AU Press Releases

Dean names three to arts/sciences endowed chairs

Mary McGee, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Alfred University (AU), bestowed three faculty members with endowed chairs in the college this summer: Cecilia Beach, professor of French, to fill The Margaret and Barbara Hagar Professorship in the Humanities; John D’Angelo, associate professor of chemistry, as the Dr. Sanford S. Cole and Frances Halderman Cole Chair in Chemistry; and Joseph Petrillo, associate professor of mathematics, to serve a second term as the Dr. Sanford S. Cole and Frances Halderman Cole Chair in Mathematics.

 “The Hagar Professorship recognizes outstanding contributions to the humanistic disciplines by a faculty member within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,” said McGee. “In determining this honor, we are guided by the definition of humanities created under the 1965 National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act, namely, that humanities includes, but is not limited to, the study of the following: language, both modern and classical; linguistics; literature; history; jurisprudence; philosophy; archaeology; comparative religion; ethics; the history, criticism and theory of the arts; those aspects of social sciences which have humanistic content and employ humanistic methods; and the study and application of the humanities to the human environment with particular attention to reflecting our diverse heritage traditions, and history and to the relevance of the humanities to the current conditions of national life,” she explained.

“The Cole Professorships recognize outstanding teaching and contributions in chemistry and mathematics by a faculty member within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Dr. Cole, a 1923 graduate of Alfred University, had a special interest in supporting curriculum in the application of mathematics to industrial problems,” McGee explained. “The holder of the Cole Chair must be recognized as an excellent teacher, exhibiting concern for students and knowledge about how students learn, and demonstrating enthusiasm about chemistry (or mathematics) and its application.”

Beach has received several honors and awards during her tenure at the University including the AU National Endowment for the Humanities Fund Grant for Research Expenses in 1998, 2000, 2001, 2004 and 2005; the AU International Fellowship for Faculty Development in 2005; and the Abigail Allen Faculty Award in 2012.

She has presented several conference papers and written 13 publications including “The Literary Culture of Workers,” “Women and Peasants in Novels by André Léo,” “Staging Politics and Gender: French Women’s Drama,” and “Marie Lenéru and the Theater of Ideas.” Beach’s research interests include French women’s theater and feminist novels of the 19th century.

Beach earned a bachelor of arts degree in linguistics from Pomona College, Claremont, CA; a master of arts degree in French from Middlebury (VT) College; a D.E.A. (Diploma d’Estudis Avançats (a tertiary education degree higher than a master’s, but lower than a doctorate) in French from the Université de Paris VII (Jussieu); and a Ph.D. in French from New York University.

Before joining the AU faculty in 2007, D’Angelo served as a postdoctoral research associate in laboratories at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He received the Johns Hopkins Department of Pharmacology National Institutes of Health Anticancer Drug Development Training Grant Fellowship for 2006-07.

D’Angelo earned his doctorate from the University of Connecticut at Storrs and a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook. D’Angelo holds membership in the American Chemical Society.

A faculty member since 2003, Petrillo has served as an associate professor of mathematics and Cole professor in mathematics since 2010. In 2011, Petrillo applied for funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to create the Alfred University Calculus Imitative (AUCI) and received a $161,042 grant, helping the AUCI team create a “comprehensive calculus experience to increase understanding and success in calculus and pre-calculus while maintaining the level of rigor and breadth required for post-calculus courses.”

Petrillo earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics with a physics minor from Wilkes University and a master of arts degree and Ph.D. in mathematics from Binghamton University (SUNY).