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Office of the Provost

University Distinguished Professors

The designation of Distinguished Professor recognizes a faculty member who has attained the rank of professor and has clearly demonstrated "continuous, extraordinary, and widely recognized" contributions as a scholar and teacher, and service to the academic community. It requires independent recommendations from nationally and internationally known scholars in the candidate's field.

For details about how to nominate a colleague for this award please review the Distinguished Professor Policy (PDF). Self-nominations are not accepted.

To support the Distinguished Professor Advisory committee’s review, please use the CV Template provided in Policies and Forms.

Nomination letters for Academic Year 2021-2022 consideration must be submitted by May 1, 2020 to the Office of the Provost (

2021-2022 Timetable of Procedures:

  • May 1 Nominations Deadline: Nominations for the title of Distinguished Professor should be received in the Office of the Provost by May 1. Nominations sent to the Office of the Provost ( must include the initial nomination letter. Nominations received after May 1 will be not be considered.
  • May 6: The Associate Provost for Academic Affairs sends out the notification to the candidate, asking for their acceptance of the nomination.
  • October 15: School Dean (or designee) submits the candidate’s dossier to
    • The dossier must include the following that will be provided by the Dean or designee:
      • The Nomination letter.
      • Dean recommendation letter.
      • 3-5 letters of evaluation from external colleagues who are experts in the nominee’s disciplinary area and can evaluate scholarly impact. These letters are solicited by the Dean's office. Names of evaluators are chosen by the nominee in collaboration with the Dean.
    • Candidates must work within the timeframe from accepting the nomination to October 15 to prepare their dossier, including:
      • A comprehensive curriculum vitae of the nominee formatted according to a standardized template, describing all pertinent research, teaching, and service activities
      • A brief paragraph describing the qualifications of each external evaluator (3-5 that are then solicited by the Dean's office).
      • 2-4 letters of support from Pace faculty. These letters are solicited by the nominee in collaboration with the Dean.
      • Submission of at least 3 but no more than 5 select publications/creative works which made special impact.
      • A 3-page statement prepared by the nominee that speaks to the award criteria discussed in “Basic Qualifications for Nomination” in the policy.
      • Summary of student evaluations.
  • November 24: Distinguished Professors Committee Deliberations meeting.
  • December 20: Evaluations, using the appropriate form, from the Distinguished Professor committee is due to the Associate Provost of Academic Affairs.
  • February 15: Recommendation letter from Associate Provost of Academic Affairs is due before March Board of Trustees meeting.

Distinguished Professors

Bennett L. Gershman

Professor Bennett L. Gershman has been a professor of law at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law since its founding as the Pace Law School in 1976. Prior to coming to Pace, Professor Gershman was a prosecutor in the New York State Anti-Corruption Office, where he argued cases in state and federal courts involving public and political officials charged with corruption.

Professor Gershman has written four books, over 75 articles in law journals, and hundreds of book reviews, essays, and op-ed pieces. His treatise, Prosecutorial Misconduct, initially published in 1985 and now in its 2nd edition, has become a preeminent resource for scholars and practitioners seeking guidance on wrongful convictions.

As a leading authority in the country on prosecutorial misconduct, Professor Gershman is continuously called upon by the news media for his expertise. He is routinely quoted by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal, as well as by a host of local publications. He has served as an expert witness on prosecutorial misconduct in numerous criminal cases. He also has devoted much of his time to training prosecutors and judges.

Attesting to his teaching effectiveness, Professor Gershman has received the Outstanding Professor of the Year award from graduating students eight times in the past 20 years. His sensitivity to the student experience is evidenced by his book, The Law School Experience: Law, Legal Reasoning and Lawyering (2000; co-authored with Lissa Griffin), which seeks to demystify the experience of being a law student. Registration for his 99-seat class on Constitutional Law, Evidence, and Criminal Procedure often closes quickly.

Dr. Eric H. Kessler

Professor Eric H. Kessler is the Henry George Scholar and Professor in the management and management science department in the Lubin School of Business on the New York City Campus. Dr. Kessler is an internationally recognized authority on organization management and global leadership. As a management researcher, he is the worldwide General Editor of the Encyclopedia of Management Theory and Choice book award winner who has published six critically acclaimed books that have sold in 70+ countries, including the new title, Wise Leadership: A Toolbox for Sustainable Success. He also has over 120 combined academic papers and presentations that have earned numerous awards and appeared in many of the field’s top outlets.

He is a Kenan Teaching Excellence Award winner, Lubin Faculty Council Chair, a Jefferson Foundation Medal for Public Service winner, Lubin Faculty Council Chair, and founding Lubin Business Honors Program Director who has pioneered innovative curriculum development, led several international field-studies, was Beta Gamma Sigma Advisor, and mentored many academic theses and over 300 community service projects. In his nearly 25 years of instructing 4,000+ students, he has received the highest levels of feedback in undergraduate, masters, doctoral, executive, and corporate education programs. One student note kept on his desk reads: “Thanks for inspiring me. Thanks for believing in me. Thanks for being a life-changing professor.”

As a management leader, he has received a Fulbright Specialist Grant and EU Erasmus Grant, served on editorial boards including the prestigious Academy of Management Review, is a past president and fellow of the Eastern Academy of Management, consulted with organizations across a broad range of industries, and has been appointed to prominent panels including the United States National Security Education Program and the Fulbright National Screening Committee. He was also named a Faculty Fellow by the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship, is a founding co-editor of the Lubin Business Review, is quoted in popular media publications, and has been inducted into Phi Beta Kappa as well as honorary societies in business, forensics, economics, and psychology.

Dr. Joseph C. Morreale

Dr. Joseph C. MorrealeProfessor Joseph C. Morreale has taught economics and public administration at Dyson College of Arts and Sciences on the New York City Campus, and has served as an academic administrator at Pace University since 1990. He received an MA and PhD in Economics from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and an MS in Higher Education Administration and Finance from the University at Albany, SUNY.

Professor Morreale has been an active researcher with wide-ranging scholarly experience in public finance and administration, health care economics, environmental economics, faculty development and evaluation, and program development in higher education. Having authored six books, numerous book chapters, and peer-reviewed articles, his most significant publication is a three-volume work on enhancing senior faculty vitality and post-tenure review, which gained national and international recognition.

Dr. Morreale has held positions as provost, senior associate provost, vice president, associate vice president, vice provost, division chair, and department chair. He negotiated and brought to Pace University Inside the Actor’s Studio, followed by the MFA program in Acting, Directing and Playwriting. He also brought to Pace the first NYC-based Confucius Institute, increasing Pace’s international reputation and creating faculty, staff, and student exchanges and joint programs with Chinese universities, and negotiated the establishment of the Wilson Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

Professor Morreale has taught at the graduate and undergraduate levels in Economics, Masters in Public Administration, Pforzheimer Honors College, and business degree programs. Through a senior capstone research course, he created an atmosphere of intellectual curiosity helping the Pace University Federal Reserve Challenge Team capture championship titles three times (2014, 2015, 2017).

Professor Morreale holds a strong belief in giving back and was elected Town Councilman in his home town of Mount Kisco in Westchester, NY, and served on the Town Planning Board for 12 years. More recently, he was elected to the Executive Board of the International Atlantic Economic Society.

Dr. Kam Chan

Dr. Kam ChanProfessor Kam Chan is a professor of accounting at the Lubin School of Business on the Pleasantville Campus. He received his PhD with a major in accounting and a minor in finance from the University of South Carolina. He joined Pace in 1997 and has received department and school teaching awards as well as Pace's Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014. Professor Chan has published in premier research journals such as Accounting, Organizations, and Society; Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory; Journal of Accounting and Economics; Journal of Business Finance and Accounting; and Journal of International Accounting Research. His research has been abstracted, reprinted, and highly cited by others, including the Securities and Exchange Commission. He was the Ernst and Young Scholar at Pace University from 2000 to 2003 and from 2009 to 2015. Based on reports by the American Accounting Association in 2011 and 2018, he was ranked as one of the top 100 most prolific researchers in accounting information systems and as the top 23rd researcher in accounting information systems in terms of the impact of his published work.

He is passionately committed to high-quality teaching and his students’ intellectual growth. Some New York City students even choose to travel to Pleasantville in order to take his classes.

Professor Chan takes an active role in providing various services to the Pace and academic communities and has received the Outstanding Reviewer Award from the Emerald Literati Network in 2016.

Dr. Rosario (Roy) Girasa

Dr. Rosario (Roy) GirasaProfessor Roy Girasa has been a professor of law at the Lubin School of Business on the Pleasantville Campus since 1980. Professor Girasa holds four degrees: a BS and PhD from Fordham University, an MLA from Johns Hopkins University, and a JD from New York University School of Law.

He formerly was a practicing attorney engaged in trial work in New York City and was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. He served as a Captain in the US Army Judge Advocate General’sCorps from 1962–1966 and served as counsel to Senator Olga Mendez, the first Puerto Rican woman to serve in a legislature in the US.

Professor Girasa is the author of five published texts and 130 articles. His books include the textbook and manual Cyberlaw: National and International Perspectives; Corporate Governance and the Law of Finance; Laws and Regulations in Global Financial Markets; Shadow Banking: Rise, Risks, and Rewards of Non-Banking Financial Services; and Regulation of Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technologies (available June 2018). Professor Girasa has delivered lectures globally, including four annual conferences in Tunisia, a number of colleges in India, and at the Supreme Court of India. Professor Girasa gave MBA seminars at the University of Shanghai Finance and Economics and at four annual seminars in Stralsund, Germany.

Professor Girasa’s dedication to his students is notable, as is the range of courses he has developed and taught for both graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Legal Studies and Taxation. He has served as the pre-law advisor for the Pleasantville Campus for many years. He has been given four awards by his department for teaching, service, and publication, a 2002 recipient of the University’s Kenan Award for Teaching Excellence, and the Pro Bono Award from the Rockland County Bar Association.

Dr. Nigel Yarlett

Dr. Nigel YarlettDr. Nigel Yarlett, is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Physical Sciences, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences on the New York City campus.

Dr. Nigel Yarlett, Director (2006-present), Haskins Laboratories, and Chair (2005-2014), NYC Campus, Department of Chemistry & Physical Sciences, joined Pace in 1986 and became a tenured full professor in 1998. Dr. Yarlett is a preeminent researcher who has made significant contributions in the areas of biochemical differences in energy-generating organelles and their phylogenetic relationships and, particularly since arriving at Pace, in the search for better chemotherapeutic agents for the treatment of parasitic diseases, in collaboration with Dr. Cyrus Bacchi, Professor Emeritus of Biology and the previous director of the Haskins Laboratory.

Dr. Yarlett is the main architect and Director of the MS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program that took its first cohort of students in Fall 2015. He has taught many courses in both the biological and chemical science; more recently Biochemistry, Advanced Biochemistry and Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory, Forensic Biochemistry, and introduced a writing enhanced course as a component of Biochemistry. He has mentored undergraduate, and graduate student research projects and many of his students have published their research in peer-reviewed journals.

Dr. Yarlett’s research has been continuously funded since 1990, obtaining funding from the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization, the Walter Reed Army Institute, Drugs for Neglected Diseases Inc., and, most recently, from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He was awarded a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2012); Fellow of the Society of Fellows of Pace University (1996); Hutner Prize in Protozoology (1995); Kenan Teaching Award (2003); Lady Glanely Scholarship (1978). He is on the editorial board of several Journals, treasurer for the International Society for Protistology (2006-2012), and has over 100 publications in the area of protozoan biochemistry.

Mark Hussey

Mark HusseyMark Hussey, Professor of English on the New York City campus, is an eminent and internationally renowned Virginia Woolf scholar. Professor Hussey’s early work established Woolf as a serious thinker in a philosophical tradition, and highlighted her views on war and pacifism. His current work involves the study of modernism’s print cultures, and the digital humanities. Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Professor Hussey has just completed a project working with scholars across the country creating a digital archive of Woolf’s To the Lighthouse.

Professor Hussey has brought international attention to Pace for the past thirty years through his scholarship, as well as many contributions within the Pace community. He is founder and editor of the Woolf Studies Annual, published by Pace University Press since 1991. Professor Hussey has shaped key programs for the English Department and for what has now emerged as the Women’s and Gender Studies Department. He is the recipient of a Kenan Award for Excellence in Teaching (2009), and clearly a major intellectual contributor to the academic environment at Pace.

John Nolon

John NolonJohn R. Nolon has been a tenured professor at Pace Law School for over twenty-five years. He has established an outstanding international reputation in the scholarship and practice of land use, sustainable development, and climate change. His pioneering text book entitled Land Use and Sustainable Development Law: Cases and Materials is widely used. He founded and developed the Land Use Law Center in 1993 as an innovative method of involving Pace Law Students in externships, field placement, and “client” work, while providing legal services to local governments regarding sustainable development in the Hudson Valley Region and throughout the Northeast. Since 2001, he has been Visiting Professor of Land Use Law and Policy at Yale in the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he teaches land use planning and supervises Pace students who are joint degree candidates.

Professor Nolon’s scholarship has developed and popularized two emerging fields of law: Local Environmental Law and Sustainable Development Law. These fields did not exist when he was appointed professor at Pace in 1988. Today, he is recognized nationally as having developed comprehensive frameworks for these areas of legal study and practice. He has been recognized at the law school several times for his distinguished scholarship, teaching, and service. He has served as the James. D. Hopkins Professor from 2009-2011 and the Charles A. Frueauff Research Professor of Law for academic years 1992, 1998, 2000 and 2001. He received the Richard L. Ottinger Faculty Achievement Award in 1999, and the Goettel Prize for faculty scholarship in 2006

Janetta Rebold Benton

Janetta Rebold BentonJanetta Rebold Benton is Distinguished Professor of Art History at Pace University, NY. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Senior Scholar Award, 2012-13, and was Visiting Professor at the graduate school of Art History, European University, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Dr. Benton presents subscription lecture series at the Schimmel Center for the Arts, NYC, and subscription seminars at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. She presented subscription lecture series at the Metropolitan Museum of Art every season 1988-2011, and has also lectured at The Cloisters, NYC; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach; and elsewhere in America and abroad, including the Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia and the Louvre, Paris, France. She is a lecturer on Smithsonian and Metropolitan Museum of Art trips throughout the world. A former resident of Paris, she taught courses in art history there as the Art Historian at the American Embassy.

The author of eight books, her latest, Handbook For The Humanities (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson, Upper Saddle River, NJ, 2013), is published in paperback and as an E-book. Arts And Culture: An Introduction To The Humanities (Robert DiYanni co-author, Pearson/Prentice Hall, two volumes and combined volume, fourth edition, 2011) is also published in Chinese (2011). Materials, Methods, And Masterpieces Of Medieval Art (Praeger Series on the Middle Ages, ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara, CA, 2009), is available in hardcover and as an E-book. Medieval Mischief: Wit And Humour In The Art Of The Middle Ages (The History Press, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004), studies an engaging aspect of medieval art. Art Of The Middle Ages (Thames & Hudson, London, 2002) is published in the acclaimed World of Art series. Holy Terrors: Gargoyles On Medieval Buildings (Abbeville Press, NY, 1997) is also published in French as Saintes Terreurs: Les Gargouilles Dans L'architecture Médiévale, 2000). Dr. Benton was the guest curator and catalog author for the 1995 exhibition Medieval Monsters: Dragons And Fantastic Creatures at the Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, NY. Her book, The Medieval Menagerie: Animals In The Art Of The Middle Ages (Abbeville Press, NY, 1992), a Book of the Month Club selection, is also published in French as Bestiaire Médiéval: Les Animaux Dans L'art Du Moyen Age. Articles by Dr. Benton appear in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition catalog, Set In Stone: The Face In Medieval Sculpture, 2007, as well as in scholarly journals including Cahiers de Civilisation Médiévale, Poitiers, 1998; Arte Medievale, Rome, 1993; Artibus et Historiae, Vienna, 1989; and Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Munich, 1985.

Dr. Benton was educated at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education, MDP diploma; earned her Ph.D. in Art History at Brown University; Master's degree in Art History at George Washington University; and Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts at Cornell University.

Martha Westcott Driver

Martha Westcott DriverMartha Westcott Driver is Distinguished Professor of English and Women’s and Gender Studies at Pace University in New York City. She has been a professor of English at Pace for 26 years. A co-founder of the Early Book Society for the study of manuscripts and printing history, she writes about illustration from manuscript to print, book production, and the early history of publishing. In addition to publishing some 80 articles in these areas, she has edited twenty-six journals over twenty-three years, including Film & History: Medieval Period in Film and the Journal of the Early Book Society. Her books about pictures (from woodcuts to film) include The Image in Print: Book Illustration in Late Medieval England (British Library Publications and University of Toronto), An Index of Images in English MSS, fascicle four, with Michael Orr (Brepols), and edited with Sid Ray, The Medieval Hero on Screen and Shakespeare and the Middle Ages (both McFarland). She contributed to and edited Preaching the Word in Manuscript and Print in Late Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Susan Powell with Veronica O’Mara (Brepols, 2013) and edited, with Robert F. Yeager and Derek Pearsall, John Gower in Manuscript and Early Printed Books (Boydell and Brewer, April 2020). Recent essays are “Medieval Women Writers and What They Read, ca. 1100 to ca. 1500,” in The Edinburgh History of Reading: A World Survey from Antiquity to the Present, edited by Mary Hammond and Jonathan Rose (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2020), “John Gower and the Artists of M.126,” in Studies in the Age of Gower, A Festschrift in Honour of R. F. Yeager, ed. by Susannah Mary Chewning (Cambridge: Boydell, 2020), and “The Mind of a Collector,” Poetica, vols. 91-92 (December, 2019).

Dr. Driver received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Vassar College (Phi Beta Kappa) and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Karla Jay

Karla JayKarla Jay was named the Distinguished Professor of English in the Spring semester of 2000. Professor Jay's courses include English and American Literature, Women's Studies, Gay and Lesbian Studies, and English as a Second Language. She has written and edited numerous books such as, Tales of the Lavender Menace: A Memoir of Liberation, Dyke Life: From Growin Up to Growing Old--A Celebration of the Lesbian Experience, and Lesbian Erotics. You will find Professor Karla Jay in the Who's Who in American Education 2004, Who's Who of American Women and Who's Who in the East. You will also find her biography in the lesbian encyclopedia: Lesbian Histories and Cultures, and her name listed as one of the 100 most influential lesbians of 2000 by Out Magazine. She was the winner of the Lambda Awards' Best Lesbian Studies Book, 1995 for Dyke Life, and was also a finalist for the 2000 Lambda Literary Awards' Best Lesbian Biography/Autobiography, 1999.

Michael Szenberg

Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Economics

Michael SzenbergA student of industry studies and biographies of economists, Michael Szenberg is the Distinguished Professor of Economics. Dr. Szenberg joined the Lubin School of Business in 1983. A dedicated researcher and writer, he received the 1971 Irving Fisher Monograph Award, of which the Final Selection Board consisted of three Nobel laureates in economics. Dr. Szenberg received the Schalkenbach Foundation Economic Research Award in 1987, and is currently Director of the Lubin School 's Center for Applied Research. The author and editor of five books, including Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies (Cambridge University Press, 1993), which was translated into several languages, Dr. Szenberg has also been published in the Journal of Cultural Economics, Review of Social Economy, International Journal of Social Economics and The International Economic Journal. In addition, he has been interviewed by BBC -TV, Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and several British newspapers regarding international economic matters.