Presented at the 2016 Commencement of Franklin & Marshall College:
Professor Annalisa Crannell is an extraordinary teacher, mentor, and role model. She has combined her inexhaustible energy, wide-ranging talents, and outgoing, warm personality with a deep commitment to service to improve the learning experience of her own students, and those of many others around the country, in multiple ways.
In her classroom, she has been an innovator since graduate school. At Franklin & Marshall, she raised the profile of writing and speaking in mathematics courses, and encouraged students to write papers and present them at regional and national meetings, even becoming a van driver to encourage students to participate in meetings.
Propelled by her conviction that interesting mathematics should be accessible to a wide range of students, Professor Crannell has encouraged students to consider research projects early in their careers, and worked with many on independent studies, often leading to publications.
In addition to a willingness to teach an unusually broad variety of introductory and advanced courses in mathematics, Professor Crannell has created a rich array of general education and interdisciplinary courses, including Mathematics and Art, which led to a series of workshops for teachers and a highly regarded book, co-authored with Marc Frantz and published by Princeton University Press.
As the founding Don of Bonchek College House, Professor Crannell strove to fuse the learning experience of the classroom with the residential and social environment of the house. She created, and induced the students to create, numerous programs and events that connected those students to both the College and Lancaster communities.
Beyond the College, Professor Crannell has served the two main national mathematical organizations in many ways, including more than 15 years as an associate editor of the Mathematical Association of America’s (MAA) Mathematics Magazine, and a term as chair of the Nominating Committee of the American Mathematical Society. She has, appropriately, written extensively on writing in the mathematics classroom, and has lectured all over the U.S. about it and about mathematics and art.
Awarded the prestigious Haimo Distinguished Teaching Award by the Mathematical Association of America
in 2008, Professor Crannell has been invited to give the Leitzel Lecture at this summer’s MAA national mathematics meetings.
In the words of a colleague, Professor Crannell’s entire career at Franklin & Marshall has been dedicated to enhancing the intellectual curiosity and creativity of our students. For most people, that would be enough, but Professor Crannell inspires students not only as a teacher, Don, scholar, expositor, and leader, but also as a person. For example, she has served humanity by contributing a kidney to a fellow employee and adopting a baby, a child, and a young adult.
It is particularly wonderful that she is a Campus Sustainability Champion, an honor earned partly by creating as little trash as possible. Thus while creating an enormous intellectual and personal footprint, she strives to leave as small a physical footprint as possible.