Nine faculty members honored for outstanding teaching skills

Melissa Kosinski-Collins receives the Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize

Faculty award-winners (L-R) Maura Jane Farrelly, Melissa Kosinski-Collins and Elizabeth Emma Ferry at commencement

Nine members of the Brandeis University faculty were recognized as outstanding teachers at commencement exercises on Sunday, May 23. Each was recognized from the podium by master of ceremonies John Hose and applauded by the appreciative audience of more than 8,000 graduates, families and friends.

The Louis Dembitz Brandeis Prize for Excellence in Teaching was awarded to Melissa Kosinski-Collins, assistant professor of biology. Kosinski-Collins is an expert in protein biochemistry, protein folding and aggregation, and biology education. “Although, I received my PhD from MIT in 2004 for studying protein folding and aggregation,” she says in a statement on her faculty-guide profile, “my true passion has always been in biology teaching and education.” She is actively involved in efforts to improve biology education at the high-school level.

The recipient of the Michael L. Walzer ’56 Award for Teaching was Maura Jane Farrelly, assistant professor of American studies. Farrelly is head of the journalism program at Brandeis.

Elizabeth Emma Ferry, associate professor of anthropology, received the Jeanette Lerman-Neubauer, Class of 1969, and Joseph Neubauer Prize for Excellence in Teaching and Mentoring. Ferry teaches courses in economic anthropology, power and violence, Latin American ethnography, development, and the anthropology of food.

The recipient of the Dean of Arts and Sciences Mentoring award was Allan R. Keiler, professor of music. Keiler is an authority on 19th Century music, music theory and analysis and the history of music. His book “Marian Anderson: A Singer's Journey,” was recognized by the New York Times and Washington Post as a notable book of the year in 2000-2001.

Lorraine Vogel Klerman, professor and director of the Institute for Child, Youth and Family Policy, received the Heller School for Social Policy and Management Mentoring Award. Klerman's major interest is in the well-being of children. Her teaching and scholarship cover the influences on well-being from the preconception period through adolescence. Trained in public health, she focuses mainly on how many of the problems facing children can be prevented - or at least detected early and solved or ameliorated.

The Heller School Teaching Award was given to Eric Olson, senior lecturer in ecology at the Heller School, Sustainable International Development program. Olson also specializes in the teaching of basic scientific literacy to adults from a broad range of educational, cultural, and language backgrounds. His research focus is on natural enemy, herbivorous insect, and host plant interactions, work he pursues both in the forests of Costa Rica and in the campus wetlands.

The International Business School honored three of its faculty for excellence in teaching:

  • Edward Bayone, Earl W. Kazis Professor of the Practice of Finance and International Real Estate. Bayone worked for more than 20 years at Fleet Bank and its predecessor institution, BankBoston, in various senior capacities including EVP and Chief Credit Officer, responsible for U.S. and international lending.
  • Senior lecturer Alfonso F. Canella. Canella has worked for over 20 years in finance areas. Aside from his teaching, Canella works with students and the Career Planning office in career planning, interview preparation, and resume building.
  • Adjunct professor Joel L. Singer. Singer has introduced a highly acclaimed module on management communication skills at the business school. He is the managing partner of Boston Digital Ventures which invests in innovative clean energy solutions and has held a variety of senior executive positions.
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