Faculty Honored at 2020 Commencement Ceremony
Campus News

Four Franklin College faculty members received awards recognizing their scholarly accomplishments during the college’s 155th Commencement on Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020.

Gordon Strain was the recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence. The award, given by a vote of the Franklin College Board of Trustees, upon recommendation of the president and the academic dean of the college, recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates extraordinary dedication and commitment in service to the college.

Strain is a professor of theatre. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Ithaca College in New York and a master’s degree in fine arts from Indiana University, Bloomington. Strain began teaching at Franklin College in 2006.   

In addition to being an educator, Strain is a sculptor, muralist, artist, model-builder, film production designer and producer, and co-owner of a production company. His professional work outside of the college, as well as his community engagement, have allowed him to provide many of his students with professional opportunities on films as well as through his work as co-owner and co-director of the Franklin Department of Public Art, LLC. In addition, Strain is the co-owner and a producer at Pigasus Pictures. He has also served as a scenic director for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Phoeniz Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park, and theatres across the globe. Strain’s greatest strength, as seen by his colleagues, is his connection with his students as he strives to make a comfortable and relaxed environment while holding high standards of teaching and learning.

Strain has been recognized by the Indianapolis Arts Council as a “Creative Artist Renewal Fellow” and received a Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Award of Excellence. Strain is a resident of Franklin.

Jessica Mahoney MLS, was the recipient of the Faculty Steering Committee Distinguished Service Award. The recipient of this award is a faculty member who shows outstanding service to the college.

Mahoney serves Franklin College as the assistant library director and information literacy librarian, as well as an associate professor. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, secondary education from Franklin College and a master’s of library science from Indiana University, Bloomington. She began working at the college in 2011, after gaining experience in education at the secondary level.

While at Franklin, she has served the institution and its students in many capacities, including as a co-representative for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a mentor for the Building Opportunities through Support and Structure (BOSS) program, a member of the Assessment Working Group, a member of the Digital Fluency Faculty Staff Group and a faculty advisor for Pi Beta Phi Sorority. Mahoney was instrumental in securing a CIC Humanities Research for the Public Good grant for the college in 2019. She has also co-authored several publications and contributed to numerous professional conference presentations. Mahoney actively represents the B.F. Hamilton Library and Franklin College through the Private Academic Library Network of Indiana (PALNI), serving as member of the Reference, Instruction and Outreach Steering Committee and past chair of the Information Literacy Assessment Task Force. She has dedicated her time to presenting at many meetings and events for the organization. Her efforts were rewarded with a Hall of Fame induction by the organization in 2017. Mahoney is a member of the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries and the Indiana Library Federation. She is a resident of Franklin.

Ali Fetter-Harrott, J.D., Ph.D., was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.  The award recognizes a faculty member who exhibits excellence in mastery of subject and effective communication, has respect for all students, and believes that all students can learn and provides helpful feedback to other students in a number of ways.

Fetter-Harrott is an associate professor of political science and holds the Elmon and Lucile Williams Endowed Chair in Law and Public Service. Before joining the faculty at Franklin College in 2011, she served as a law clerk to the Honorable David F. Hamilton and practiced law at a large Indianapolis law firm. Fetter-Harrott graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University-Bloomington Maurer School of Law and earned a doctorate in education leadership and policy studies from Indiana University.

Fetter-Harrott has spoken at national and regional conferences and published research on employment law, special education and constitutional questions facing public schools. She has served the Franklin College campus community as a member of the Liberal Arts Assessment Team, the President’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion, a member of several search committees and a member of SPARC, the strategic planning task force that was charged with redeveloping the curriculum. In addition, she developed the Franklin College Moot Court Team, organized Constitution Day events at the college and expanded pre-law program opportunities for students. In 2017, she was recognized at Commencement as the recipient of the Clifford and Paula Dietz Award for Faculty Excellence. She resides in Indianapolis.

Casey J. Hayes, Ph.D., was the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Scholarship Award.  The award recognizes a faculty member’s scholarly achievement at the college, as well as his/her work outside the college (publications, presentations, etc.). 

In February 2020, it was announced that Hayes had been selected as the recipient of the Fulbright-Botstiber Award in Austrian/American Studies, marking only the fourth time a Franklin College faculty member has been named a Fulbright scholar. The selection places Hayes among an elite group of U.S. citizens who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2020-21 academic year through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Hayes was selected based on his research into the “Rosa Wien” (Pink Vienna) which focuses on the historic role that Vienna played for Weimar Germany’s displaced LGBT community. Hayes will conduct his research at the Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (The Austrian Academy of Sciences) in Vienna beginning in February 2021.

Hayes serves Franklin College as an associate professor of music, the A.J. Thurston Chair of Music, music department chair and director of choral activities. He joined the faculty in 2009. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music education and choral conducting from Butler University, and his doctorate in music education from the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University. He is a member of the Franklin College Gold Quill Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society and the Indiana Delta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. He is the artistic director of Quarryland Men’s Chorus of Bloomington, Indiana, and a former music director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus and chair of the creative arts department of The Hewitt School, a private school for girls in Manhattan. Hayes is a resident of Franklin.

Contact the Franklin College Office of Communications for more information at (317) 738-8185.

POSTED Oct 30, 2020