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Hauser and Mazurek receive faculty excellence awards of excellence at St. Bonaventure University

May 16, 2021

Rene Hauser and Alexander Mazurek

Two St. Bonaventure University faculty members have been honored with awards of excellence for the 2020-21 academic year.
Dr. René Hauser, associate professor in the School of Education and director of its master’s level inclusive special education program, received the Professional Excellence in University Service Award, while Dr. Alexander Mazurek, adjunct instructor of classics, received the Adjunct Faculty Professional Excellence in Teaching Award.
Hauser, who has taught at St. Bonaventure since 2004, has a record of service to her campus and community that can be tiring just reading through it. “A list of committees she has not served on would likely be shorter than the long list of committees and task forces she has been a member of and continues to serve,” said Dr. Mary Rose Kubal, associate professor of political science, who served with Hauser on the Faculty Senate.
“Staggering” is how elementary education professor Dr. Adam Brown describes the number of tasks Hauser gladly takes on. “Service work is in René’s blood, she never stops,” said Brown. “And anyone who has had the pleasure of working with René knows she is extremely productive…she is usually the one volunteering for extra work or being asked do to tasks for which others don’t have the expertise.”
Hauser has chaired the university’s Graduate Council since 2016, is a founding member of the University Planning Commission, and since 2011 has served as the School of Education’s assessment and accreditation coordinator, work the school’s dean, Dr. Lisa Buenaventura, said demands “a significant amount of time, effort and collaboration.”
Her résumé includes serving on the university’s Faculty Senate; the Honors Council; the Academic Program Evaluation Committee; the University Technology Committee; the Institutional Review Board; the University Diversity Action Committee’s Disability Subcommittee; the Council on Discrimination and Harassment; the School of Education Graduate Admissions Committee; the Center for Attention, Learning, and Memory; and the Women’s History Month Committee.
In addition, Hauser has served on search committees, review boards, scholarship and grant committees, as a conference coordinator, task force member, peer reviewer for national and regional professional journals and conferences, and as adviser to the student Hip Hop team.
Off campus, she is a longtime member and officer of Olean’s Zonta Club, an international organization devoted to rights of women and girls. She is also a member and Council president at Immanuel Lutheran Church of Olean, as well as past-president and member of its Christian Child Care and Preschool board. She has served as a voter registration volunteer, and helped start a peer tutoring program at Kenmore West High School in Kenmore, New York.
“René is an example of service at work, and she has helped many throughout her time at St. Bonaventure,” said Dr. David Hilmey, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “She is well-deserving of the Professional Excellence in Service Award.”
Hauser earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in elementary and special education from the University at Buffalo, and her Ph.D. in special education from U.B. in 2006. Prior to coming to St. Bonaventure in 2004 she served as an adjunct instructor at Canisius College; a part-time lecturer at Buffalo State College; a special education teacher at Warsaw Junior and Senior High School in Warsaw, New York; and as a special education teacher for BOCES.
Who better to determine a teacher’s effectiveness than his students and the professors who see him in action? Dr. Alexander Mazurek, adjunct instructor of classics, gets an A from both groups.
“Hire this man for life,” a student wrote in an evaluation after taking Mazurek’s Greek and Roman Mythology class. “A great teacher,” said another. “A master of online classes,” said a third.
A student in his Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Italy course called him “by far, the most relatable teacher I have had at Bonaventure.” Others described him as “energetic and passionate,” “fun and interesting,” “intelligent, relatable and humorous.” Another called Mazurek “one of the best professors I’ve had in my four years at St. Bonaventure.”
These are just a sampling from the four pages of favorable student evaluations accompanying the nomination of Mazurek for the excellence in teaching honor.
Mazurek earned his bachelor’s degree in classics and archeology from Boston University, his master’s in classics from the University at Buffalo, and his doctorate in classics will be conferred at U.B in June. He was a teaching assistant and instructor at U.B. before coming to St. Bonaventure in fall of 2017.
His academic preparation is “first-rate,” said Dr. Jeffrey White, emeritus professor of classics at St. Bonaventure. Mazurek brings “youth, idealism, imagination and energy” to the classics department, and his interactions with students have an “unselfish collaborative character,” White added.
Dr. Theodore Georgian, emeritus professor of biology at St. Bonaventure, sat in on Mazurek’s Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Italy class in spring semester of 2020. “Simply put, it was a great course and Mazurek did a great job of teaching it,” said Georgian, noting Mazurek employed “vivid illustrations, penetrating analyses” and “frequent questions to students” to make the class “easy to follow and yet intellectually stimulating.”
Anahiz Rivera, a graduating senior carrying a double major in English and professional & creative writing, as well as minors in Latin and classics, took a Latin course from Mazurek her sophomore year. “He has been my favorite professor ever since,” she said, describing him as “knowledgeable, organized, detail-oriented, and committed to helping students do the best they can.”
After that Latin course her sophomore year, Rivera would enroll in three more courses taught by Mazurek over the next two years.
“I wish I could take more,” she said. “I have become a better student and person through his guidance.”
About the University: The nation’s first Franciscan university, St. Bonaventure University is a community committed to transforming the lives of our students inside and outside the classroom, inspiring in them a lifelong commitment to service and citizenship. In 2020, St. Bonaventure was named the #2 regional university value in New York and #3 in the North by U.S. News and World Report.