The Catholic University of America

May 8, 2009

11 Faculty Members Are Honored at Their Retirement

Provost James Brennan (at far left) with faculty retirees (from left, first row): James Youniss, Joan Barth Urban and Theodore Naos and (from left, second row) Mario Rojas, Lawrence Somer, Rev. Joseph Komonchak and Hsien Ping Pao.

On May 7, Provost James F. Brennan used the occasion of the Spring Faculty Luncheon to express his thanks to CUA's faculty for their dedicated work. He also took the opportunity to honor the 11 professors who are retiring this month.

Brennan introduced and cited the accomplishments of the retirees in attendance. The retirees are:

Sister Rosemary Donley, S.C., professor of nursing, who has been a faculty member since 1979. She has been named a "Living Legend" by the American Academy of Nursing, which recognized her as "an extraordinary role model" who has "demonstrated extraordinary and sustained contributions to nursing and health care." She served as CUA's dean of nursing from 1979 to 1986 and as the university's executive vice president from 1986 to 1997.

Sister Mary Jean Flaherty, S.C., professor of nursing, who has been a faculty member since 1980. She served as Catholic University's dean of nursing from 1992 to 2000 and is a fellow in the American Academy of Nursing.

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor of theology and religious studies, has been a faculty member since 1977. He is the English language editor of the History of Vatican II book series and is highly acclaimed by international scholars for this history of the council and commentaries of each of its decrees.

Raymond B. Marcin, professor of law, a faculty member since 1972, is the author of six books and publishes mainly in the areas of legal philosophy and constitutional law. He is a member of the advisory council of the National Lawyers Association.

Theodore Naos, professor of architecture and planning, a faculty member since 1971, is a specialist in graphic arts, especially the creation of "art cards," three-dimensional, die-cut, folding cards, many of which stress architectural themes. Examples of his work have been displayed or purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Hsien Ping Pao, professor of civil engineering, joined the faculty in 1964. He has been the recipient of grants from the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, the Department of Energy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies. Among his achievements, he has developed a fast-response, four-electrode conductivity sensor for use in rivers and oceans; an automated bubbler tide-gauge system; and a shaped-charge clean-combustion system for which two U.S. patents have been granted.

Mario A. Rojas, professor of modern languages and literatures, a faculty member since 1978, has focused his scholarship on Latin American literature and on narratology, the semiotics of culture, and the theory of theatre. He was responsible for creating the successful Students for International Service track in the Spanish major.

Professor Youniss congratulates longtime colleague Professor Urban during the honoring of retirees at the Spring Faculty Luncheon.

Sister Maria Salerno, O.S.F., associate professor of nursing, joined the faculty in 1977. A holder of CUA bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees, she has most recently served as director of CUA's adult and geriatric nurse practitioner programs and the adult clinical nurse specialist program. She has also maintained her clinical practice, providing health care to indigent patients in rural Peru on annual trips and working in a clinic serving the indigent in Washington, D.C.

Lawrence Somer, professor of mathematics, a member of the faculty since 1986, has pursued research interests in the areas of algebraic number theory, elementary number theory and combinatorics. He has written one book (with an additional co-written book soon to be published) and more than 60 refereed articles in scholarly mathematics journals.

Joan Barth Urban, a professor of politics who joined the faculty in 1967, is the author or co-author of four books, one of which, Russia's Communists at the Crossroads, was named an "Outstanding Academic Book" by the American Library Association journal Choice in 1997. Her Moscow and the Italian Communist Party received the American Historical Association's Howard R. Marraro Prize in 1986. Urban was named the CASE Professor of the Year for the District of Columbia in 1991.

James Youniss, a professor of psychology who earned his Ph.D. from CUA, has been part of the regular faculty since 1964. He is the author or editor of 10 books, the first being Parents and Peers in Social Development, and the most recent being Engaging Young People in Civic Life. In 1994, a book on his work was published in Germany: James Youniss: Social Construction and Psychological Development.

"I thank our retirees for their work on behalf of the institution, especially its students," Brennan said to the faculty members at the lunch.

To the entire assembled faculty he said, "I think it's critical that we as an academic community of scholars come together from time to time to remind each other of our contributions to this university and to simply enjoy the company of one another as we celebrate our bond of common dedication to student success at this university."

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