Alfred University News

Abigail Allen Award presented, faculty and students recognized at Alfred University Honors Convocation

D. Chase Angier, 2021 Abigail Allen Award recipient
D. Chase Angier, 2021 Abigail Allen Award recipient

Alfred University students and faculty were recognized for their achievements during the 2020-21 academic year at Honors Convocation, which was held virtually Friday afternoon.


ALFRED, NY – Alfred University students and faculty were recognized for their achievements over the 2020-21 academic year during Honors Convocation, which was held virtually Friday afternoon, April 23.

Honors Convocation was streamed live from two locations: Miller Theater and Harder Hall’s Holmes Theater. Juliana Gray, professor of English and director of the University’s Honors Program, addressed the gathering of honored students and faculty as master of ceremonies.

Video of 2021 Honors Convocation

“It has been a strange and challenging year,” Gray said from the podium at Miller Theater. “I am so proud of the students gathered here and in Holmes Auditorium.”

Gray lauded students for their achievements and success amid the challenges posed by COVID-19. While Alfred University, like most institutions of higher education, pivoted to a fully remote method of instruction last spring, the University has remained open throughout the 2020-21 academic year.

“What all our students have in common is they challenged themselves, pushed themselves, went beyond what was merely required of them and achieved something more in spite of the unique difficulties of the last year,” Gray said. “Today, we celebrate their amazing accomplishments.”

Alfred University President Mark Zupan spoke about how students, through the intersection of their lives with Alfred University have carried out the University’s mission.

“Intersection is an apt word for us today. When you look at the mission and vision values of our University, there are 251 words, but you can boil them down to just nine: ‘Our intersection transforms student lives and betters our world,’” Zupan said. “We are here to celebrate how your lives have been transformed, how you’ve already bettered our Alfred University world, and will do so to the broader world going forward.”  

D. Chase Angier, professor of dance and chair of the Performing Arts Division at Alfred University, was presented the prestigious Abigail Allen Award.

The Abigail Allen Award is presented each year to a faculty/staff member who has contributed to the Alfred University campus and the community by improving the quality of women’s lives, and whose exceptional efforts deserve recognition. The award is named in recognition of Abigail Allen, wife of Alfred University’s second president, Jonathan Allen. Abigail Allen, a suffragist and abolitionist, played a key role in supporting the University’s commitment to co-education, as well as other initiatives that drove the Progressive movement in the United States during the 19th century. 

Angier has been teaching at Alfred University since 2002. Nominated several times for the Alfred University Outstanding Teaching Award, Chase received an Alfie Award for Outstanding Faculty Contribution to Student Life in 2007 and an ARGUS Faculty Research Mentor Award in 2014. As Artistic Director for the Marlin Miller Dance Residency Program since 2002, Angier has worked collaboratively with her colleagues to develop a vibrant dance program at Alfred University and curated innumerable residencies, thus exposing the Alfred community to a wide range of artists of international renown.

As Chair of the Performing Arts Division, Angier has faced the exciting challenge of developing and stabilizing the division as it grows into its new independent status. Her colleagues speak highly of her service to Performing Arts and in particular of her support of the women faculty. Moreover, the work that Angier does in the dance program helps to build women students’ self-esteem.

“The vitality and commitment D. Chase Angier brings to enriching the lives of women in the Alfred community permeates all that she touches – through dance, her enduring belief in the arts to make our lives better, and her consistent pursuit of learning,” one colleague wrote in nominating Angier for the Abigail Allen Award. “Chase elevates what is possible for the women around her, and what those women perceive as possible for themselves.”

The 2021 Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior award recipients – Holly Passetti and Aanu Adeloye – were recognized at the Honors Convocation ceremony. Passetti, a chemistry and biology major (minors in mathematics and biomaterials engineering) from Nichols, NY, and Adeloye, a mechanical engineering and physics major (minor in mathematics) from Ile Ife, Osun, Nigeria, will also be honored at Alfred University’s virtual commencement ceremony on May 15, where they will address the graduating class, faculty, administration, trustees, and guests.

Winners of the Marlin Miller Outstanding Senior Award are chosen based on scholarship, extracurricular achievement, personal character and conduct, and nominations by faculty, students, staff, or alumni. The award was established to honor Alfred University alumnus Marlin Miller ’54, H ’89, H ’19 one of Alfred University’s most generous supporters. Miller has been a member of Alfred University’s Board of Trustees since 1972 and is a former Board chair.

Several faculty members were also recognized during Honors Convocation. Timothy Keenan, assistant professor of biomaterials engineering, was presented with the John F. McMahon Ceramic Teaching Excellence Award. The award is presented yearly in honor of Dr. John F. McMahon in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the University as both professor and dean.

Eleven faculty members received the Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Awards for Excellence in Teaching, with recipients chosen based on a student vote.

“Faculty and students hold dear the symbolic value of the Joseph Kruson Excellence in Teaching Awards,” said Susan Mayberry, professor of English and chair of the Faculty Development Committee. “On behalf of Carson Grover, Student Senate president, I extend our warmest commendations to the faculty members who were deemed by their students to be their very best teachers.”

Following are the 2021 recipients of Joseph Kruson Trust Fund Awards for Excellence in Teaching: Bradford Daly, assistant professor of school psychology; Danielle Gagne, associate professor of psychology; Matthew Kelleher, assistant professor of ceramic art; Roger Loucks, professor of physics; Susan Morehouse, professor of English, interim dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Timothy Nichols, associate professor and chair of Division of Education; Luis Rodriguez, associate professor of law/taxation; Robert Stein, associate professor, social sciences; S.K. Sundaram, Inamori Professor of Materials Science and Engineering; Angie To, associate professor, Freshman Foundation; and Kevin Wixted, professor of painting.

Seven faculty members—one from each academic unit—were honored as recipients of the Faculty Scholar Award, which recognizes excellence in research and scholarship. Honorees for 2021 are: Shelly Freyn, assistant professor of marketing, College of Business; Susan Mayberry, professor of English, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Bradford Daly, assistant professor of school psychology, Graduate and Continuing Studies and AUNY; Colleen Wahl, assistant professor of dance, Division of Performing Arts; Meghen Jones, associate professor of art history, School of Art and Design; Yiquan Wu, professor of ceramic engineering, Inamori School of Engineering; and Kevin Adams, information literacy librarian, University Libraries.

“The Faculty Scholar Award acknowledges the outstanding professional work of our faculty.  Whether focused in the sciences, humanities, arts, business, or engineering, all of our faculty engage in research,” commented Beth Ann Dobie, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. “This is a unifying element of our profession, of what we do as professors at Alfred University. We are very proud of all the winners!”

The following received 25-year service citations for faculty: Sandra Singer, professor of German and chair of the Division of Modern Languages; Andrew Deutsch, professor of sonic and video art; and Beth Ann Dobie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Dobie is former chair of the Division of Human Studies and former dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.