May 3, 2007

Altshuler Professors and Ford Research Fellows named

Innovative SMU teachers and researchers were named this week as Altshuler Professors and Ford Research Fellows. They will be honored at the Board of Trustees dinner on May 10.

The four SMU researchers who will receive the University's 2007 Ford Research Fellowships are David Haynes, English and Creative Writing; Rick Jones, Biological Sciences; Santanu Roy, Economics; and Kathleen Wellman, History. Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from Gerald Ford, chair of SMU's Board of Trustees, the fellowships help the University retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year. More about each of the fellows:

  • David Haynes, English Haynes, director of SMU's Creative Writing Program, has written five children's books and is completing his seventh novel; his most recent work, The Full Matilda, was published in 2004 by Harlem Moon Broadway Books. He is planning a nonfiction work on the craft of fiction as it relates to connections between race and culture.
  • Rick Jones, Biological Sciences Jones has received three grants from the National Institutes of Health for his research in the study of regulation of gene expression during development of multicellular organisms. His focus is on Polycomb-group genes and the mechanisms they use to negatively regulate other genes.
  • Santanu Roy, Economics Roy has published three papers in the highly competitive Journal of Economic Theory and received two major grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. His current research topics include the economics of preventing and controlling biological invasion and the economics of extinction and survival.
  • Kathleen Wellman, History Wellman has written two important books on the Enlightenment in France, including the Godbey Authors' Award-winning Making Science Social: The Conferences of Theophraste Renaudot, 1633-1642. The third book in Wellman's trilogy will examine physiology and the Enlightenment. Another book currently in progress will focus on the elite culture of queens and mistresses in the French Renaissance.

Four outstanding educators have been named 2007-09 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors by SMU's Center for Teaching Excellence. This year's honorees are Christine Buchanan, Biological Sciences; Mark Chancey, Religious Studies; John Holbert, Theology; and Bonnie Wheeler, English and Medieval Studies. More about each of the honorees:

  • Christine Buchanan has published articles and book chapters on antibiotic resistance and penicillin-binding proteins in bacteria. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, and she has served on their review panels. Her University honors include a 1996 "M" Award, a 2002 Distinguished University Citizen Award and the President's Associates 2005-06 Outstanding Faculty Award. A former Faculty Senate president, Buchanan is faculty adviser to the SMU chapter of the national health preprofessional honor society Alpha Epsilon Delta, co-administrator of the BRITE (Biomedical Researchers in Training Experience) Program and chair of the University Admissions Council.
  • Mark A. Chancey is the author of two books published by Cambridge University Press: The Myth of a Gentile Galilee (2002) and Greco-Roman Culture and the Galilee of Jesus (2005). His research interests include the Gospels, the historical Jesus, archaeology and the Bible, and the political and social history of Palestine during the Roman period. Currently, he is working on a book-length overview of the archaeology of Palestine from Alexander the Great to Constantine and on several articles focusing on the constitutional, political and academic issues surrounding Bible courses in public education. He received the Golden Mustang Award in 2002.
  • John C. Holbert, the Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, has been a member of the SMU faculty since 1979. He has published six books that combine interests in the Hebrew Bible, the task of Christian preaching, and the power of story. He is an ordained United Methodist clergyperson and has served as associate pastor of University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as well as two interim senior pastorates at First United Methodist Church in Ft. Worth (1994) and First United Methodist Church in Dallas (1997).
  • Bonnie Wheeler, director of SMU's Medieval Studies Program, is editor of the book series The New Middle Ages (Palgrave Macmillan). The editor or co-editor of twelve books, she also is editor of the International Arthurian Society/North American Branch's quarterly journal,  Arthuriana. Among her national elected positions, she is vice president of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals; councilor of The Medieval Academy of America; and on the national nominating committee of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She appears frequently as a historical and literary consultant for the A&E Network, the History Channel, and the BBC. Currently, she is finishing a project on reputation in medieval texts.

The four new Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors will join four returning members of SMU's Academy of Distinguished Teachers: Bill Beauchamp, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Milt Gosney, Electrical Engineering; Karl Kilinski, Art History, and Mary Vernon, Art.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards recognize four SMU faculty for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning. "These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline," according to the CTE Web site. "They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education." The professorships are named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler.

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU's Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

Visit the Center for Teaching Excellence online.

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