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Horn Lectureship

Dr. Alissa Packer

Alissa Packer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology

This year’s recipient of the Horn Lectureship earned her Ph.D. from Indiana University and joined the Susquehanna University faculty in 2003. A plant ecologist, her field of research is how plants defend themselves against natural enemies. Along with her students, she studies how a plant’s defenses increase when the plant is damaged. She has also studied the role of service learning in promoting positive attitudes and values about the environment.

One of her nominators noted that Packer's research “is both ground-breaking and accessible to students.” She has been well published in leading scientific journals as well as popular media like the New York Times. One of her papers is taught in population ecology courses, mentioned in ecology textbooks, and has been cited over 430 times by other authors.

Packer has also served as the Director of Susquehanna’s Common Reading program and has the chief responsibility for developing the anthology that all incoming first-year students read in the summer. In addition to the book, she coordinates visits by authors represented in the anthology and arranges not only a public lecture but also opportunities for the authors to meet with Perspectives classes. Her service doesn’t end there, however, as she has served on several committees and has been a driving force behind the creation of our community garden.


Teaching Award

Nina Tober, D.M.A.
Associate Professor of Music

Dr. Nina ToberThis year’s recipient earned her Doctor of Music Arts from the Claremont Graduate University and was appointed to our Music faculty in 1994. She has performed some of the truly great operatic roles for sopranos, including Pamina in The Magic Flute, Donna Anna in Don Giovanni, and Rosina in The Barber of Seville.

Tober teaches voice and diction in both studio and class settings, and she also contributes vocal pedagogy to our Music Education program. She has served as chair of the Music Department, and she has been vice president and president of the Allegheny Mountain Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singing. According to one of her nominators, “Her teaching methods [include] a mix of what she calls ‘stabilizing the voice,’ personal nurturing and traditional musicianship training, combined with a magical blend of charisma and charm that makes a star teacher.”

Tober's students are routinely recognized with competitive awards, and they attend internationally recognized graduate programs, including Julliard, Yale, Eastman, New England, and Cincinnati. Another nominator wrote, “A rich singing tradition is one of Susquehanna’s most distinguished attributes. [Her] contribution to the enduring quality of that tradition cannot be over-estimated.”


Architectural image of a building at Susquehanna University

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