At three campus events during the past academic year, Bates celebrated 12 faculty members who have retired over the last two years.

At the gatherings, held in Perry Atrium, a colleague of each retiring professor offered a tribute, excerpts of which are presented below. 

Bates professors excel as teachers and scholars, to be sure. But that’s not all. Through the words of their colleagues, we learn other identities of these 12 faculty members. Beloved friend and trusted colleague. Attentive mentor and fierce advocate. An economist who moonlights as a Bates actor, and a geologist who heads out to sea via kayak (with students, of course).

In the words of the very old but very true saying, teachers affect eternity. But they also affect the here and now, the daily lives of their former students who navigate all the challenges and complexities the world has to offer, heartened and fortified by lessons learned from their Bates College professors.

“Persistence and care for the students mark a good teacher,” said Laurie O’Higgins in her tribute to retiring anthropology professor Loring Danforth. “Grace and humility characterize the best.”

Here, now in retirement, are 12 of the best of Bates:

Martin Andrucki 

Senior Lecturer in Theater Katalin Vecsey offered the tribute to Andrucki, who was appointed in 1974 and retires as the Charles A. Dana Emeritus Professor of Theater:

While Marty’s biography speaks for itself, perhaps the greatest measure of his success is the impact he’s had on Bates students.

Last May, more than 100 colleagues, students, and friends fortunate enough to learn from Marty in the classroom or on the stage gathered on Zoom to pay tribute to Bates’ most esteemed theater professor. It was a joyous celebration, fitting for a man whose passion for the theater set so many on the path of learning and life they are still on today. 

With stage manager Ben Cuba ’16 of Worcester, Mass., at the ready, Dana Professor of Theater Martin Andrucki directs a rehearsal of “Little Egypt” in Schaeffer Theatre. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)
With stage manager Ben Cuba ’16 of Worcester, Mass., at the ready, Dana Professor of Theater Martin Andrucki directs a rehearsal of “Little Egypt” in Schaeffer Theatre. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

At the end of the celebration, Marty reflected on the journey of one of those students, Charley Stern ’13, a young man who had devoted his life to hockey but in fall 2011 decided to audition for a play for the first time in his life.

Auditioning for that play, and being cast as Carl, the bus driver in Bus Stop, changed this young man’s life forever. Charley reflected that “the leap of faith Marty took on casting me, having never been in a play before, drastically altered the course of my life. In those months with you I fell in love with the theater, and I started down a path into the world of storytelling that I am still in today.”

Martin Andrucki gazes at the Schaeffer Theatre stage in this undated circa 1980 photograph. (Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library)

When Marty arrived in 1974, the theater department was on the verge of expiring. There was much skepticism about the legitimacy of theater as an independent department and academic major in liberal arts. Marty and a growing number of faculty colleagues were determined to demonstrate that theater had a place at the academic table.

Under Marty’s leadership, the department transformed from just two members and five courses into one with a robust curriculum that emphasized literature and theory; produced serious drama on stage; and allowed majors to divide into two tracks: theater studies and theater makers. Today, we are the Department of Theater and Dance with 10 wonderful colleagues. 

In his effort to build theater at Bates, Marty taught classes on theater history, dramatic literature, directing, and playwriting, all while continuing to write and direct plays himself. One student reflected, “Marty was the catalyst to finding out what I wanted to do with my life.”

Every other year from 1999 to 2019, I was fortunate to teach and travel with Marty and our students to my native city of Budapest and to Prague for our Short Term class, “Central European Theater and Film,” the longest-running off-campus Short Term program in Bates history. Marty and I watched many great — and many boring — theater productions together over the years. Marty always made sure to get an aisle seat just to make sure he had a quick way to escape if the show was unbearable.


Elizabeth Eames

Professor Emeritus of Anthropology Charles “Val” Carnegie offered the tribute to Eames, who was appointed in 1988 and retires as professor emerita of anthropology:

Critically formed by feminism, Elizabeth came of age as an anthropologist at a pivotal moment of disciplinary introspection in which we became more attuned to the constructedness of our accounts and confronted the ways in which anthropology was complicit — through its categories of analysis and modes of representation — in producing otherness even as it sought to render cultural differences intelligible and reduce barriers of prejudice and misunderstanding.

Professors Elizabeth Eames, Alex Dauge-Roth and Sanford Freedman await the graduates outside. Photograph by Phyllis Graber Jensen
Elizabeth Eames (left), with colleagues Alex Dauge-Roth and Sanford Freedman, greet newly minted Bates graduates outside Merrill Gymnasium, the rain location for Commencement, on May 26, 2011. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Elizabeth has taken these lessons to heart more seriously than anyone else I know, achieving remarkable balance and consistency in her personal, professional, and political life; building bridges as a matter of course; becoming a co-participant in the cultivation of community rather than simply studying others as a professional ethnographer.

One of Elizabeth’s students described her “amazing skill of helping you to play to your strengths while identifying what you needed to build on to make your paper complete. In particular, she was extremely dedicated to elevating African voices and perspectives in a field that is systematically white-dominated — despite those Africans being the subject matter! It’s one thing to elevate those voices that have already made it into the reading list, but I am sure that every African voice that has sat in professor Eames’ classes came out the other side more confident and more determined to make a difference in the world, irrespective of the odds.”

Corey Harris '91, Mellon Learning Associate Residency at Bates, Feb. 24 through March 3.

Corey stops at Pettigrew where he talks with Associate Professor of Anthropology, his thesis adviser, Theodore Sutherland '11  (black jacket) and Rob Munroe '08 (gray sweatshirt), before heading over to Olin Arts Center Room 105 where he meets with and plays guitar for students in two classes, "Popular Music" (assistant professor of music Dale Chapman) and "Blues Aesthetic" (visiting assistant professor of English Timothy Robinson).
On Feb. 27, 2008, Associate Professor of Anthropology Elizabeth Eames walks along Lake Andrews with Corey Harris ’91, who was her thesis advisee, during Harris’ residency at Bates. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Jane Costlow

Christian A. Johnson Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies Holly Ewing offered the tribute to Costlow, who was appointed in 1986 and retires as the Clark A. Griffith Professor Emerita of Environmental Studies:

[An] interweaving of scholarship, teaching, collaboration, and service characterized Jane’s work throughout her time at Bates. But it is the invisible — or the hard to see — that is so important to the creation of community and our feelings about being in a place.

In the forest, a focus of Jane’s book Heart-Pine Russia, the underground networks of mycorrhizae that create communication and support channels connecting the trees are only obvious to us when they fruit as mushrooms. Connector and supporter of thriving is one of the many roles Jane took on at Bates. 

Otis Dinner at Nezinscot Farm in Turner with honored guest and Otis lecturer Ross Gay, with Jane Costlow as Otis chair hosting with environmental studies faculty and students. Gloria Nezinscot and her daughter prepared the dinner.
On Nov. 3, 2019, Jane Costlow leads her dinner companions in a moment of quiet gratitude before their meal at nearby Nezinscot Farm in honor of Ross Gay, the 2019 Otis lecturer. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Structurally, this could be seen through her work on so many committees—personnel, faculty governance, student conduct, environmental responsibility, Otis, institutional planning, searches of all kinds, chairing departments and programs, and the renovation of Hedge and Roger Williams. In the classroom, she was not a showy lecturer but a guide, a space‐maker and listener, a weaver of texts and perspective.

Former students report that her listening—and her absolute presence while doing it — was part of how Jane made space for them to bring their own ideas into the scholarly conversation. And this tangible and yet often‐overlooked presence was part of what built community here—with staff and faculty, even sometimes before they arrived. Faculty members from very different parts of the college independently said to me that meeting Jane was how they knew they were in the right place—her generous welcome, active curiosity about people and their ideas, and the remarkable breadth of what she knew and offered in conversation.

(Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)
On Oct. 11, 2019, with graded papers in hand, Jane Costlow departs her Hedge Hall office to walk over to the Olin Arts Center to teach her course “Lives in Place.” (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Loring “Danny” Danforth

Euterpe B. Dukakis Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies Dolores “Laurie” O’Higgins offered the tribute to Danforth, who was appointed in 1978 and retires as Charles A. Dana Professor Emeritus of Anthropology:

He examines the politics of identity and politics of history, as contested in modern Greece and Macedonia, and in Australia among the diaspora. He has looked at firewalkers in the Balkans and in the U.S., and how they achieve transcendence of their social roles and healing of ills. His work on firewalkers engaged in dialogue with the practice, rather than treating it as an alien custom to be analyzed by a rational observer.

Loring Danforth, anthropology

Unplugged
A series of Q&As with alumni, faculty, staff, and guests about
career trajectories and traits that support meaningful work

Podcasting on Sports and Culture,
The Knicks and Nature

Sam Evans-Brown '09, NHPR's Outside/In Radio host
and
Alex Kapelman '09, The Decision Podcast host, industry thought leader

in conversation with
Jan Hovden, Department of Rhetoric and 
Director of Debate

12-1 pm, Monday March 26
Commons 221

All students, staff, and faculty are welcome to attend. You can get lunch in Commons on us (Purposeful Work) and bring it up to Room 221.

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won him several awards, including two Edward R. Murrow awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

Alex Kapelman is the host of The Decision, the podcast where people try to convince Alex to finally abandon The Knicks, and become a fan of their favorite team. Alex is also co-founder of Arc, a full-service creative podcast agency, former host of Pitch, a narrative podcast about music, and an adjunct professor of Journalism at NYU. 

He has worked with some of the biggest and most respected public radio and podcast organizations in the country, including WNYC, Gimlet, Audible, and KCRW. His audio work has been featured in publications like The Atlantic, New York Magazine, and Buzzfeed; he has been highlighted as an industry thought leader by Wired, Mashable, and Apple. Alex serves on the board of directors of AIR, the premier worldwide platform for radio and podcast talent.
In 2018, Loring Danforth takes part in a lunchtime discussion on sports and culture sponsored by the Bates Center for Purposeful Work. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Danny has never been one to watch from the sidelines, notebook in hand. His work reflects the inner man and his priorities. In life here in Maine, he has stood up for, and steadily volunteered among, refugees and new Mainers. He has been a firm and consistent voice on campus and elsewhere for women, for people of color, for anyone whose status and human rights have been denied or diminished by those in power. 

He is generous with his time. I remember a bitterly cold Saturday long ago when he accompanied my then-small child to the Bates Mill because Cameron had expressed an interest in birds of prey. Danny is an expert birder. Through a telescope we watched a peregrine falcon plunge out of the sky after a pigeon. It was an astounding gift, and remains a cherished memory.

Dana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth is advising McKenzie’s community-engaged honors thesis, in which she is exploring the work of people on the front lines of addressing violence against women in Lewiston’s African immigrant communities.

After defeDana Professor of Anthropology Loring Danforth is advising McKenzie’s community-engaged honors thesis, in which she is exploring the work of people on the front lines of addressing violence against women in Lewiston’s African immigrant communities.

After defending her thesis, the two celebrated with a simple lunch from Forage, foregoing the traditional fancy restaurant meal traditionally enjoyed by honors thesis students and their advisors. They were seated at a picnic table and talking after eating behind Lane Hall.
On May 14, 2021, Danny Danforth and anthropology major Hannah McKenzie ’21 meet after lunch at a picnic table behind Lane Hall. That spring, McKenzie won a Watson Fellowship for a year of international exploration. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

After winning the Kroepsch Award for Excellence in Teaching, he talked about how asking difficult questions can result in painful classroom experiences. Like Danny, many of us faculty have struggled to bring about those difficult conversations, balancing our primary responsibility not to harm students with that of challenging certainties about how the world works, and about one’s own virtue, or place in it.

Hats off to you, Danny, not for walking the line perfectly — nobody does — but for doing your best, with grace and humility, and learning to do better as you go. Persistence and care for the students mark a good teacher. Grace and humility characterize the best.


Carol Dilley

Senior Lecturer in Theater Michael Reidy offered the tribute to Dilley, who was appointed in 2003 and retires as professor emerita of dance:

In  summer 1991, early in her professional dance career,  Carol Dilley performed at the Bates Dance Festival. That one summer intensive introduced her to a whole new world of dance and changed the trajectory of her life.

A dozen years later, Carol returned to Bates, eventually becoming director of dance and the first tenured professor in dance at Bates. In 2011, the faculty voted unanimously to approve the major in dance in the renamed Department of Theater and Dance, the first new major on campus in 15 years. Dancers could now develop their embodied skills as a major the way musicians, lab scientists, economists or writers do. 

Dilley's First Year Seminar
On Oct. 26, 2007, Carol Dilley teaches her First-Year Seminar in the Plavin Dance Studio. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Carol joined the college after an active 20-year career as an international artist, choreographer, performer and teacher. After her years of work as a dancer and an artist traveling around the world, she found Bates to be a utopia of stability and opportunity. Carol continued her practice of involving her students in her creative work at Bates. She and her students developed ideas that wove in and out of classes and performances for years and generations of students.

Carol Dilley (right) and former dance faculty colleague Rachel Boggia perform in the Schaeffer Theatre on May 21, 2014. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Carol Dilley prioritizes creating space for students to take responsibility for themselves and embrace the power they already have. She encourages women and other marginalized individuals to not wait to have their value recognized, but to stand up and make themselves heard, using the powerful noise of dancing with their full-bodied selves. She believes that dance can and should be a subversive space in which people can interact differently, move differently, touch differently,  and be different themselves. 


Dykstra Eusden ’80

Professor Emeritus of Earth and Climate Sciences Mike Retelle offered the tribute to Eusden, who was appointed in 1988 and retires as Whitehouse Professor Emeritus of Earth and Climate Sciences:

Dyk and I benefited greatly as young professors from the mentoring from our department chair, the late John Creasy, whose management style was to let young faculty do what they do best in developing a geoscience curriculum that was a good fit for Bates.

Dyk Eusden's Geology of the Maine Coast by Sea Kayak class takes a "selfie" on Little Cranberry Island before paddling to Great Cranberry Island to begin geology work.(Sarah Crosby/Bates College)
On May 7, 2018, Dyk Eusden ’80 (far right, with camera), his students, and their kayaking guide, Tom Bergh, gather for a group photo on Little Cranberry Island. The course, “Geology of the Maine Coast by Sea Kayak,” defined Eusden’s experiential approach. (Sarah Crosby/Bates College)

Dyk was a brilliant teacher who quickly accepted that challenge of developing courses that were heavy in field-based experiential learning. His lectures were creative, stimulating, and fun. His GIS mapping course became a must-have course not only for geo students but environmental studies students and others who saw applications for digital spatial analysis. He led and co-led Short Term trips in the Appalachians, Scotland, the northern Rocky Mountains, and the U.S. Southwest.

But in my opinion, his two signature courses were Geology 107, “Field Geology of Northern New England,” and the Short Term source “Geology of the Maine Coast by Sea Kayak.” In Geo 107, students were introduced to field studies in the most amazing classic and scenic geologic sites in northern New England: Acadia National Park, Baxter State Park, Mount Washington, and Vinalhaven. How could you not like that?


Dyk Eusden gives his students a pep talk before fieldwork during the 2018 edition of “Geology of the Maine Coast by Sea Kayak.” It will be “a lot trickier” than what they’ve done before, he says.

The sea kayak Short Term was brilliant: Students learned to kayak in the Bates pool, assisted by professional kayak guides, and then over the course of five weeks the group engaged in geological mapping expeditions.

They start with day trips in Casco Bay and eventually head out on multiple-day field projects involving island hopping and camping across the numerous and amazing geological localities that the Maine coast has to offer. How could you not like that? 


James Hughes

Elmer W. Campbell Professor of Economics Lynne Lewis offered the tribute to Hughes, who was appointed in 1992 and retires as the Thomas Sowell Professor Emeritus of Economics:

Jim received the Kroepsch award for outstanding teaching not once, but twice. There should be no surprises about this: He loved teaching. He said, “Teaching economics anywhere, you have to get across that this matters in people’s lives. What I try to do with every concept, no matter how simple or obscure, is to try to make it clear that what we’re talking about comes up in the real world and that it makes a difference.”

several weeks ago President Hansen invited students to write to her expressing their interest in becoming President for a Day while in turn she would participate in their classes and activities. There were many wonderful responses and based on a random selection, Walter Garcia '11, was selected to be President for a Day.
March 18, President Hansen and Walter have agreed to trade places.  While President Hansen attends classes and debate practice, Walter will attend her meetings, the men's lacrosse game and run the business of the College for the day.  They both have very full schedules today and this is sure to be an exciting experience for both of them. 

ETH meets for breakfast with Alison Turner '12 and Jake Adams '12 in new dining Commons; and for lunch, she dines with Derek Simpson '12, Mikey Pasek '12, Andrew Decker '12, and Alex Friedman '12, on second floor of new dining Commons. Garcia is a JA and they are his first-years in 280 College St.

ETH attends "Intermediate Microeconomic Theory" taught by James Hughes, Thomas Sowell Professor of Economics.

ETH reads on second floor of Ladd Library stacks -- whoopie pies in dining section of New York Times.

ETH attends "The Chateau and Gardens of Versailles" taught by Associate Professor of Art and Visual Culture Edward Harwood.

ETH attends Debate Practice, judging a round of novice debate in Pettigrew Hall's Filene room, seated next to Geoff Shaughnessy '09 and Bradley McGraw '10.

Walter meets with Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Jill Reich, and Assistant Deans Kerry O'Brien and Judy Head in Reich's Lane Hall office. Walter presides over President's Council Meeting in Rm 221 of New Commons Bldg, then meets with VP for College Advancement Kelly Kerner in ETH's Lane Hall office. Garcia lunches with Admissions Senior Fellows and Staff in Crumley Room of New Commons Bldg, and finally with Dean of Students Tedd Goundie in ETH's office. Attends MLAX vs. Gordon College game and wraps up with H
Jim Hughes teaches intermediate microeconomic theory on March 18, 2009 in Pettengill Hall. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

When markets started tanking hard in the fall of 2008, a group of students — none of them economics majors — walked upstairs to our wing, looking terrified, begging for answers. “What is happening?!” they asked. We gathered in the hallway (where we do our best work as a department, actually, impromptu meetings in the hallway).

Jim said, “Isn’t this what we are supposed to do? Educate people?” He suggested a panel discussion; we agreed. Jim giggled and said, “Let’s call it ‘WTF? Bates Economists on the Economy.’” So we did. That we would stop what we were doing to host a panel at the request of some students was all prompted by Jim.

On Oct. 1, 2008, during the global financial crisis, Sowell Professor of Economics James Hughes speaks to a standing-room (and laying) crowd in Pettengill Hall’s Keck Classroom. (Jay Burns/Bates College)

During his last few years teaching, Jim taught a Short Term course called, “Six Beverages That Changed the World.” Among other things in this class, students learned how to distill alcohol. Despite months of planning, the course got bumped from the teaching kitchen, so his office became the kitchen. It actually looked like a potentially unsafe chemistry lab. It likely was.

One of the last times I saw him in his office was during that Short Term. Students were sitting on the desk and on the floor surrounded by equipment. They were laughing loudly and talking. No, they were not drinking or drunk. It was just Jim being Jim: Teaching economics and teaching life lessons without students even realizing it. 


Margaret Maurer-Fazio

Associate Professor of Economics Paul Shea offered the tribute to Maurer-Fazio, who was appointed in 1994 and retires as the Betty Doran Stangle Professor Emerita of Applied Economics:

Maggie’s most important contribution, perhaps, is her willingness to share her enthusiasm for China and economics with her students. Maggie is the epitome of the scholar-teacher that we all aspire to here at Bates. Maggie adored taking groups of Bates students to China and Vietnam, and as any one of those lucky students will tell you: They were much the better for having learned from her. 

Margaret Maurer-Fazio
Margaret Maurer-Fazio poses in her Lane Hall office on May 12, 2008, when she served as an associate dean of the faculty. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Maggie publishes prolifically in both economics and China journals, and her research has fundamentally changed the way in which we think about both entering and leaving the labor force. I am struck by how influential Maggie’s early work on the status of women in Chinese labor markets has remained. Most academic papers are published and then quickly forgotten. Not Maggie’s. Her 1999 paper in the China Review is still being cited, including 32 Google citations since 2017. More are sure to come. Her 2011 paper in the Journal of HR, one of the top journals in labor economics, has been cited 120 times since 2017.

Our colleague Michael Murray describes how Maggie and her coauthors, “eschewing small unrepresentative samples that had led to conflicting, indeed contradictory findings…used data covering much of China’s productive sectors to establish firmly that women did, indeed, earn less than otherwise similar men, with women’s marital status and the relative segregation of women into low paying sectors being two strongly contributing factors.”

Maggie Mauer-Fazio (right) poses with students in the 2001 Short Term economics trip to China. Co-taught with economics colleague Jim Hughes (behind Maurer-Fazio) who also retires this year, “Sustaining the Masses,” brought students to China to study environmental and economic policy. (Photograph courtesy of Maggie Maurer-Fazio)

For me, Maggie was the mentor that a young professor needs. She helped me to integrate into the college, introduced me to people with shared interests, and always patiently answered questions. Maggie was the person I sought out to ask the most important question any new faculty member can ever have: Is this something I should care about or not? And, the great majority of the time, she told me, “It is not.” Wise, wise words.


Michael Murray

Associate Professor of Economics Paul Shea offered the tribute to Murray, who was appointed in 1986 and retires as the Charles Franklin Phillips Professor Emeritus of Economics:

Several years ago, as I was giving a visiting job candidate a rundown of who she would meet during her visit, I came to Michael’s place on the schedule. Without thinking, I described him as the “least cynical and most optimistic academic” that I know. I stand by that claim and I mean it as a great compliment. 

As faculty, we believe in what we are doing here: Whether it is the teaching, the advising, or the scholarship. But as semesters heat up and time becomes more and more scarce, those moments of cynicism can creep in. But not for Michael. You could see his optimism in his late-night review sessions for econometrics or in his continuing, right now, to work on a paper about the economics of COVID-19. 

On March 31, 2010, Michael Murray meets with senior thesis student Sean Wirth ’10 in Murray’s Pettengill Hall office. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Michael’s scholarship encompasses impressive contributions in a stunning number of fields: Urban economics, development, public economics, and economic pedagogy, just to name a few. My own work is mostly in macroeconomics, one of the few areas of the discipline that Michael hasn’t worked in. Nevertheless, Michael was always gracious in reading my papers and commenting on my presentations with suggestions that, despite his unfamiliarity with my field, have always been exceptionally useful.

Besides being an economics professor, Michael Murray also acted in a number of Bates theater productions. Here, he plays Grandpa in one of the final scenes of the March 2010 production of “You Can’t Take It With You.” The play was directed by Dana Professor of Theater Martin Andrucki, who also retires from the Bates faculty this year. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Jennifer Briggs van Belle ’90 wrote how Murray taught her about critical thinking and “to look at problems from every angle.” She added:

“You got me over my fear of statistics and regression analysis and made me realize that it’s OK not to understand something the first time and OK to ask questions, which I’ve practiced in my work for 30 years and encouraged my work team to do the same. I remember sitting in your office, seeing you blackline my thesis to show me how to say more with fewer words — how it drives effective communication and how it’s worth taking time upfront to get it right. And as for the Santa Claus routine? I know it was you who went around Ladd Library saying, ‘Ho, ho, ho!’ at Christmas.” 


Mike Retelle

Professor of Earth and Climate Sciences Beverly Johnson offered the tribute to Retelle, who was appointed in 1987 and retires as professor emeritus of earth and climate sciences:

I became aware of Mike Retelle back in 1991 when I was a Ph.D. student at the University of Colorado. At the time, several close friends were working in the Canadian Arctic and they ran into Mike Retelle and his Bates students. My friends returned telling some pretty funny stories about Mike, but primarily they conveyed a sense of respect and intrigue for this professor who did not hesitate to bring undergrads into some pretty remote, harsh, and challenging field conditions. This was practically unheard of at the time. 

Professor of Geology Mike Retelle's research in the Arctic looks at glacial and sea level history, as well as records of climate change preserved lake sediments. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)
Mike Retelle’s research in the Arctic looks at glacial and sea level history, as well as records of climate change preserved lake sediments. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Mike supervised 104 senior thesis students in his time at Bates; many of these students went with him to the Arctic and had life-changing experiences. And many of these have gone on to graduate school and faculty positions in glacial geology and Arctic climate change. These folks are leaders in the field now because of the fact that Mike Retelle took these students into the Arctic and mentored them to become the scientists they are.  

In 2020, Retelle was proud of his two honors thesis students, Hannah Johnson ’20 and Emma Wheeler ’20, for successfully completing their work during the upheaval of the college’s move to a remote semester.⁣ “Always positive and always thinking,” said Retelle of the students, seen in 2019 in survival suits during safety training prior to joining Retelle for summer fieldwork in Svlabard. ⁣(Photograph by Mike Retelle)

Mike and his colleagues have studied Arctic climate change and glacial history for 40-plus years. He has earned funding from the National Science Foundation over his entire career— even now, he leaves with one more year of NSF funding. His knowledge and perspective are unparalleled and add a distinct flavor to the classroom and to the research experiences of his students. As one of my friends and colleagues from the Colorado days recently told me, Mike really put Bates on the map with regards to studying climate change in the Arctic. 

Generations of Bates students simply loved being in Mike’s classes as he made learning about earth’s surface processes so accessible, pertinent to today’s changing world, and most importantly filled with his passion for teaching linked to his own high quality research in glacial geology and climate change.


Shepley “Chip” Ross

Professor of Mathematics Peter Wong offered the tribute to Ross, who was appointed in 1985 and retires as professor emeritus of mathematics:

Chaotic dynamical systems are the primary interests in Chip’s research in the past 35-plus years. He was drawn to this partially due to the beautiful computer-generated pictures of the Mandelbrot and the Julia sets (or fractals) from complex function dynamics. 

If I can only have one word to summarize Chip’s career at Bates then it would be passionate! (With an exclamation point — Chip uses many such exclamation points and when he uses multiple points you know they are exclamation points and not factorials.) Chip is very passionate about teaching and, in particular, about chaotic dynamical systems. He can easily spend many hours tweaking his computer programs or his typesetting to produce exactly the kind of results he wants. 

Chip Ross (center) laughs after greeting one of his students as he and mathematics colleagues Meredith Greer (left) and Peter Wong (behind Ross) walk between lines of seniors during the Commencement procession on May 29, 2011. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

In the late 1990s, Chip and Jody Sorensen, a visiting assistant professor, team-taught a class on chaotic dynamical systems. Their students’ work inspired a paper, “Will the Real Bifurcation Diagram Please Stand Up!” Jody recalls how Chip “would stay up all hours to make some small adjustments to improve his bifurcation diagram software.” The paper was published in The College Mathematics Journal and won a prestigious George Pólya Award — for excellence in exposition — from the American Mathematical Association in 2001. 

Chris Danforth ’01, a Bates math major, is now a professor of computer science at the University of Vermont. He recalls working with Chip on his thesis project, on chaos.

“Chip suggested I place a phone call to one of the leaders in the field, Jim Yorke, for advice. ‘Maybe he’ll pick up,’ he said. Against every imposter syndrome instinct in me, I did call…and he answered! We talked about my research project, a fluid dynamics experiment, and eventually Yorke offered me a position in his research group for graduate school.

"I'm hoping I'm crazy."
.
— Mathematics major Flannery Black-Ingersoll '19 of Concord, N.H., about what she was thinking as she laughed in response to a comment made by mathematician Carlos Castillo-Chavez (foreground).
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"In math, you have to be crazy to succeed," he said during a Hathorn Hall tea held for him by faculty and students in the mathematics lounge.
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Castillo-Chavez, Regents Professor and director of the Levin Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center at Arizona State University, is at Bates to deliver the annual Richard W. Sampson Lecture at 7 p.m. tonight in Pettengill's Keck Classroom, G52, where he will discuss "Emergent and Re-Emergent Diseases and the Global Commons."

Also shown: Associate Professor of Mathematics Meredith Greer and Professor of Mathematics Peter Wong.
In 2018, Cathleen Jasper ’98, who had returned to Bates for her Reunion, wrote a note for Chip Ross on a whiteboard in Hathorn Hall: “Glad you’re still rocking the math world.” (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

“Life is sensitively dependent on many events, and one isn’t always aware of their importance while they are happening. Chip’s nudge steered me into a terrific basin of attraction. What more could a professor do.”


Tom Wenzel

Stella James Sims Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Paula Schlax offered the tribute to Wenzel, who was appointed in 1981 and retires as Charles A. Dana Emeritus Professor of Chemistry:

In his career, Tom led the charge in transforming chemistry curricula not just at Bates but across the U.S.

After receiving tenure, Tom changed his courses by having students ask and answer real research problems to better learn the skills that scientists need. He wrote about these transformations in his teaching saying that “every group encountered some unexpected problem or outcome that required troubleshooting on their part” and “these unexpected problems were often the most valuable part of the project.” Troubleshooting is at the heart of critical thinking and the development of scientific acumen. 

Jim Weissman '84, Chief Business Officer at Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is establishing a scholarship in honor of tCharles A. Dana Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Tom Wenzel, who is teaching for his last year in 2019-20. The scholarship fund will benefit summer research opportunities, an area that Tom, when asked, would like to see funded through philanthropy. Jim was one of Tom's thesis students whose work was subsequently published.Also in the photographs, posed in laboratories in Dana Chemistry, are Kyoko Weissman, Jim's wife and Associate Professor of Chemistry Matt Côté along with the following chemistry students:Jake O' Hara '21 in green, Shanzeh Rauf '21 in purple, Maddie Murphy '20 in stripes, Owen Bailey '22 in stripes, and Nick Jones /20 in red.
Tom Wenzel greets Jim Weissman ’84, one of his former students, in Dana Hall on Sept. 2, 2019. Weissman established a scholarship in honor of Wenzel and his influence that supports summer research opportunities for Bates students. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

In our department, Tom normalized a culture of grant-funded, collaborative research and he moved Bates ahead of the curve of incorporating research experiences as a curricular requirement for a chemistry or biochemistry major. Tom lists about 140 undergrad co-authors on his more than 90 research articles and book chapters. 

Tom’s approach incorporated group work, collaborative exams, and active learning. They were student-focused and innovative, and we know that they are methods that support the success of students in STEM from diverse backgrounds.

Focusing on the field of chirality, Dana Professor of Chemistry Tom Wenzel works with a group of student researchers in his Dana laboratory:Matt Chodomel '06 (working on the rotary evaporator: removes a solvent from a reaction)Catherine Dignam (sleeveless blue oxford shirt), Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation fellowMonique Brown '07 (garnet t-shirt)Ann Lovely '07 (bun, yellow shorts, light blue t-shirt)Lily Conover '07 (sleeveless white t-shirt)Shawna-Kaye Lester '08 (blue tank top)
In this summer 2005 image of Tom Wenzel’s typically active lab, Wenzel (left) and post-graduate research fellow Catherine Dignam (second from left) work with student researchers: from left, Matt Chodomel ’06, Shawna-Kaye Lester ’08, and Monique Brown ’07. (Phyllis Graber Jensen/Bates College)

Tom developed an introductory chemistry course where students also had the chance, as first-years, to focus on an authentic research experience in environmental science, examining whether acid rain would change the uptake of heavy metals in plants. He shared insights and experiences from teaching that course with nearly 40 publications related to chemistry education and six publications on the active-learning website of the American Chemical Society. 

Tom successfully championed the idea that future scientists need to learn how to be scientists by doing lab work and theory, in his laboratory and in courses that teach these research skills. One of Tom’s former students, who is now a teacher, said, “My students benefit from Tom Wenzel’s teaching in how I approach my classes, incorporate research experiences, and tell them directly that I believe in them. His influence lives on.”

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