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May 1, 2002


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DALLAS (SMU) -- Four Southern Methodist University faculty members have been named University Distinguished Teaching Professors and will become members of the prestigious SMU Academy of Distinguished Teachers. They are Associate Professor of Religious Studies G. William Barnard; law Professor Christopher H. Hanna; chemistry Professor John A. Maguire II and Associate Professor of English Beth Newman.

Each honoree will receive a $10,000 award under the program, which was made possible by a $250,000 gift from Ruth Altshuler, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

Each will serve a two-year appointment to the SMU Academy of Distinguished Teachers during which they will participate in symposia, workshops and other forums that allow them to share their teaching philosophies and experiences with colleagues and students. SMU Provost Ross C Murfin makes the selections after reviewing recommendations from the university’s Center for Teaching Excellence that considers nominations by students, faculty and deans.

“Excellence in teaching often goes unseen outside the classroom, but this program helps bring the impact of great teachers to the attention of others,” Murfin said. “Ruth Altshuler has not only shown that she understands faculty teaching achievements, but she has taken the lead in rewarding these accomplishments.”

Barnard joined the SMU faculty in the fall of 1994, after earning his doctorate with distinction in religion and the human sciences from the University of Chicago. He earned both his bachelors and master’s degrees in religious studies at Antioch and Temple Universities, respectively. His interests include comparative mysticism, religion and modern culture; contemporary spirituality, religion and the social sciences; and religion and healing. He currently is authoring a book titled Living Intuitions: Henri Bergson and Mystical Vitality. His book, Exploring Unseen Worlds: William James and the Philosophy of Mysticism, was nominated for the American Academy of Religion Award for Excellence, and was honored in 1998 with a Godbey Lecture Series Authors’ Award. His most recent publication is Crossing Boundaries: Essays on the Ethical Status of Mysticism, a book co-edited with Jeffrey Kripal. He previously has received SMU’s Mortar Board Honor Society Award for teaching excellence and the Golden Mustang Outstanding Faculty Award, given to junior faculty members for excellence in teaching, curricular development and scholarship. His innovations in classroom instruction make him popular with students, and he has published on experiential and participatory exercises in the classroom.

Hanna came to SMU in 1990. He earned his undergraduate degree in accounting at the University of Florida in 1984, his J.D. law degree at the University of Florida College of Law in 1988 and his LL.M. in taxation at New York University School of Law in 1989. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Tokyo, Harvard Law School and the Japanese Ministry of Finance, and was a visiting professor at the University of Texas School of Law. In 1998, he served as a consultant-in-residence to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. From June 2000 until April 2001, he assisted the U.S. Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation in its complexity study of the U.S. tax system and, upon completion of the study, continued to serve as a consultant to the Joint Committee on Tax Legislation. In 2000, he served as a tax advisor to the presidential campaign of George W. Bush. Professor Hanna received the Don M. Smart Award for Excellence in Teaching at SMU’s Dedman School of Law for 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2001. He also was selected as one of 21 outstanding young lawyers in the United States by Barrister Magazine. Prior to coming to SMU, he was a tax attorney with the Washington, D.C., law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, where his duties included tax planning for partnerships and corporations on both domestic and international levels. He is the author of Comparative Income Tax Deferral: the United States and Japan, numerous articles, book reviews and chapters. He has been associate editor of the International Lawyer and is currently associate editor of NAFTA: Law and Business Review of the Americas.

Maguire joined the SMU faculty in 1963 after earning his doctorate in chemistry from Northwestern University. He earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Birmingham Southern College in Alabama. He is author or co-author of more than 100 articles in professional journals and consistently presents papers at national and international conferences. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, Sigma Xi and Phi Lambda Upsilon, Maguire has twice received the student body’s Outstanding Professor Award, the “M” award, and the Perrine Prize. Besides teaching chemistry for the past 39 years, he also served in the mid- to late-1970s as associate dean and dean of SMU’s University College, which preceded Dedman College as the university’s liberal arts school. He played a key role in revising the curriculum and admissions committees for SMU. In 1980, he served a year as dean for general education of Dedman College and in fall of 1984 was associate dean for Academic Affairs in Dedman College. In 2000-2001, he served as acting chair of the chemistry department. Maguire has held a number of Robert A. Welch Foundation research grants and has authored numerous articles in national and international chemistry journals. He has served as an educational consultant for the Fort Worth Independent School District and a consultant for the Center for Digestive Diseases at Baylor University Hospital.

Newman joined the SMU faculty in 1986 after working as a teaching assistant for six years at Cornell University where she earned her master’s degree in English in 1982 and her doctorate in 1987. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the State University of New York. While a student at Cornell, she received the Martin Sampson Fellowship for Distinguished Teaching, and in 1999 at SMU received the President’s Associates Outstanding Faculty Award for teaching and scholarship. She also held a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship at the Newberry Library in 1991-92. She also has won University Research Council research grants in 1987, 1988 and 2002 and won a Rice University Summer Mellon Workshop fellowship in 1989. She published an edition of Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre in 1996, and was recently commissioned to produce an edition of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights for Broadview Press. Her article on Wuthering Heights received the William Riley Parker Prize in 1991, given by the Modern Language Association for an outstanding article. Her book, To See and Be Seen: Psychoanalysis, Social Expectation and Victorian Femininity, is forthcoming from Ohio University Press. Her primary research and teaching interests have been Victorian literature, psychoanalytic theory, feminist theory and 19th-century novels.

The SMU Center for Teaching Excellence, directed by anthropology Professor Ronald Wetherington, formulated plans for the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2000. The first four members of the academy, history Professor Jim Hopkins, law Professor Ellen Pryor, political science Professor Joseph Kobylka, and theology Professor William Babcock, were inducted into the academy last year. The funding for the program was part of The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead, the university’s most successful capital campaign in history, raising in excess of $532 million for the university.