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Recipients of Chancellor's Citation for Excellence to be honored March 3

February 25, 2011

Donna Adamo
(315) 443-5172

Six Syracuse University faculty and staff members will receive the Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence at a campus ceremony and reception in their honor on Thursday, March 3.

The 2010-11 Chancellor’s Citation for Excellence honorees are:

  • Edward A. Bogucz, Jr., executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems
  • John Burdick, professor of anthropology
  • Paula C. Johnson, professor of law and co-director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative
  • Jonnell A. Robinson, Syracuse community geographer
  • Dennis Romano, Dr. Walter G. Montgomery and Marian Gruber Professor of History
  • Eric A. Schiff, professor of physics

The Chancellor’s Citation awards were first presented in 1979 in recognition of outstanding achievement in teaching, scholarship and creative work. Over time, the focus of the awards has changed to reflect new priorities and institutional directions. The emphasis on excellence and outstanding achievement remains unchanged. Each year, members of the University community are invited to nominate a colleague or co-worker for recognition. A selection committee, composed of faculty and staff from across campus, reviews the nominations and award winners are announced each spring.

All six honorees will receive a special art object created by Barbara Walter, professor of art, jewelry and metalsmithing in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, along with a citation recognizing his or her accomplishments.

Edward A. Bogucz, Jr.
boguczBogucz is the executive director of the Syracuse Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (SyracuseCoE), a collaborative organization that accelerates the development of “green” technologies, including clean and renewable energy, indoor environmental quality and water resources, ultimately creating jobs in New York state.

Under Bogucz’s direction, the SyracuseCoE has engaged 19 academic institutions across upstate New York and more than 200 firms, nonprofit organizations and government entities. Within the SU community, SyracuseCoE projects have engaged students and faculty from 10 schools and colleges: Architecture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Information Studies, Law, Maxwell, Newhouse, University College, Whitman and Visual and Performing Arts.

“Ed’s visionary leadership and tireless efforts to connect Syracuse University students and faculty to multiple communities—including institutions and firms in Central New York, New York state, across the country and around the world—exemplify the vibrant enactment of Education for the World—in the World and the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action,” says Gina Lee-Glauser, SU’s vice president for research.

“SyracuseCoE projects embed students and faculty members in collaborative teams that address pressing issues relating to the restoration of sustainable, healthy communities,” Lee-Glauser says.

SyracuseCoE projects in Syracuse’s Near Westside neighborhood have included efforts to improve energy efficiency in homes, educate the public about storm water management and create jobs through the deconstruction of existing buildings and reuse of harvested materials.

Under Bogucz’s leadership, the SyracuseCoE has secured more than $100 million in state and federal funding to support investments in facilities and studies of scientific, engineering and policy issues. The efforts of the SyracuseCoE and its role as the nucleus of a synergistic regional innovation cluster have received international recognition. In 2009, the SyracuseCoE hosted the ninth International Healthy Buildings Conference, attended by more than 1,800 participants from 44 countries. In March 2010, the state-of-the-art SyracuseCoE headquarters building was dedicated. In November, the SyracuseCoE received the U.S. Green Building Council’s highly competitive national Leadership Award. Also in 2010, Bogucz was chosen to lead a proposal to create the New York Energy Regional Innovation Cluster (NYE-RIC), a project focused on the development of innovations in energy-efficient building systems and the creation of clean technology jobs in regional economies throughout New York state.

Bogucz joined the SU community in 1985 as an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science. He served as dean of the college from 1995-2003. During his tenure, he led a dramatic turnaround of the college through the development and implementation of a strategic plan that focused on research and teaching in areas of strength within the Central New York regional economy. Resulting collaborations of SU faculty and students with other upstate universities and regional partners led to the establishment of the New York State Strategically Targeted Academic Research (STAR) Center in Environmental Quality Systems (EQS) in 2001, and the SyracuseCoE in 2002. Bogucz has served as the executive director of the SyracuseCoE since 2003.

His expertise is in computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, multidisciplinary analysis and design, engineering education and the development and management of regional innovation clusters. Bogucz holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh University, and a master’s degree in heat transfer engineering from the Imperial College at the University of London.

John Burdick
burdickFor Burdick, the practice of anthropology thrives at a fundamental level. Grounded in the principles of the discipline, Burdick’s scholarship seeks to understand the role of grassroots action in bringing about social change, both within and beyond the walls of academe, as evidenced by many projects over many years.

A professor in the Department of Anthropology at the Maxwell School and The College of Arts and Sciences, Burdick has conducted research on social movements, activism and cultural politics for more than 25 years. Under the aegis of the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration (PARCC) at the Maxwell School, Burdick is director of the Advocacy and Activism Project and founding director of the Syracuse Social Movement Initiative, a clinic for SU students who seek to bridge the gap between academic scholarship and social activism.

Burdick has a special interest in assisting groups dedicated to social change to better serve their constituencies and to reach out to new ones. His primary place of research has been Brazil, where his work has assisted a wide range of grassroots social movements, including liberationist Catholicism, Pentecostalism, the black consciousness movement and the landless workers’ movements. His current work charts the causes and effects of a new religious/political movement in Brazil, an emerging network among evangelical church leaders committed to uniting their faith with a black consciousness and anti-racist agenda. In each of these projects, Burdick has worked closely with social activists to frame research questions, design studies and disseminate results to the people on the ground in the affected communities.

“With his innovative work in action-oriented, activist scholarship as a mechanism for social change, Burdick has consistently pushed the engagement of anthropology with the world beyond the academy,” says Christopher DeCorse, professor and department chair. ”In both Latin America and the United States, he has worked to make the theoretical and empirical insights of our discipline directly relevant to the efforts of poor and working-class people striving to improve their lives.”

A productive scholar and prolific author, Burdick’s most recent book project is “The Color of Sound: Blackness and Gospel Music in Brazil’s Evangelical Church,” currently under contract with New York University Press. The book analyzes the role of popular music in the development of oppositional politics among evangelicals in São Paulo. Three other single-authored books precede it, along with three edited volumes, numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and additional published works.

In another current research project, Burdick is collaborating with colleagues from other departments in the Maxwell School on a multi-researcher study to help large transnational, nongovernmental organizations assess and understand the impact of a new generation of efforts to support the growth of democratic capacity and skills. The research is in response to the needs of a growing number of nongovernmental development organizations in Guatemala, Latin America and elsewhere that have moved away from a model of simple service delivery to one of advocacy for the rights of citizens.

Burdick is also active in Syracuse projects, some involving SU students in the theory and process of grassroots community organizing on the Near Westside of the city. Burdick and colleague Steve Parks, associate professor of writing and rhetoric in the Writing Program, also partnered with members of the Service Employees International Union to form the Purple Players, a community performance group with a goal of creating a civic dialogue on campus about the importance of SU service employees. A notable array of grants and funding have supported Burdick’s work and vision.

Burdick received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1979 and completed Ph.D. studies in cultural anthropology at the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1990. Since joining Syracuse University in 1992, he has united theory with practice in pursuing interests in democracy, advocacy and international work.

Paula C. Johnson

A professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law, Johnson serves as co-director of the nationally recognized Cold Case Justice Initiative (CCJI). Under Johnson’s co-direction, the interdisciplinary project has gained far-reaching attention for its commitment to seeking justice for racially motivated murders during the Civil Rights era on behalf of the victims, their families, local communities and society at large. “Professor Johnson is constantly breathing life back into the concept of justice,” says Janis McDonald, Johnson’s co-director at CCJI. “She has made the families of those who were murdered by Klansmen during the 1950s and 1960s feel respected and heard in their quest and prosecutions of those Klansmen who remain alive.”

Serving as the co-director of the Sierra Leone UN War Crimes Tribunal Project, Johnson is also the founding director of the Law in Zimbabwe Summer Internship Program; and previously served as co-president of the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), a national organization of 800 law professors. Through her skillful leadership, she paved the way for SU’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center to be unanimously accepted by the University Senate. “Her life’s work exemplifies her enduring commitment to teaching and learning, to the transformative power of caring communities, and to the pursuit of truth and justice,” says Adrea Jaehnig, founding director of the LGBT Resource Center.

Johnson is co-editor of the book "Interrupted Life: Experiences of Incarcerated Women in the United States" (UC Berkeley Press 2010), and author of "Inner Lives: Voices of African American Women in Prison" (NYU Press 2003). She is author of the book chapter “Beyond Displacement: Gentrification of Racialized Spaces as Violence: Harlem, NY, and New Orleans, LA,” in "Accumulating Insecurity: Violence and Dispossession in the Making of Everyday Life," (Feldman et al, editors, Univ. Georgia Press, forthcoming 2011). Several of Johnson’s law review articles have also been published.

Johnson’s service has included a broad range of College of Law and University committees, including the Chancellor’s search committee; co-chair of Sistaprof, an organization of Africana women professors at SU; and co-chair of the SU Senate’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) Concerns Committee. Her public service also has included membership on the boards of the Hiscock Legal Aid Society, the Center for Community Alternatives and the Battered Women’s Justice Project National Advisory Committee.

In 2003, she received the Unsung Heroine Award from the Syracuse University Martin Luther King, Jr. Awards Committee, and received the Outstanding Faculty Member Award from Pride Union, Open Doors and the LGBT Resource Center in 2005. In 2008, she received the SU African American Studies Department Community Service Award. The Cold Case Justice Initiative received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in 2008. In 2009, Johnson received the Northeast People of Color Legal Scholarship Haywood Burns/Shanara Gilbert Human Rights Award.

Johnson is an avid photographer, whose photo exhibitions of the people and landscapes of the African diaspora have been widely exhibited.

Before teaching at SU, Johnson taught at the University of Arizona, University of Baltimore and Northern Illinois University. She earned her bachelor’s degree at University of Maryland at College Park, completed her J.D. from Temple University School of Law, and her LL.M. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Jonnell A. Robinson
robinsonjonnellSyracuse Community Geography (SCG) began six years ago, and has had just one leader: Jonnell Robinson. “In essence, Jonnell defined the position,” it’s noted in the nomination material for her Chancellor’s Citation. Robinson was nominated by Pamela Kirwin Heintz, associate vice president and director of the Mary Ann Shaw Center for Public and Community Service; Tod Rutherford, professor and chair of the Department of Geography in the Maxwell School; and Alys Mann, Department of Neighborhood & Business Development, City of Syracuse.

SCG provides a service to, and serves as a resource for, community and neighborhood groups, social service agencies, faith-based agencies, nonprofit organizations and community coalitions that would like to use geographic analysis and GIS mapping to address a community concern, but lack the financial resources or technical capacity. SCG assists community partners to frame research questions, create, collect, manage, analyze and interpret geographic data, and use geographic information to create positive community change.

Robinson was hired after a national search. At the time she was a Ph.D. student in geography at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with a master’s degree in public health. Her skills in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) and public health advocacy made her the perfect fit for the position.

As the community geographer, Robinson’s office is located on campus, but her mandate crosses University/community lines. She has worked with the geography, public administration and policy studies programs, the School of Architecture and other campus units. She has also worked with many community organizations, such as REACH CNY, Partners for Onondaga Creek and the Onondaga County Department of Aging and Youth. The nominators state that she “works for the community, but has at hand the considerable material, intellectual and human resources of Syracuse University.”

In addition to working on specific projects for the community, Robinson attempts to create spatial awareness and an understanding of geographic accessibility. She also provides GIS training for community members and has created a mapping tool for the community ( Syracuse Community Geography has helped community partners to bring in millions of dollars in grant funding to the local community.

Robinson herself has defined her position as “one centered on the facilitation of community-based and community-defined spatial analysis.” Thus, her projects are proposed by one or another organization—they never originate with her. Robinson usually works with the organization to identify other community groups that might be interested in, or benefit from, the proposed project. “In so doing,” the nominators say, “[she] helps spark the formation of new community collaborations.”

The nominators add that Robinson has now worked with nearly 100 separate community and University organizations, which have employed dozens of student interns and worked closely with classes in several different departments.

Among the projects in which Robinson has been involved are expanding uptake of the Earned Income Tax Credit; the overlapping jurisdictions and mandates of literacy organizations; adolescent health; the construction of safe walking routes to schools; New York state school aid reform; and statewide hunger mapping. She is currently working on projects with the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation to map hydrofracking leases in Onondaga County.

The nominators laud Robinson’s flexibility, which means that projects have been able to develop and change in response to new needs and new ideas, “allowing for a different kind of social engagement with the community than other ‘public-participation GIS’ projects, which are often organized around a single research project.”

Volunteers and interns have used the skills gained in working with Robinson to attain positions in local and national organizations and graduate schools. Syracuse Community Geography has become a drawing card in attracting geography students to SU. And there is interest in replicating it in a number of universities in the United States, Canada, France and the UK. Much of the work accomplished by Syracuse Community Geography, the nominators say, has been made possible by Robinson’s “tireless efforts.”

They go on: “Syracuse Community Geography is a remarkable project. But it is remarkable in large part because of the tireless energy, skills, deep commitment and passion of Jonnell Robinson.”

Dennis Romano
romanoRomano is a distinguished historian specializing in Renaissance Italy, Venice and early modern social and cultural history. He has received international acclaim for his scholarship on society, culture and the state in early modern Venice. His extraordinary research is far reaching, ranging from the structure of Venetian households to the intersection of art and political power. His work is original, brilliant and transformative. In 2009, Romano was recognized by the Maxwell School with the first endowed chair in the Department of History , the Dr. Walter G. Montgomery and Marian Gruber Professorship.

Romano has published numerous articles and papers, is a sought-after invited lecturer and is the recipient of numerous research grants and awards. He is the author of four books, including the first full-length biography of Doge Francesco Foscari, whose triumphant and then tragic life was turned into a play by Lord Byron and an opera by Giuseppe Verdi. From Romano’s first book, “Patricians and Popolani: The Social Foundations of the Venetian Renaissance State” (Hopkins University Press, 1987) to his most recent, “The Likeness of Venice: A Life of Doge Francesco Foscari, 1373-1457″ (Yale University Press, 2007), Romano has become a respected and sought-after voice in the field of Venetian and Renaissance studies.

“Dennis is a truly superb scholar,” says Carol Faulkner, associate professor and chair of the Department of History. “He has published a number of important books and articles, which have collectively transformed the field of Venetian and Renaissance studies.”

Romano has received numerous and noteworthy research grants and awards during his career at SU, beginning in 1990 with the Maxwell School’s Daniel Patrick Moynihan Award for a junior faculty member. He has been a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow, an Ailsa Mellon Bruce Senior Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art, and a fellow at the National Humanities Center. In addition, he has been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. He has been elected a foreign fellow of Ateneo Veneto (the Venetian Athenaeum) and most recently, an honorary fellow of the Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Venezie. The Deputazione, founded in 1873, promotes the history of Venice and the Veneto.

In addition, he is a scholar and mentor to his graduate students, notably and consistently attracting some of the best graduate students in the history department. His students have moved on to notable success in the profession. This year, after one of his students defended his dissertation on “Family, State, and Church: The Bishopric of Siena, 1282-1371,” the student accepted a tenure-track position at the University of Portland, a significant accomplishment in an exceedingly tight job market. Romano is also the advisor to the undergraduate Medieval and Renaissance Studies minor program, and he originated and has coordinated for several years the Medieval and Renaissance Faculty and Graduate Student Working Group, which draws together faculty and graduate students from across the University.

Romano is also an enthusiastic participant in the intellectual life of the history department, particularly the departmental workshop, and is regarded as an excellent model for the University’s junior faculty members. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University, a master’s degree from Rice University and his doctoral degree from Michigan State University.

Eric A. Schiff
schiffFor more than 20 years, Schiff has taught and researched in The College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics, also previously serving as chair of the department, and as the associate dean of natural sciences, mathematics, and psychology.

Today, Schiff is professor, experimental physicist and internationally recognized researcher of unconventional semiconductors and their applications in solar cells. Much of his research over the years has focused on one remarkable material, amorphous silicon, which was the first glass-like semiconductor that had electrical properties comparable to ordinary crystalline semiconductors such as silicon. Today, amorphous silicon is commonly used for LCD televisions and displays, and solar cells made from it are spread widely over deserts and rooftops. Schiff has made key contributions to the fundamental understanding of this material’s atomic structure and its electrical properties. Indications of his stature in the field are that he was a co-organizer of the International Conference on Amorphous and Nanocrystalline Semiconductors in 1999 and 2007, and also the organizer of seven annual symposia of the Materials Research Society. Schiff’s work has been cited by other scientists more than 1,000 times.

Schiff’s recent research has involved nanotechnology. At SU, he is investigating metal nanoparticle coatings on thin film solar cells that should greatly enhance their capacity to capture sunlight. In 2007, he spent a sabbatical at Innovalight, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based leader in the development of silicon nanoparticle inks for solar cells; Schiff is a co-inventor on three patents with Innovalight.

Schiff has strong connections to the SyracuseCoE, which has been working to promote energy-related jobs in upstate New York. Through the SyracuseCoE, Schiff has been involved with New York companies working on solar cell technologies. Schiff also collaborated for more than 20 years with United Solar Ovonic LLC, a Michigan-based company that manufactures solar cells that are directly incorporated into roofing products.

“Eric is an extremely creative and diverse researcher. His ability to conduct research that spans from the fundamental all the way to technologically important applications has been one of the traits of his work over the years,” says M. Cristina Marchetti, Willam R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Physics. “He is a shining example of a scientist who can do fundamental research that is deeply rooted in the needs of today’s world. And his contributions to Syracuse University go well beyond research achievements.”

As chair of the physics department from 1997-2003, Schiff led an innovative change of the undergraduate curriculum that increased the number of physics majors more than threefold, in part from revitalization of the bachelor of arts program in physics that emphasizes communications, computer networking and writing skills along with a broad knowledge of science and technology. He was also instrumental in the development of a number of innovative upper-division physics courses.

Schiff is also recognized for being an inspiring teacher who consistently receives excellent student evaluations, specifically in the large-enrollment, calculus-based courses for scientists and engineers. Most recently, Schiff personally developed PHY 305, “Solar Energy Science and Architectures,” a successful experiment in exposing students with no previous science knowledge to issues at the forefront of modern technology.

Schiff earned his bachelor’s degree in physics and English from the California Institute of Technology , a Ph.D. from Cornell University, and was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Chicago.

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