Alumni association highlights faculty excellence benefiting students, field
The UD Alumni Association honored two members of the faculty this fall with awards highlighting their excellence in scholarship and research and in their service for their students. Music professor Patrick Reynolds received the UD Alumni Association Faculty Award in Teaching, and geology professor Shuang-Ye Wu received the UD Alumni Association Faculty Award in Scholarship.
In the classroom, Reynolds’ expertise and dedication is evident in the quality and success of the two major music ensembles that he leads, the University of Dayton Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the University of Dayton Orchestra. In both ensembles, Reynolds’ commitment to creating an inclusive environment for students is reflected in his mentoring relationships, as well as his ability to inspire a love for music not only in future music professionals but also in future engineers, scientists, educators, health care professionals and business leaders.
Reynolds encourages a collaborative approach to rehearsal, emphasizing leadership shared with the musicians rather than the more typical conductor-centric method, nurturing a sense of individual responsibility and developing trust and leadership from within the organization.
While on sabbatical this fall, he is working hard to plan so that students — even if taking classes remotely — can come together to play and learn.
“Even if we’re getting together 10 people for one rehearsal and 10 people for another rehearsal and then mixing them up, we’ll do that so that these students have a chance to, one, make music, and two, make friends,” he said.
Reynolds, who started his 25th year at the University this fall, is regional vice president of the College Orchestra Directors Association. Reynolds holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in music from the University of Michigan School of Music.
Wu believes that research should benefit society and has always tried to make her research relevant to the local community. She has conducted research on the potential impacts of climate change on extreme storms, flood risk and water resource sustainability for the Dayton region, and has made a conscious effort to communicate the results of her research to the public through contributions to local media and invited talks to the public.
“Humans have exerted profound changes on our Earth,” Wu writes in her faculty perspective. “Geology, as a scientific discipline devoted to the study of Earth’s systems, is essential for understanding not only how the Earth got to be the way it is today but also how it will change as a result of human impacts in the future. Only with such understanding are we in a better position to make informed decisions and advance social changes needed to protect the Earth, the only home for humanity, instead of, to quote a friend, ‘treating it like some cheap hotel room to which we don’t have to return tomorrow.’ In this sense, geology has great political and social relevance.”
“Geology has great political and social relevance.”
The cornerstone of Wu’s research is interdisciplinary collaboration, and she has collaborated with colleagues from a variety of scientific fields at both UD and other U.S. and international research institutions. Her research has resulted in 44 peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals (32 in the past five years), five book chapters, 43 peer-reviewed abstracts in national and international conference proceedings, and research grants totaling over $1.8 million.
Wu received her doctorate from Cambridge University in 2000 where she studied environmental geography. She joined UD’s geology department in 2004 and teaches courses including physical and human geography, geographical information systems, and the Dynamic Earth.
Also receiving honors this fall was Kevin Hallinan, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, who received the 2020 University Award for Faculty Service. The award for service is sponsored annually by the Office of the Provost. Awards were announced at the fall faculty meeting.
Information on all faculty awards, including a list of past recipients, is available on the website of the Ryan C. Harris Learning-Teaching Center.