T&L Center in SAS: Dr. Robbins
Dr. Larry Robbins, a former assistant professor of English who has created
communications training and teaching support programs in the Wharton School,
has been named director of a newly-created Center for Teaching and Learning
in the School of Arts & Sciences, the College's Dean Richard Beeman
Dr. Robbins, who took his A.B. from Harvard and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley,
joined Penn's English Department in 1967. In 1975 he became the first director
of the Wharton Communication Program, later becoming also director of a
Teacher Development Program and an Arts Management Program there.
In SAS, he will be responsible for creating pro-grams to enhance teaching
at all levels through the new Center (see description in this issue's
About Teaching). Aside from activities in the Center and on its website,
Dr. Robbins works with faculty individually and confidentially.
"With the creation of this new center, we want to send a very strong
message that teaching matters," said Dr. Beeman. "Larry Robbins
and the Center will make a tremendous difference not only for faculty, but
also for students who ultimately will reap the rewards of better teaching.
He understands teaching in the Penn environment and brings to this new position
outstanding credentials and wide experience across the University ."
He added that Dr. Robbins will continue to make his expertise available
at Wharton and at SEAS.
Ira Abrams Award:
Dr. Robert Rescorla, professor of psychology and former dean of the College,
is this year's recipient of SAS's Ira Abrams Memorial Award for teaching.
Now in its 13th year, the Abrams award calls for teaching that is "intellectually
challenging and exceptionally coherent,"and is reserved to faculty
who embody high standards of integrity and fairness, have a strong commitment
to learning, and are open to new ideas.
Dean Samuel Preston, who announced the prize, described Dr. Rescorla
as a magnificent teacher and a very distinguished scientist who has made
attractive research experiences for undergraduates a priority.
In his scholarly work, where his honors include membership in the National
Academy of Sciences, Dr. Rescorla focuses on elementary learning processes,
particularly Pavlovian conditioning and instrumental learning.
During his three years as dean, 1994-97, he played a major role in the
21st Century Project to improve undergraduate education; expanded the College's
advising system; and established several interschool minors. He also helped
create Almanac's University-wide "Talk
About Teaching" series in cooperation with the Lindback Society.
(For his own contribution to the series, see "Undergraduate Research
Experience," Almanac December 6, 1994.) [Please
see this issue's story on the Kahn Award in SAS.]
Research Services: Dr. Rudczynski
Following a national search, Dr. Andrew B. Rudczynski joined the University
April 1 as Associate Vice President for Finance and Executive Director,
Research Services, Vice President for Finance Kathryn Engebretsen has announced.
He will be responsible for managing the administrative support for a burgeoning
sponsored research effort which last year exceeded $414 million.
Dr. Rudczynski came to Penn from Rutgers, where he was the associate
vice president for research policy and administration. He was responsible
for all aspects of research support at Rutgers, including grant and contract
administration, institutional review board, technology transfer and animal
care. Prior to his 15-year career at Rutgers, Dr. Rudczynski worked in research
administration at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, as a research
scientist at the Michigan Cancer Foundation, and as a principal investigator
at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. He holds
a B.Sc. in biology and biochemistry from McGill; a Ph.D. in immunology from
Syracuse; and an MBA from Southern Illinois University. He is on the board
of the Council on Governmental Relations and has been actively involved
with the National Council of University Research Administrators.
Mr. Merritt's Role: Anthony Merritt, who
has been serving as the Executive Director of Research Services, will remain
at Penn as a Senior Advisor until his retirement on June 30, 2000. In this
capacity, he will assist in Dr. Rudczynski's transition and continue the
work of Research Services.