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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

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Eric A. Braaten
Department of Physics

Eric Braaten’s research is remarkable for its wide range of subject matter and its intellectual depth. In a time of increasing specialization, he has made major theoretical contributions to the fields of high energy physics, nuclear physics and atomic physics. Although a member of the High Energy Theory Group in the Department of Physics, he has transcended the traditional divisions, working closely with the other theoretical and experimental research groups within the department. His scholarly output is prodigious, and two of his papers on particle theory have achieved the rank of “renowned” on the physics bibliographic database, with more than 600 citations each. His international reputation has been influential in attracting other eminent figures in his field to campus to interact with students and faculty. Since joining the faculty in 1995, he has advised six post-doctoral students. Braaten received two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and in physics and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Wisconsin.

Ruth Colker
Grace Fern Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law
Moritz College of Law

As only the second person in the College of Law’s history to be recruited to join the faculty at the chair level, Ruth Colker brought an amazing wealth of knowledge to Ohio State when she came in 1996. With an international reputation in the intersecting fields of feminist theory, disability discrimination, empirical studies and constitutional law, she brings a passion for careful scholarship and creative thinking to her students and a passion for those left behind by society to her research, writings and presentations. Ranked among the most cited law professors in the country, she has written 45 articles, 10 book chapters, four academic press books, one casebook and one handbook during her career. She has received the University Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award for her collaborative work with her students in improving the Columbus campus accessibility and the University Distinguished Lecturer Award. Colker, who is an affiliated faculty member in the Department of Women’s Studies and The John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy, received her J.D. degree from the Harvard University School of Law.

Gregory Jusdanis
Professor of Modern Greek
Department of Greek and Latin

An academic career that began with an acclaimed study of the works of the 20th century Greek poet, Constantine Cavafy, has evolved into one that is incredibly broad, encompassing comparative literature, critical theory and cultural studies. Acknowledged as one of the leading scholars in the world in modern Greek literature, Gregory Jusdanis has also gained a solid reputation as a public intellectual through his perceptive and provocative contributions to the understanding of contemporary cultural issues. In his most recent book, The Necessary Nation, he explores the resurgence of nationalism and the place of ethnic identification in modern national and international politics, a topic particularly relevant in today’s troubled world. He has played a leading role in transforming the field of modern Greek studies, enabling Ohio State’s program to achieve international stature. A recipient of both Woodrow Wilson and Guggenheim fellowships, he has been a member of Ohio State’s faculty since 1987. Jusdanis earned his doctorate in Greek literature at the School of Hellenic and Roman Studies at the University of Birmingham, U.K.

Ellen S. Mosley-Thompson
Department of Geography

We call it dust. Ellen Mosley-Thompson calls it evidence of anthropogenic climate impact. Along with her husband, Lonnie Thompson, Mosley-Thompson has devoted her academic career to measuring dust concentrations in polar ice cores, reconstructing a history of Earth’s atmosphere over tens of millennia. She is a pioneer in promoting the participation of women in remote field research areas, serving as a team leader on numerous ice-core drilling and glaciological programs in Antarctica and Greenland. Her careful analysis and rigorous research back in the Ohio State lab have earned her a well-deserved reputation as one of the top ice-core paleoclimatologists in the world, and certainly the top woman in the field. Her energy and enthusiasm for her work make her a popular speaker to the general public and a creative teacher for students at all levels. She earned a master’s and a doctorate in climatology from Ohio State and began her service to the university in 1973 as a graduate research associate in the Institute of Polar Studies. Mosley-Thompson joined the geography faculty in 1990.

Berl R. Oakley
Department of Molecular Genetics

The building blocks of life are the province of Berl Oakley, a founding member of Ohio State’s Department of Molecular Genetics. His discovery of g-tubulin, a critical component in the construction of a cell, resulted in the creation of a new field of study, microtubule nucleation. This was even more remarkable because the work was done in a small research lab by a university professor with significant teaching and advising duties as well. The full significance of Oakley’s discovery continues to evolve with implications for the greater understanding of human cancer. His scholarly contributions are recognized throughout the international scientific community, making him a popular invited speaker on cell biology and a valued mentor to numerous graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Oakley, who joined the Ohio State microbiology faculty in 1982, holds a Ph.D. in botany and cell biology from the University of London, U.K.

Stewart D. Shapiro
O'Donnell Professor of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Acknowledged as one of the leading philosophers of mathematics in the world today, Stewart Shapiro began his Ohio State career at the Newark campus in 1978 and joined the Columbus campus Department of Philosophy faculty in 2002. He published three books and numerous articles, which propelled him to the forefront in his field, all the while carrying a heavy teaching load and concurrently serving on both Newark and Columbus campus academic committees. In addition, he organized a departmental colloquium series in logic, philosophy of mathematics and philosophy of science that has attracted a number of eminent speakers to Ohio State. The brilliance of his teaching and mentoring skills is reflected in his graduate students, both at Ohio State and the University of St. Andrew in Scotland where he has served as a fellow in logic and philosophy since 1996. Shapiro earned his doctorate in philosophy at the State University of New York, Buffalo.

2003 University Distinguished Scholar Awards


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