Distinguished and University Professor Award Recipients Named

Distinguished and University Professor Award Recipients Named

February 5, 2003

February 5, 2003, Greencastle, Ind. - Six members of the DePauw University faculty are being honored for their sustained excellence in teaching, service and professional accomplishment. Neal B. Abraham, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at DePauw University, has announced that the recipients of the Distinguished Professor Awards for 2003-2005 are Matthew Balensuela, Associate Professor of Music; Carla Edwards, Associate Professor of Music; and John Schlotterbeck, Professor of History. Dr. Abraham also has announced the appointment of University Professors for 2003-2007: Nachimuthu Manickam, Professor of Mathematics; Ellen Maycock, Professor of Mathematics, and Barbara Steinson, Professor of History.

A special committee composed of Dean Abraham, Paul Watt (University Professor 2001-2005), Charles Mays (Distinguished Professor Award recipient 2000-2002), Mac Dixon-Fyle (University Professor 2002-2006), and Meryl Altman (Distinguished Professor Award recipient 2001-2003) reviewed dossiers prepared by the nominees as well as confidential letters submitted on behalf of those up for the awards. Recommendations on recipients were then made to DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms, who endorsed them.

"The members of the review committee were impressed by the dossiers of all of the nominees considered this year," Abraham notes. "We concur on the strengths that these dossiers reveal about our colleagues individually and about the collective strength they affirm for DePauw's faculty. We are proud to be associated with fine colleagues noted for their sustained excellence in teaching, service and professional accomplishment."

Previous recipients of Distinguished Professor Awards are Cynthia Cornell, James Rambo, Andrea Sununu, Gary Lemon, Charles Mays, O. Ralph Raymond, Meryl Altman, Françoise Coulont-Henderson, Victor A. DeCarlo Jr., Marcia A. McKelligan, and Gloria Childress Townsend. Prior University Professors are Nancy Davis, Underwood Dudley, Wayne Glausser, Arthur Evans, Carl Huffman, Robert Kingsley, David Berque, David Newman, Paul Watt, Tom Chiarella, Wade N. Hazel, and Mac R. Dixon-Fyle.

DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR AWARDS, 2003-2005: for sustained excellence in teaching and service

C. MATTHEW BALENSUELAjoined the faculty as a part-time Instructor of Music in Spring 1991; he was appointed to a full-time position as Instructor of Music in Fall 1991, promoted to Assistant Professor of Music in 1993, and promoted to Associate Professor of Music in 2000. He earned his Bachelors of Music in Saxophone from The Juilliard School in 1979; after completing graduate studies in saxophone at the Manhattan School of Music, he received a Masters of Music in Woodwind and a Masters of Music in Music History at Bowling Green State University in 1985 and he completed his Ph.D. in Musicology from Indiana University in 1993. He has also taught graduate courses regularly at Indiana University.

Dr. Balensuela regularly teaches courses in music history, music literature, and music appreciation, and has offered advanced courses in Twentieth Century Music, Beethoven, and Mozart. He also designed and taught a portion of the first-year seminar in the School of Music entitled “Understanding Music Through the Classical Repertoire.” He has stated, “A professor cannot just teach a set of abstract competencies, but actual people of varying talents and abilities. I attempt to design courses which are diverse in their teaching methods to allow for a variety of learning styles. I lecture less often than I did when I first came to DePauw, as I believe my lectures should not stand as the sum of knowledge a student is expected to know on a given subject. Instead, I use my time with students more often to help them organize their own approaches to the material by leading discussions on readings, directing student research in term papers, and encouraging students to interact with the research and ideas of other students.”

Students call his teaching “challenging” and praise his sincere dedication to both his subject and his students. A student writes, “He has the unique ability to make any subject matter interesting." Another commented, “he made sure that we learned where certain musical traditions came from; which composers were creating new ideas, and which ones were borrowing from older traditions; and most importantly, he made sure we realized how historical performances have changed, and how this should affect our practice and performance methods outside the classroom.”

Currently a member of the European Studies Advisory Committee, Dr. Balensuela has also served on the Orientation Committee, the Community Conduct Council, and the Student Life and Academic Atmosphere Committee. Balensuela was a member of the task force on the first-year experience in 1998 and served on the First-Year Seminar Committee for several years thereafter.

In the School of Music he has coordinated first-year seminar offerings, twice chaired the Personnel Committee, and served on the School of Music Library Advisory Committee. He has served the American Musicological Society as secretary of the midwest chapter and as a program committee member of the New York Chapter. Dr. Balensuela co-authored the forthcoming book Music Theory from Boethius to Zarlino: A Bibliography and Guide, and has published articles on law and music and a book based on his dissertation. He also provided a number of entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Reader's Guide to Music, and has made frequent presentations at scholarly meetings. One of his professional colleagues notes, “he has established himself as one of the leading younger scholars in the field of medieval studies and especially in the relationship between medieval law and music theory.” Balensuela continues as an active performer of flute, saxophone, and clarinet and contributes reviews, interviews and features to the Tribune-Star of Terre Haute, Arts Indiana, Twentieth-Century Music, and Saxophone Journal.

CARLA G. EDWARDSjoined the faculty as Instructor of Organ and Music Theory and University Organist in 1988; she was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1989 and to Associate Professor in 1994. She earned her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Kansas in 1978, a Master of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Alabama in 1982, and a Doctor of Music in Organ Performance from Indiana University in 1996 with minors in music theory and music history.

She has developed and taught applied courses in organ, harpsichord, piano and keyboard skills and other courses in organ pedagogy, organ literature and design, and music theory. Her teaching philosophy calls attention to the importance of providing students with the tools and resources to develop their own intellectual curiosity and the enthusiasm to acquire musical insights independently. Her students describe her as a superb teacher, supportive, accessible, and demanding. One wrote, “Her personal examples of striving for excellence, achievement, and ongoing vision are a source of inspiration to many persons and myself as students, musicians, and people." Seven years after graduating, another wrote, "She is sensitive to what her students are capable of accomplishing and is superb at listening to students and identifying opportunities for them to discover their own gifts and capabilities.” A colleague says Dr. Edwards “possesses the wonderful ability to explain theoretical concepts in a way that any level of student understands. She does so with humor, respect, and creativity."

Professor Edwards has been a frequent participant in FITS workshops and is especially known for her innovative work using technology to meet the challenges and desires of music students and for her work in teaching teachers. As University Organist she performs regularly for convocations and alumni reunion weekends and guided the selection of the builder of the new organ for Kresege Auditorium. She has served for two years as Associate Dean of the School of Music, advises many music majors and has chaired four search committees in the last year. In Fall 2000 she chaired the Contemporary Music Festival at DePauw which hosted Libby Larsen as a guest artist. She accompanied and performed with the DePauw Concert Choir on its tour of Italy in January 2000 and its tour in the US in January 1993.

Edwards also served last year on the Task Force on the Status of Women at DePauw, and has been a member of the Committee on Faculty and the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning, the Management of Academic Operations Committee and the task force on Faculty Morale. A colleague who served on one of those committees calls Dr. Edwards "a deeply thoughtful and gifted problem-solver; nearly every week she came up with a different and important angle on some issue we'd been chewing over, some crucial idea none of us had thought of, that was entirely right. We all benefited from her serious and abiding grasp of the ethical principles involved in University governance and in the ongoing project to make DePauw as good a place as anywhere to study and to work.”

A frequent performer of organ repertoire across America, Dr. Edwards also performed twelve concerts during a three-week tour of Finland, and in 1998 was the featured artist on the National Public Radio program, Pipedreams. The Calcante label has released several of her recordings, including Carla Edwards and Friends and Twentieth Century Organ Music from the Auditorium.

JOHN T. SCHLOTTERBECKjoined the faculty as an Instructor of History in 1978. He was promoted to Assistant Professor of History in 1980 Associate Professor of History in 1985, and Professor of History in 1993, and has served as chair of the department for five of the last six years. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Humanistic Studies from The Johns Hopkins University in 1970; he completed Masters of Arts degrees in American History from the University of Michigan in 1972 and The Johns Hopkins University in 1974 where he completed his Ph.D. in 1980.

Dr. Schlotterbeck has designed and taught a wide spectrum of courses in nineteenth-century United States history, American social history, American colonial history, Southern history, quantitative methodology, African-American history and American Indian history. A frequent adviser and mentor to students, he has often guided them to successful careers as historians and lives as citizens. One of his students writes, "He is, by far, the most considerate, understanding, and respectful teacher I have met. His genuine concern for his students is unsurpassed.” Another writes, “[He] has a wonderful ability to present subject matter clearly, and his enthusiasm makes this class very enjoyable.”

Schlotterbeck was a pioneer in the use of technology in the classroom and has shared his experiences in workshops for faculty colleagues on the uses of instructional technology in liberal arts college teaching. He also provided early leadership for the Quantitative Reasoning Program at DePauw, and he later served as the associate faculty development coordinator of the program for five years. He has taught several first-year seminars and carries a heavy load of first-year and major advisees.

At the intersection of his service to professional societies and his own scholarship, Dr. Schlotterbeck has shared his views on linking studies in American History and public historians to the accurate presentations of life and artifacts of slavery at historical sites. He served with distinction on the Joint Archives Committee and helped to re-establish the Putnam County Historical Society, coordinating in 1995-1996 the reprinting of 1879 Atlas of Putnam County Indiana. He has served as a member of the advisory committee to the Black Studies Program. One of his colleagues notes: "[he] is one of the pillars ... without him, our program and its major would be severely compromised; we would be diminished... His intellect and insights, his loyalty to the students and the University, are both energizing and stabilizing."

John Schlotterbeck received a faculty fellowship in 2000 for his project on “Historical Museums, Material Culture and Public Memory.” He is currently completing a manuscript, “Thomas Jefferson's ‘Chosen People of God': Rural Society and Culture in the Virginia Piedmont, 1716 to 1900.” He is a frequent contributor of book reviews and conference presentations, and he has published articles. Recently he was co-director of a project supported by the National Trust for Historic Preservation “Interpreting Slavery and the Lives of African Americans at National Trust Historic Sites.” He also served as a consultant to the National Trust on a project entitled, “Developing an Interim Interpretation for Montpelier, the home of James Madison.”

UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS for 2003-2007: for sustained excellence in teaching, service and professional accomplishments

NACHIMUTHU MANICKAMjoined the faculty in 1986 as Assistant Professor of Mathematics; he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1995 and to Professor in 2002, and he has already earned recognition for excellence in teaching and service to the department and profession as the Ian Rolland Professor of Mathematics beginning in 2001. He received his Bachelors of Science in 1976 in Mathematics from the Center for Advanced Study in Mathematics of Panjab University in Chandigarh, India. At the same institution, he later earned his Master of Science in Math: First Class in 1977 and his Master of Philosophy in Math: First Class with distinction in 1978. In 1986 he completed his Ph.D. in Mathematics at The Ohio State University.

Dr. Manickam has taught a wide range of courses in the mathematics department (particularly calculus and discrete mathematics); he also taught the Introduction to computer programming. Ever interested in improving his teaching, he has gained Q, S, and W certification and has taught a first-year seminar, “Problem Solving.” He is currently developing a further specialty in statistics by taking additional graduate-level courses during his sabbatical this year. Students write of his love for teaching, his commitment to reaching students at all levels and his tough and challenging courses in which they learn and thrive. One writes: “The first and foremost quality attributable to Prof. Manickam is his remarkable ability to explain complex material to students in an understandable way… he uses the foundation he has created to challenge and stretch the abilities of all his students regardless of academic capabilities.”

Professor Manickam is currently in the midst of a term of service as chair of the Department of Mathematics. His University service also includes four years as a member of the Committee on Faculty, two terms on the Public Occasions Committee, and terms on the International Education Committee, the COF Review Committee (which he chaired one year), the Resource Allocation Subcommittee, and the Committee on Management of Academic Operations which he has also chaired. Within Division III he has served on the Long-range Planning Committee. He has taught in the project-based first-year seminars of the Science Research Fellows program.

He is an internationally respected authority in the area of graph theory (“uniform central graphs”) and has consistently produced work that has been published in leading mathematics journals, and has produced other articles or made contributions to major conference proceedings. He has worked on a number of different cutting-edge topics and has solved problems cleverly that have both theoretical and real world value. The subject of his recent research is terrain navigation, including “quickest path algorithms for robot navigation.” In pursuit of this work he has been a Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This work was also supported by a faculty fellowship which he recently completed.

Of his research, Dr. Manickam's professional colleagues state, “[he] has made important contributions to the understanding of visibility graphs, terrain model acquisition, uniform central graphs and the quickest path problem.” Another writes, “He is an accomplished mathematician in the area of combinatorics. ... He extended [an] algorithm for terrain model acquisition designed for a two-robot team to a team consisting of an arbitrary number of robots. In particular, he proposed the visibility graph method that would provide a near optimal performance for a team of four robots." Another concludes, “These results are significant in that they have the potential of yielding efficient algorithmic solutions to this problem.” Professor Manickam has supervised many undergraduates in completing research projects. He frequently publishes with his research student collaborators as co-authors, and he has successfully encouraged his students to make presentations at the Argonne Symposium for Undergraduate Research and the Butler University Undergraduate Research Conferences.

ELLEN JOHNSTON MAYCOCKjoined the faculty as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics in 1988, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1993 and to Professor in 2001. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics and Economics from Wellesley College in 1972; she earned her Master of Science in 1974 and her Ph.D. in 1986 in Mathematics from Purdue University.

With her colleague Mark Kannowski, she designed and developed “Calculus with Review,” the novel math course which has provided an alternative route to gaining mastery in calculus for many DePauw students. In addition she has taught other courses in calculus, geometry, analysis and algebra. She has also taught a seminar in the Honor Scholar Program. Her teaching has been widely praised by faculty colleagues and students, who note that she uses a wide range of methods. One of her students writes that Dr. Maycock "was able to integrate various teaching methods and styles (technology, lectures, discussions, problem sets, etc.) into a coherent semester that allowed all of us to grasp the connections between the formalism and the applications of the material. She was aware of the different learning styles of each of us and did her best to teach and explain in enough ways that we all could experience the satisfaction of that ‘Ah-hah!' moment.”

Professor Maycock received a grant from NSF under the Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement Program to support a series of workshops which drew mathematics faculty members from around the nation to DePauw. When DePauw received a grant from the Mellon Foundation for work in adding technology to enhance instruction and learning, she received one of the earliest grants for course improvements. She later directed workshops for faculty colleagues on the uses of MATHEMATICA in instruction. She has frequently offered workshops at professional conferences on her ideas for a laboratory approach to teaching group theory.

As evidence of her commitment to DePauw's general education programs, Maycock has gained her S, Q and W certifications. She also developed an upper-level mathematics offering as a W-course and served a term as Associate Faculty Development Coordinator for the writing program, and was co-organizer of the W workshops held in 1999, 2000, and 2001. She has also served on the Management of Academic Operations Committee, the Student Life and Academic Atmosphere Committee, the President's Task Force on Compensation, and the committee which developed the guidelines for reviewing and recommending tenure track positions.

Dr. Maycock has also provided significant professional service to mathematicians and teachers of mathematics. One of her colleagues writes, “[She] has also been a catalyst for getting mathematicians together who are concerned with the way we teach abstract algebra. She has spoken at many conferences about her work and her concerns, many time as an invited speaker.” Her publications include two books: Laboratory Experiences in Group Theory and Innovations in Teaching Abstract Algebra. She recently published “Technology in the Upper-Level Curriculum” in the Journal of Online Mathematics and its Applications. A colleague writes, “Her book is wonderful. [She] knows well that one captures the imagination of students when tedious calculations and note-taking are removed from the classroom, and students explore ideas through creative methods." A colleague at another institution states that “using the laboratory manual has completely changed, for the better, the nature of my abstract algebra course.” Ellen Maycock presently serves as a member of the Editorial Boards of the Mathematical Association of America for the Notes and Spectrum Series. She is also a member of the Committee on the Profession of the American Mathematical Society.

BARBARA STEINSONjoined the faculty as Assistant Professor of History in 1978. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 1984 and Professor in 1992, and has served two terms as Department Chair. Her graduated from Grinnell in 1970 with a B.A. in American Studies and earned her M.A. (1971) and Ph.D. (1977) in American Studies from the University of Michigan. She served as a Visiting Professor of History at the University of Aberdeen in Spring 2002.

Dr. Steinson's areas of expertise, reflected both in a rich record of scholarly activity and an ever-expanding teaching repertory, include the range of U.S. women's history; twentieth-century America; women, war and peace; violence and non-violence; oral history and autobiography; legal history; rural history; the 1960s; and women's social and political movements. Students praise her command of her subject, her dedication to and excitement about teaching, her openness to their ideas and interpretations, and her innovative classroom techniques to stimulate learning and “make the academic material personally meaningful.” She engages students directly with both primary sources and historiographical debates, pressing them to think critically and struggle with conflicts to develop their own interpretations. One student calls her class “a wonderful environment for students to openly discuss their ideas and to learn in a supportive, enthusiastic environment;” “you can really get the feel of the decade,” another writes; a third says, “she broke down stereotypes to make me view historical events and times from a different viewpoint.” Colleagues agree that she is an “outstanding teacher” as well as a “superb researcher and writer,” “indefatigable,” “exemplary,” “a crucial member of our community.” One of the earliest to teach in women's studies at DePauw, and instrumental to its establishment, she remains a mainstay of the program and an inspiration to her colleagues.

In addition to her work as assistant to the President during a time of growth, challenge, and change, Professor Steinson has been part of a wide range of curricular initiatives and has served on many committees to build and support the University's academic mission, including CAPP, the Public Occasions Committee, the Hartman Center Advisory Board, the Compton Center Advisory Committee, the Conflict Resolution Committee, the Latin American Studies Committee, the Asian Studies Planning Committee, Publications Board, and the University Priorities Committee. She has held every officer role in Division IV; has served on the Advisory Board for the GLCA-recognized Scotland program; and (as part of 25 years of service) has chaired or co-chaired the Women's Studies committee four times. A colleague writes, “Barbara has been an important mentor, teacher, and friend to many faculty members and students over the years. She has been a steady, productive scholar even during years when the demands of family life and teaching would appear to make scholarship impossible, and she has contributed to the health and evolution of DePauw as an institution.” Another attests, “Having come to experience the pervasiveness of her moral and ethical courage, and the depth and seriousness with which she approaches academic life … I feel fortunate that I am a colleague of hers, and that she has chosen education as a career.”

Professional colleagues recognize her for landmark work in several areas of US Women's History. Her first book, American Women's Activism in World War I, appeared in 1982; she is currently preparing a revised and expanded second edition under contract to University of Illinois Press. In the words of one reviewer, this work “exemplifies the best and finest historical scholarship [and] is extraordinarily well-researched in manuscript sources….[Steinson] was among the first in our field to move away from the notable woman approach to women's history." Another concludes, “her book sets the standard for the study of women and gender in peace activism and developing paradigms that dominated that field for more than a decade [and] remains as the only study that compares women's pro- and anti-war work and one the most inclusive studies of white middle-class women's political activity in that period.”

Dr. Steinson's current project on Rural Women in Indiana has been supported by a major grant from the Indiana Historical Society for development of a book-length manuscript, as well as being awarded a DePauw Faculty Fellowship. The painstaking archival work involved has already borne fruit in several conference presentations and articles regarded as definitive in this new and developing field; since women's historians have neglected twentieth-century rural women, while rural historians have often overlooked women, this is (in the words of a scholarly colleague) “scholarship that is desperately needed and sought … it will be eagerly read,” not least because of her “superb writing skills.” Steinson is co-president of the Rural Women's Studies Association (which DePauw currently hosts), has been president and vice president of the Indiana Association of Historians, and serves on the editorial boards of Peace and Change and of the Indiana Magazine of History. As part of the Preparing Future Faculty program at Indiana University, she communicates to the next generation of graduate students her passion for the classroom and her commitment to the liberal arts college career: the balancing act of teaching, scholarship, and service she has done so well for a quarter of a century.

(photo of Barbara Steinson by Marilyn E. Culler)