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05-12-2002

Three Clarkson Professors Honored With Emeritus Status At Commencement

Three retiring Clarkson University professors were honored at the school's 109th commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 12.

Peter J. Freitag, Rangaswamy Mukundan and Victor Pease were each named professors emeriti in recognition and appreciation for their years of service to the University.

Pease, professor of organizational studies, joined the faculty of Clarkson University in 1970. He received his doctoral degree in experimental-physiological psychology from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Pease has held a number of important academic and administrative leadership roles at Clarkson. He was dean of the Clarkson School of Business from 1992-98, and has also served as chair of the Department of Management and chair of the Department of Social Sciences.

Under Pease's leadership, the School of Management was renamed the School of Business and began a redesign of its curriculum to reflect a shift toward entrepreneurship and international business. During his chairmanship, the School of Business developed the nationally recognized Educational Partnership Program, which forged learning partnerships with secondary schools throughout the state in conjunction with Niagara-Mohawk, Xerox, NYNEX and Corning. Pease also broadened the school's international connections, creating exchange programs in France and the Netherlands, which laid the foundation for what would become Clarkson's Center for Global Competitiveness.

Pease received numerous awards during his career at Clarkson, including the Distinguished Teaching Award and Outstanding Advisor Award, and his efforts on behalf of students led to his induction into the Phalanx honor society.

A native of India, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Rangaswamy Mukundan received his doctoral degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University and was hired as an assistant professor by Clarkson in 1965.

Over the next 30 years, Mukundan was a leader in developing the curriculum for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and instructed and mentored more than 5,000 students. He was regarded as a generous and popular teacher, and was recognized with several awards, including the Distinguished Teaching Award and the Tau Beta Pi Faculty Award, which he received twice.

From 1987-93, Mukundan was dean of the Graduate School and director of the Division of Research, during which time the research program grew from $3 million to $10 million. He also played a key role in developing the engineering science program at Jefferson Community College through a dual appointment as Herrings Foundation Professor.

In addition to his wide-ranging academic contributions to the University, he has been an active member of the local community. Mukundan has provided assistance to area youth in organized soccer and scouting, volunteered with the United Way, offered leadership in the Friends of India Association, and provided counseling and clerical service as a Hindu priest.

Peter Freitag, professor of sociology, joined the faculty of Clarkson in 1976. He received his doctorate at SUNY Stony Brook. His areas of expertise include manufactured games as a mirror of cultural values, the history and philosophy of work, and teaching as a way of empowering students. These interests have led to his substantial contribution to developing student-centered learning experiences. He has been a key player in realizing the vision of Clarkson as a community of learning that emphasizes experiential, project-based education.

His great interest in teaching has earned him numerous awards for outstanding leadership and teaching, including Outstanding Advisor Award, Outstanding Teacher Award, Distinguished Teaching Award, Commendable Service and Leadership Awards, and a Presidential Recognition of Extraordinary Dedication to Undergraduate Teaching. He was the director of Project Areté, a double major in Business and Liberal Arts program administered largely by students on the basis of collectively made decisions.

He has been active in scholarly research, presenting papers at conferences and publishing articles in professional sociology and education journals. He has also been heard over the airwaves as host, producer or writer of a number of programs for North Country Public Radio.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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