Holy Cross Professors Recognized for Outstanding Scholarship and Student Advising

June 17th, 2014 by 


Two faculty members at the College of the Holy Cross—Denise Schaeffer, professor of political science and Robert Bellin, professor of biology—are the recipients of the College’s  Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Awards. The annual awards are made possible by a generous gift from Richard A. Marfuggi, M.D. ‘72, in honor of his mother.

Denise Schaeffer received the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, which is given to a faculty member with an exemplary record of scholarship and excellent achievement in the creation of an original work in the arts and sciences.

During what the committee on faculty scholarship noted as a particularly challenging year to choose a recipient, Schaeffer “co-edited a volume on Socrates, titled ‘Strange Fellows: Socratic Philosophy and Its Others,’ in which she also co-authored the introduction and contributed two articles; published two additional articles, including an article that appeared in one of the top venues in her field; and published a highly acclaimed study of Rousseau’s Emile, titled ‘Rousseau on Education, Freedom, and Judgment,’” said Margaret Freije, vice president of academic affairs and dean of the College when presenting the award.

Freije continued to remark that Schaeffer “engages questions of how a broad philosophical education enables one to think and judge independently thus contributing to the development of both individual freedom and reflective citizenship” in her work, which spans from classical philosophy to that of Rousseau.

“I feel very honored to have received this award, especially given all the excellent scholarship that faculty produce at Holy Cross each year,” says Schaeffer.  “I’m grateful to work in such a supportive and intellectually vibrant community.”

A faculty member since 1995, Schaeffer earned her Ph.D. in political philosophy at Fordham University, and served as the political science department chair from 2006-2009.

Robert Bellin was named the recipient of the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Academic Advisement, an award given to a faculty member based on nominations from students.

While presenting the award,  Freije quoted a senior’s nomination: “In the nearly four years that I have spent at Holy Cross, I can honestly say that I have yet to meet another faculty member that is more involved, more dedicated or more compassionate about the students on this campus and their well-being.”  Bellin’s dedication to students spans from his advisees to students applying to medical school to those working in research labs. Freije also commented on the overall student consensus that Bellin is always “available, willing to listen, able to suggest alternative strategies and dedicated to the success of his students.”

“I feel especially honored to the receive the Marfuggi Award for Academic Advising because the nominations come from the students,” says Bellin. “Throughout my 12 years at the College, I have found my interactions with students during office hours, advising appointments, and in the classroom—both teaching lab and in my research group—to be the most rewarding part of my job. To have those students nominate me for this award is especially meaningful to me.”

Bellin has been a faculty member at the College since 2002 and was awarded the Marfuggi Award for Outstanding Scholarship in 2010. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry at Iowa State University and serves as the co-chair of the College’s biochemistry concentration.

For additional information, please contact Cristal Steuer at 508-793-2419.

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