endowed professorship

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Anthropologist Brenda Jenike, classicist Randall McNeill appointed to endowed professorships

Two Lawrence University faculty members have been named to endowed professorships, which recognize academic distinction through teaching excellence and/or scholarly achievement.

Brenda Jenike, associate professor of anthropology, has been appointed the Edward F. Mielke Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Science and Society. Randall McNeill, associate professor of classics, has been named the Ottilia Buerger Professor of Classical Studies. The appointments are effective July 1.

“Lawrence embraces the teacher/scholar model of faculty excellence, in which a professor’s scholarly and creative interests flourish through their experiences with students,” said Catherine Gunther Kodat, provost and dean of the faculty. “Professor Jenike and Professor McNeil are particularly noteworthy in this regard: they are both experts in their fields and superb teachers. It’s a great pleasure to be able to recognize their talent and commitment through these distinguished appointments.”

The Edward F. Mielke Professorship in Ethics in Medicine, Science, and Society was established in 1985 by the Mielke Family Foundation in memory of Dr. Edward F. Mielke, a leading member of the Appleton medical community and founder of the Appleton Medical Center. Two of his sisters, Ruth Mielke and Sarah Mielke, were 1914 and 1916 graduates of Lawrence, respectively. Ruth Mielke was a long-time librarian at Appleton High School while Sarah Mielke taught mathematics at Shawano High School.

Brenda Jenike
Brenda Jenike

The Mielke endowed professorship has been held previously by Jack Stanley (1987-1999) and Patrick Boleyn-Fitzgerald (2008-2016).

Jenike joined the Lawrence faculty in 2004. In addition to teaching in the anthropology department, which she currently chairs, she has served as faculty advisor to the biomedical ethics program the past 14 years. She also is the current director of the East Asian Studies program, which she previously led from 2011-14.

Incorporating an interdisciplinary approach — cultural, social and medical anthropology, Japanese studies, gender studies, public health, gerontology, social welfare — Jenike’s research interests include issues related to aging, late life and elder care in Japan’s rapidly aging population. Her current focus is on robotic assisted caregiving.

In her seminars, students examine biomedical ethics in cross-cultural and global context, including an understanding of local moralities and the subjectivities of perceived disabilities in local and global worlds.

The co-author of “Transforming the Cultural Scripts for Aging and Elder Care in Japan,” for The Cultural Context of Aging: Worldwide Perspectives, Jenike has written numerous published articles, including several in Japanese that have appeared in publications in Japan.

Prior to Lawrence, Jenike spent a year on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame and also has taught at Pomona College and UCLA.

She spent a year as an exchange student studying at Japan’s Doshisha University while an undergraduate of Pomona College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Asian Studies. She also studied at Japan’s Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies and Ochanomizu University before earning her Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA.

The Ottilia Buerger Professorship was established in 2002 by a bequest from the estate of Ottilia Buerger to endow a professorship in medieval or classical studies. A native of Mayville, Buerger graduated magna cum laude and a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 1938 from what was then Lawrence College. She taught Latin and English in high schools in Goodman, Wautoma and Beaver Dam for several years.

Her lifelong interest in history, classics and numismatics fueled her passion for assembling a world-renowned collection of ancient Greek and Roman coins. The Buerger Collection was given to Lawrence after her death in 2001. It serves as an invaluable resource for students and faculty studying the ancient world.

The Buerger Professorship is currently held by Carol Lawton, professor of art history, who is retiring at the end of the 2017-18 academic year.

Randall McNeill
Randall McNeill

McNeill joined the Lawrence classics department in 1999 after teaching three years at Yale University. He has served as chair of the department since 2007.

A specialist in Latin poetry and Greek and Roman history, McNeill is the author of the book “Horace: Image, Identity and Audience,” which examines techniques Horace used to depict his personal existence and how those techniques influenced later Roman poets. In addition to his book, he also has authored numerous scholarly articles, many related to Horace and the poetry of Catullus.

He has been the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the Arete Initiative at the University of Chicago for the Defining Wisdom Project. McNeill was one of 23 scholars in the United States and Europe selected for a grant from a field of more than 600 researchers. The grant supported McNeill’s research for the book project “The Price of Wisdom: Community and the Individual in Greek and Roman Poetry.” His contributions grew out of investigations of ancient Greek and Roman conceptions of “civic wisdom.”

A native of Chicago, McNeill was honored in 2003 with Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in recognition of “demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.”

McNeill earned a bachelor’s degree in classics summa cum laude from Harvard University, where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and earned the John Curtis Prize in Latin Literature. He earned a master’s degree and his Ph.D. in classics at Yale University.

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.


$1.5 Million Gift Establishes Endowed Professorship in Biological Sciences

An abiding belief in the value of education and the importance of the biological sciences in the liberal arts curriculum has led a former Lawrence University biology major and her husband — Charlot and Dennis Singleton of Atherton, Calif. — to establish a new endowed professorship at the college with a $1.5 million gift.

Bart De Stasio '82

Professor of Biology Bart De Stasio has been named the first holder of the Singleton Professorship in the Biological Sciences. Appointments to endowed professorships are made in recognition of academic and artistic distinction through teaching excellence and/or scholarly achievement.

“Bart’s outstanding research record and his exemplary work in teaching and mentoring students represent the qualities that the donors of the chair wish to support through their wonderful gift,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck in announcing the appointment.

The Singleton Professorship is the fourth endowed professorship established during Lawrence’s six-year, $150 million “More Light” campaign, which concludes in October.

“I’m very honored to be the named to the Singleton Professorship in the Biological Sciences,” said De Stasio, a 1982 Lawrence graduate who returned to his alma mater as a faculty member in 1992. “This generous gift will allow us to continue to provide excellent learning and research opportunities for our students. I look forward to sharing the successes and achievements of our students with the Singletons.”

The gift includes an annual allowance to pursue innovative initiatives and activities related to teaching or research.

Charlot Singleton, a native of Duluth, Minn., graduated from Lawrence in 1967 with a major in biology and completed graduate work at California State University-San Jose.

Charlot '67 and Dennis Singleton

A life-long advocate of education, both as a teacher and through her own tutoring business, she has served on the boards of many civic and charitable organizations in the greater San Francisco area that focus on children’s education and health, including board chair of a public school education foundation. She also has a long record of volunteer service to Packard Children’s Hospital in Stanford, Calif., including serving on its board of directors for 12 years. She was appointed to Lawrence’s Board of Trustees in 2006.

Dennis Singleton, who graduated from Lehigh University and earned an MBA from Harvard University, enjoyed a highly successful career in commercial real estate investment. He was appointed to the Lehigh University Board of Trustees in 2000 and was named vice chairman in 2008.

In addition to the professorship, the Singletons established the Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Scholarship, which was awarded for the first time this year.

De Stasio earned his Ph.D. in ecology and evolution from Cornell University and his scholarship interests include aquatic biology and predator-prey interactions. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, De Stasio co-directs the Lawrence University Marine Biology Program, during which students and faculty spend two weeks studying coral reef biodiversity on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean Sea. He also conducts research with students on the impacts of invasive species such as zebra mussels on the ecology of Lake Winnebago and Green Bay.

He has been the recipient of more than $279,000 in research grants, including awards from the U.S. Dept. of Energy, the National Science Foundation and the Wisconsin Sea Grant program for his studies of the potential effects of climate change on lakes.

His research on topics ranging from dormancy in aquatic organisms and its impact on the ecology and evolution of lake communities to temperature and climatic change as a driving factor in lake ecology and water temperatures needed to kill invasive species that might be attached to boats crossing locks in the Fox River has been published in a variety of scholarly publications, including the Encyclopedia of Inland Waters as well as chapters of books.

Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a world-class conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. Ranked among America’s best colleges, it was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.” Individualized learning, the development of multiple interests and community engagement are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,520 students from 44 states and 56 countries.