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In Review

Dean of Libraries Leads National Organization
inbriefASSOCIATION PRESIDENT: Mavrinac heads an association of 125 leading research libraries. (Photo: Marc Bollmann)

Mary Ann Mavrinac, the University’s vice provost and Andrew H. and Janet Dayton Neilly Dean of University of Rochester Libraries, began a term this fall as the president of the Association of Research Libraries. The association represents 125 leading research libraries in the United States and Canada.

As president, Mavrinac is charged with supporting the nonprofit association’s mission of influencing scholarly communication and public policies that affect research libraries and the communities they serve.

The organization’s aim is to transition research libraries from their roles as knowledge service providers within a single university to become collaborative partners in a broader ecosystem of higher education.

Before joining Rochester, Mavrinac served for 11 years as the chief librarian at the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Prize Goes to Novel of Family Pilgrimage

A multigenerational saga that chronicles the yearly summer pilgrimage of a Jewish family to their seaside cottage has won this year’s Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize from the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies and the Department of English.

As Close to Us as Breathing by Elizabeth Poliner, an associate professor of creative writing at Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia, was described as “nothing short of epic” by the University faculty committee that selected the book.

The committee included Beth Jörgensen, a professor of Spanish, Katherine Mannheimer, an associate professor of English, and Jason Peck, a visiting assistant professor of German.

The novel follows the story of three sisters and their families whose idyllic summers at a beloved family property on the Connecticut shoreline are forever altered by a terrible accident.

Established in 1976 to honor its namesake, a young editor who was killed in a car accident just as her career was blossoming, the prize recognizes American women on the precipice of promising writing careers.

Previous winners include Nobel laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winning American novelist Toni Morrison and PEN/Faulkner Award–winning author Ann Patchett.

inbriefTOP TEACHERS: Thomas Brown ’87 (PhD), Katherine Mannheimer, and Sina Ghaemmaghami were recognized for their teaching. (Photo: J. Adam Fenster)

Three Honored for Teaching Excellence

Faculty members from optics, biology, and English are this year’s recipients of the Goergen Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Thomas Brown ’87 (PhD), a professor of optics, Sina Ghaemmaghami, an assistant professor of biology, and Katherine Mannheimer, an associate professor of English, were recognized during a ceremony in October.

Established in 1997, the award recognizes distinctive teaching accomplishments of faculty in the College. The awards are named for University Trustee and Board Chair Emeritus Robert Goergen ’60 and his wife, Pamela, who created an endowed fund to establish and provide ongoing support for the awards.

Recipients are nominated by the chairs of their departments and chosen by Jeffrey Runner, dean of the College; Gloria Culver, dean of the School of Arts & Sciences; and Wendi Heinzelman, dean of the Hajim School of Engineering & Applied Sciences.

Program Connects Students to Area’s Performing Arts

A new initiative of the Institute for Performing Arts is helping more students experience a professional performance in the city of Rochester.

Supported in part by the Mantell Family Fund, which was established by Dan ’82 and Marcia MacDonald Mantell ’83, the program makes free or steeply discounted tickets available to University undergraduates to see some of Rochester’s top performances, including the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rochester Broadway Theatre League, and Geva Theatre.

John Covach, who directs both the Institute for Performing Arts and the Institute for Popular Music, says the goal of the program is to give students opportunities to experience professional-level performances.

Home to the Eastman School of Music and other music and performing arts programs, Rochester ranked in the top 20 of the most vibrant arts communities in America, according to the third annual arts vibrancy index by Southern Methodist University’s National Center for Arts Research.