Three Faculty Honored for Outstanding Achievements – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Three Faculty Honored for Outstanding Achievements

Teaching, community service, and scholarship recognized

(May 20, 2005) GENEVA, N.Y.—At the close of every academic year the faculty of Hobart and William Smith Colleges choose three faculty members to be honored for their contributions to the institution's three-fold mission of teaching, community service and academic scholarship. This year’s recipients are Nick Ruth from the art department, Lowell Bloss from religious studies and Mary Gerhart, emeritus, also from religious studies.

Ruth, of Rochester, was lauded as a powerful, compelling teacher who engages and challenges his students to do their best. The citation states that “Students feel that he wants them to succeed, and they feel his continual and dependable support…his ability to connect with students is extraordinary.” Ruth, who is also celebrating his 10th year of teaching with the HWS faculty, says that studio art allows a holistic approach to learning. “In college I chose to become a studio art major because it seemed to me that making art was something that would require me to think about everything. I was able to draw together my emerging interests in philosophy, psychology, sociology, geography and history. I am passionate about my work today because I still have questions to ask and ideas to explore.”

Bloss, of Penn Yan, was recognized for his dedicated, humble and unwavering support of the mission of the Colleges and its position within the greater community. His citation states that he is “An enthusiastic supporter of team-teaching and interdisciplinary work, a champion of improving language teaching and expanding global awareness, and someone who has been instrumental in bringing a host of impressive guest speakers and visiting artists to campus, our recipient also has given up literally months of 'free time' to help the communications and Admissions offices publicize our work here, to organize symposia and faculty development seminars, to participate actively and effectively in curricular discussions, to plan and direct several off-campus programs, and to write a series of successful grant applications that have raised well over a million dollars in the last few years alone.” Bloss, who holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago, joined the faculty of religious studies in 1972.

Also from the department of religious studies, Gerhart, of Geneva, was praised for the important and critically acclaimed lifetime of scholarship that has put her at the forefront of the study of science and religion. Gerhart has published a large number of articles in journals such as ZYGON, as well as several books including “Metaphoric Process: The Creation of Scientific and Religious Understanding” and “New Maps for Old: Essays in Science and Religion.” Gerhart was also praised for her dedication to collaborations with students, mentoring “an astonishing twenty-four student Honors projects.” Professor Gerhart, who holds two degrees from the University of Chicago, joined the faculty in 1972 and retired from teaching during the past school year.

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