Four Fordham Arts and Sciences faculty members were honored by their peers on Feb. 2 at the Faculty Day dinner in the Pope Auditorium on the University’s Lincoln Center campus. Since 1994, the Distinguished Teaching awards have honored excellence in the undergraduate natural and life sciences, humanities and social sciences, and since 1996 in the graduate arts and sciences overall.
“This life is about teaching,” said Robert R. Grimes, S.J., dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center. “Giving of ourselves to another generation is what we are about: wisdom and learning.” The honoree in natural and life sciences, Michael Houlihan, Ph.D., was singled out for his contributions to the University’s emerging Department of Computer Sciences. Robert Himmelberg, Ph.D., dean of Arts and Sciences Faculty, said “he energizes his class with a combination of clarity, rigor and humor…he is truly a man for others.”
In the humanities category, Sarah Zimmerman, Ph.D., associate professor of English, was honored for what students called a poetry class that is both “dynamic and riveting” and “interesting and intimate.” Michael Latham, Ph.D., associate professor of history at Rose Hill, was given the award in the social sciences undergraduate category, for what was called “an acute concern for our students’ welfare.”
Rev. Brian Davies, O.P., was the sole honoree among graduate arts and sciences faculty. Nancy Busch, Ph.D., dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, said that Davies “shows the way to students through carefully prepared and stimulating [philosophy]courses” and said that one student evaluation dubbed Davies “Saint Thomas Aquinas reincarnated.”
The evening began with a lecture in McNally Amphitheatre by John Entelis, Ph.D., director of the University’s Department of Middle East Studies, on “Political Islam and the Prospect for Democracy.” Faculty were also treated to a performance by three Fordham College at Lincoln Center students in the Ailey/Fordham B.F.A. dance program. Lilli-Anne Tai, a sophomore, performed a solo in Reflections in D, composed by Duke Ellington and originally choreographed by Ailey; senior Natasha Diamond-Walker and junior Josiah Guitian danced to Unspoken Words by Francisco Martinez.