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Juniata Honors Four Faculty with Teaching, Service Awards at Convocation

(Posted May 10, 2010)

From left are: Thomas Kepple, president of Juniata College; Kathleen Biddle, assistant professor of education and co-winner of the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching; Celia Cook-Huffman, Burkholder Professor of Conflict Resolution and winner of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service; Philip Dunwoody, associate professor of psychology and co-winner of the Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching; Michael Boyle, von Liebig Chair in Biomedical Sciences and winner of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching; and James Lakso, Juniata provost.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Four Juniata College faculty members were honored Tuesday, May 4, with distinguished teaching and service awards during the College's Spring Awards Convocation in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. Honored for their work were Michael Boyle, William J. von Liebig Chair in Biomedical Sciences; Celia Cook-Huffman, Burkholder Professor of Conflict Resolution; Kathleen Biddle, assistant professor of education; and Philip Dunwoody, associate professor of psychology.

The convocation was held in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The convocation address was given by James Roney, professor of Russian.

Cook Huffman, a Huntingdon resident, was honored with the 21st annual Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service, and Boyle, a Huntingdon resident, was named the 43rd recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching. Biddle and Dunwoody, both Huntingdon residents, received the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching (by a faculty member with fewer than six years of service).
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 James Roney, professor of Russian (2009); Loren Rhodes, Dale Chair in information technology (2008); and David Hsiung, Knox Professor of History (2007);. The first academic service award was presented in 1989 to the late Mary Ruth Linton, professor emerita of music. Last year's recipient was Norm Siems, Woolford Professor of Physics. The recipient of the 2009 Gibbel Award for Distinguished Performance was James Tuten, associate professor of history.

Thomas R. Kepple, Juniata president, in his introductory remarks for Boyle, said, "He has worked tirelessly to make Juniata a beacon for undergraduate research, has worked to improve how the faculty apply for research funding, and has been a leading supporter of Juniata's scholarship of teaching and learning program."

Boyle, a Huntingdon resident, came to Juniata in 2002 from the Medical College of Ohio, where he was professor of microbiology and immunology. As von Liebig chair at Juniata, Boyle teaches and oversees undergraduate research projects. He was named a 2005 Scholar in Residence by the American Society of Microbiology.

Currently his own research focuses on two areas: using immunotechnology to adapt antibodies as the basis for diagnostics and other tests; and the study of pathogen interactions between Group A streptococcus and the human immune system.

He also has worked tirelessly to continue Juniata's high reputation as a leading institution for undergraduate research. For example, he organized in 2004 a conference on undergraduate research attended by students and professors from more than 25 institutions. He was instrumental in establishing a collaborative research agreement with the Windber Research Institute. He also was one of the first researchers to receive a $100,000 research grant from the Life Sciences Greenhouse of Central Pennsylvania.

Boyle, a native of Belfast, Northern Ireland, started his career as a visiting fellow and visiting scientist at the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute from 1974 to 1980. His research focused on using specific antibodies and complement to kill tumor cells. This information helped provide the basis for identify and purging cancer cells from bone marrow to be used in bone marrow transplantation.

Boyle continued his academic career in 1981 as an associate professor of immunology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Fla. He was promoted to full professor in 1985. He then joined the faculty of the Medical College of Ohio (MCO) in 1988 to direct their immunology program. He served as director of the college's pathogenesis and immunology program within the newly created MCO Cancer Center.

His education began in Europe, earning a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Glasgow, in Glasgow, Scotland in 1971. He earned a doctorate from the Chester Beatty Research Institute, Belmont, Sutton in Surrey, England.

Boyle has been continuously grant-funded from extramural sources for over 25 years and currently is supported by a number of awards from the National Institutes of Health. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation, Merck/AAAS Undergraduate Science Research Program and the American Heart Association.

He is author or co-author of over 160 peer-reviewed publications and serves on the editorial boards of a number of scientific journals. He is a current or past member of a variety of professional organizations, including the Foundation for the Advancement of Education in the Sciences, the American Association of Immunologists, the American Association for Cancer Research, the American Society of Microbiologists, the Lancefield Society and Sigma Xi, the international honor society of scientific and engineering research.

Cook-Huffman, who lives in Huntingdon, came to the college in 1990 as an assistant professor of conflict resolution. Her research focuses on the impact of social identity on conflict and the relationship between gender issues and conflict. Her interests combine peace studies with specialized training and education in conflict transformation, nonviolence, gender, and mediation.

"Celia is one of our most influential and popular professors," said Kepple in his introduction, "Her work with conflict mediation both on campus and in the community has made Juniata and Huntingdon a better place."

She was promoted to associate professor in 1998 and earned status as a full professor in 2003. She was named the W. Clay and Kathryn Burkholder Professorship in Conflict Resolution and is associate director of the Baker Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies.

Cook-Huffman has worked as a mediator for more than 20 years in workplace and educational settings, including training for college faculty, meeting facilitation for the Emerson National Hunger Fellows and peer mediation training for educators in Cyprus.

She has received grants from the Fulbright program and the U.S. Embassy Program on Bicommunal Projects, Cyprus and taught courses for Transcend Peace University, and the Institute for Social and European Studies in Szombathely, Hungary. She also started a Juniata study abroad opportunity at the University of Belfast in 2004, Northern Ireland and also leads a study-abroad experience in India.

The focus of her teaching is on understanding how conflict affects individuals, communities and the world system. She received the Juniata Junior Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1986 in peace studies and conflict resolution from Manchester College, and went on to earn master's degree in 1988 in peace studies from the University of Notre Dame where she was an International Scholars Program Fellow. She earned a doctorate in 1990 from Syracuse University,

Outside the classroom, Dr. Cook-Huffman has worked with the college community, local churches and local school districts teaching mediation and conflict resolution skills, and providing community mediation services under the auspices of the Baker Institute.

Kathleen Biddle, a Huntingdon resident, joined the Juniata faculty in 2005 as assistant professor of education. As a licensed Pennsylvania psychologist who specializes in assessment and intervention for children with reading and other learning disabilities and acquired brain injuries, she also works as a consultant with numerous private and public schools in the Central Pennsylvania area. "She is one of the driving forces in our top-flight education department," said Kepple at the ceremony. "She also is active with the community and oversees our COMPASS program."

She also has published her research. She is co-author of "Strategies for Success: Classroom teaching techniques for children with learning differences," She also is adviser to the Juniata Community Progress and Social Skills Program (COMPASS), which pairs students majoring in special education with high school students with disabilties in order to provide those students with experiences working in the community.

She earned a bachelor's degree in special education in 1976 from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and earned a doctorate in applied child development in 1996 from Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

Biddle started her career as a teacher in elementary and secondary schools. She began her teaching career in 1979 in the United Area School District in Armagh, Pa. from 1978 to 1979, and served as a teacher of socially or emotionally disturbed children at the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit in McVeytown, Pa. from 1979 to 1980. In 1980, she became director of the learning skills department at The Grier School in Tyrone, Pa. and was promoted to director of guidance in 1983.

Biddle left the teaching profession in 1984 to work as promotion director and later general manager for Huntingdon Broadcasters Inc. until 1991. She also served as education editor of the Huntingdon Daily News from 1984 to 1991. She returned to the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit from 1990 to 1991, working as an elementary learning disabled teachers and homebound instructor.

When she returned to graduate school, Biddle worked as a research assistant at Children's Hospital in Boston, Mass. She was a clinical research intern at the Institute for Learning and Development in Chelmsford, Mass., and at Penn State's Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, Pa. In addition, she served as research assistant in Tufts University's Developmental Neurolinguistics Lab for Child Language and Dyslexia Research from 1992 to 1996.

From 1996 to 1997, she worked as a postdoctoral intern and research fellow at McLean Hospital at the Harvard University Medical School and as research coordinator at Tufts' Center for Reading and Language Research.

Her research has been published in such journals as the Journal of Communication Disorders, the Journal of Learning Disabilities, Developmental Neuropsychology and the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

She is a member of numerous professional societies, including the International Reading Association, Keystone Reading Association and is President-Elect of the Raystown Reading Council. In addition she is a member of the Society for the Scientific Study of Reading (SSSR). She also has been a member of the American Psychological Association, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, the International Dyslexia Association, the learning Disabilities Association, the International Neuropsychological Society.

She has been active within the Huntingdon, Pa. community, serving on the Huntingdon Area School District Strategic Planning Committee, Pennsylvania Special Olympics Advisory Board and the Huntingdon County Learning Disabilities Association. She also served on the boards of directors for Huntingdon House and the Huntingdon County Easter Seal Society.

Philip Dunwoody, a Huntingdon redident, joined the Juniata College faculty as assistant professor of psychology in 2004 directly from the faculty of Mercer University in Macon, Ga., where he worked as a visiting assistant professor from 2003 to 2004.

He was promoted to associate professor in 2009. "Phil is one of several faculty in the psychology department who has been instrumental in working with the entire Juniata faculty on the scholarship of teaching and learning," Kepple said.

Dunwoody earned bachelor's degree in psychology in 1994 from Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, in Pomona, N.J. He went on to earn a master's degree in 1998 and a doctoral degree in 2000, both in cognitive and experimental psychology, and both from the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga.

Dunwoody has taught courses in scientific inquiry, introductory psychology, educational psychology, cognitive psychology, research analysis and research methods. He was a member of the Graduate Psi Chi honor society at the University of Georgia from 1996 to 2000. He received the Best Paper Presentation Award at the 1999 Convention for Behavioral Sciences, and received the Best Investigator Award from the Brunswick Society in 1999.

He also received the Herbert Zimmer Award for Excellence in Research from the University of Georgia in 2000. In 1997, he served a graduate summer fellowship at the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Resources at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. The project centered on decision-making during airplane threat-identification tasks.

He has published articles in several professional journals, including a piece on the effects of ethnicity in prison sentencing in the journal Psychological Reports, and an article on why students withdraw from classes in the Journal of Psychology. He also has published an article in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.

He served as vice president of the Graduate Psi Chi honor society from 1997 to 1999. He also is an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the journal Thinking and Reasoning.

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