Faculty Awards for Distinguished University Service
The Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service honors faculty members whose contributions to the development and implementation of university policies and programs through non-administrative roles have been extensive and have made documentable impact on the quality of the university. The recipients also have continued to provide effective teaching and have maintained an active program of research, scholarship, or creative work. Recipients are nominated by members of the university community and selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and previous recipients. They receive both a cash award of $3,000 and an increase of $1,200 to their base salaries from the Office of Academic Affairs.
Call/Guidelines for Nominations
Amanda A. Simcox
Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics
It would be easy to assume, noting the top-notch teaching and cutting-edge, high-impact research she does, that Amanda Simcox would have very little time to devote to outreach or service activities.
But that assumption would not take into account the importance she places upon those activities.
“Mandy does not perform her daily duties guided by some formal job description, but rather by an edifice of strong core values on what are the multifaceted roles a faculty member must whole-heartedly embrace,” a colleague said. “She is an exemplary role model for how senior scientists should seamlessly integrate service activities into their career plans.”
She has developed and put into practice a sophisticated who-done-it crime scene investigation unit (using OSU undergrads as instructors) for Columbus high school students to excite K-12 students about the biological sciences. She developed and personally recruits students for an NSF program to provide mentorship and research experiences for undergrads and has made recruitment of underrepresented students into the program a central focus.
She created a novel scientific course shared in real-time with students in India as well as being part of a team that has developed a course for students at OSU, a minority institution in the US and several universities in India. She also goes above and beyond as she advises and advocates for more than 50 molecular genetics honors students and has served on the committee examining the reorganization of the arts and sciences colleges here.
“I really do not understand how a single individual faculty member can accomplish everything that Mandy has, all with attention to detail, excellence and grace,” a nominator wrote. “Her service is simply awe-inspiring.”
Simcox earned her undergraduate and PhD at the University of Sussex, UK, and did postdoctoral work at Johns Hopkins University before joining the Ohio State faculty in 1990.
Ruth D. Peterson
Distinguished Professor of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Professor, Department of Sociology
Director, Center for Criminal Justice Research
Ruth Peterson has found considerable success and surprisingly little fanfare as she has gone about her service activities here for the past 25 years.
She has been called upon “constantly, persistently, unrelentingly to provide services to her department, to her college, to the university and beyond, and in the spirit of inordinate professionalism and excellence in university citizenship, she has done so graciously and well,” a nominator wrote. “The scope and magnitude of what she has been asked to do is amazingly broad, indicating the incredible amount of time and energy she has willingly given. It’s astounding she has not previously been honored with this award.”
Peterson has won several awards for her service to students; she reorganized the advising office in the Department of Sociology into what is now the Undergraduate Student Services office. She has directed major revisions to the undergraduate criminology and sociology programs and founded three student organizations including Alpha Kappa Delta honorary society.
She was appointed director of the Criminal Justice Research Center in 1999 and built it into a nationally recognized leading research center for the study of crime and justice issues. She serves on the oversight committee for the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. She also has served as both member and chair of the University Athletic Council and several of its committees as well. This work has contributed immensely to the cause of diversity at Ohio State.
She’s also served several national organizations, including the National Science Foundation and in award-winning fashion with the American Society of Criminology.
Peterson earned her master’s from Cleveland State University and her PhD at the University of Wisconsin.
Jay S. Hobgood
Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Director, Atmospheric Sciences Program
It is telling that as the University Senate’s Council on Academic Affairs gets into increasingly difficult work regarding two monumental issues here — semester conversion and the restructuring of the arts and sciences — that the council chose Jay Hobgood as its chair.
The choice is a both validation and continuation of Hobgood’s exemplary service record that began very shortly after he joined the faculty here in 1987.
“Jay’s service is distinguished by a dedication to the university, a willingness to shoulder significant responsibility and an ability to provide leadership at critical junctures,” wrote a colleague. “Simply — he has been asked to serve on so many diverse committees because he is effective.”
His service comes at every level: He is the senior member of his department’s curriculum committee. He has been a member of the Arts and Sciences Senate and was on the Arts and Sciences Committee on Curriculum and Instruction in revising the GEC when the graduation requirement was reduced from 191 to 181 hours. His leadership was critical in getting the new GEC through.
He also has served as director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program since 1995 and is OSU’s representative to the group that manages the NSF’s National Center for Atmospheric Research.
Hobgood also is a past winner of the Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching, and his research into the causes of rapid intensification of hurricanes keeps him in demand as a speaker and chapter and article writer.
“Jay epitomizes the type of collegial and forward-thinking service that leads to real improvements to students, faculty and the university as a whole,” wrote another nominator.
Hobgood earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD at Ohio State.