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

HWS Faculty Celebrate Their Own

Faculty prizes announced in areas of scholarship, teaching and community service

Geneva, N.Y. – Each year, at the end of spring semester, the faculty at Hobart and William Smith award prizes to deserving members within their ranks who exemplify the excellence inherent in the entire faculty. This year’s award recipients are Betty Bayer, associate professor of women’s studies, for teaching; David Ost, professor of political science, for scholarship; and John Halfman, associate professor of geoscience, for community service.

Bayer currently serves as director of the Colleges’ Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men. Her students have nicknamed her “Professor 24/7″ in honor of her hard work on their behalf, her demanding intellectual standards, and her efforts to ensure that all students are able to attain them.” The citation noting her award reads, in part, “Her students don't just learn the material at hand in her courses; they are transformed by the experience in ways that raise the level of their aspirations for life.” Indeed, Bayer’s students have presented their work at international conferences in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and, most recently, in Bath, England.

A social psychologist, Bayer has directed her research in the areas of science, subjectivity and the body in psychology. She is senior editor of Reconstructing the Psychological Subject and co-editor of Challenges to Theoretical Psychology. In addition to a recent invited presentation on teaching research in social psychology at the American Psychological Association meetings, Bayer regularly presents her scholarly work at national and international organizations. After three years at the University of Alberta, Bayer transferred to Carleton University in Ottawa, where she completed her B.A., M.A. and Ph.D.

Ost is an internationally known scholar in the field of European studies. His first book, “Solidarity and the Politics of Anti-Politics,” is one of the most often-cited works dealing with contemporary Eastern Europe. Other books include “Workers After Workers’ States,” the textbook “European Politics in Transition,” and the forthcoming “The Defeat of Solidarity” (Cornell University Press) dealing with labor, anger, and democracy after communism. He has also published more than 40 articles in scholarly journals such as East European Politics and Society, European Journal of Industrial Relations, and Telos, as well as in popular publications like The Nation, Tikkun, and In These Times. He has been interviewed by the BBC and PBS, and has appeared on several major radio stations as well as on the “McNeil-Lehrer Report,” and in the op-ed pages of The New York Times.

Ost has presented papers throughout the world, from Harvard to Berkeley, London to Jerusalem and beyond. He joined the faculty in 1986 after receiving his B.A. from SUNY Stony Brook and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He spent the 1998-99 academic year in Poland on a Fulbright Scholarship, teaching at Warsaw University and Central European University.

Halfman was a major force behind the collaboration that brought $1.4 million from the federal government to establish the Finger Lakes Institute on the HWS campus. He is on the board of directors of the citizen watchdog group Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association and on the Oversight and the Educational committees of Seneca Lake Area Partners in Five Counties, a watershed management and protection alliance.

Halfman is also involved with the Science on Seneca Program, which brings high school students to study on Seneca Lake aboard the Colleges' 65-foot research vessel William Scandling, and the Environmental Science Summer Youth Institute. He is frequently published on environmental issues, especially regarding Seneca Lake.

Halfman came to Hobart and William Smith in 1994 after teaching in the earth sciences and then the civil engineering and geological sciences departments at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a B.S. from the University of Miami, an M.S. from the University of Minnesota, and a Ph.D. from Duke University.

“This year’s recipients, as always, represent the best of a talented group of faculty who are dedicated to excellence in the complex endeavor of bringing liberal education to today’s youth,” said HWS President Mark D. Gearan.

Bayer and Halfman reside in Geneva. Ost is a resident of Ithaca.

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