Dr. David Leon, Dee Westfall Named Keuka College’s Top Professors

Instructors in the fields of Political Science and Art are celebrated by their peers as the College’s Professors of the Year.

Thursday, June 1, 2023
2 min. read

A pair of accomplished and popular Keuka College professors were commemorated for their effectiveness in and out of the classroom by being named 2023 Professor and Adjunct Professor of the Year.

Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. David Pak Yue Leon and Adjunct Instructor of Art Dee Westfall were honored during the College’s year-end May 23 Faculty Meeting.
Dr. Leon, who joined the College in 2015, was cited for his depth of knowledge and the diversity of subject matter he brings to the classroom. While he specializes in international relations, Dr. Leon’s expertise extends to political philosophy, Asian politics, modern East Asian and European history, and American governmental operations.
His courses are noted for blending a traditional approach – lectures and discussion – with real-world applications.

Along with his classroom dedication, Dr. Leon is an active scholar who frequently publishes peer-reviewed articles exploring topics including global economic activity and the interrelationship between nation-states, finance, and corporate governance.

“Dr. Leon is dedicated to the College, inspires his students, and maintains an active research and writing agenda,” said colleague and Professor of History Dr. Christopher J. Leahy, “all of which embody the very best of what it means – or should mean – to be a professor at a small liberal-arts college.”
Prof. Westfall joined the College six years ago and has become known for her commitment to students and the supportive classroom environment she cultivates. Students describe her as an “absolutely incredible” instructor who is always willing to help if they run into challenges.
An artist in her own right, Prof. Westfall frequently takes on additional responsibilities, including hosting Field Period® internships and representing the College on campus during events for prospective students.
“Dee’s deep commitment to our current and potential students is evident and strengthens our Division and College,” said Dr. Jennie Joiner, chair of the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.
The College also honored a trio of retired instructors with emeritus status.

Professor of Education Dr. Debra Dyer and Professor of Chemistry Dr. Tom Carroll, both of whom retired at the end of this past academic year, and Professor of Nursing Patricia Mattingly, who retired in 2022, received the distinction.

Dr. Dyer joined the College’s Educational Studies Division in 2006 and was instrumental in developing and maintaining a strong Early Childhood program, helping to boost the number of students majoring in Early Childhood Education to a high of almost 45% of all education majors.
Dr. Carroll served the College for more than 40 years and is known as an outstanding instructor who promoted the welfare and success of his students through his teaching, academic advising, and encouragement for their pursuit of experiential learning.

Prof. Mattingly taught a wide range of bachelor’s and master’s courses during her 15 years at the College and frequently accompanied Nursing students on Field Period trips to locations like the Dominican Republic for cultural exchange and public service.

In addition, Professor Emerita of Management Ann Tuttle was acknowledged for her work as interim chair of the Division of Business and Management during the 2022-23 academic year. She was also honored for her leadership in the College’s successful International Accreditation Council for Business Education re-accreditation.