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Three Juniata Faculty Honored with Teaching, Service Awards

(Posted May 9, 2005)

Three Juniata faculty were honored at the recent spring Convocation: From left, James Lakso, provost and recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Service; Jay Hosler, assistant professor of biology and recipient of the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching; Jack Troy, associate professor of art and recipient of Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching; and Thomas R. Kepple, Juniata president.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Three Juniata College faculty members were honored Tuesday, May 3, with distinguished teaching and service awards during the College's Spring Awards Convocation in Memorial Gym in the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center. Honored for their work were James Lakso, Juniata provost and professor of economics; Jack Troy, associate professor of art; and Jay Hosler; assistant professor of biology.

The convocation is being held in the gym because Oller Hall is closed for construction.

Lakso, a Huntingdon, Pa. resident, was honored with the 16th annual Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service, and Troy, a Huntingdon County resident, was named the 38th recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching. Hosler, a Huntingdon resident, received the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching by a faculty member with fewer than six years of service.

The Beachley Awards were established by the late Donovan R. Beachley, Sr., a 1921 graduate of Juniata; the late Mrs. Grace Rinehart Beachley; Donovan R. Beachley, Jr., a member of the class of 1947 and an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees; and Mrs. Mary Ellen Beachley, all of Hagerstown, Md. Additional support for the awards is provided by Donovan R. Beachley Jr. and David C. Beachley, a 1977 Juniata graduate and current president of the Beachley Furniture Co. of Hagerstown, Md.

The Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching provides a $5,000 stipend to a professor who contributes to the development of the nominee's department and the college as a whole. Teaching effectiveness, scholarly activities, service beyond the campus, and length of service to the college also play roles in the process.

The Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service also provides a $5,000 stipend. The award is made to a professor showing outstanding service to students through advising, counseling or development of student-related activities, and outstanding service to the college through curriculum or department development, committee activities, or collegewide activities.

The Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching recognizes excellence in teaching among faculty members who have been at Juniata College for fewer than six years. The recipient receives with the honor a $2,500 stipend. The award is sponsored by Henry H. Gibbel, president and chief executive officer of Lititz Mutual Insurance Company and chairman of the Juniata College Board of Trustees, and his wife, Joan.

Nominations for the awards are received from students, faculty, administrative personnel, alumni and trustees. The college president, the provost, the student government president, and the three most recent recipients of the award make the final selections.

The last three Distinguished Teaching Award recipients were Peter Goldstein, professor of English (2004); Henry Thurston-Griswold, professor of Spanish (2003); and Alexander McBride, professor of art (2002). The first academic service award was presented in 1989 to the late Mary Ruth Linton, professor emerita of music. Last year's recipient was Grace Fala, professor of communication. The recipient of the 2004 Gibbel Award for Distinguished Performance was Jamie White, associate professor of physics.

As he introduced Professor Lakso, Juniata President Thomas R. Kepple said "Jim Lakso's legacy to Juniata is immense and his influence on the College will last well beyond both his and my time on campus. He has guided our educational mission, overseen our athletic operation and student life staff, while playing a major role in selecting well over half of our current faculty, which I rate as the finest faculty in the history of Juniata -- and he does all of this with grace, good will and a great sense of humor."

Lakso joined the Juniata faculty in 1970 after earning a master's degree in economics from the University of Maryland. He continued his doctoral work while teaching at Juniata and earned his doctorate in economics in 1973. He earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Wittenberg, University in 1967. Lakso was named provost in 1998 and continues to teach macroeconomics each year.

Before becoming provost, Lakso served a year as interim provost after being name to the position by former Juniata President Robert Neff. He came to Juniata as an instructor and was promoted to assistant professor in 1972 and to associate professor in 1976. He was promoted to full professor in 1981. He also has worked in administrative roles at the college, including stints as assistant academic dean, director of summer sessions, chair of the economics department and academic dean of social sciences.

Lakso has been an influential teacher during his entire career at Juniata and received the 1983 Beachley Distinguished Professor Award. He also served as an adjunct business faculty member at St. Francis University and has been a business consultant for such area businesses as Kish Bank. He also remains active at St. James Lutheran Church, the Huntingdon Lions Club and Huntingdon County Business and Industry. He serves on the board for Kish Bank.

He is a member of the American Economic Association and Alpha Tau Omega.

"Students and faculty on campus know that Jim will be there for their lectures, presentations and special events. They know they will see him at their games and at Mountain Day. He doesn't come to all these things because he has to, it's because he loves and respects Juniata," Kepple added.

The 2005 recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching, Jack Troy
came to Juniata in 1967. He started the now-celebrated ceramics program at the college a year later. Through his capacity as an artist and teacher he helped revive interest in salt-glazed ceramics, through many exhibitions and by writing the benchmark book on the subject, "Salt Glazed Ceramics."

He also wrote the standard book on creating in firing ceramics in wood-fired kilns, "Woodfired Stoneware and Porcelain." Troy was one of the first potters in the country to revive the use of the ancient Japanese anagama kiln and Juniata College was one of the first colleges in the country to construct an anagama. Troy has spread the word about the wood-firing process and has taught 178 workshops for ceramists in 14 countries over the past three decades

Troy earned a bachelor's degree in English from West Chester State College in 1961 and earned a master's degree in English and art from Kent State University in 1967. He also studied at the Philadelphia College of Art, Alfred University and the Haystack School of Crafts. He has created many ceramics courses, including a recent course on biological forms. The art created from that course in on permanent display in the von Liebig Center for Science.

Troy also is nationally celebrated as an influential artist and teacher. He has been invited to exhibit his work in more than 50 one-man shows across the country and internationally, and his works have been included in many regional and national ceramic and art exhibitions. He continues to publish essays and articles to a variety of ceramics journals and recently published a book of poetry "Calling the Planet Home." His work is in the permanent collection of many museums and galleries, including, the Smithsonian Institution, the William Penn Museum, New Zealand's Auckland Museum of Art, the Leningrad School of Arts and the Shigaraki Ceramic Cultural Park in Japan.

Jay Hosler. this year's recipient of the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Performance, came to Juniata in 2000 after working as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral researcher in Ohio State University's Rothenbuhler Honey Bee Research Laboratory.

Hosler's research centers on honey bees. As a neurophysiologist, he studies how bees recognize and remember odors. He also teaches a variety of biology courses, including Neurobiology, Sensory Biology, Chemistry/Biology Laboratory and Organic Evolution. He has published his research in such journals as Behavioral Neuroscience, the Journal of Insect Physiology and the Journal of Experimental Biology.

An accomplished cartoonist, Hosler also has published two comic book series that were later collated into graphic novels. The first series, "Clan Apis," depicted the lifecycle of a bee, and the second series, "Sandwalk Adventures," told the life story of Charles Darwin. Hosler also publishes cartoons and illustrations in a variety of magazines and journals. His comic book career has been written about in the New York Times, the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Discover magazine.

Hosler earned a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from DePauw University in 1989 and went on to earn a doctorate in biological sciences from the University of Notre Dame in 1995.

He often visits local schools and other colleges and universities to lecture on neurophysiology, bees or comic books. He is a member of the Society for Neuroscience, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Council for Science Education and the National Council for Undergraduate Education.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.