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Student-Driven Award

Falk College’s Joey Merrin Among Nine Faculty Honored for Excellence in Graduate Education
Portraits of 2024 Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Awardees (top) 3 men and 1 women (bottom)2 men and 3 women

Nine faculty members received the student-driven award, which acknowledges faculty who have had a significant impact and positive influence on graduate education because of their superior graduate-level teaching, dedication to departmental and community presence and excellence in research and creative activities.

Each year, the Graduate School honors outstanding professors with the Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award. The student-driven award acknowledges faculty who have had a significant impact and positive influence on graduate education because of their superior graduate-level teaching, dedication to departmental and community presence and excellence in research and creative activities.

Nine faculty members, whose nominations were reviewed by an interdisciplinary committee of graduate students, are this year’s honorees. They are:

  • Kenneth Baynes, professor of philosophy and political science, College of Arts and Sciences (A&S);
  • Kevin Adonis Browne, associate professor of rhetoric and writing, A&S;
  • Christopher Green, associate professor of linguistics, A&S;
  • Soo Yeon Hong, associate teaching professor, Newhouse School of Public Communications;
  • Gabriel (“Joey”) Merrin, assistant professor of human development and family science, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics;
  • Jian Qin, professor of information studies, School of Information Studies;
  • Patricia Roylance, associate professor of English, A&S;
  • Lixin Shen, professor of mathematics, A&S; and
  • Saba Siddiki, associate professor of public administration and international affairs, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Baynes, who is also an associate in the Campbell Public Affairs Institute at the Maxwell School, studies social and political philosophy, critical theory and modern and contemporary German philosophy. He is currently examining the characteristics of rules and practices, the grounding of moral principles within practical reason and the relationship between democracy and basic rights.

Browne’s interests intersect in the visual arts, vernacular philosophy and the rhetoric and literature of the Caribbean. His research and creative activities encompass digital projects, poetry and essay publications, original fine art, documentary photography, contemporary art and local and international exhibitions. He also researches the theory and practice of rhetoric and poetics that shape the African diaspora.

Green’s linguistics research focuses on African languages, including those in the Mande, Cushitic, Dogon, Jarawan and Bantu families. He recently completed a Somali reference grammar. He has published articles on syllable theory, word structure and the use of tone and rhythm in speech.

Hong serves as the Newhouse School’s public relations graduate program director and teaches introductory courses in graphic design, social media, visual communications theory and multimedia storytelling for undergraduate, graduate and military visual journalism students. She has worked as a marketer, graphic designer for national magazines and editorial assistant for a communications research journal.

Merrin teaches courses in child and adolescent development and advanced statistical methods. Trained in developmental psychology and applied methodology, he researches developmental processes that contribute to problem behaviors in adolescents. He looks at how experiences with families, peers, teachers and communities, particularly those involving identity-based harassment, may influence behavior.

Qin teaches and researches the topics of metadata, knowledge and data modeling, scientific communication, research collaboration networks and research data management. She directs a lab using big metadata analytics and metadata modeling and linking, plus manages a team that studies biomedical collaboration networks framed by the theory of collaboration capacity.

Roylance’s work examines early American literature and culture; nationalism, transnationalism and comparative colonialisms; geography; the organization and perception of time and history; and print culture and the history of the book. She is the author of “Eclipse of Empires: World History in Nineteenth-Century U.S. Literature and Culture,” and is now writing a book that tracks the shifting meanings of cultural literary artifacts.

Shen’s work focuses on the applied and computational aspects of harmonic analysis, a branch of mathematics that investigates connections between a function and its representation frequency. He also studies how to optimize those applications in imaging science and information processing, including in wavelet analysis and image and signal processing. He holds a patent for a wavelet-enhanced automated fingerprint identification system with four other researchers.

Siddiki is the Chapple Family Professor of Citizenship and Democracy and director of the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program in the Maxwell School. She also directs the Center for Policy Design and Governance and is a senior research associate for the Center for Policy Research, Center for Environmental Policy and Administration, Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration and Autonomous Systems Policy Institute. She focuses on policy design, collaborative policymaking, institutional theory and analysis and regulatory implementation and compliance.

An SU News story by Diane Stirling originally published on April 12, 2024.