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‘Extraordinary Devotion’

Jeanette Altarriba, Julie Novkov Named Collins Fellows

UAlbany's newest Collins Fellows: Julie Novkov, left, and Jeanette Altarriba.

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 10, 2017) — Jeanette Altarriba, the vice provost and dean for undergraduate education, and Julie Novkov, chair of the Department of Political Science, have been named Collins Fellows.

The award, now in its 33rd year, recognizes teaching faculty who have shown extraordinary devotion to the University over a sustained period of time. Named after Evan Revere Collins, president from 1949-1969, it is bestowed on “exemplars of the highest levels of institutional commitment and service.”

Nominations come from fellow teaching faculty with supporting letters from administrators, staff or, on occasion, students – all describing activities that show “extraordinary devotion” to the University.

The fellowships “are well deserved recognitions for our colleagues who have consistently demonstrated the highest levels of service and commitment to academic excellence,” Interim Provost Darrell P. Wheeler said. “In their scholarly pursuits, teaching and service, Dr. Altarriba and Dr. Novkov have provided students and our academic community with outstanding care that underscores the mission of a public research university. I congratulate both and thank them for all they have given to the University at Albany.”

Altarriba has been with UAlbany since 1992, affiliated with the departments of Psychology and Latin American, Caribbean and U.S. Latino Studies, and Communication. She has been director of the Cognition and Language Laboratory, and directs research into bilingual language processing and second language acquisition. Her own research, published nationally and internationally, focuses on bilingual language, memory and emotion.

Over the years she has chaired the departments of Psychology and Communication, and has been associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences. As vice provost and dean for undergraduate education, Altarriba oversees the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Honors College, the Student Engagement Initiative, the Advisement Services Center, the General Education Program, the Center for Achievement, Retention, and Student Success, and the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program.

Her nominating letters took note of her many roles at the University over the years, as well as her expertise as a teacher, advisor and mentor. “Students routinely seek her out because she is engaging in the classroom and a wonderful research advisor and mentor in the laboratory,” one letter said, noting that this skill has led to Altarriba’s doctoral students becoming “superbly trained professionals who have turned out to be solid teachers and scholars in their own right.”

Novkov, a professor of Political Science and Women’s Studies, came to the University in 2006 after 10 years at the University of Oregon. She specializes in public law, and her own research focuses on the intersection of law, history, U.S. political development, race, gender and sexual orientation.

Nomination letters note that her roles as colleague, teacher, advisor, scholar, department chair and “campus citizen” add up to “high-impact, low-visibility service.” An impressive teacher and outstanding scholar, nominators called her generous with her time and dedicated to seeing her students succeed.

She has served as director of graduate studies for Political Science at Rockefeller College, participating in numerous committees, and serving on the University Senate. Through her work on a the Provost’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Contingent Faculty, and the subsequent Implementation Committee, she has helped insure improved conditions for adjuncts and part-time faculty members.

Collins Fellows receive a salary increment and a distinctive medallion. They meet with annually or semi-annually the University president to discuss important directions being taken by the University. Portraits of the Collins Fellows hang in the University Library.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.