Tag: Michael Orr

Four Lawrence University Faculty Honored at 160th Commencement

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University recognized four members of its faculty Sunday, June 14 for teaching excellence, scholarship and creative activity during the college’s 160th commencement.

Michael Orr, professor of art history, received Lawrence’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes outstanding performance in the teaching process, including the quest to ensure students reach their full development as individuals, human beings and future leaders of society. Michael-Orr_web.jpg

A specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, Orr joined the Lawrence faculty in 1989. He previously received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1992) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Prize (2006). He is one of only eight faculty members presented both the Excellence in Teaching and Young Teacher awards in the program’s 34-year history.

Orr has served as an exhibition consultant for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy. Earlier this year, he was named one of 42 American Council on Education Fellows nationally. The program prepares promising senior faculty for responsible positions in college and university administration. Orr will spend the 2009-10 academic year working with the president and senior officers at Macalester College.

President Jill Beck cited Orr’s excellence as a lecturer in presenting his award.

“Students describe your class presentations as ‘amazing, funny, interesting, efficient, and fantastic,'” said Beck “You are thought of as a person with high standards for both student work and your own performance. Your willingness to help each student and your powerful devotion to teaching are sources of great respect.”

Orr earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of London and master and doctorate degrees at Cornell University.

Bruce Pourciau, professor of mathematics, received the Award for Excellence in Scholarship, which honors a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained scholarly excellence for a number of years and whose work exemplifies the ideals of the teacher-scholar. In 2000, he was presented Lawrence’s Excellence in Teaching Award.

Bruce-Pourciau_90_web.jpgA member of the faculty for 33 years, Pourciau has distinguished himself as a scholar with interests spanning the areas of pure mathematics, the history of science and the philosophy of mathematics. He has earned national and international recognition for his analyses of Sir Isaac Newton’s seminal work “The Principia.”

In presenting the award, Provost David Burrows praised Pourciau as person “whose precise and sophisticated thinking brings clarity to the most complex problems and situations.

“Your thoughtful and stimulating scholarly contributions have been an important part of the intellectual life of Lawrence,” said Burrows. “Your concern for the accurate use of language is a hallmark of your scholarship, as well as a source of frank commentary on the writings of others. The breadth and depth of your work are outstanding and establish you as a person of great intellectual achievement.”

Pourciau graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.

David McGlynn, assistant professor of English, received the Award for Excellence in Creative Activity. Established in 2006, the award recognizes outstanding creative work for advancing Lawrence’s mission. David-McGlynn_web.jpg

McGlynn is the author of the 2008 book “The End of the Straight and Narrow,” a collection of nine short stories that examines the inner lives, passions and desires of the zealous and the ways religious faith is both the compass for navigating daily life and the force that makes ordinary life impossible. His fiction and creative nonfiction works also have appeared in numerous literary journals, including Alaska Quarterly Review, Image, and Shenandoah.

In May, the Council for Wisconsin Writers recognized McGlynn with its annual Kay W. Levin Short Nonfiction Award for his essay “Hydrophobia,” which appeared in the Missouri Review.

His scholarship includes the literary analysis of ideas of other authors, George Eliot and Frank Norris among them, the context in which they express their ideas and the connections between their writings and those of others.

“Your outstanding accomplishments in the areas of fiction, non-fiction creative writing and scholarship mark you as a person of exceptional ability,” Beck said of McGlynn. “Your imagination, sense of empathy and mastery of the craft of writing enrich the lives of all who read your work. You are not only a wonderful creative writer but are also an excellent literary scholar.”

McGlynn joined the Lawrence faculty in 2006 after earning a bachelor’s degree in English and philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. He also earned master and doctorate degrees from the University of Utah.

Andrew Mast, assistant professor of music and director of bands, received Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award in recognition of demonstrated excellence in the classroom and the promise of continued growth.

Andy-Mast_web.jpg In addition to conducting the Lawrence Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic Band, Mast teaches courses in band history, conducting, music education and the Freshman Studies program. Under this direction, the Wind Ensemble was recognized this spring by DownBeat magazine in its annual student music awards competition as the nation’s best in the classical group division, which encompasses chamber ensembles, bands and orchestras from around the country.

He is a frequent guest conductor and has led honor bands and festivals throughout the Midwest, as well as the Pilzen Conservatory in the Czech Republic. He co-founded and serves as president of the Vincent Persichetti Society, an organization dedicated to the work of the prolific 20th-century American composer.

“Your passion, enthusiasm and friendly approach have made you a very successful teacher and a valued member of the Lawrence community,” Burrows said in presenting Mast his award. “Your students hold you in high regard both as a teacher and conductor. Many students in your ensembles describe their experience as transformative, both musically and personally.”

Mast joined the conservatory faculty in 2004. He earned bachelor and doctorate degrees from the University of Iowa and also holds a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota.

Lawrence University Art Historian Named American Council on Education Fellow

APPLETON, WIS. — Lawrence University Professor of Art History Michael Orr has been named an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow for 2009-10. Orr was one of 42 fellows selected from nominations by college and university presidents or chancellors in a national competition.

Established in 1965, the ACE Fellows Program is designed to strengthen institutions and leadership in American higher education by identifying and preparing promising senior faculty and administrators for responsible positions in college and university administration.

“The ACE Fellowship is a great honor, both for Professor Orr and for Lawrence,” said Lawrence President Jill Beck. “Michael is an intellectually gifted and dedicated faculty member who has participated effectively in faculty governance at Lawrence and has great potential to offer academic and administrative leadership. The future of higher education depends upon developing outstanding leaders, and we are very pleased to be part of the ACE program.”

According to Sharon McDade, director of the ACE Fellows Program, most previous fellows have advanced into major positions in academic administration. Of the more than 1,500 participants in the program’s history, more than 300 have become chief executive officers and more than 1,100 have become provosts, vice presidents or deans.

“I am honored to receive an ACE fellowship and am indebted to President Beck and Provost David Burrows for supporting my nomination,” said Orr. “I am excited at the prospect of participating in the ACE fellowship program and hope that it will challenge me personally and broaden my understanding of the place of the liberal arts college within American higher education.”

As an ACE Fellow, Orr will focus on an issue central to Lawrence while spending the 2009-10 academic year working with the president and other senior administrative officers at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

The ACE Fellows Program combines seminars, interactive learning opportunities, campus visits and placement at another higher education institution to condense years of on-the-job experience and skills development into a single year. The fellows are included in the highest level of decision making while participating in administrative activities and learning about an issue to benefit Lawrence.

During his fellowship, Orr will attend three week-long retreats on higher education issues organized by ACE, read extensively in the field and engage in other activities to enhance their knowledge about the challenges and opportunities confronting higher education today.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1989. A past recipient of Lawrence’s Young Teacher Award (1992) and the Freshman Studies Teaching Prize (2006), he has worked as an exhibition consultant for the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded research and travel grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the British Academy.

He has co-authored three volumes in the Harvey Miller series “An Index of Images in English Manuscripts from the Time of Chaucer to Henry VIII” and recently completed book chapters on the hierarchies of decoration in English prayer books and the iconography of St. Anne.

Between 1998 and 2000, Orr co-chaired Lawrence’s Trustee Task Force on Student Residential Life and has served as chair of a number of other faculty committees, including the Tenure and Promotions Committee and the Faculty Committee on University Governance. He earned his bachelor’s degree in art history at University College London and his master’s and doctoral degrees in art history at Cornell University.

Founded in 1918, ACE is the major coordinating body for all the nation’s higher education institutions, representing more than 1,600 college and university presidents, and more than 200 related associations, nationwide. It seeks to provide leadership and a unifying voice on key higher education issues and influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives.

Lawrence University Faculty Promoted, Granted Tenured Appointments

Lawrence University faculty members Michael Orr and Alan Parks have been promoted to the rank of full professor by the college’s Board of Trustees.

Four other faculty — Jerald Podair, Matthew Stoneking, Timothy Troy and Dirck Vorenkamp — have been promoted to the rank of associate professor and granted tenured appointments.

Orr, a specialist in medieval art and illuminated manuscripts, joined the Lawrence faculty as an art historian in 1989. A native of England, Orr has served as an exhibition consultant to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, Calif., and been awarded two research grants by the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1992, Orr was recognized with Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at Cornell University.

Parks has taught mathematics and computer science at Lawrence since 1985. A member of the American Mathematical Society, Parks’ research interests in applied mathematics include dynamical systems and differential equations. As a computer programmer, he has focused on the theory of computation, coding theory, and the analysis of algorithms and he written applications in C++, Fortran, Pascal and MATLAB. He was cited for his teaching in 1987 as the recipient of Lawrence’s Outstanding Young Teacher award. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Podair, a 20th-century American historian specializing in race relations, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1998. His Ph.D. dissertation was recognized in 1998 by the Society of American Historians with the Allan Nevin Prize, which honored his work as the single most outstanding dissertation in American history that year. It was published as the book “The Strike That Changed New York” last fall by Yale University Press. Podair, who earned his doctorate at Princeton University, served as a consultant scholar for the recent Joe McCarthy exhibition at the Outagamie County Museum.

Stoneking, a physicist whose research interest focus on plasma physics and magnetic confinements of non-neutral plasmas, joined the Lawrence faculty in 1997. He’s been the recipient of a $225,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and a $37,000 grant from Research Corporation to support construction of his plasma physics laboratory, including a toroidal vacuum chamber. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Troy, a 1985 Lawrence graduate, returned to his alma mater’s theatre and drama department first from 1989-92 and again in 1997. He directs Lawrence opera, play and musical productions, as well as the “Plays on History” series staged at the Outagamie County Museum. In addition, he serves as community artist-in-residence for the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and wrote the libretto for Samuel Barber’s “Excursions” Opus 20, which premiered in January. He earned a master of fine arts degree at the University of Iowa.

Vorenkamp, a member of the Lawrence religious studies department since 1997, specializes in Asian religions, especially Buddhism. His teaching was recognized with the Lawrence Freshman Studies Teaching Award in 2000 and his scholarly research has been published in the Encyclopedia of Monasticism, the Journal of Asian Studies and the Journal of Chinese Philosophy, among others. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.