Juniata College Honors Three Faculty with Teaching, Service Awards
(Posted May 7, 2015)
HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Three Juniata College faculty members were honored Tuesday, May 5, with distinguished teaching and service awards during the College's Spring Awards Convocation in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts, held Tuesday, May 5 at 3 p.m.. Honored for their work were Vince Buonaccorsi, professor of biology; Benjamin Sunderland, professor of mathematics; and Kathy Baughman, assistant professor of business and economics.
The convocation was held in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The convocation address was given by Jamie White, Book Professor of Physics.
Buonaccorsi, a Huntingdon, Pa. resident, was honored with the 26th annual Beachley Award for Distinguished Academic Service, and Benjamin Sunderland, a Huntingdon, Pa. resident, was named the 48th recipient of the Beachley Award for Distinguished Teaching. Kathy Baughman, a Port Matilda, Pa. resident, received the Henry and Joan Gibbel Award for Distinguished Teaching (for faculty members 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 Jamie White, professor of physics (2014); Belle Tuten, professor of history (2013); and James Borgardt, professor of physics (2012). The first was presented in 1989 to the late Mary Ruth Linton, professor emerita of music. Last year's academic service award recipient was Kathy Westcott, professor of psychology and assistant provost. The recipient of the 2014 Gibbel Award for Distinguished Performance was Jennifer Streb, associate professor of art history.
The convocation address was given by Jamie White, Book Professor of Physics.
Vince Buonaccorsi, a resident opf Huntingdon, Pa., has been deeply involved in faculty service since arriving on campus in 2001 as an assistant professor of biology. He currently serves as chair of the Student Research and Fellowship Committee, a group that identifies and mentors students in applying for major scholarships and fellowships. Over the past decade, students he and committee colleagues have mentored have received Goldwater Scholarships, Hollings Scholarships and Amgen Scholarships.
"Vince Buonaccorsi has established a track record of excellence in attracting grant funding for his own research and has collaborated on grant projects that benefit Juniata as a whole," said James A. Troha, president of Juniata.
He collaborated with colleagues to secure a $1 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that is focused on incorporating genomics into Juniata's curriculum. Since securing the HHMI grant and another National Science Foundation grant on genomics, Buonaccorsi has acted as primary administrator for the projects, scheduling workshops, conferences and collaborating with other institutions.
He earned his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Notre Dame in 1993 and went on to earn a doctorate in marine science from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va. in 1998. He joined Juniata's faculty in 2001 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the Southwest Fisheries Science Center, part of the National Marine Fisheries Service in San Diego, Calif. He was promoted to associate professor in 2007. He was promoted to full professor in 2013.
His research interests center on population genetics and genomics of the Pacific coast rockfish.
He has published more than a dozen scholarly articles in "Molecular Ecology," "Evolution," "Conservation Genetics," and "Marine Biology." He also has presented research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. He has received grants from the National Marine Fisheries Service, the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council and the Virginia Marine Recreational Commission. He is on the editorial review board for the journal "Marine Biotechnology."
He currently is program director for Juniata's $1 million grant from Howard Hughes Medical Institute and acts as coordinator for the GCAT-SEEK research network.
Benjamin Sunderland, a Huntingdon resident, teaches many of the critical introductory courses in mathematics, including calculus, linear algebra and probability and statistics. He also specializes in teaching upper-level theoretical courses.
"He is renowned among Juniata students for his dedication to making sure every student in his classes grasps the concepts of the lessons he teaches," Troha said in his introduction. Early in his career Sunderland began several of the college's prepatory courses for students taking the Graduate Record Examinations (GREs).
He earned all three of his advanced degrees from Penn State University. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1970, going on to earn a master's degree in 1975 and a doctorate in 1982. Shortly after earning his master's degree Sunderland taught at Juniata as a math instructor for the 1977-1978 academic year. He rejoined the faculty at Juniata in 1982.
He was promoted to associate professor in 1988 and was promoted to full professor in 1996. At Penn State he received the 1970 Evan Pugh Award as an undergraduate.
His primary academic interest is number theory with secondary interests in abstract algebra, statistics, computer science, and complex analysis. He teaches courses in pre-calculus, probability and statistics, linear algebra, and real analysis. He has served as the faculty advisor to the Null Set, Juniata's math club, and was chair of the math department from 1990 to 1994.
Sunderland is an accomplished musician and plays piano at many Juniata events each year. He also is an organist at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has been a member of the Juniata College Choral Union for more than three decades, and he sometimes serves as rehearsal accompanist.
He is a member of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America.
Kathy Baughman, a resident of Port Matilda, Pa., joined the Juniata faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor of accounting. At Juniata, she teaches introduction to business, financial accounting, and auditing. She previously served as vice president of finance at Paradise Datacom LLC in State College, Pa. from 2001 to 2009.
In 2011 she earned certification as a Certified Fraud Examiner from the Association of Certified Fraud Examminers. A certified public accountant, Baughman earned a bachelor's degree in accounting in 1991 from Penn State University. She went on to earn her certification as an accountant in 1993.
As vice president at Paradise Datacom, she oversaw inventory control, accounting procurement, payroll, billing and information systems. She also established accounting procedures at the company and was responsible for the company's cash flow management.
She started her business career in 1991 as a senior accountant with KPMG Peat Marwick in Pittsburgh, Pa. She moved into corporate finance in 1994, when she accepted a job as financial analyst at United Technologies Corp. in Hartford, Conn., where she performed audits for a variety of companies owned by United Technologies, including Carrier, Otis, Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky and Hamilton Standard.
Baughman later moved to Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of United Technologies in East Hartford, Conn., as a financial analyst and team leader. She was promoted to senior financial analyst in 1997, leaving in 2000.
She also is an active volunteer in her community, specializing in organizing fundraising events for local nonprofit agencies. She also has been a Girl Scout troop leader and a piano teacher.
Contact April Feagley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 641-3131 for more information.