HWS Faculty Celebrate their Own – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Faculty Celebrate their Own

Faculty Prizes were recently announced in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and community service

May 12, 2003 Geneva, N.Y. – Each year, at the end of spring semester, the faculty at Hobart and William Smith award Faculty Prizes in the areas of scholarship, teaching and community service to deserving faculty members. This year’s award recipients are Judith-Maria Buechler, professor of anthropology, for scholarship; Claudette Columbus, professor of English, for teaching; and Bahar Davary, professor of religious studies, for community service.

Buechler has been teaching students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges since 1974. She came to the College with her B.A. from Barnard College, her M.A. from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. from McGill University, and with prior teaching experience at Syracuse University and LeMoyne College, among others. In the citation announcing her award for teaching excellence, her colleagues cited her longtime efforts to understand the multiplicity of world cultures and to embue that into her teaching. She was also honored for her spirit of collaboration and inclusiveness in the manner in which she approaches her research and professional life. Buechler recently received the Conrad Arensberg Award from the American Anthropological Association for research on work and the human condition.

Described by her colleagues as “the sort of teacher we all wanted to have,” Columbus has been with the Colleges’ Department of English since 1969. Her interests, and hence her teaching, include the study of late 18th and 19th century authors such as Ruskin, Dickens and Browning. She is also interested in the culture and art of South America. She was instrumental in the creation of the Colleges’ women’s study program and the Latin American studies program, and has served as director to more than a dozen student Honors projects. She also has led several semesters of study off campus, to both London and Ecuador. Columbus received her B.A. from Bucknell University, her M.A., with high honors, from Columbia University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Davary joined the Colleges’ faculty in 2000 and is particularly interested in comparative religions, Islamic feminism and inter-religious dialogue. Cited for “becoming an indispensable community member who works tirelessly to build bridges of understanding in an increasingly unstable world,” Davary introduced Islamic studies into the general curriculum at the Colleges and is credited with serving as an unofficial advisor to Muslim students and many other students of color on campus. Davary has also been a frequent guest in the community discussing Islam. “The perspective she brings to the local community makes everyone’s experience richer,” notes the award citation. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Tehran and her Ph.D. from Catholic University of America.

All three prize recipients reside in Geneva.

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