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May 27, 2005 • Volume 13 Number 18

Five Faculty Recognized for Teaching, Research Excellence

Five Boston College faculty members were presented awards for distinguished teaching and research at the annual Faculty Day luncheon held on May 9 in the Heights Room in Corcoran Commons.

Teaching Awards

Assoc. Prof. Sharon Beckman (Law): A favorite among Boston College Law students for years, Beckman has often been cited for her ability to connect with students through the engaging teaching style she brings to the classroom. Student nominations written on behalf of Beckman tout her not only as an excellent teacher and mentor but also an inspiration.

"She skillfully held my attention, clearly articulated doctrine and cases and kept a sense of humor throughout," wrote one graduating law student.

"Professor Beckman forced me to critically examine my own beliefs, both morally and legally. Her teaching methods require that I develop a deep understanding of all sides of an issue in order to best advocate my own position," wrote another student.

Beckman's teaching skills have plenty of admirers among her Law School colleagues.

"I have learned so much from her about what it means to truly inhabit the role of teacher," said Prof. Phyllis Goldfarb. "It is humbling to talk to Sharon's students and to hear them express how much they learned from her and what a difference she made in their lives."

Prof. Dorothy Jones (CSON): Anyone who has been around Jones knows her teaching skills transcend the classroom, say her colleagues and former students. One student praised Jones for her "desire to share knowledge and create new knowledge with her wherever she goes. She has the ability to ask questions and wonder aloud so that one leaves an interaction wondering as well."

Colleagues from the nursing profession are especially grateful for Jones' contributions. Discussing her work as senior nurse scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, Rutgers University Professor Emerita Dorothy DeMaio called her "an extraordinary asset in that she has creatively influenced and improved the quality of nursing care."

Research Awards

Prof. Michael Naughton (Physics): Naughton is noted for his work on organic superconductors, a field that, in the words of one colleague, "requires years of painstaking and tedious experiments working under extreme conditions of temperature, pressure and magnetic field."

Naughton's expertise in these three areas marks him as an excellent researcher, said Rourke Professor of Physics Kevin Bedell.

Naughton, who came to BC in 1998, holds five patents with five more pending, has authored or co-authored more than 120 journal publications and has contributed chapters to a half-dozen books.

"This is an enviable record for any scientist and illustrates the high regard of the community for his work," said George Crabtree, senior scientist and director of the material science division of Argonne National Laboratory.

Arthur Andersen Professor in Accounting Arnold Wright: Wright is well known for his research on auditing, which in recent years has re-emerged as an increasingly important field in the wake of revelations of major corporate scandals.

Wright's research includes examination of the links between risk and audit planning and quality, audit and governance, and between negotiation and financial statement adjustment, among other topics.

"Boston College is fortunate that the leading academic scholar in the field is right here in the Carroll School of Management," wrote Assoc. Prof. Jeffrey Cohen (CSOM), in supporting Wright's nomination for the award.

"Any one of these areas would have influenced the field of auditing but to be essentially the leader in all of these fields makes one feel awe at Arnie's accomplishments."

Asst. Prof. Shana Kelley (Chemistry): Kelley, who joined the BC faculty five years ago, is known for her work on understanding and detecting DNA damage.

"Shana Kelley, from my perspective, ranks among the brightest young chemists exploring problems in chemical biology," said Jacqueline K. Barton, the Arthur and Marian Hanish Memorial Professor at the California Institute of Technology.

Kelley's honors include the Research Corporation Innovation and National Science Foundation Career awards, and selection as an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow. MIT's Technology Review magazine named Kelley a "Top 100 Innovator" last year.

Wrote Prof. Lawrence Scott (Chemistry), "Dr. Kelley has established herself as a talented, driven, and creative scholar and educator. Her research program represents an innovative approach to addressing important issues."

--Stephen Gawlik

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