Barlow Awards Recognize Faculty Excellence
Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund and John Putz are the 2010 recipients of the Barlow Award for Faculty Excellence at Alma College.
First presented in 1982, the Barlow Awards recognize faculty members for excellence in teaching; scholarly, creative or performing work; and college and community service. Recipients receive $1,000 cash grants.
Recipients are nominated by faculty, administrators, alumni and student Barlow Trophy nominees and reviewed by the Faculty Personnel and the Barlow Award committees. The president selects the awardees, who are presented at commencement.
Dr. Mary Theresa Bonhage-Freund
Bonhage-Freund, associate professor of anthropology, was nominated for the quality of her teaching, her ability to mentor and advise students at different levels of ability and comprehension, and her engagement as a scholar within her field.
“Her pedagogical strengths range from delivering creative and interactive lectures in large introductory classes to facilitating lively discussions in upper level seminars,” wrote one of her nominators. “She also is an outstanding advisor and a master at one-on-one work with students.”
As the sole full-time anthropology faculty member at Alma, Bonhage-Freund has designed and added several new anthropology classes to Alma’s set of courses and generally oversees the administration of the anthropology minor and student-developed “programs of emphasis.” She has directed numerous student presentations and projects in anthropology-related fields.
She also is active in her academic field. She has co-authored a book, Archeology of the Lower Creek Indians, 1715-1830 (2007) and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book reviews. Her current work is an exploration on the “Anthropology of Vocation,” of which she has presented in numerous professional settings.
“She is a marvelous colleague,” wrote her nominator. “Her actions evidence integrity and a spirit of cooperation. She embodies the essence of the liberal arts.”
Bonhage-Freund also was recognized for integrating service learning into her courses and providing service to the scientific profession as president of the Sigma Xi Science Research Society. She joined the Alma faculty in 1999 and has a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
Dr. John Putz
Putz, professor of mathematics and computer science, was recognized as “a gifted instructor and proven scholar,” according to his nominator.
“He puts a tremendous amount of time, energy and creativity into every course he teaches — even for a course like calculus that he has taught repeatedly,” wrote his nominator. “He continues to think about how he can explain a concept in the clearest way, how he can make it flow naturally and logically from things the students already know, and how he might create a new method to demonstrate it more effectively.”
He specifically was recognized for his innovative use of technology in the classroom. He is a frequent invited speaker at the International Conference on Technology in Collegiate Mathematics, and is the author of a book, Maple Animation, (2003) which describes the methods he uses to create animations with the computer algebra system called Maple.
Putz also has written several scholarly articles on the relationship between mathematics and the arts. His 1995 paper, “The Golden Section and the Piano Sonatas of Mozart” in Mathematics Magazine, was cited in 2007 as the magazine’s No. 1 most viewed article.
“I have always been impressed with his intellect, his breadth of knowledge, and that creative spark he has possessed for the past 30 years,” wrote his nominator.
Putz also has created several new courses that have become popular with students, including “Mathematics in Art and Nature” and “Beyond the Third Dimension.” He joined the Alma faculty in 1981 and has a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University.
The Barlow Awards are made possible by a gift from Joel Barlow to recognize faculty members who have “contributed the most, by their work and example, often at personal sacrifice, to furthering the education mission of the college.”
Posted: Mon, May 3rd, 2010 at 11:36AM