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Faculty and Staff

Faculty and Staff News, Summer 2013

August 23, 2013 by Editor in Faculty and Staff with 0 Comments

Matt Bellis, Ph.D., assistant professor of physics and astronomy, secured a  $204,000 National Science Foundation grant to collaborate on research with Cornell University and the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) collaboration for a physics experiment being performed at the world’s most powerful particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland.

“This grant is an opportunity to engage students in science and technology,” Bellis said. He plans to offer research slots to as many as four students a year over the course of the three-year grant.

The grant will allow Siena students to learn valuable analytic and computing techniques while actively contributing to searches for new physics. The Siena group will work with ongoing efforts within the CMS collaboration that focus on data preservation and how these data might be used for innovative outreach efforts.  

Chester Brearey, Ph.D., assistant professor of accounting, was among a select group of faculty invited to participate in the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP 2013 Accounting Symposium, which was held at the Laguna Cliffs Marriott Resort in Dana Point, California in August 2013. The Symposium is designed to provide faculty members with the opportunity to connect with PwC subject matter experts on a variety of accounting issues. The curriculum is specifically developed for financial accounting and auditing faculty and focuses on current technical updates and issues facing the profession. At the conclusion of the program, participants identified current topics that impact their curricula and will incorporate these topics into their own courses.

Maryellen Gilroy, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs, received the Women of Excellence Award in the category of “Excellence in Management” from The Women’s Business Council of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. The Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber recognizes a select few women annually for progressions in their careers, involvement in their communities and their personal and professional accomplishments. “Excellence is a shared endeavor, something we rise toward when ability, opportunity and the influences of others coalesce at just the right moment and in just the right ways,” Gilroy said. She was nominated by her peers and colleagues, and was selected by a board of award recipients from past Women of Excellence ceremonies.

Tom Kelly, professor emeritus of history and American studies and Doug Lonnstrom ’66, Ph.D., professor of quantitative business analysis, have written a book titled “US Presidents From Awesome to Awful: The Best 3 in a Row and the Worst 3 in a Row.” The authors asked department heads at other colleges and universities to select history and political science professors to judge presidential history based on 20 categories of measurement.

The book can be purchased by sending a $29.95 check made payable to Siena College. The authors are donating $9 of each book sold to Siena College. It will be published this fall and would make an excellent Christmas gift. Please send your check to the Alumni Relations Office, 515 Loudon Road, Loudonville, NY 12211 with a note that it is for the book.

Max Levine, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology, was featured in the June 17 edition of The Wall Street Journal for his research on motion sickness. The article had more than 6.5 million unique visitors online and can be viewed at

Jodi L. O’Donnell, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, and Lucas J. TuckerPh.D., assistant professor of chemistry, received a Multi-Investigator Cottrell College Science Award from Research Corporation for Science Advancement. These awards help to fund research teams of faculty and students, and promote basic research as a necessary component of undergraduate education. The hope is that participating undergraduates will be encouraged to pursue careers in science and personally benefit from the experience of collaborative learning. The Cottrell College Science Awards, which are carefully reviewed by top scientists, have supported the research of more than 1,500 scientists in 400 institutions. O’Donnell, Tucker and their students will attempt to create chromophoric liquid crystalline chemical sensors, which reveal the presence of various types of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). 

Ausra Park, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science, has been awarded a short-term travel grant from IREX, a prestigious organization that focuses on the strengthening of civil society, conflict resolution, education, gender, media development and youth. Her research project titled, “Politics of Human Trafficking: Governments’ Political Games and NGOs,” will examine challenges that Lithuania faces in addressing modern day slavery problems.

The grant will cover travel to Lithuania for eight weeks as well as insurance, living expenses and a visa. “I was stunned to receive this grant as it is a very competitive process,” she said. Park began studying the topic of human trafficking in 2007.

Paul Thurston, Ph. D., associate professor of management and Erik Eddy, Ph.D., associate professor of management, received the 2012 Richard A. Swanson Research Excellence Award from the Academy of Human Resource Development for their paper, “Mentoring as an HRD Approach:  Effects on Employee Attitudes and Contributions Independent of Core Self-Evaluation,” which consistently received top rankings in a comprehensive two-tiered review process.


Siena honored the following community members at the annual Faculty- Administrator Dinner on May 4, 2013. 

Dinner Dance 2Jerome Walton Award for Excellence in Teaching

John O’Neill, Ph.D., associate professor of quantitative business analysis and mathematics

Raymond Kennedy Excellence in Scholarship Award


Allan Weatherwax, Ph.D., dean of the school of science and professor of physics and astronomy


Fr. Matthew T. Conlin, O.F.M. Distinguished Service Award 

Meg Woolbright, D.A., professor of English

James Knust Award for Excellence in Administration

Dinner Dance

Brother Brian Belanger, O.F.M., Ph. D., director, international programs

Edward Travis, assistant director, services


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