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Year-End Awards Presented to Faculty

Published on May 26, 2010

SELINSGROVE—Two Susquehanna University faculty members received academic awards for exemplary service to the institution at the school’s Commencement service May 16.

Ken Brakke, Degenstein professor of mathematical sciences, was awarded the John C. Horn Lectureship for outstanding scholarship and conscientious service to the university. The award is named for a former long-time member and chair of Susquehanna’s board of directors. As this year’s recipient, Brakke will deliver a public lecture during the 2010-11 academic year.

Brakke earned his doctorate degree from Princeton University and joined the Susquehanna University faculty in 1983. His research focuses on the surface properties of soap film and bubbles. He is the author of the Surface Evolver program, which models the shapes of liquid surfaces subject to various energies and constraints. The Surface Evolver has hundreds of users around the world and is in continuing development. It has been used for consulting work on subjects ranging from satellite fuel tanks in weightlessness to liquid solder shapes to high-altitude balloons. It also played a role in the Beijing Olympics, in the design of the Water Cube swimming venue.

“His nominators praise him as an internationally recognized scholar of the highest quality,” said University Provost Linda McMillin in presenting the award to Brakke.

Warren Funk, professor of philosophy, was honored with the Susquehanna University Teaching Award. Funk earned a bachelor’s degree from Saint Olaf College and a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Luther Theological Seminary. After earning his doctorate degree at Columbia University, he accepted a position at Susquehanna University in 1995 as an administrator. In 2003 he joined the faculty and developed expertise in the philosophy of religion, with a focus on Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. Funk also specializes in contemporary philosophy of religion and epistemology, and American pragmatism. He teaches a variety of courses in philosophy, including Problems in Philosophy, Philosophy of Religion, and Aesthetics.

“His intellect was unquestionable, almost daunting at times, and I'd like to think a good share of it rubbed off on me during my time in his class,” said one student as part of Funk’s award nomination.

“His nomination for this award by the Student Government Association is a measure of his success,” McMillin added.

Founded in 1858, Susquehanna University is a national liberal arts college that prepares students for achievement, leadership and service in a diverse, interconnected world. Academic excellence, study away and service learning, student-faculty collaboration, and rich opportunities for creative and personal growth are hallmarks of a Susquehanna University education. Susquehanna students come from 30 states and 12 countries, and more than 90 percent of them find jobs or pursue graduate study within six months of graduation. The university is located in central Pennsylvania, in the town of Selinsgrove, along the banks of the scenic Susquehanna River and about three hours from major East Coast cultural, financial and recreational centers. For more information, visit www.susqu.edu.

Karen M. Jones

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