Holy Cross Professors Honored for Exemplary Scholarship and Student Academic Advising

Two faculty members at the College of the Holy Cross—Ann Marie Leshkowich, professor of anthropology, and Andrew Futterman, professor of psychology and former chair of the Health Professions Advising Committee—are the recipients of the College’s Mary Louise Marfuggi Faculty Awards.

The annual awards are made possible by a generous gift from Richard A. Marfuggi, M.D. ’72 in honor of his mother.

Leshkowich received the Marfuggi Faculty Award for Outstanding Scholarship, given to a faculty member with an exemplary record of scholarship and distinguished achievement in the creation of original work in the arts and sciences. Leshkowich is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research focuses on gender, economic transformation, neoliberalism, middle classness, fashion, social work, and transnational adoption in Vietnam.

Announcing the awards during her annual address to the faculty, Margaret Freije, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, highlighted Leshkowich’s recent achievements , including the publication of a highly praised article in the flagship journal for social and cultural anthropology, American Ethnologist. The article, titled “Standardized Forms of Vietnamese Selfhood: An Ethnographic Genealogy of Documentation,” examines three different forms of narrative used to narrate the self in a nation that is transitioning from socialism, and provides a new way for anthropologists to analyze documentary materials.

In addition to conducting new fieldwork and presenting her research at two national conferences, Leshkowich also had a major book published by the University of Hawai’i Press titled “Essential Trade: Vietnamese Women in a Changing Marketplace.” The book, which focuses on women in economic transition in Vietnam, was described by a nominator as “an ethnography drawing on a combination of on-site fieldwork, archival study, and a reading of the theory literature in anthropology, social class analysis and gender studies.” A book review called it path-breaking, “revealing the deep layers of political and social significance that underlie the seemingly timeless actions of women who sell clothing and textiles in Vietnam’s largest marketplace.”

Receiving the Marfuggi Award is an honor, Leshkowich said, and she added: “I am also honored to be able to work every day with so many wonderful colleagues at Holy Cross whose research advances the frontiers of knowledge in our fields and infuses our teaching with the sense of excitement that comes from the scholarly pursuit of new insight and discovery.”

A faculty member since 2000, Leshkowich earned her Ph.D. in social anthropology from Harvard University. She served as chair of the sociology and anthropology department from 2011-15, and teaches courses on topics such as economic anthropology, fashion and consumption, contemporary Asia, and theory in anthropology. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Arthur J. O’Leary Faculty Recognition Award, which is given to senior faculty members who make a special contribution to Holy Cross through their teaching, scholarship and/or service.

Andrew Futterman was named the recipient of the Marfuggi Faculty Award for Academic Advisement, given to a faculty member based on nominations from students. He served as the College’s health professions advisor and chair of the Health Professions Advisory Committee from 1996 to 2015, mentoring and advising countless students.

In her address, Freije quoted one of the student-submitted nominations in support of Futterman: “Regardless of how busy he is, he takes the time to talk to you, whether that is about coursework or about your future plans. He never appears to lose sight of the importance of taking care of his students.”

Freije also made note of the reputation Futterman built around the health professions advising program: “In his 19 years at the helm, he has developed a program that is respected by our peer institutions, by medical school admissions boards, by our faculty and by our students – this is not an easy balance to strike. I have already had more than one conversation with doctors from medical school admissions boards who said, ‘I know that when the health professions program at Holy Cross tells me that this student can be successful at my institution, I can count on that.’”

Futterman, in response to being honored with this award, said he has taken pleasure from working with colleagues on the Health Professions Advisory Committee and students at the College. “Many of these students have gone on to become terrific doctors, dentists, nurses, and physician assistants—capable and kind,” he said. “In fact, I am now of the age that some are my own doctors. I know it is cliché, but while the award is nice—and it is really nice to get the Marfuggi Award—the work as chair of the College’s Health Professions Advisory Committee has been reward enough.”

Futterman, who joined the College as a faculty member in 1990, earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology and aging and development from Washington University in St. Louis.

His research interests focus on the diagnosis and treatment of psychopathology in later life, on the assessment of grief and depression, and on the evaluation interventions for reducing the burden of caregiving for those with Alzheimer’s disease. Futterman has received grants from the National Institute on Aging to study religious belief and behavior and the response to stress in later life. He has published more than 30 articles on aging, psychology, and medicine in scholarly journals, including the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology; Psychology and Aging; Annals of Internal Medicine; Psychological Assessment; and the Journals of Gerontology.

This year, Futterman accepted a position as professor of psychology at Loyola University in Maryland, joining his wife, Amy Wolfson, vice president for academic affairs at the University.