University of Rochester

University Presents Goergen Awards to Faculty, Staff during College Convocation

August 25, 2006

The University of Rochester will recognize the recipients of this year's Goergen Awards for Contributions to Undergraduate Education in the College during the College's annual Convocation on Friday, Sept. 8. The Goergen Awards were first presented in 1997 and are named for and sponsored by trustee and former board chairman Robert B. Goergen '60 and his wife, Pamela.

Susan E. Gustafson, the Karl F. and Bertha A. Fuchs Professor of German Studies; Jeffrey T. Runner, associate professor of linguistics and of brain and cognitive sciences; and Dan Martin Watson, professor of physics and astronomy, will receive the Goergen Award for Distinguished Achievement and Artistry in Undergraduate Education.

The Goergen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Undergraduate Learning in the College recognizes groups, individuals, or programs which have contributed to improving the learning environment for undergraduate students in significant ways. This year's award will recognize the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaurearate Achievement Program, with director Beth Olivares accepting on behalf of the program. Named for the laser physicist who perished in the Challenger space shuttle disaster, the McNair Program was created to support and increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority undergraduates pursuing doctoral degrees for research and teaching.

Since joining the faculty in 1987, Gustafson has created and taught courses in German language and literature, comparative literature, and women's studies. She received the German Studies Association's DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) 2004 Book Prize for her work Men Desiring Men: The Poetry of Same-Sex Identity and Desire in German Classicism, for its contribution to the study of German classicism. Currently, Gustafson also is director of the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies. Runner has taught undergraduate and graduate students at the University since 1994 and has developed courses in syntax, linguistic analysis, semantics, and grammatical systems. The recipient of National Science Foundation fellowships for his research, he is the author of the book Noun Phrase Licensing. He also has taught a course on English language study in the University's Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development and has served as the department's undergraduate advisor. Watson, a five-time winner of his department's undergraduate teaching award, has contributed to the development of electronic course resources and web sites, improvements in the department's laboratory, and developed a successful tutorial and workshop format for advanced classes. He joined the faculty in 1988 and teaches courses in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, electricity, and magnetism.

Convocation signals the return of the College community and reconnects students, faculty, and staff at the beginning of the academic year. The formal ceremonies start at noon on Dandelion Square on the River Campus and will be followed by a picnic on Wilson Commons Lawn for students, faculty, and staff of the College. In case of rain, the Convocation ceremonies will be held in Strong Auditorium and picnic fare will be served in Wilson Commons.

Convocation initiates the annual Yellowjacket Weekend celebration. Following the picnic, the Fall Activities Fair, which showcases the more than 200 student clubs and organizations on campus, will be held at 3 p.m. on Dandelion Square. In case of rain, the fair will take place in the Field House of the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.

Note to Editors: Gustafson and Runner live in Rochester; and Watson lives in Pittsford.