UConn News HomeUConn News

Alumni Association announces 1997 award-winners (Released: 3/25/97)

by Elizabeth Omara-Otunnu, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- The University of Connecticut Alumni Association has announced the recipients of its awards for 1997.

The University Service Award will be presented to George Potterton '35 and Barbara Potterton, '35, '62 of MANCHESTER. This award is given annually to honor alumni who have contributed their services to the University in an outstanding way. The Pottertons are the first couple to receive the award.

In 1934, when the Pottertons were in their senior year at Connecticut Agricultural College, the school became known as the Connecticut State College (it would become the University of Connecticut in 1939). George Potterton suggested the husky dog, associated with Yukon Territory in northwest Canada, as an official mascot. He later selected the first Husky and brought the puppy to Storrs.

The Pottertons, who met when they were both officers of the Student Senate, are life members of the Alumni Association. They have planned and organized reunions of their class since graduation and are now planning for their 65th reunion in the year 2000. Their three children all graduated from UConn and two grandsons are current UConn students.

As retired teachers from the Manchester Public School system, the Pottertons encouraged many of their students to attend UConn. They also have been active in a number of community and church organizations.

This year's winner of the Connecticut Alumni Service Award is William Potter, '63, of MYSTIC. The Alumni Service Award is presented to alumni who have contributed their services in an outstanding way to enhance the Alumni Association.

Potter graduated with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He currently works for the Electric Boat Corporation in Groton. An active member of the Southeastern Chapter of the UConn Alumni Association, he served as chapter secretary, treasurer, vice president and as president for three terms. He also served on the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1989 - 1995, where he held the post of secretary as well as serving on several committees.

Gregory Anderson of MANSFIELD, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and department head, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Professor Award. This three-year award recognizes an individual who is both an excellent teacher and a scholar of international reputation.

Anderson specializes in research on evolution, domestication, classification and reproductive biology of plants. He was a principal investigator of a graduate research training grant in conservation and biodiversity, a five-year grant that was one of fewer than 5 percent of proposals funded by the National Science Foundation. His work has appeared in Nature, The American Naturalist, the American Journal of Botany, and Systematic Botany. He has served as the elected president of the Society for Economic Botany, the Botanical Society of America, and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists.

A faculty member since 1973, Anderson was instrumental in developing introductory courses in biology, an upper-division course on plants and civilization, and a graduate course on experimental method. He has served on numerous departmental and University committees, been active in student affairs, and currently serves as head of the department of ecology and evolutionary biology.

William Francis Bailey of WILLINGTON, a professor of chemistry, will receive the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. This award is intended to encourage excellence in classroom teaching.

Bailey, a faculty member since 1975, specializes in organic chemistry. He is recognized by both undergraduate and graduate students for his love and enthusiasm for the subject, his careful lecture preparation, and his willingness to help students on an individual basis.

Steven Cohen of TOLLAND, a professor of pharmacy, has been selected for the Faculty Excellence in Research in the Sciences Award. The award is an incentive to encourage excellence in scholarly research.

Cohen is internationally recognized for his research findings on the biochemical mechanisms underlying the toxicity of drugs, including Tylenol, and poisons. His findings have led to more effective treatment of poisoning. Cohen, who joined the University in 1972, has published more than 70 journal articles and chapters in major toxicology journals. He has received more than $1.25 million in research funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences since 1987.

Cohen has worked with the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Academy of Sciences, universities in India and Australia, and is currently vice president and president-elect for 1998-1999 of the Society of Toxicology, the largest and most prestigious organization in the discipline.

The Faculty Excellence in Research in the Arts and Humanities Award goes this year to Ruth Millikan of MANSFIELD CENTER.

Millikan, a professor of philosophy, specializes in the nature of language and thought. Her research draws on psychology and biology as well as philosophy. In her first book, Language, Thought and Other Biological Categories, published in 1984, she argued that thought and language should be understood in evolutionary terms. The work is now regarded as a classic in the discipline.

Widely recognized as a highly original thinker, Millikan has been described by Robert Cummins of the University of Arizona as "one of the five most influential writers in the philosophy of mind today." In 1991, she was invited to write the lead article for the centennial issue of the leading philosophical magazine in Britain, Mind. Millikan has held fellowships at Oxford University and at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.