Nine MSU professors have been awarded the title of University Distinguished Professor by the Board of Trustees for their achievements in the classroom, laboratory and community.
The nine professors, which were recommended by the Provost June Youatt and President Lou Anna K. Simon, were: Georg Bollen (Department of Physics and Astronomy), Bruce Dale (Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science), Dean DellaPenna (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology), Sheng Yang He (Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics), James Kelly (Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences), Fang Zheng Peng (Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering), Elizabeth Simmons- (Department of Physics and Astronomy), Cheryl Sisk (Department of Psychology) and Rodney Whitaker (College of Music).
Associate Provost Theodore Curry said that University Distinguished Professor is the highest title- that MSU awards to a faculty member.
“University Distinguished Professors will have been recognized nationally and usually internationally for the importance of their scholarly achievements,” Curry said.
“They will also have demonstrated the breadth of interest characteristically encompassed by the traditional role of professor as teacher and public servant.”
Four of the nine professors who were chosen came from the College of Natural Science.
In addition to the award reception, which will be held on Nov. 25, each professor will receive a stipend of $5,000 per year for the next five years.
Simmons, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, will use the money for a conference she has helped organize with four women scientists from developed nations.
“It is always hard to get enough money to help people who don’t have a lot of resources to attend the workshop from a developing country,” Simmons said.
Yang He, professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, said he will use the money toward his lab for whatever it may need.
“Rather it’s for research or student travel, I’ll make sure that extra cash supports anything science related,” Yang He said.
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