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Two professors honored for 25 years' service to Alfred University
5/26/09

Two Alfred University faculty members were recognized for 25 years of service to the University during the annual Honors Convocation.

Honored were: Dr. Vasantha Amarakoon, professor of ceramic and electrical engineering in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering. Amarakoon joined the AU faculty in 1984 after completing his Ph.D. in ceramic engineering at the University of Illinois, where he had earlier earned a master’s degree, also in ceramic engineering.

Amarakoon’s research interests include grain boundary engineering of electronic ceramics, and use of novel techniques of nanoparticles and sol-gel coating of powders to overcome problems associated with reproducibility and reliability of electronic ceramic devices.

Since 1997, Amarakoon has also been director of the New York State Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology at Alfred, and successfully led its redesignation process last year. Amarakoon is a Fellow of the American Ceramics Society and has published more than 70 research papers. He holds three patents.

He has won numerous teaching awards, including the John F. McMahon Teaching Award for the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University and two State University of New York Chancellor’s Awards – one for Excellence in Teaching and the second for Excellence in Professional Service, recognizing his contributions as director of the CACT.

A native of Sri Lanka, Amarakoon earned his first B.S. degree from the University of Ceylon, Sri Lanka, in 1967 and worked in industry before receiving a second bachelor’s degree from the University of Leeds in the United Kingdom.

Dr. William S. Dibrell, professor of philosophy, who came of AU in 1983 as a member of what is now the Division of Human Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. During his tenure at Alfred University, Dibrell has taught 26 different undergraduate courses, ranging from philosophy of language to the nature of personal identity, earning a Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002.

He has published essays on such diverse topics as biomedical ethics, Dionysius, and parenting, in addition to giving papers and organizing professional meetings. His service to the University includes work on several committees and chairing the Division of Human Studies.

In the community, he is a long-time member of the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co., the volunteer organization that provides fire protection and emergency medical care (rescue squad) to the Alfred community. He has been a chief of the department, and is now firefighter and emergency medical technician.

Dibrell earned a B.A. degree in philosophy and English from San Diego State University in 1971, and a master’s in philosophy from the same institution in 1974. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Michigan State University in 1979. He taught at Central Michigan University prior to joining the AU faculty.