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Ohio State University logo Recognizing Excellence

University Distinguished Scholar Awards

The Distinguished Scholar Award, established in 1978, recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments by senior professors who have compiled a substantial body of research, as well as the work of younger faculty members who have demonstrated great scholarly potential. The award is supported by the Office of Research with honoraria provided by The Ohio State University Foundation. Recipients are nominated by their departments and chosen by a committee of senior faculty, including several past recipients of the award. Distinguished Scholars receive a $3,000 honorarium and a research grant of $20,000 to be used over the next three years.

Recognizing Excellence at Ohio State

Current University Awards winners

Previous University Awards winners

Click on photo or scroll down the page to read winner's bio.

David H. Bromwich
Department of Geography
Byrd Polar Research Center

An internationally known leader in the evaluation and diagnosis of polar weather and climate variability, David H. Bromwich received his Ph.D. in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1979 he joined Ohio State’s Byrd Polar Research Center as a research scientist and became a member of the geography faculty in 1998. Bromwich has proven himself as one of the true leaders in the investigation of meteorological and climatic processes in both Arctic and Antarctic polar regions of the planet. His research focuses on the spatial and temporal variability of precipitation over Antarctica, Greenland, and the Arctic Ocean using a variety of atmospheric methods. This is of extreme importance to the understanding of climate and potential sea level changes, and Bromwich’s leadership in these areas has attracted new faculty to Ohio State. Each year he publishes his work in major peer-reviewed journals, including Monthly Weather Review and Nature, delivers further presentations through proceedings and conference papers, obtains research funding from major sources such as the NSF, NOAA, and NASA, and plays a prominent role in defining aspects of U.S. science policy. In addition to his research, Bromwich is involved in mentoring junior faculty, guiding graduate students, teaching courses, and serving on departmental committees. He was elected chair of the 2003-04 University Research Committee.

Martin R. Feinberg
Richard M. Morrow Chair in Polymer Engineering
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Department of Mathematics

Colleagues consider Martin R. Feinberg one of those rare engineers who combines research breakthroughs, superior teaching and preparation of tools for education, and engineering practice. Feinberg’s research is interdisciplinary in nature, sitting at the juncture of chemical engineering, mathematics, and biology. Chemical reaction network theory, his best-known work, brings sophisticated and deep mathematical analysis to seemingly intractable problems in which many distinct molecular species react via large, complex networks of chemical reactions. Some of this work has been made accessible in a freely available computer program, the Chemical Reaction Network Toolbox. The chemical reaction network theory is gaining the interest of biophysicists investigating biological clocks, morphogenesis, and other unusual biological manifestations of natural chemistry. Feinberg recently was awarded a highly competitive NSF grant in quantitative systems biology, which will involve collaboration with Harvard University’s new Department of Systems Biology, headed by one of the world’s foremost cell biologists, Marc Kirschner. While at Ohio State, Feinberg has worked to recruit new faculty in a highly competitive recruiting environment, has published his research in leading chemical engineering and mathematics publications, and has been recognized for excellence in teaching. Feinberg joined Ohio State in 1997 and received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton.

Jeffrey M. Kipnis
Knowlton School of Architecture

Architectural critic, theorist, curator, and filmmaker Jeffrey M. Kipnis has transformed the way architects conceive of and practice the discipline. Among the most agile minds in architecture, Kipnis propels the field, but also is moved by it, as several of his colleagues have noted. His particular talent is to situate architecture in a broad cultural perspective, underlining its complex affiliations with other art forms. Kipnis has published a number of essays over the years, and his writings have exercised a manifest influence on developments in contemporary architecture. In addition, Kipnis has curated two major exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Suite Fantastique in 2001 and Mood River in 2002. His recent foray into film, A Constructive Madness, an hour-long documentary of Frank Gehry’s design of the Lewis House, has been met with critical acclaim. Kipnis also organizes architecture conferences each year, the themes of which have become critical issues for the discipline in subsequent years. He has been instrumental in drawing many prominent architects to lecture at the school, bringing an invaluable resource and fresh perspectives to faculty and students. Kipnis holds an M.S. in physics from Georgia State University and joined the Ohio State architecture faculty in 1987.

Joseph A. Krzycki
Department of Microbiology

When a research scientist’s results are new and unexpected, yet so convincing, it can be shocking. Joseph A. Krzycki’s research led to the discovery of the 22nd amino acid of life and was a groundbreaking discovery in the modern era of molecular biology and biochemistry. His research has expanded the natural world, the genetic code, and the research horizon for molecular biologists and has increased the potential opportunities for novel biotechnology products. Krzycki’s contributions have made him widely sought after as a speaker for research symposia and at academic, government, and corporate research centers. He is a member of the editorial boards of the top two microbiology research journals in North America and has served on many federal grant review panels. His research has been supported continuously since 1989 by competitive grants awarded by the DOE, NSF, and NIH. Krzycki leads by example and is a role model for combining excellence in teaching, research, participation in professional service, and in contributing to the infrastructure of the university. Krzycki joined the Ohio State microbiology faculty in 1987 and received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Lawrence E. Mathes
Professor and Interim Associate Dean for Research
Department of Veterinary Biosciences

An internationally recognized scholar with an outstanding record of interdisciplinary research in infectious disease, Lawrence E. Mathes is the leading authority on molecular immunology of feline retrovirus infections and neoplastic disease and evaluation of antiviral therapeutic approaches. In collaboration with Richard Olsen, he developed the first vaccine marketed for the prevention of feline leukemia. Since the vaccine’s introduction, it has been administered more than five million times, and incidence of feline leukemia virus infection and its associated diseases have been reduced significantly. The Office of Research has named the vaccine one of the top 10 scientific accomplishments of Ohio State researchers. Mathes has authored more than 120 peer-reviewed research publications, has won major grants and contracts from the National Institutes of Health, and has received substantial funding from industrial sources including Battelle Memorial Institute and Morris Animal Foundation. In addition, he has been the program leader of the Viral Oncogenesis Program in the Ohio State Comprehensive Cancer Center for the past 17 years, and for 12 years he directed the university’s Center for Retrovirus Research during a period of intense growth. Mathes has been key in recruiting young faculty to the Center for Retrovirus Research, has been recognized for his exemplary graduate teaching, and has served in numerous administrative roles in the College of Veterinary Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in microbiology from Ohio State and joined its veterinary biosciences faculty in 1982.

Carl J. Pollard
Department of Linguistics

With a strong background in mathematics as well as linguistics, Carl J. Pollard has changed the course of the field of natural language theoretical syntax, the theory of possible sentence structures in natural languages, over the past two decades—and may do so again in the decade to come. Along with his primary collaborator, Ivan Sag of Stanford University, he is the originator and principal developer of the comprehensive theory of syntax known as Head-Driven Phrase-Structure Grammar (HPSG). Since its origination, this theory has become one of the two most important theories of natural language syntax. HPSG has been applied and tested in 43 languages, and the international HPSG conference is now in its 10th year. Pollard is a national and international leader in linguistics and has published widely on topics in syntactic theory, semantics, mathematical linguistics, and the syntactic analysis of English and of Chinese. He serves on the editorial boards of the premier journals in the fields of formal and computational linguistics and his research has been funded regularly by the National Science Foundation. Since his arrival at Ohio State in 1990, Pollard has significantly influenced the Department of Linguistics. Through his role as Graduate Studies chair for nearly 10 years, he has reshaped certain key aspects of the department’s graduate program and strongly contributed to the department’s international reputation.

2005 University Distinguished Scholar Awards


Previous winners

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