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Faculty awards conferred at spring assembly

by | Posted on Thursday, Apr. 7, 2011 — 6:51 PM

Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos presented five faculty members with awards when Vanderbilt‘s Spring Faculty Assembly convened April 7. Professors of psychology and human development, French and Italian, chemistry and biomedical engineering and earth and environmental sciences were recognized before the chancellor addressed the assembly. Watch video of the assembly.

Bruce Compas, Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair in Psychology and Human Development, was awarded the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award

Bruce Compas, the Patricia and Rodes Hart Chair of Psychology and Human Development, professor of psychology, professor of psychology and human development
The Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished Professor Award

This award, created to honor Chancellor Joe B. Wyatt upon his retirement in 2000, is given to a full-time faculty member for the development of significant new knowledge from research or exemplary innovations in teaching.

“Bruce is widely recognized for his research in depression in adolescents, psychological adjustment of children with cancer, and the neuro-cognitive deficits of children with cancer or sickle cell disease,” Zeppos said. “In each of these areas of expertise, he is like a brilliant maestro broadly engaging the academic community at Vanderbilt in interdisciplinary collaboration. Through his pioneering work, he has influenced the practice of both psychology and medicine.”

Robert Barsky, professor of French and comparative literature, was awarded the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award

Robert Barsky, professor of French and Italian, professor of French and comparative literature, professor of Jewish studies, professor of comparative literature, professor of English, acting chair of French and Italian
The Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award

This award, created to honor Chancellor Heard when he retired in 1982, recognizes a full-time faculty member who has made distinctive contributions to the understanding of problems of contemporary society.

“For his contributions to the understanding of issues facing contemporary society, Bob embodies the values that this award represents and is a walking, breathing personification of the public intellectual,” said Zeppos.

“Not only does he write about social injustice, he devotes a considerable amount of time to the community, addressing legal and social issues affecting refugees, illegal immigrants and prisoners.  Bob Barsky is one of those rare individuals who generates life-transforming experiences for others and nurtures a sense of awe and intense curiosity in students that they will cherish throughout their lives. “

David Furbish, professor and chair of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, was awarded the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award

David Furbish, professor and chair of earth and environmental sciences and professor of civil and environmental engineering
The Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award

This award was started in 1963 to honor retiring Chancellor Branscomb.

“Recognizing David’s talents as a gifted researcher with a passion for science, we recruited him to Vanderbilt to chair the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences eight years ago,” said Zeppos. “Since that time his commitment to the educational goals of his department and to the mission of the university has been unwavering.  For David’s extraordinary contributions to Vanderbilt University and for inspiring our society as a leader in earth and environmental sciences, he is highly deserving of the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award.”

Bunmi Oltunji, assistant professor of psychology, was awarded the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching

Bunmi Olatunji, assistant professor of psychology, assistant professor of psychiatry
The Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching

This award is determined by the chancellor based on nominations from students.

“Bunmi is a naturally gifted instructor, and is credited by his colleagues as capturing perfectly the ethos of the Vanderbilt educator, researcher, and citizen,” said Zeppos. “He excels in finding creative ways to link his teaching, research, clinical practice and service to his department and university. For his commitment to this calling of teaching and scholarship, it is my pleasure to present him with the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.”

Clare McCabe, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, won the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

Clare McCabe, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
The Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching

The winner is selected by the chancellor from nominations by undergraduate students.

“Clare joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 2004, and has since built a successful research program while also earning praise as a highly respected and spectacularly effective teacher,” said Zeppos. “In reviewing the students’ anecdotal comments, one cannot help but notice a reoccurring sentiment: ‘Dr. McCabe genuinely cares about her students and wants them to succeed in their quest for learning.’  Outside of the classroom, Clare excels as a mentor and devotes time to supervising students in their independent research projects.  It is teachers like Clare McCabe who make Vanderbilt a truly great university.”

Wyatt, Heard and Branscomb award winners receive $2,500 award and an engraved silver tray. Ingalls and Sarratt winners receive $2,500 and an engraved pewter cup. Sarratt winner also gets name on a permanent plaque in the Sarratt Student Center.

 

 

Contact:
Missy Pankake, (615) 322-NEWS
missy.pankake@vanderbilt.edu