October 25, 2002

Greek Societies Convene To Recognize Professors

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Members of the Inter-Fraternity Council (IFC), the Panhellenic Society and the Multi-Cultural Greek Letter Association held their annual faculty appreciation reception at the Alpha Delta Phi house yesterday afternoon. The event was organized through the Office of Fraternity and Sorority affairs and by Jenna Beth Lewis ’03, Eli Selinger ’03 and Chris Gibbs ’03. At the reception, awards were handed out to seven faculty members for making a significant impact on their students both inside and outside the classroom. Three students, one from each of the greek associations, were also honored for their academic achievements.

Keynote speaker Prof. Brian Earle ’68 communication began the event by challenging the greek system to keep evolving in order to continue to serve the interests of both its members and the community at large.

“I would like to see more involvement with the faculty and the houses. From my own experience it just makes everything feel better. The students have more purpose with faculty around,” Earle said.

He also stressed how the faculty valued this recognition from their students.

“Affirmation of our teaching is not regular, but still very important. It makes a difference to know you helped one person,” he added.

Following the speech, awards were handed out to one professor in each college. Professors were nominated by students affiliated with greek houses for excellence in teaching as well as taking a genuine interest in the lives of their students. This year’s recipients were Prof. Rick Geddes, College of Human Ecology; Prof. Richard Booth, College of Architecture, Art and Planning; Prof. Frances Yufen Lee Mehta, College of Arts and Sciences; Prof. Harold Franklin Hintz, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; Prof. Craig Snow, School of Hotel Administration; Prof. Michael Gold, College of Industrial and Labor Relations; and Prof. James R. Engstrom, College of Engineering.

Three students were also honored, one each from the IFC, Panhell, and the Multi-Cultural Greek Letter Association for excellence in academics and community involvement. They were Brandon Otto ’03 of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Po-wen Tu ’03 of Alpha Kappa Delta Phi, and Jamie Porco ’03 of Kappa Delta.

“I am totally flattered and shocked, especially after only being at Cornell for half a semester,” said Geddes, describing his reaction to the award.

Prof. Lee also said that she was “surprised, completely. But they are great kids and I like being with them.”

Prof. Snow was awarded for his work as the faculty fellow for the sorority Pi Beta Phi, whose members described him as extremely involved and supportive in their day-to-day lives.

“I feel we accomplished our purpose, which was to recognize faculty who have directly impacted the lives of greek students,” said Selinger, the executive vice president of the IFC. “Houses don’t make enough use of both the faculty in general and the faculty fellow program. Pi (Beta) Phi is a great example of what can happen when faculty and students become more involved.”

Leo Pedraza, assistant dean in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Affairs also emphasized the importance of increased faculty involvement in houses and student life.

“We are attempting to move the greek community to becoming a greater part of the larger community here at Cornell. The most important part of this community is academics, so an event like this which brings greek students and faculty together is important.”

Archived article by Gautham Nagesh