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Distinguished Faculty Honored at Trinity

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Chandler interacts with chemistry students

Five outstanding members of the Trinity University faculty have been honored for distinguished achievement in service, teaching, advising, or research.

by Susie P. Gonzalez

Bert Chandler, professor of chemistry, was recognized for outstanding scholarship, research, and creative work. David Ribble, professor of biology, received an award for distinguished professional, community, and University service. Diana Glawe, associate professor of engineering science, was lauded for her commitment and dedication to student advising. In addition, two junior faculty members — assistant professors Anne Graf, Coates Library, and Joshua Schwartz, engineering science — were cited for distinguished teaching and research.

Chandler has developed a nationally and internationally recognized research program while balancing the goals of high productivity, scientific impact, and mentoring undergraduate research students. His research focuses on the chemical functions of supported metal nanoparticle catalysts. Chandler has received more than $2.1 million in grant funding from agencies including the National Science Foundation, Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement, and the American Chemical Society. He has averaged nearly three peer-reviewed papers per year over the last decade and has involved more than 30 undergraduate students as co-authors. He has published his work in Science, the most prestigious American scientific journal, and also in Nature Chemistry, a branch of the British journal Nature. He currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Research Corporation and has frequently served as a panelist for the National Science Foundation.

Ribble has defined himself as a campus leader in multiple ways. As chair of the biology department from 2004 to 2015, he was a leading participant in efforts to revise the department’s curriculum and to experiment with innovative teaching strategies. He has served as secretary of the Faculty Senate, chair of the Animal Research Committee, and director of a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant. In addition, Ribble took on the role of faculty “shepherd” during the design and implementation of the Center for Sciences and Innovation, which required constant communication with faculty members, architects, and University administrators. His vision of a space that promotes interdisciplinary activity and is welcoming to the entire community has been “made real” in the completed CSI.

Glawe is routinely described by students as friendly, kind, considerate, and highly accessible. One student praised her “willingness to step beyond the foundational expectations of her role and invest in her advisees’ academic passions and aspirations.” In her conversations with students, Glawe emphasizes the importance of internships, attendance at professional meetings, and researching potential opportunities of interest. She is committed to each student’s well-being and works to motivate her students to realize their full potential. Current students and alumni offer countless stories that demonstrate her willingness to establish an ongoing coaching and mentoring relationship – a relationship that extends well beyond graduation and sometimes becomes a lifelong friendship.

Graf came to Trinity as an instruction/liaison librarian in 2010 and was quickly promoted to Information Literacy Librarian. During implementation of the Quality Enhancement Plan, Graf had a significant impact on Trinity through the workshops she organized and conducted for faculty members and the assessment work, development, and analysis she performed at the conclusion of the five-year program. She has authored several articles and book chapters and has contributed five reviews of reference sources to the library literature. One of her articles, “The Role of Faculty Autonomy in a Course-Integrated Information Literacy Program,” was named a Top 20 article by the Association of College and Research Libraries Instruction Section. Graf has served on a Trinity Tomorrow strategic planning committee and on the digital literacy task force created by the University Curriculum Council. 

Schwartz consistently provides high-quality instruction in classrooms and laboratories. Students appreciate his supportive and approachable presence, and at the same time they recognize that he sets the bar high. One student writes: “A majority of the time, I was able to walk into his office outside of office hours and receive help. He is helpful because he does not just give you the answer, he makes you work for it.” His research includes the development of a breast-cancer detection system that could functionally replace the discomfort of clinical mammograms, offering instead a wearable, home-use alternative, and he has collaborated with six Trinity undergraduate students to design a second prototype of this system. Schwartz also was an active participant in the design of the Pathways curriculum and served on the University Curriculum Council to implement it.

Susie P. Gonzalez, senior manager of public relations, can be reached at susie.gonzalez [at] trinity.edu or @susiegonz.