Faculty Prizes Awarded to Exemplary Hobart and William Smith Professors – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Faculty Prizes Awarded to Exemplary Hobart and William Smith Professors

June 9, 2000 Geneva, NY – Three faculty members at Hobart and William Smith were recognized today by their peers for their exemplary service. Robert Gross, professor of English and comparative literature, received the Faculty Teaching Prize; Chi-chiang Huang, professor of modern languages, received the Faculty Scholarship Award; and Judith McKinney, an associate professor of economics, was awarded the Faculty Prize for Community Service. Provost Sheila Bennett presided over a brief award ceremony held this morning in the Common Room of the Scandling Center.

Gross, of Jacksonville, N.Y., is the director of theatre at the Colleges. In his citation, he was praised for his work in the classroom and for the audiences he captivates. Gross has several constituencies of students: those enrolled in his courses, those performing in his plays, and the larger community in his audiences. “Robert teaches his actors and his audiences to exercise the power of ingenuity of their imaginations…Robert taught us that theatre is not a place, but an activity that can stimulate your ability to think, to feel, to image, and enter into an imaginary world,” the citation says.

Gross holds a B.A. degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a M.A. degree from Ohio State University, and the Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He taught at Cornell University before coming to Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1987. Gross has written several books including S.N. Behrman: a Research and Production Sourcebook (1992), and numerous articles on the theatre and theatre arts.

Huang, of Geneva, the recipient of this year's Faculty Scholarship Award, was commended for possessing a unique blend of personal interests, scholarly abilities, and technical skills. He is a poet and lover of classical music; a deeply-learned student of religion, philosophy, and history; and a respected colleague who also does painstaking research on classical texts so difficult that only a handful of people in the world today even attempt to read them. “There may be a harder working or a more dedicated scholar at Hobart and William Smith than Chi-chiang Huang, but I doubt it,” the citation says.

Huang received the B.A. and M.A. in history from the National Taiwan University and the Ph.D. in oriental studies from the University of Arizona. Since arriving at the Colleges in 1987, Huang has published 23 articles, assorted book reviews, and a book. During that same period, he has delivered papers at 18 academic meetings and has participated in numerous conferences and workshops as a discussant or panel chair.

McKinney, of Geneva, the winner of this year's Faculty Prize for Community Service, was recognized for her decade-long commitment to the Colleges' curriculum. Provost Sheila Bennett called her the lynchpin of the curriculum, serving since 1991 on the Committee on Individual Majors, chairing it next year for the seventh consecutive year. McKinney also works as program coordinator of Russian Studies. “Professor McKinney takes great care to communicate clearly to each student. Her role is one of educator, first and foremost, as she explains the context for the acceptance or rejection of the proposal and the academic rationale for the decision. Due in no small part to Professor McKinney's critical role as the Chair of this committee, students in the end complete their degrees with strong individual majors tailored specifically to their academic interests,” the citation says.

McKinney has been a member of the HWS faculty since 1979. She earned the A.B., summa cum laude, from Middlebury College, and the M.A. and the Ph.D. from Indiana University. Her fields of specialization include international economics and Russian and Soviet area studies.