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Excellence Awards

Excellence in Academic Service 2005

The University Award for Excellence in Academic Service is presented to members of the teaching faculty who have demonstrated leadership and service to the University over a sustained period.

David DuffeeDavid Duffee
Professor David Duffee joined the faculty of the School of Criminal Justice in August 1971. He served as the dean of the school from 1988 through 1995, substantially advancing Criminal Justice's curricular and research development despite persistent state budgetary difficulties.

Two themes run especially strongly through Duffee's faculty service: his selflessness and his leadership in forging ties between the University and the community within his area of scholarship.

One of his nominators wrote: "He is generous with his time, energy, and creativity, which accounts, in part, for the high regard in which he is held by people inside and outside the University. He has a rare facility for bringing people together around problems, and keeping them focused on finding solutions. His commitments to people, projects, and processes tend to be long term; and he invariably leaves them all in better shape than he found them."

The second especially striking feature of Duffee's faculty service is the way in which he has contributed to the community through his scholarly activities. Distinguished Professor Hans Toch wrote: "... his most enduring services have been rendered to the community, and to recipients of community services. In the process, David Duffee has helped define the University at Albany as a responsible partner and resource for practitioners who care and want to make a difference. If anyone in our school stands out as an individual who has contributed to the common good, it is David Duffee."

Andi LyonsAndi Lyons
Professor Andi Lyons joined the faculty of the Department of Theatre in 1982 as assistant professor and technical director. She is currently professor, lighting designer, and director of design and technology. Throughout her career here, she has distinguished herself as a tireless and generous citizen of the University, far exceeding the normal service expectations for a faculty member.

She has served on the Senate or one of its councils or committees almost continuously since the mid-1980s. She served two three-year terms on the University Senate between 1998 and 2005, and served as its secretary from 2002-2005. She has served on five of the Senate's major councils, including three years on the Council on Promotions and Continuing Appointments, viewed as one of the most demanding responsibilities on campus.

The selection committee reviewing nominations for this award overwhelmingly viewed her as an obvious choice. She is a deeply valued member of any group, who combines a strong sense of responsibility with a deep commitment to academic excellence, integrity, and equity. One colleague, describing her service in the Senate, characterizes her as "… the glue of any group she joins, an unassuming presence, incredibly modest about her own achievements, yet a fighter as well on behalf of the institution."

Marjorie PryseMarjorie Pryse
Interim Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor Marjorie Pryse joined the University in 1995. Prior to joining UAlbany, she was a tenured professor at SUNY Plattsburgh. Throughout her lengthy career of scholarship and education, Pryse has maintained an extraordinary commitment to academic service: to her disciplines and profession, to the departments and universities where she has worked, and to the greater community.

Pryse's career has crossed many boundaries — disciplinary and institutional, across departments, colleges and different levels of the education system, between teaching and research, and between profession and community — in ways that continually reaffirm several lasting commitments. First, she has developed and enriched the content and institutional structure of an older, established discipline (English) and an emerging one (Women's Studies) through varied service activities in her disciplines, departments, and professional organizations. Second, she has brought the knowledge won in these academic practices to wide audiences at other levels of the academic world, and to the public at large. Third, she has enacted the premise of faculty responsibility for the life of the University by her wholehearted participation and extended leadership in faculty governance at all levels. Her colleagues indicate that she has consistently shown "excellent judgment," "operated as a good colleague," and actively contributed to an atmosphere of "mutual respect and appreciation for perspectives and points of view that at times may be in contention." She "gives freely of her time," "is a strong, committed professor," "is an active contributor, who does not attempt to dominate … meetings," and is "conscientious, fully engaged, and highly effective."