Twelve faculty members selected as 2017 Chancellor Faculty Fellows

Chancellor Faculty Fellows 2017

Twelve outstanding faculty members from across the university have been named to the 2017 class of Chancellor Faculty Fellows. The class comprises highly accomplished, recently tenured faculty from the social sciences, life and physical sciences, clinical sciences and humanities, as well as law, mathematics and engineering.

“Faculty are the lifeblood of Vanderbilt, and investing in our faculty provides rich, lasting dividends for the entire university community,” Chancellor Nicholas S. Zeppos said. “By recognizing this diverse group of scholars, educators and mentors early in their career with designated funding, collegial connections and support, the program provides a bridge that allows the fellows to take their research further and deeper. [rquote]It’s through this commitment to our faculty and their discovery of new knowledge that Vanderbilt can find answers to the complex questions facing society.”[/rquote]

The faculty members will hold the title of Chancellor Faculty Fellow for two years and will be supported by an unrestricted allocation of $40,000 a year for two fiscal years beginning July 1. The funds can be used to support innovative research, scholarship and creative expression activities that will further propel the career of the awardee. The Chancellor Faculty Fellows also will meet as a group during the course of their awards to exchange ideas on teaching and research, building a broader intellectual community that advances trans-institutional scholarship.

“As the Chancellor Faculty Fellow program enters its third year, we continue to reap the rewards of the vision we set out in the Academic Strategic Plan to support trans-institutional research, teaching and collaboration,” Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan R. Wente said. “I congratulate our new fellows on this distinction and look forward to the contributions they will make and the relationships and collaborations they will forge as part of this important One Vanderbilt program.”

The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program was launched in September 2014 under the Trans-Institutional Programs, or TIPs, initiative to support outstanding faculty who have recently received tenure. In its brief history, the program has advanced the careers of these amazing faculty. Some highlights include:

  • Sharon Weiss, professor of electrical engineering and a 2015 Chancellor Faculty Fellow, who was named a Distinguished Lecturer at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Photonics Society for 2016-17;
  • Sean Seymore, professor of law and of chemistry and a 2015 Chancellor Faculty Fellow, who was elected to membership in the American Law Institute and appointed to the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute for General Medical Sciences Advisory Council; and
  • Christopher Loss, associate professor of public policy and higher education and of history and a 2016 Chancellor Faculty Fellow, who co-edited and published The Convergence of K-12 and Higher Education: Policies and Programs in a Changing Era (Harvard Education Press, 2016); signed a contract with the University of Pennsylvania Press for the forthcoming Front and Center: Academic Expertise and its Challengers in the Post-1945 United States; and was appointed to the advisory council of the national fellowship program at the University of Virginia’s Jefferson Scholars Foundation.

Chancellor Faculty Fellow candidates are nominated by their deans. The TIPs Council, which is co-chaired by Vice Provost for Academic and Strategic Affairs John Geer, Vice Provost for Research Padma Raghavan and Vanderbilt University Medical Center Executive Vice President for Research Jennifer Pietenpol, reviewed and made final recommendations on the nominations received for the 2017 class.

“The Chancellor Faculty Fellows program fosters important opportunities for emerging scientific leaders from diverse disciplines to collaborate in new ways,” said Jeff Balser, president and CEO of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and dean of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “The university and Medical Center continue to distinguish themselves from academic peers through this innovative program.”

The 2017 Chancellor Faculty Fellows are as follows:

  • Julia Cohen, associate professor of Jewish studies and associate professor of history
  • Carlos Grijalva, associate professor of health policy
  • Terry Maroney, professor of law
  • David Merryman, associate professor of biomedical engineering, associate professor of medicine, associate professor of pediatrics and associate professor of pharmacology
  • Melanie Ohi, associate professor of cell and developmental biology and associate professor of biochemistry
  • Efrén Pérez, associate professor of political science
  • Jesse Peterson, associate professor of mathematics
  • Seth Smith, associate professor of radiology and radiological sciences, associate professor of biomedical engineering and associate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences
  • Sonya Sterba, associate professor of psychology and human development
  • Tiffiny Tung, associate professor of anthropology
  • Geoffrey Woodman, associate professor of psychology
  • Jamey Young, associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and associate professor of molecular physiology and biophysics