The Colby-Sawyer College Board of Trustees has endorsed new recipients of two established professorships, Professor of Exercise and Sport Sciences Russell E. Medbery as the David H. Winton Endowed Chair and Professor of Natural and Environmental Sciences Nick Baer as the M. Roy London Endowed Chair. Each will actively hold their titles for five years and retain them throughout their tenure at Colby-Sawyer.
An endowed chair is a position permanently financed by the revenue from an endowment fund designated for that purpose. Holding such a professorship is an honor and recognition of excellence in teaching and contributions to leadership on campus. Eligible faculty are invited to apply and the president recommends final candidates for endorsement by the board.
“Endowed chairs are among the most generous and critical gifts in higher education and serve as vital support of academic excellence,” said President Susan D. Stuebner. “The professors who hold them occupy positions of honor in the academic community and accept the responsibility to continue to serve as models for teaching effectiveness as well as leadership, mentorship and care for the intellectual life of the college.”
The David H. Winton Endowed Teaching Chair
The David H. Winton Endowed Teaching Chair is named for a former chair of the board and benefactor who sought to recognize the college’s professors and their vital roles as teachers. The chair is to be held by an admired and long-standing member of the teaching faculty.
Professor Medbery joined the faculty in 2001. His professional interests include the psychology of sport and exercise, performance enhancement, coaching education and emotional development in sport. He has been an active member of college advisory groups and committees, and an engaged expert who has presented across the country and in Canada, contributed chapters to coaching texts, coauthored articles on topics as varied as factors affecting fun in age group swimming, Olympic performance and mental skills training in junior tennis. Most recently, he created coaching education materials for a teaching module addressing youth athletes’ psycho-social development for USA Fencing.
“I look around and see myself surrounded by incredibly gifted, hard-working teachers across campus, and I am humbled to work with them and learn from them,” said Professor Medbery. “It is quite an honor to be recognized for this endowed teaching chair at Colby-Sawyer College, where pedagogy is the craft at the core of our shared purpose.”
Prior to Colby-Sawyer, Professor Medbery was a curriculum development specialist at the American Sport Education Program, where he worked with the U.S. Tennis Association, USA Volleyball and the National Federation of High Schools. He was also a technical consultant on a number of sport and coaching educational videos and acted as an acquisitions editor for print materials.
Professor Medbery holds a B.S. from Trinity College, an M.S. From Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The M. Roy London Endowed Chair
The M. Roy London Endowed Chair is to be held by a faculty member whose work and vocation combine excellence in teaching with an influential and attentive persona on campus and in the wider community. It is named for an educator who spent more than 30 years at the college as a teacher and dean. The benefactors’ intent was that this endowed professorship should be held by faculty members whose work and vocation combine excellence in teaching with an influential and attentive persona on campus and in the wider community.
Professor Baer joined the faculty in 2004. He is a biologist and teaches freshwater biology, conservation biology, ecology, water resources, and environmental studies. His research interests include foodweb dynamics, aquatic macroinvertebrates, water quality, ecosystem structure and function, particularly relating how aquatic organisms respond to changes in water parameters such as pH, conductivity, and nitrogen, phosphorus, dissolved organic carbon concentrations. He is widely published and has presented at conferences across the country.
“I am honored to be selected for the endowed chair, as I am one of the many faculty here at Colby-Sawyer College who love to work with our students, to engage with them, to learn, to explore, and to challenge ourselves,” said Professor Baer.
A hallmark of Professor Baer’s teaching is his collaboration with students, whether on projects supported by the IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), Capstone projects or his own research. Most recently, Professor Baer advised Calum Dixon ’18, an environmental studies major from Avon, Maine, whose poster presentation “Examining Temporal Changes in Morphology, Population Dynamics and Wind Migration Patterns of Raptor Species Migrating Through Cape May, New Jersey” was awarded the Nellie Johnson Baroody Award at the American Ornithological Society’s (AOS) annual meeting in Tucson.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with students on research projects both in my courses and in the field,” said the professor.
Professor Baer was recognized with the 2008 Jack Jensen Award for Teaching Excellence, which celebrates a faculty member who has made a distinct, positive difference in the academic climate. He holds a B.A. from the University of Vermont and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.
Both chairs were established in 2002. The college selected Professor of Humanities Ann Page Stecker as the first David H. Winton Endowed Teaching Chair; she was succeeded by Professor of Social Sciences and Education Randy Hanson. He was succeeded in 2012 by Professor of Exercise and Sport Sciences and Director of the Teaching Enrichment Center Jean Eckrich.
Professor Joseph Carroll was the first M. Roy London Endowed Chair; he was succeeded by Professor of Natural and Environmental Sciences Leon-C. Malan who was in turn succeeded by Professor and Chair of Natural Sciences Ben Steele in 2012.