Five outstanding University of Hartford faculty members will be honored at the University's Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony on Sunday, May 15.
Susan Coleman, Professor of Finance, Barney School of Business: Humphrey R. Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity
Susan Coleman, DPS, is the Ansley Chair of Finance at the Barney School of Business, teaching courses in entrepreneurial and corporate finance at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The Humphrey Tonkin Award for Scholarly and/or Artistic Creativity recognizes her significant contributions and scholar- ship in the area of small- and medium-sized enterprise financing, with a focus on gender, enterprise growth, and technology. In particular, her research has addressed the financial strategies of women entrepreneurs.
A widely published scholar, Coleman is frequently quoted in the business press, and her work has been cited in hundreds of peer-reviewed journals, books, and presentations. The success of her coauthored book A Rising Tide: Financing Strategies for Women-Owned Firms (Stanford University Press, 2012) has led to a follow-on book, The Next Wave: Financing Growth- Oriented Women-Owned Firms (forthcoming, 2016), which examines the success of women entrepreneurs in high-growth sectors. In recognition of her contributions to research on women-owned firms, Coleman has received numerous research grants from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, one of the largest foundations in the United States dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship and education. Coleman is also the coauthor of a book on social entrepreneurship titled Creating the Social Venture (Routledge, 2016).
Coleman’s contributions to the University include leadership roles on a variety of committees within the Barney School and the University. She has also played an active role in the Greater Hartford business community, having served as president of the Hartford Area Business Economists and as a member of Governor Jodi Rell’s Economic Advisory Board. Recently, Coleman was appointed to Governor Dannel Malloy’s Low Wage Advisory Board. At the international level, Coleman has forged educational partnerships between the University and Shandong University of Finance in China and Regents College in London, both of which have led to study abroad opportunities for Barney School students. Coleman is the U.S. representative to the Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Policy Project, which includes international scholars and practitioners from 14 countries.
Mark Blackwell, Professor of English, College of Arts and Sciences: Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award for Sustained Service to the University
An upbeat doer, Mark Blackwell, PhD, has contributed a seemingly endless range of service and activities on and off campus, making him the ideal candidate for the Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Award, which honors full-time faculty members for their sustained service to the University.
Blackwell joined the Department of English in 2001 and, as chair from 2004 to 2009, was instrumental in overhauling the department’s curriculum. He also served as associate dean of curriculum and academic planning in the College of Arts and Sciences for five years, chair of the Department of Rhetoric and Professional Writing, and interim chair of the cinema program.
On the University level, Blackwell served on the Senate Curriculum Committee and currently is contributing to the University’s strategic plan, with a specific focus on improving the academic experience for students. Blackwell says he is particularly proud of his involvement in programs that provide opportunities for students, including the pre-law program and the University’s preceptor program, which he has directed since 2009. He has also served as director of the University Honors Program.
Blackwell has chaired numerous faculty search committees and has been deeply involved in faculty development, including overseeing the college’s mentoring program for junior faculty and serving on the leadership team for a Davis Educational Foundation Grant supporting faculty experiments with“flipping the classroom.”
He has been a member of the Mortensen Library Board of Visitors for many years and is a member of the Libraries Master Planning Committee.
As Professor Robert Logan, chair of the Department of English, noted in his nomination, Blackwell, through“unceasing efforts and remarkable effectiveness, has become a role model for idealized service and dedication to the well-being of the University.”
Blackwell, who teaches 17th-, 18th-, and early 19th-century British literature and culture at the University, earned his AB in English from Princeton University, and received his PhD from Cornell University.
Sarah Senk, Assistant Professor of English and Modern Languages, College of Arts and Sciences: Donald W. Davis All-University Curriculum Award
The creativity and energy Sarah Senk, PhD, brings to her teaching is contagious, encouraging students to be more thoughtful and analytical in their reading and writing. In essence, she imbues the joy of learning in her students.
As Nicholas Ealy, associate professor of English, says, Senk “creates an intellectual community of support for her students, especially those who may have otherwise not found their way through the University of Hartford.” Student evaluations attest to that fact: She “is passionate, very helpful, willing to clarify instructions (over and over again) if asked.” Her “expectations are made clear, and engaging discussions encourage [students] to think creatively.”
These qualities and her outstanding scholarship have earned Senk the Donald W. Davis All-University Curriculum Award, which honors faculty members who are effective interdisciplin- ary teachers and scholars; have contributed to the All-University Curriculum (AUC) program as a whole; and are advocates for interdisciplinary education.
Senk has designed and taught two new AUC courses— Modernism and the Arts, and HBO’s Girls and the Millennial Journey. Additionally, she helped conceptualize and co-create the course Literature and Psychology, and has guest lectured multiple times for The Caribbean Mosaic.
A literature scholar by training, Senk has published articles on pedagogical practice, pop culture, and visual studies in both academic and mass-market venues. This past semester, she organized the University of Hartford Humanities Center Lecture Series, “Remembering 9/11,” and she taught interdisciplinary first-year seminars that bring together the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Because Senk is a constant source of ideas and information, many of her colleagues have adopted her teaching methods such as the use of Google Docs in the classroom (which won her a teaching award in 2014) and“flipping the classroom” which has solidified her reputation as a master of teaching with technology.
Senk, who joined the University in 2010, earned her BA in Literature from Yale, her MSt in English from the University of Oxford, and her PhD in Comparative Literature at Cornell University.
Eoin King, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture: Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize
Eoin A. King, PhD, is an expert in environmental acoustics and acoustical engineering with specific focus on environmental noise measurements, computer modeling of acoustics phenomena, noise exposure assessment, and noise control.
An effective teacher inside and outside the classroom, King inspires students with varying learning styles through a variety of techniques seasoned with energy and a sense of humor. He contributes extensively to the profession of acoustical engineering through his research. King’s dedication and accomplishments exemplify the intent of the Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize, which recognizes an outstanding professor who is in a tenure-track position but is not yet tenured.
Examples of his exceptional work since arriving at the University in 2013 include guiding two students through an environmental noise study on the High Line in New York City in 2015. Their research, supported by a Greenberg Junior Faculty Grant, was published in an academic journal, presented at an international conference, and received positive media coverage. King also introduced students to a Fulbright Scholar to conduct research that resulted in publication, and he was the faculty advisor for the University’s first TEDx in fall 2015. His book, Environmental Noise Pollution: Noise Mapping, Public Health, and Policy (Elsevier) was published in 2014. His work has also been published in top-tier and highly selective journals such as Applied Acoustics, Transportation Research Part D, and Environmental International.
King’s teaching, mentorship, and advising have earned some of the highest student course evaluations in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and in the College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA). In addition to his academic leadership, King is the head coach of the University of Hartford Women’s Rugby Club.
As the dean of CETA, Louis Manzione, wrote in his nominating letter, King “has immersed himself in the life of the college, and contributed absolutely inspired efforts in his commitment to students. He is the consummate role model of a junior faculty in his energy, dedication, and overall excellence.”
Jessica Nicklin, Associate Professor of Psychology, College of Arts and Sciences: Belle K. Ribicoff Endowed Professorship
Jessica Nicklin, PhD, is the second faculty member to be honored with the Belle K. Ribicoff Endowed Professorship. The rotating professorship, recognizing outstanding teaching, is awarded every three years to one of the past three recipients of the Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize. Nicklin was the 2014 recipient.
Since arriving at the University of Hartford in 2009, Nicklin has proven herself to be an innovative and enthusiastic teacher, a respected and prolific scholar, and a valuable contributor and leader within the University community.
Nicklin receives exceptionally high ratings from students, who sing her praises as a teacher, advisor, and mentor. “I love how enthusiastic and fun she is,” reads one of her recent student evaluations. “Class was always a breath of fresh air...I like how real she is.”
Although her courses are challenging, students consistently seek them out. Nicklin creates a supportive environment for exploration, offers detailed feedback throughout the semester, and provides opportunities to apply theoretical concepts to real-world applications.
“Jessica Nicklin is a model faculty member in teaching, scholarship, and service,” says Katherine Black, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
A leading advocate for online education on campus, Nicklin serves as director for the online master’s program in Organi- zational Psychology, and teaches classes in research design and statistics, and psychology applied to the workplace. Her research interests include organizational justice, workplace motivation, and the work-family interface. She has published—or had accepted for publication—17 peer-reviewed articles in highly selective journals, one book chapter, and one encyclopedia entry.
Nicklin has led faculty to embrace new pedagogies and technologies, and students to warm up to statistics. She has braved an ice storm to drive students to a conference, and has opened up her home for barbecues. A constant presence at recruitment events, Orientation, and Commencement, Nicklin works tirelessly to ensure the University brand—and its emphasis on faculty mentoring—is experienced by students from admission to graduation.
As Nicklin says, “This isn’t merely my job, it’s my passion.”