriers, and nano-bio interactions as the key to a new era of cancer treatment. Her nominator (Ph.D. student Katie Piston), says Monnat is “a fantastic teacher and mentor,” a “true scientist, creating innovative solutions to scientific problems” and that her “resolute confidence…is what guided me and allowed me to go to the end” of the doctoral program.
SP Raj is director of the Earl V. Snyder Innovation Management Center. His research on marketing strategies, their influence on customer behavior and the management of new product development and innovation has been widely cited. He has taught marketing strategy, marketing management, integrated marketing communications, marketing and Internet and marketing research, and pioneered the use of multimedia in the classroom. His proponent (PhD student in marketing Jaihyun Jeon) said that Raj’s introduction of an innovative dual-teacher mentorship program, facilitation of research opportunities and self-interest as he acclimated to a new country were essential to the success of its students.
Therese Singleton studies historical archaeology, African diasporas, museums, and North American and Caribbean life. She has contributed to exhibits and published on various aspects of African American life in the United States, including a book on her studies of a coffee plantation and comparisons of plantation life in the Caribbean and the United States. United. She recently began researching slavery in Cuba. His nomination, submitted by a majority vote of the Association of Graduate Students in Anthropology, noted “intangible qualities that enhance higher education” – a sense of fulfillment, exceptional dedication to graduate students and a constant presence for his advisers” as the basis of his recommendation.
In his research, Sara Vasilenko focuses on the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults, including sexual behavior and its risks to normative health and development. Vasilenko also studies sexual behavior at all ages and how it is associated with physical, mental and social health outcomes. She is also interested in development methodology, including longitudinal analysis and person-centered approaches. Its proponent (Corrine Blake) explained how Vasilenko started a structured research lab open to all students and how she helped spark student interest in research of all kinds.
Bei Yu studies natural language processing and computational social sciences. She examines how machine learning and natural language processing techniques can improve the quality, organization, and access to information in science and health. She recently researched exaggerated claims and misinformation in science news. Its nominator (PhD student Yingya Li) highlights the type of teaching that sets Yu apart: “Very useful lectures with a nice combination of theoretical concepts and practical skills… clear expectations for what should be considered quality work… methods that can be directly applied to current research and industry practices… very clear feedback for each assignment submitted.