Johns Hopkins Gazette: March 20, 1995

Students Recognize Six for 1995 Distinguished Faculty Awards

By Lisa Mastny

     At a time when the university is increasingly sensitive to
the tug-of-war between time spent on faculty research and
undergraduate teaching, students celebrated outstanding faculty
contributions to undergraduate education at an awards banquet at
the Johns Hopkins Club on March 16.

     Six faculty members received 1995 Distinguished Faculty
Awards for their excellence in student advising, commitment to
undergraduate research and overall dedication to undergraduate
education in the schools of Arts and Sciences and Engineering. 

     Selection was based on over 80 nominations solicited from
the student body and reviewed by an awards committee of 12
undergraduates. Student coordinators Chris Drennan and Tracy
Gross selected a committee they thought would represent a great
diversity of majors and interests on campus as well as
demonstrate student leadership in such areas as athletics,
student government and residential life.

     "All the faculty that received awards were very deserving,"
said Gross, who has spent the past three months organizing the
awards program. "There were names that kept coming up on the
nomination forms. We asked around to see if there was student
consensus on our choices, and then the committee voted for the
most obvious candidates."

     Stephen Dixon, professor in the Writing Seminars, received
the Edward H. Griffin Award for Excellence in Faculty Advising
for the School of Arts and Sciences, given to a faculty member
who exemplifies the faculty advising system designed by Griffin
during his tenure as the first dean of the College Faculty at
Johns Hopkins. 

     Dixon was delighted to be recognized for his open-door
advising policy.

     "I didn't even know the award existed," he said. "But
students know my door is always open. I will advise not just my
own, but any student who comes by. It's nice to be acknowledged
by students and not just publishers." 

     Artin Shoukas, professor of biomedical engineering at the
School of Medicine, also received the Distinguished Faculty Award
for Excellence in Faculty Advising in the School of Engineering.

     Faculty were also recognized for their outstanding
contributions to student research.  Maria Zuber, professor in the
Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, received the David S.
Olten Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research in the
School of Arts and Sciences for her interdisciplinary approach to
undergraduate research and assistance with student computer
science projects. 

     "It's surprising to get an award for something you do every
day anyway," said Dr. Zuber, who holds the Second Decade Society
chair and recently won a Hopkins Oraculum Award for Excellence in
Teaching. "I like to work with undergraduates on their research,
but it's always nice to get recognized for it."

     Greg Chirikjian, professor of mechanical engineering,
received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Excellence in
Undergraduate Research for his contributions to undergraduate
student research in the School of Engineering.

     The final two awards recognized overall faculty excellence
in undergraduate education, including such areas as research,
faculty advising and teaching. Larzer Ziff, chairman of the
English Department, and Mark Saltzman, associate professor in
Chemical Engineering, received this year's Distinguished Faculty
Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Education.

     "Here at Hopkins it's very easy to be a teacher because
there's a terrific bunch of students," said Dr. Saltzman, who has
taught at Hopkins for eight years. "They are very enthusiastic
and motivated, and you often have to get out of the way and let
them do their own thing."

     Dr. Saltzman was also especially delighted to see one of his
former students, award recipient Greg Chirikjian, honored at the
banquet, he said.

     In addition to the Distinguished Faculty Award
presentations, Carol Burke, associate dean for academic affairs,
presented the Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award in
the School of Arts and Sciences to Gregory Ball for his "tireless
enthusiasm, generous encouragement and willingness to recognize
undergraduates as a vital part of his research team" in the
Department of Psychology.

     The banquet was the culmination of a weeklong effort by the
Student Council, the provost, the Alumni Association and the
deans of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Homewood Student
Affairs to promote communication between undergraduates and
faculty. The 1995 Faculty Appreciation Week began with a special
reception sponsored by the provost and the Student Council
honoring the faculty of Arts and Sciences and Engineering on
March 13, which more than 200 students and 130 faculty and staff

     "I would say it's been a very successful week," said student
coordinator Chris Drennan.

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