HWS faculty members recently acknowledged three of their colleagues’ work as educators, scholars and community leaders with the annual faculty prizes. Based on the recommendations of fellow HWS faculty, the Committee on Faculty Research and Honors recognized Professor of Dance Cadence Whittier, who received the faculty prize for teaching; Professor of Geoscience Nan Crystal Arens, who was awarded the faculty prize for scholarship; and Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of Faculty DeWayne Lucas, who was honored with the faculty prize for community service.
Together, Whittier, Arens and Lucas are “excellent representatives of what we are so proud of in our faculty. These are faculty members who are extremely engaged with students and take their roles as scholars, teachers and mentors very seriously,” says HWS Provost Titilayo Ufomata. “Cadence Whittier is inventive in the classroom, reaching out across campus and into the community to encourage collaboration and ingenuity. Nan Crystal Arens is extremely prolific in her research, publishing widely on the evolution of climate and, as a woman and a scientist, is a strong role model for junior faculty colleagues and students. DeWayne Lucas is a gifted and committed contributor to the campus community who has excelled in serving and representing the faculty as associate provost.”
Whittier, who joined the faculty in 2000, teaches a variety of courses focused on ballet and contemporary dance technique, Laban/Bartenieff Movement Analysis (L/BMA), kinesiology, and community arts. She is also director and core faculty for Integrated Movement Studies (IMS), an organization based in California and Utah that offers training in Laban/Bartenieff Movement Studies. She enjoys exploring innovative approaches to teaching classical ballet and has presented and written about the integration of L/BMA theories and classical ballet pedagogy in national and international conferences/journals. She received her MFA and BFA in ballet from the University of Utah and certification in L/BMA from IMS. At HWS, Whittier has advised Honors work and MAT theses; chaired the Dance Department; directed the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men; and co-coordinated the Arts and Education Program. In addition, Whittier is regularly involved with the Arts Experience Festival and serves as artistic director and choreographer of the annual Finger Lakes Dance! concert. Currently, she is working on a book, “Creative Ballet Teaching: Technique and Artistry for the 21st Century Ballet Dancer” (Routledge, Summer 2017).
Arens earned her B.S. and M.S. from Pennsylvania State University where she studied earth science and English as an undergraduate, and invertebrate paleontology as a graduate student. She went on to earn her M.A. and Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University. Crossing between geoscience, biology, chemistry and environmental science, her current research focuses on the evolution of terrestrial environments as well as phenomena connecting atmospheric-, climate-, and vegetation-related evolution. She has presented more than 40 professional papers and published more than 30 scholarly articles, and nearly as many magazine articles, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews, often collaborating with student scientists. She has been awarded research grants from the National Geographic Society, the American Chemical Society, the Hellman Foundation Research, and the National Science Foundation, among others, which have funded research around the world, from Appalachia to South America and the Caribbean to Australia. Prior to joining the HWS faculty in 2001, Arens taught at the University of California at Berkeley, where she served as curator of fossil plants in the university’s Museum of Paleontology. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and previously chaired the HWS Committee on Faculty. She leads the Seneca Roots & Shoots environmental afterschool program for the Boys & Girls Club of Geneva.
An expert on American legislative politics and political parties, institutions and behavior, Lucas joined the HWS Political Science Department in 2000 and has been a member of the Africana Studies program, the American Studies program and the LGBT Studies program. In his time at the Colleges, he has served on the Committee on Academic Affairs as chair, the Committee on the Faculty, the Community on Standards, and the Middle States Reaccreditation Steering Committee, acting as a voice of the faculty in creating, maintaining, and reviewing academic and faculty policies. An active and engaged mentor to students, he has participated in supported student initiatives from campus and Geneva conversations around elections and politics to advising fraternal and campus organizations such as HWS Votes and Americans for Informed Democracy. Since 2007, he has served as co-organizer of the annual Day on the Hill, and previously served as faculty adviser for the student group Americans for an Informed Democracy. His record of community service was among the reasons for his selection to serve as the Associate Dean of Faculty and to continue to work as a conduit for faculty interest to the administration and campus. As associate dean of faculty, Lucas is responsible for faculty and curriculum development and support. He represents the provost on the Committee on Academic Affairs, coordinates the First-Year Seminar Program, and chairs the Bidisciplinary Programs.