3 Faculty Members Honored by SUNY

Dennis, Felder and Tedlock Among Those Honored for Work in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: December 18, 2002

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Three faculty members at the University at Buffalo have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Robert L. King for significant contributions in the humanities, arts and social sciences.

The UB honorees are Carl Dennis, artist in residence in the Department of English who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for "Practical Gods;" David C. Felder, professor of composition and Birge-Cary Chair in Composition in the Department of Music, and Barbara H. Tedlock, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology. All three departments are within the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

They were among 42 SUNY scholars honored at a dinner in Albany on Dec. 16.

"These award-winning faculty members of the State University of New York changed the way we view the past, see ourselves today and contemplate the future," said King. "The outstanding quality of the research and scholarship done by our honorees across our campuses brings prestige to the State University and attracts new students with the best and brightest minds from around the world."

Three other UB faculty members -- Maurizio Trevisan, interim dean of the School of Health Related Professions and professor and chair of the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine in the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences; Aidong Zhang, professor of computer science and engineering, and Huw Davies, professor of chemistry -- were honored in October as being among the leading SUNY researchers in science, medicine and engineering.

The winner of the prestigious Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize in addition to the Pulitzer, Dennis has won acclaim for his "wise, original and often deeply moving" poems that "ease the reader out of accustomed modes of seeing and perceiving," according to The New York Times Book Review. In announcing the Lilly prize in 2000, Joseph Parisi, editor of Poetry Magazine, called Dennis "a

poet who has valuable things to say -- about faith (or its absence) in the modern world, fear, loneliness, life's regrets -- the great 'what ifs' and roads not taken -- in ways that are personal and universal at the same time."

Dennis, who joined the UB faculty in 1966, attended Oberlin College, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota before receiving his doctoral degree from the University of California-Berkeley. His first book, "A House of My Own," was published in 1974. "Practical Gods" is Dennis' eighth collection of poetry.

He has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Study Center in Belagio, Italy.

He resides in Buffalo.

Long recognized as a leader in his generation of American composers, Felder's works are featured at many of the leading international festivals for new music and continue to earn recognition through performances and commissioned programs by such organizations as the New York New Music Ensemble, BBC Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, American Brass Quintet, and many others. His work has been broadly characterized by its highly energetic profile through its frequent employment of technological extension and elaboration of musical material, and its lyrical qualities.

Felder has received numerous grants and commissions, including six awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, two New York State Council Commissions, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Guggenheim, Koussevitzky, two Fromm Foundation Fellowships and two awards from the Rockefeller Foundation.

He has been artistic director of "June in Buffalo," the pioneering festival for emerging composers of new music, since 1985. Before coming to UB, he taught at the Cleveland Institute of Music, the University of California-San Diego, and California State University-Long Beach. He earned a doctoral degree from the University of California-San Diego in 1983.

He resides in Williamsville.

A UB faculty member since 1987, Tedlock is a nationally known specialist in psychological, symbolic and cognitive anthropology, the anthropology of art and aesthetics, and ethnomedicine in the American Southwest and Mesoamerica.

A past editor of American Anthropologist, the flagship journal of the American Anthropological Association, she received the association's President's Award in 1997 "for distinctive leadership in forging a new vision" for the journal and "for dedication and commitment to the profession of anthropology" and to the association.

Tedlock is a widely published author of many abstracts and journal articles, and magazine and newspaper pieces. She also has published three books: "Time and the Highland Mayan," "Dreaming: Anthropological and Psychological Interpretations" and "The Beautiful and the Dangerous: Zuni Indian Encounters."

Her field research has taken her among the Zuni Indians of New Mexico; the Quiché Mayan Indians of Guatemala; the Iwo, Ife, Oshogbo and Ibadan peoples of Nigeria, and to Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Belize.

A cum laude graduate of the University of California-Berkeley with a degree in rhetoric, she earned a master's degree with distinction in anthropology and ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University and a doctoral degree in anthropology from the University at Albany.

She resides in East Aurora.