Honoring ExcellenceGAMBIER, Ohio (April 7, 2009) The Kenyon community came together on Tuesday, April 6, to celebrate the accomplishments of students, teachers, and mentors at the annual Honors Day Convocation.
Highlighting the event was the awarding of the Trustee Teaching Excellence Awards, which went this year to Charles P. McIlvaine Professor of English Perry Lentz and Associate Professor of Biology Robert Mauck. The trustee awards are presented each year to one tenured or tenure-track faculty member who has been teaching at the College for fewer than ten years and one who has been teaching at Kenyon for ten years or more.
Lentz, who joined the Kenyon faculty in 1969, won the award for professors who have been teaching at the College for ten or more years. Mauck won the award given to a faculty member who has been teaching at Kenyon fewer than ten years.
Lentz was praised for his contributions to the College, captured by this sentence from a recent review of his work: "You hold a singular place in the hearts and imaginations of the members of this college, past and present, who admire you equally for the intelligence of your teaching and the depth of your character, both of which you present in terms that are disarmingly humble."
After four decades of teaching at Kenyon, Lentz will retire this spring. His name is now fixed on the roll call of Kenyon's iconic English professors with the completion of Lentz House, a new home for the English Department. He earned a degree from Kenyon in 1964 and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Vanderbilt University. This marks the second time Lentz has been honored for his teaching by the trustees. He previously won the Trustee Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1992.
Mauck's colleagues cited the "wonderful guidance" he offers his students as the best example of his roles of "mentor and passionate colleague." Through his own exemplary research in behavioral ecology, Mauck has impressed his peers by his ability to "seamlessly integrate outstanding teaching with cutting-edge research."
Mauck earned a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. He conducts much of his research on storm-petrels at the Bowdoin Scientific Station at Kent Island in New Brunswick, Canada, and has taken a number of Kenyon students along to take part in the field studies.
The convocation also featured the bestowing of honorary degrees. This year's honorary-degree recipients were Robin L. Bennett, a 1981 alumna who is senior genetics counselor at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle; Pierce E. Scranton Jr., a 1968 graduate who is an orthopaedic surgeon, also in Seattle; and Barrett A. Toan, a 1969 alumnus from St. Louis, Missouri, who is a retired corporate executive.
See the complete list of award winners.