Recipients of Distinguished and University Professor Awards Announced

Recipients of Distinguished and University Professor Awards Announced

February 28, 2006

East College 2005 2.jpgFebruary 28, 2006, 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, executive vice president, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty at DePauw University, has announced that the recipients of the Distinguished Professor Awards for 2006-2008 are: Mary P. (English) Dixon, associate professor and chair of the department of economics and management; Caroline B. Smith, associate professor of music; and Barbara Whitehead, associate professor of history. Dr. Abraham also announced the appointment of University Professors for 2006-2010: Terri Bonebright, associate professor and chair of the department of psychology; Vanessa Dickerson, professor of English and director of the Black Studies program; and Masha Belyavski-Frank, professor of modern languages (Russian) and director of the Russian Studies program.

Each year since 1998-1999, DePauw has recognized three faculty members to receive Distinguished Professor Awards for sustained excellence in teaching and service. University Neal Abraham Work.jpgProfessor Awards, established in the same year, recognize sustained excellence in teaching, scholarship and service.

A committee composed of Dean Abraham and past University Professorship recipients Carl Huffman and David Newman, along with Distinguished Professor Award recipient Judy Raybern, reviewed dossiers prepared by the nominees as well as confidential letters submitted on behalf of those up for the awards. The panel made recommendations to DePauw President Robert G. Bottoms and he has endorsed them.

"This is the eighth set of these awards since the creation of the program, recognizing the accomplishments of 48 tenured faculty members over eight years," Abraham (seen at right) notes. "These colleagues have been inspirational role models for all of us."

DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR AWARDS, 2006-2008: for sustained excellence in teaching and service; these may be awarded only once in a career.

Mary P. (English) Dixon the DePauw faculty in 1988 as instructor of economics. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1989 and to associate professor in 1994. She earned the B.A. degree in 1983 from Southern Illinois University; and the M.A. degree in 1985 and thMary Dixon.jpge Ph.D. degree in 1989 from Southern Methodist University. She was appointed the Hiram L. Jome Professor of Economics and Management for 2003-2005, and the Q.G. Noblitt Professor of Economics and Management for 2005-2009.

Dr. English is noted for her strong, student-centered teaching philosophy. She is dedicated to using active learning techniques which engage her students, and has joined with colleagues in her department to explore innovative use of the DyKnow technology developed at DePauw to teach graphing in introductory economics. She has worked to gain external funding for these endeavors. Her students report that her teaching is clear, feedback is extensive, and she is available outside of class to guide their learning.

Dixon has been an effective mentor of junior faculty colleagues; and she has been a leader in developing programs for inter-institutional gatherings of liberal arts economists which have been funded by grants from the Mellon Foundation's faculty career enhancement program.

Her service to the University includes service as Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Academic Advising (1994-95), Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Academic Advising (1995-96) and as Director of the McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship and the Management Fellows Program (1996-2000). She has frequently contributed time and energy to work with the Admission Office on recruiting. Her committee service includes work on the Committee on Faculty, the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning and its Resource Allocation Subcommittee, the Advising Committee, the Steering Committee for the S Program, the Teacher Education Program, the International Education Committee (which she also chaired), and the Opportunity Hiring Advisory Committee.

Caroline B. Smith joined the full-time faculty in 1993 as assistant professor of music after initially teaching part-time. She was promoted to associate professor in 2000. She earned the B.M. degree in 1977 from Converse College and the M.M degree in 1979 from Florida State University. For thecaroline b smith.jpg last four years, she has been head of the voice department in the DePauw School of Music.

Professor Smithis known among faculty colleagues and students as an outstanding teacher and mentor of voice and diction. She has guided her students to successes in careers and national competitions. As one student describes it, she helps students to "discover a voice you never knew you had." She has offered highly valued Master Classes at Interlochen Arts Academy, the Green Lake Music Conference, and at Performing Arts High Schools in Phoenix, Arizona; she is an active solo recitalist and has also performed with the DePauw University Orchestra, the Mozart Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Bloomington Pops Symphony Orchestra, the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra, and the Cleveland Chamber Orchestra, among many others. Her recent voice performances include Augusta Reed Thomas's Bubble: Spirit Level (2005); Gabriel Faure's Requium (2005), and George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children (2004).

In her service to the University, Smith has completed terms on the International Education Committee and the Management of Academic Operations Committee which she also chaired; she is currently a member of the Committee on Faculty. An active recruiter of vocal performance majors; she also founded the Vocal Arts Camp in 2002 and continues to direct the camp which is both highly valued by high-school-aged participants and an effective recruiting tool. She currently holds a Faculty Fellowship for 2004-2007 for the recording of repertoire for voice and organ which she will complete before she accepts the benefits of this award.

Barbara J. Whitehead joined DePauw's faculty in 1990 as instructor of history. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1992 and to associate professor in 1997. She earned the A.B.Barbara Whitehead.JPG degree from Harvard University in 1983, and the M.A. degree in 1985 and the Ph.D. degree in 1992 from Bryn Mawr College.

Dr. Whitehead is a steady and effective teacher of history, noted by her students for enthusiasm and devoted support of their learning. Her effectiveness spans both the broad introductory survey courses in Western Civilization, European Civilization, and Modern Europe and more specialized topics and advanced courses. In recent years she has developed valuable new curricular offerings for the department, including History Today: Debates and Practices, The Vikings, The History of History, and Early Modern Political Thought; she has also developed first-year seminars on the French Revolution and Myth, Memory and History. She has also been an effective mentor to nineteen history major seniors in completing their theses. Her Winter Term teaching includes accompanying several international trips: two trips to Spain, one to Paris, and another to Central Europe.

In her service to the University, the professor has completed a term on the Management of Academic Operations Committee which she also chaired, and served on the recent General Education Task Force. She served for two years as the catalyst for DePauw faculty members' involvement in the Mellon-funded faculty career enhancement program and she chaired the recent S Program Self-Study Committee. She has also served terms on the Committee on Administration, the Teacher Education Committee, the Q Program Steering Committee, the Committee on Academic Policy and Planning, the Advising Committee, the Public Occasions Committee, the S Program Steering Committee, and the W Program Steering Committee.

Whitehead edited Women's Education in Early Modern Europe: A History, 1500-1800, which appeared in 1999, has contributed two invited chapters, four encyclopedia articles, and seventeen conference papers. She recently completed a Faculty Fellowship in 2002-2005 for history curriculum development projects.

UNIVERSITY PROFESSORS for 2006-2010: for sustained excellence in teaching, service and professional accomplishments.

Terri Bonebright joined the faculty as instructor of psychology in 1995. She was promoted to assistant professor in 1996 and to associate professor in 2001. She earned the B.A. degree in 1990, Terri Bonebright 2.JPGthe M.A. degree in 1992, and the Ph.D. degree in 1996, all from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a specialty in cognitive psychology.

An outstanding teacher, Dr. Bonebright is widely praised by students and colleagues alike. She has developed new courses for the department, provides mentoring for faculty colleagues, supports student research, and mentors students toward career advancement. She has also contributed to the Science Research Fellows program. Her work has been recognized by students; she was selected as an outstanding faculty volunteer and as an outstanding faculty member by Delta Zeta sorority. Her effective teaching earned her the Exemplary Teaching Award for 2000-2001, a recognition granted by DePauw University and the General Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church.

Among her service to the University, are key leadership roles as Faculty Development Coordinator for 2003-2006 and chair of the department for 2005-2008. In these roles she has been a mentor and role model for new faculty colleagues, organizing orientation events, workshops and roundtables. She has been a member of the Faculty Development Committee, which she also chaired, and of the Committee on Administration. She has been a frequent leader of Winter Term in Service trips and has been a guest lecturer in courses for faculty colleagues. With native fluency in German, she is a frequent contributor to personnel recruitment and performance reviews for faculty colleagues in German.

In her nationally recognized scholarship, Bonebright has been a leader in the field of cognitive psychology in the sonification of graphs. For this work she received a Faculty Fellowship for 2000-2003. Her publications in international conferences have been cited by other experts in the field of auditory displays. She has published 14 refereed publications and 32 conference presentations, frequently with student collaborators. She participated in Project Kaleidoscope workshops for psychology in 2000 and 2002. She gives significant professional service to the International Conference on Auditory Displays, serving as treasurer of the board; she also organized the First International Symposium on Auditory Graphs.

Earlier this year, Professor Bonebright was awarded a Faculty Fellowship for 2006-2009 which she will have to relinquish to accept this award.

Vanessa D. Dickerson joined the faculty in 1997 as associate professor of English after teaching at Vanessa Dickerson.jpgUniversity of Virginia for seven years and at Rhodes College for nine years. She was promoted to professor in 2002. She earned the B.A. degree in 1977 from the University of Virginia and the Ph.D. degree in 1981 from Princeton University.

As a teacher, Dr. Dickerson is demanding and rigorous, inviting students to achieve excellence. She has created new introductory and intermediate courses which have contributed to DePauw's curricular diversity, particularly in literature and has developed courses that strengthen the Black Studies program in particular. She is known to her students for her thoughtful and purposeful teaching, intentionally standing her ground for critical thinking and analytical reasoning.

In her University service, Dickerson accepted appointment to a five-year term as director of Black Studies in 2000 which she is completing this year after a one-year leave from these duties during a sabbatical. She guided the program through a growth phase that included approval of a major and the introduction of a regularly offered introductory course. She has been a member of the Committee on Faculty and of search committees for the Vice President of Academic Affairs and the Technology Librarian. In service to the profession, she has also been a frequent reviewer of books and book proposals. She has also served as a consultant to Educational Testing Service.

The professor's professional accomplishments include editing and/or contributing chapters to: Recovering the Black Female Body: Self-Representations by African-American Women (2001); Keeping the Victorian House: A Collection (1995); In The Family in African and the Americas (2004); The Carlyles at Home and Abroad: Essays on Their Influence in Scotland, Europe, and the Americas, (2004); The Erotics of Instruction (1997); Money: Lure, Lore, and Literature -- An Anthology of Essays (1994); Gender, Culture, and the Arts (1993).

Vanessa Dickerson was awarded a Faculty Fellowship in 2001-2004 for a project entitled, "Black Victorians," and she has been awarded a Faculty Fellowship for 2005-2008 which she will have to complete before accepting the benefits of this award.

Masha Belyavski-Frank joined the faculty in 1992 as assistant professor of modern languages (Russian) after teaching at The Ohio State University for four years and at Macalester College for three years. She was promoted to associate professor in 1996 and to professor in 2004. She earned the B.A. degree in 1973 and the M.A. degree in 1976 from Middlebury College, and the Ph.D. degree in 1983 from the University of Chicago.

Dr. Belyavski-Frank is an effective teacher at all levels of Russian language and frequently receives accolades from her students for excellence in instruction. In addition to elementary, intermediate and advanced Russian language courses, her teaching includes topics courses such as "Russian Fairy-tales and Folklore" and "The Art of Translation," and modern languages courses, including Russian Culture: From Icons to Faberg. Among her prominent accomplishments is the introduction of new interdisciplinary courses. She is devoted to her students and to the Russian Studies Program, organizing numerous cultural trips, talks and film showings.

In her University service, the professor has been a member of the Management of Academic Operations Committee, the International Education Committee and the steering committees or interest groups of Film Studies, Women's Studies, Jewish Studies, European Studies and Teacher Education. She has served as Director of Russian Studies from 2002-2008. She served as co-editor of the DePauw magazine of art and languages, Integrare, for spring 1999.

Among her critically acclaimed scholarship, Professor Belyavski-Frank's recent scholarly work has focused on linguistic developments in the Balkans, work that was supported by a Faculty Fellowship in 2002-2005. Her work has resulted in 15 scholarly chapters and articles, and an additional 12 chapters and articles on language pedagogy and folklore or literary translations. She has read 40 papers at professional meetings. In 2003, she authored a book: The Balkan Conditional in South Slavic: A Semantic and Syntactic Study that has received high praise from scholars in her field. Two articles, "Turkisms in Macedonian Literature from the 1990's and Beyond" and "On the use of Verbal Tense for Narration in Bosnian Questionnaires," are forthcoming.

Masha Belyavski-Frank had been awarded a Faculty Fellowship for 2006-2009, announced earlier this year, which she will have to relinquish to accept this award.


  • 1999-2001 : Cynthia Cornell, James Rambo, Andrea Sununu
  • 2000-2002 : Gary Lemon, Charles Mays, Ralph Raymond
  • 2001-2003 : Meryl Altman, Françoise Coulont-Henderson, Craig Paré
  • 2002-2004 : Victor DeCarlo, Marcia McKelligan, Gloria Townsend
  • 2003-2005 : Matthew Balensuela, Carla Edwards, John Schlotterbeck
  • 2004-2006 : Page Cotton, Vergene Miller, Judith Raybern
  • 2005-2007 : Robert Hershberger, Daniel Shannon, Jamie Stockton
  • 2006-2008: Mary P. (English) Dixon, Caroline B. Smith, Barbara Whitehead


  • 1999-2003 : Nancy Davis, Underwood Dudley, Wayne Glausser
  • 2000-2004 : Arthur Evans, Carl Huffman, Robert Kingsley
  • 2001-2005 : David Berque, David Newman, Paul Watt
  • 2002-2006 : Thomas Chiarella, Mac Dixon-Fyle, Wade Hazel
  • 2003-2007 : Nachimuthu Manickam, Ellen Maycock, Barbara Steinson
  • 2004-2008 : Thomas Hall, Bruce Stinebrickner, Valarie Ziegler
  • 2005-2009 : Yung-chen Chiang, Mary Kertzman, Mitchell Merback
  • 2006-2010: Terri Bonebright, Vanessa Dickerson, Masha Belyavski-Frank