Eleven honored with faculty awards

Author: Carol C. Bradley

Faculty awards honor achievements

Recognizing achievements in volunteerism, service, teaching and research

Jennifer L. Warlick, associate professor of economics and director of the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Program, has been awarded the Grenville Clark Award, honoring an individual whose volunteer activities advance the cause of peace and human rights. Warlick has used her expertise in economics to help the poor in the South Bend community. She helped create an interdisciplinary minor in poverty studies, which facilitates student service-learning at organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of St. Joseph County, the Center for the Homeless, Dismas House and the Family Justice Center. “Contributing generously and creatively to the community she enables the next generation to draw upon both their minds and hearts to do the same.”

Stephen M. Batill, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, is the recipient of the Faculty Award. With a distinguished record of teaching across a breadth of areas for the past three decades, Batill has influenced countless students in more than two dozen different courses. In addition to mentoring undergraduate and graduate students, he has served the University in many other capacities, including associate dean, department chair, director of international study programs and faculty fellow of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. A Fulbright Foundation scholar, he has contributed significantly to research advancements and educational initiatives in his field. He is “a consummate Notre Dame man and Triple Domer who puts service to the University above all else, except his family.”

Margaret “Peggy” Hnatusko is the recipient of the Rev. John “Pop” Farley, C.S.C., Award, annually given to honor distinguished service to student life at the University. Hnatusko, director of programming in student activities, has been an asset to student life since joining the University in 1997. She has been a tireless supporter of rectors in their ministry, an outstanding mentor for student leaders, and a resource for students and staff working to create a vibrant Christian community in each residence hall. “Known for her loyalty, dedication and selfless commitment to her ministry, she is an amazing gift to the University, her colleagues and especially to student life.”

Cheryl S. Smith, Hesburgh Libraries associate librarian, has been awarded the Rev. Paul J. Foik, C.S.C., Award for significant contributions by library faculty. Smith has a distinguished record of service to the community, and to the library profession. An important and supportive advocate for the needs of students and faculty of the Department of Psychology, she “embodies the University of accountability, teamwork, integrity, leadership in excellence and leadership in vision.”

Recipients of the Thomas P. Madden Award for outstanding teaching of first year students are Paul J. Weithman, professor of philosophy, and Louis A. MacKenzie, chair of the Department of Music and associate professor of Romance Languages and Literatures.

Weithman, an eminent political philosopher, trained at Notre Dame and Harvard, has devoted almost half his recent pedagogy to first- year classes, largely in the Honors Program. He combines his teaching with an outstanding research career featuring speaking engagements as far afield as Thailand, Iran and across Europe. “He teaches guided by the belief that teaching and learning are reciprocal, and that if only one side of the partnership learns, something has gone wrong. He aims to help students develop a sort of stereoscopic vision, so that they can encompass both broad horizons and deep furrows in their view of the world.”

Mackenzie’s gift as a teacher “is in knowing how to introduce students to the arts in such a way that they become lifetime sources of aesthetic and intellectual enrichment. Anyone familiar with his classes knows that he is quite serious when he says that the subtitle for his signature University Seminar is ‘No BS allowed.’” A distinguishing characteristic of his seminars is his emphasis on writing, and on teaching students to edit their own writing. “Not only is he a truly refined connoisseur of the arts, but he is an active participant—sold-out audiences enjoyed his performance in Opera Notre Dame’s production of ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ last month.”

Carolyn R. Nordstrom, professor of anthropology, is the recipient of the Reinhold Niebuhr Award, honoring a person whose life and writings promote or exemplify the area of social justice. A member of the faculty since 1997, she studies wars, the illegal drug trade, gender relationships and war profiteering. Her research has made her an eyewitness and scholar of worldwide urban and rural battlefields, as well as of the shadowy worlds of diamond, drug and arms smuggling. A recent reviewer of her work noted that, “She is the best fieldworker in anthropology, bar none…and has pioneered new field sites and new forms of ethnography, as well as presented a new framework for viewing economics and economic power.”

Michael C. Wiescher, professor of physics, is the recipient of the 11th annual Research Achievement Award. Internationally recognized as one of the foremost nuclear astrophysicists in the world, Wiescher is founder and director of the Joint Institute for Nuclear Astrophysics and has published more than 300 articles in scientific journals. Under his leadership, the Notre Dame Nuclear Science Laboratory has become one of the most successful laboratories of its kind in the US, as evidenced by the recent award of the first new accelerator at an American University since 1985. “He continues to push forward toward new frontiers.”

James J. Lyphout, vice president for Business Operations, is the recipient of the Presidential Award. Lyphout is responsible for overseeing the campus infrastructure and the planning and design of all construction projects. Under his leadership, the University has grown by 140,000 square feet per year since 1990—including five new academic buildings, four residence halls, several new stadia and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. He has also provided exemplary stewardship of University resources through his efficient management of campus auxiliary operations including Food Services, utilities, warehouse and delivery services, St. Michael’s Laundry, Cedar Grove Cemetery, the Morris Inn and the Notre Dame Conference Center at McKenna Hall. “We often recall Father Sorin’s response to the University’s devastation by fire to ‘rebuild it, bigger and better than ever.’ Very few of us are personally responsible for carrying forth that vision.”

Rev. Peter McCormick, C.S.C., is the recipient of the Rev. William A. Toohey, C.S.C., Award for Preaching, given to a Holy Cross priest who has made significant contributions to the University in many different ways. “Father McCormick is a priest who believes in the Notre Dame mission and makes the Gospel come alive in his preaching and interactions with students. He is known for his enthusiasm, zeal and energetic laugh.” In his work as rector of Keough Hall, program director for Campus Ministry, chaplain to the Notre Dame Vision Program and chaplain of the men’s basketball team, he truly makes God “known, loved and served.”

Gregory P. Crawford, W.K. Warren II Foundation Dean of the College of Science and professor of physics, is the recipient of the Rev. Willam A. Toohey, C.S.C., Award for Social Justice. In the summer of 2010, Crawford and his wife Renate spent a month biking 2,300 miles to raise money for research into Niemann-Pick Disease Type C and to celebrate the partnership between the University and the Ara Parshegian Medical Research Foundation. “His efforts to raise awareness of the disease and funds for research clearly support the Notre Dame mission of research, education and service.”