Faculty Honored With Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards

Six Hamilton faculty members were recognized for their research and creative successes with the Dean’s Scholarly Achievement Awards, presented by Dean of Faculty Patrick Reynolds during Class & Charter Day on May 13. The awards recognize individual accomplishment but reflect a richness and depth of scholarship and creative activity across the entire faculty.

Barbara Gold, the Edward North Professor of Classics, and Jonathan Vaughan, the James L. Ferguson Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, received the Career Achievement Award, which marks significant achievement over the course of a career. Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Studies S. Brent Plate was recipient of the Early Career Achievement Award, which recognizes significant achievement at the assistant or associate professor level.

Three faculty members received the Notable Year Achievement Awards, which recognize particular accomplishments in the past year: Associate Professor of Geosciences Dave Bailey, Assistant Professor of History John Eldevik, and Ernest Williams, the William R. Kenan Professor of Biology.

Barbara Gold

Barbara Gold, who earned a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, joined the Hamilton faculty in 1989. Her research interests are Greek and Roman literature, comparative literature, women in antiquity, feminist theory and classics, and late antique/early Christian literature. Gold was the first woman editor of The American Journal of Philology, the oldest journal in the U.S.

Gold is editor of The Blackwell Companion to Roman Elegy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), to which she contributed a chapter, “Patronage and the Elegists: Social Reality or Literary Construction?,” and is editor of the forthcoming Perpetua: a Martyr’s Tale. She is also working on a book on Juvenal’s Roman satires and is the co-editor of Roman Women: Gender, Representation and Reception (forthcoming).  Gold wrote a number of articles that were published or forthcoming in Classical World, Women and Comedy, Eugesta, Encyclopedia of Ancient History and Oxford Readings in Propertius.

In the past year she lectured at the University of Toronto, Kings College in London, contributed to the Encyclopedia of Ancient History and reprinted an article in Oxford University Press.

Gold is the humanities coordinator at Hamilton and runs the Humanities Forum Lecture series. She is also on the National Faculty Advisory Committee for a multi-year assessment grant funded by the Teagle Foundation focusing on the fields of classics and political science.

Jonathan Vaughan

An experimental psychologist, Vaughan’s research interests focus on the selection of motor movements; eye movements and attentional processes; learning and cognitive neuropsychology. His current work, funded by an AREA grant from the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Strokes, (with colleagues David Rosenbaum of Pennsylvania State University and Ruud Meulenbroek of the Nijmegen Institute for Cognition and Information) has resulted in computational models that describe performance in tasks such as reaching, grasping and tapping.

Vaughan has collaborated with Hamilton colleague Penny L. Yee in facilitating the use of computer applications in psychological research, their most recent efforts being tutorial materials for using the PsyScope program for teaching and research in Cognitive Psychology. He was also editor of the international quarterly, Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, published by the Psychonomic Society.

Vaughan has published 59 papers, including 43 journal articles and 11 book chapters. He has made 102 presentations, approximately a third of them with Hamilton students.

He founded the Psychonomic Society’s Archive of Norms, Stimuli, and Data, an online repository for a variety of computer programs, tools, data, and stimuli that has served as a resource for researchers in the field. Vaughan is currently co-authoring the second edition of a textbook for learning the program MATLAB, a sophisticated technical computing language used for creating models and algorithms and for analyzing and visualizing data. The revision is based on his quarter-credit course for students and faculty who wish to use MATLAB in the behavioral and natural sciences.

Brent Plate

Brent Plate’s teaching and research focus on how ways of seeing affect ways of being religious. What humans look at, the type of images created, and how humans learn to see images, are all shaped by cultural, biological and religious environments. Investigating “religious visual culture,” Plate’s work is interdisciplinary, moving between developments in cultural anthropology, art history, film studies and increasingly cognitive science, along with religious studies. His publications include Religion and Film (2008), The Religion and Film Reader (2007) and Blasphemy: Art that Offends (2006). Plate is also co-founder and managing editor of the journal, Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art, and Belief.

In the past year Plate received a Franklin Research Grant through the American Philosophical Society and a New York Humanities Corridor Award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. He published an essay in Religion Dispatches and was interviewed by the Washington Post.

David Bailey

David Bailey earned his Ph.D. from Washington State University. His dissertation focused on geochemistry and petrogenesis of Miocene volcanic rocks in the Powder River Volcanic Field, NE Oregon. Bailey is a recipient of National Science Foundation ILI and CCLI Grants, and is a research associate of the New York State Museum. His current research focuses on the history of igneous and tectonic activity in the northeastern United States, and on the mineralogy of New York State. Bailey has authored numerous peer reviewed papers, conference abstracts, and field trip guides.

His work in 2012 included five publications and numerous conference presentations. Bailey was a Posse mentor last year and is president of the NYS Geological Society. He also regularly participates in elementary school visitations as part of annual outreach activities offered by Hamilton’s science departments.

John Eldevik

John Eldevik received his Ph.D from UCLA and taught at UCLA and Pomona College before coming to Hamilton in 2010. He also holds the Licence in Mediaeval Studies (2004) from the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto. His primary research and teaching interests are in medieval social and religious history, particularly the role of the bishop in the early Middle Ages, as well as the Crusades and the history of political and religious dissent.

Eldevik's first book, Episcopal Lordship and Ecclesiastical Reform in the German Empire, 950-1150 was recently published by Cambridge University Press and examines how medieval bishops used the collection of ecclesiastical tithes (taxes) to foster important social and political relationships in their dioceses. Eldevik is currently working on a study of the manuscript transmission of texts on the Crusades and Islam in medieval Bavaria.

Ernest Williams, Jr.

Through field work in New York, Wyoming and Mexico, and in collaboration with Hamilton students, Williams studies the population biology, chemical ecology, and conservation of butterflies. His most recent book is The Nature Handbook: A Guide to Observing the Great Outdoors, which is a field guide to patterns in nature and was released in 2005 by Oxford University Press. 

He is also co-author of The Stokes Butterfly Book, and editor and co-author of A Marsh for all Seasons, published locally by the Utica Marsh Council. 

In 2013 New Scientist magazine interviewed Williams for an article about monarch butterfly migration. He co-authored an article in Biological Conservation about the effects of climate change on butterflies and birds, published an article and photos in American Butterflies magazine and an article in Journal of Lepidopterists’ Society.

Other recent publications include Journal of Insect Conservation, the Journal of Animal Ecology, Restoration Ecology, and The Journal of Biogeography. Williams currently works with Associate Professor of Biology Bill Pfitsch on habitat restoration and management in the Rome Sand Plains of Central New York.

He also gave an invited talk at Boston University and oral and poster presentations at regional (New England Natural History Conference) national (Ecological Society of America), and international (Monarch Biology and Conservation Conference) meetings.

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