Holy Cross Faculty Honored for Scholarship, Teaching and Advising

Four College of the Holy Cross professors were honored this spring with faculty awards for their exemplary scholarship, teaching and advising.

Florencia Anggoro, Department of Psychology 

In her address at the spring faculty assembly, Margaret Freije, provost and dean of the College, presented the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship to Florencia Anggoro of the Department of Psychology, the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award to Victor Matheson of the Department of Economics and Accounting, the Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Academic Advising to Debra Gettelman of the Department of English and the Donal J. Burns ’49 Career Teaching Medal to Kolleen Rask of the Department of Economics and Accounting.

Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship

Florencia Anggoro, a cognitive developmental scientist and associate professor of psychology, was recognized with the College’s annual award celebrating outstanding achievement in the creation of original scholarly work over the past 18 months. Over that time, Anggoro published journal articles, conference proceedings, a book chapter, and conference presentations and posters. Her scholarship, which centers around how children learn about the world, was supported by two significant federal research grants during this period.

In addition, Anggoro provided science learning opportunities for Worcester Public Schools students, as well as mentored research experiences for a dozen Holy Cross students, several of which used the opportunity in their successful applications to Ph.D. programs. Her nomination by departmental colleagues noted that her research “exemplifies what both the psychological community and the Holy Cross community value deeply: working in ways that leverage each of our unique gifts in order to improve the lives of others.”

“I am honored to be recognized among the outstanding faculty at Holy Cross, and grateful for the colleagues and students who have contributed to my research,” Anggoro says. “Studying how people acquire knowledge and how to support children’s learning—especially those from underrepresented groups—has been extremely rewarding to me. Equally rewarding is helping Holy Cross students find that spark and acquire the necessary skills to pursue their own questions.”

Debra Gettelman, Department of English

Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Award for Academic Advising

Debra Gettelman, associate professor of English, is the winner of this year’s Mary Louise Marfuggi Award for Academic Advising, given to a faculty member who has provided extraordinary academic student advisement and mentorship. The recipient is selected based on student nominations.

Students praised Gettelman for caring about the scope of their lives, from their classwork to their overall well-being. Nominations noted that she has gone above and beyond what an academic advisor is expected to do, also working with students who are not her assigned advisees.

“Her openness and her always asking about my well-being definitely made me feel more at home and at ease here knowing my professors care,” wrote one student. Added another: “I am comforted knowing she is always there to help me with whatever I might face not only this year, but in the following years.”

One student noted that Gettelman is “the first mentor I have had in my academic career to really make me feel confident in my writing. The support and feedback she gave me showed how much [she] cared about me improving and it showed the potential she saw in me.”

“I’ve had this wonderful combination of teaching Montserrat and being a first-year advisor for the past couple of years, and it’s been an absolute privilege to get to work with the same students in and outside of class for the whole year, as they work hard at everything from expressing their ideas to finding their own paths,” Gettelman says. “This has been such a hard year for so many students — it means a great deal to me that they feel supported.”


Victor Matheson, Department of Economics and Accounting 

Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award

Professor of economics and sports economist Victor Matheson received the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, presented to a faculty member with an eminent record of scholarly achievement throughout his or her career. The award is not presented annually, but rather when the Committee on Faculty Scholarship (CFS) judges the entire scholarly record of a faculty member to be worthy of the recognition. This is only the third time the College has bestowed the award.

Matheson was nominated by departmental colleagues for his prolific output of scholarship over the years, including the publication of a leading textbook on sports economics and over 100 peer-reviewed journals articles or book chapters. Nominators cited his “keen sense for intriguing research questions” that also have “an important public policy angle.” Colleagues and students also praised Matheson for his generosity as a research collaborator and his dedication as a leader of summer research.

The CFS also noted his media presence and public profile. In just the past year and a half, Matheson has appeared in more than 120 media outlets, including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, news radio programs, and popular podcasts such as Freaknomics and Planet Money, traditionally serving as an expert on the intersection of sports and local economies, from Olympic host cities and major league stadium financing to sports gambling and the economic impact of COVID-19 on spectator sports.

A colleague in his field from Skidmore College wrote in support of the nomination: “Without doubt, he is one of the most well-known and highly published scholars in our field. His record of professional service and scholarship, combined with his ability to engage the popular press, is nearly without equal.”

“I am deeply honored to receive the Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, and it made for an especially welcome end to what was otherwise a truly terrible semester here at Holy Cross,” Matheson  says. “I know that this award would not have been possible without all of the hardworking and talented faculty and students in the Department of Economics and Accounting, at least 20 of whom have been my co-authors over the years. So, this award is as much theirs as it is mine, and I am thrilled to accept the award on behalf of all of us.”


Kolleen Rask, Department of Economics and Accounting 

Donal J. Burns ’49 Career Teaching Medal

Kolleen Rask, professor of economics, was awarded the Donal J. Burns ’49 Career Teaching Medal. Nominated by individuals or groups on campus, the honor recognizes an outstanding faculty member who has devoted his or her career to teaching at Holy Cross.

Rask was lauded by nominators and the selection committee for her dedication and commitment to and passion for the liberal arts. One nominator wrote that Rask asks her students to “extend their learning beyond what they have read or seen in class …[seeing] the real value of the liberal arts education as helping to prepare a person to encounter and respond to a completely unexpected situation.” Eleven colleagues wrote testimonials noting that she has “challenged, inspired and supported” them as they evolved as teachers.

Rask has educated and supported students in a variety of ways over the years, from traditional courses to Passport and Montserrat programs, to advising more than 40 honors theses, Washington Semester theses and academic internships. She was also praised for her ability to develop new courses, such as one offered in fall 2019: “This class is the one that I think about often,” a student wrote. “It will change my way of thinking for the rest of my life.”

“I came to Holy Cross over 30 years ago, impressed by its commitment to excellence in teaching the liberal arts. We guide our students to think critically and creatively, to evaluate evidence honestly and to communicate effectively,” Rask says. “I am very fortunate and proud to be part of a community that continues to support and value these qualities, especially today, and to have the opportunity to work with dedicated colleagues and engaged students."