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Amazingly Successful Teachers

The 1999 Faculty Awards

Timothy Kaufman-Osborn, Baker Ferguson Professor of Public Policy and Leadership, received the Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Teaching in Social Sciences. "He has been an amazingly successful teacher," said dean of faculty Pat Keef as President Cronin presented the award at Commencement. One of Kaufman-Osborn's students wrote, "Over my years at Whitman, T. K. O. has been my politics adviser, my mentor, my listener, my friend and inspiration. T. K. O. has been the best teacher I could have ever hoped to have."

Susan Ferguson
The 1999 Thomas D. Howells Award for Distinguished Teaching in Humanities was presented to assistant professor of English and general studies Susan Ferguson. "She is bright, witty, an excellent classroom teacher and a promising scholar," said one of her colleagues, and a student wrote, "Professor Ferguson was very helpful in pushing me, encouraging me, giving me the freedom to make my own discoveries and build my own challenges."

Laura Schueller
Laura Schueller, assistant professor of mathematics, received the A.E. Lange Award for Distinguished Teaching in Science. "The excellence of her teaching has extended far beyond the classroom," said Dean Keef. "She has organized student problem-solving contests, advised the Whitman Mathematical Society, and helped students prepare for the prestigious Putnam mathematical competition." A student said, "She has the unique ability to critique honestly and painlessly and provides selfless support for all her students as she has for me: in an energetic and positive fashion."

Ann Pailliotet
This year's recipient of the George Ball Advising Excellence Award is Ann Pailliotet, assistant professor of education. "She cares about her advisees as people, not just as students," wrote one student. "She wants to be confident that I am doing well in my classes and in my life here at Whitman." Pailliotet also advises students who apply for the competitive Truman Scholarship. One such applicant praised her "effort and influence" which made the process a beneficial learning experience.

John Desmond
Professor of English John Desmond was honored with the G. Thomas Edwards Faculty Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Teaching, presented for the first time this year. Desmond has an outstanding record of scholarship, said Keef. "In addition to being one of our best teachers, he has written or edited three books, over 40 articles, and more than half a dozen short stories. He served on the executive council of the Society for the Study of Southern Literature, on the editorial board of the journal Literature and Belief, and he founded and serves as president of the Walker Percy Society."

Whitman also honored two retired faculty members at Commencement. Professor Roy Hoover, who taught at Whitman from 1967 until 1994, was named Weyerhaeuser Professor of Biblical Literature Emeritus. Associate professor of physical education Max Seachris, '58, received the title athletic director emeritus. Seachris joined the Whitman faculty in 1977 and served as athletic director for 12 years before retiring in 1998.