Faculty Honored for Achievement in Scholarship, Teaching, and Service During University’s 2016 Commencement Ceremony

Honorees include Miryam Wahrman, professor of biology, Michael Principe, professor of political science, and Mark Ellis, professor of sociology

Miryam Wahrman, professor of biology, Michael Principe, professor of political science, and Mark Ellis, professor of sociology, were honored for their outstanding achievements in research, scholarship, and creative expression; teaching, and service, respectively, as the recipients of the 2015-16 Faculty Excellence Awards.

The three honorees were recognized by Provost Warren Sandmann during the University’s 2016 Commencement ceremony for undergraduate students on May 20 at the Prudential Center in Newark. The awards were instituted in 2004 to recognize faculty achievement and contributions as the University celebrates the success of students at their graduation.

Wahrman (left), who was honored for research, scholarship, and creative expression, is a is a biologist with a background in biochemistry and cell biology, and an interdisciplinary scholar in the field of bioethics. She is also an accomplished, award-winning journalist who has written on topics concerning social, psychological, public health, and ethical dimensions of science and medicine.  She is the author or co-author of more than two dozen peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, numerous published abstracts and proceedings, more than 200 articles in the media, as well as two books: Brave New Judaism: When Science and Scripture Collide (2004) and The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World (2016), both from the University Press of New England. In addition to teaching a diversity of courses, and conducting research, Dr. Wahrman has chaired the Biology Department, and served as director of general education, and director of the University’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

Principe (at right), who was honored for teaching, is a legal scholar specializing in comparative constitutional law, the American judicial system, government, policy, and the Bill of Rights. He has distinguished himself as a teacher and mentor of students, focusing especially on the preparation of students for advanced study in legal professions while engaging all in pursuit of critical and creative understanding of political and legal systems. His dedication to teaching is evident in his commitment to lead students annually in the summer study abroad program at Cambridge University, where he has been a visiting scholar at St. Edmund’s college since 2003. Principe is the author of several monographs and editor of a number of collections of readings in his area of expertise. He was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant for Dissertation Research (New Zealand, 1991). He has been the director of the University’s Pre-Law Program since 1998; of the William Paterson University Summer Program at St. Edmund’s College since 2000; and of the University’s Legal Studies Program since 2012.

Ellis (left), who was honored for service, has served the University beyond the domain of any single discipline. He has served on the Faculty Senate since 2009, including a term as vice chair in 2010. He has been coordinator for the First-Year Seminar Program at the University for more than a decade and co-founded the New Jersey Association of New Student Advocates in 2005. His teaching and research interests include racial identity; work and occupations; and culture, and he has presented on issues relevant to the first-year college experience and published on issues such as the efficacy of online education on the writing process. Since 2014, he has served as Director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program at the University. Ellis has taught in the W.E.B. DuBois Summer Scholars Institute at Princeton University since 1997. He has also served as the assistant chair of the Department of Sociology and was a member of the University’s Strategic Planning Committee.

Each honoree received a plaque, a citation, and a $1,000 award for professional development activities such as research assistance, conference attendance, training and travel.