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Outstanding professors honored for contributions

April 18, 2012

This week ASU faculty were honored for their contributions in the classroom, on campus, and in their academic communities.

The 2012 Faculty Excellence Awards were presented by ASU President Michael Crow and Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi, in the Memorial Union, on the Tempe campus, April 17.

Faculty Achievement Awards

Ten outstanding faculty members, representing a wide range of disciplines, were honored with 2012 Faculty Achievement Awards – an annual recognition celebrating faculty members’ top intellectual contributions for Excellence in Defining Edge Research and Creative Work as well as Excellence in Curricular Innovation.

Awards for Excellence in Defining Edge Research and Creative Work are presented for a specific contribution in the last 10 years that meets the highest standards of the discipline or profession, as selected by a panel of Regents’ Professors.

The award for Excellence in Curricular Innovation is introduced this year to recognize an innovation that has changed the learning environment in creative and meaningful ways while improving students’ learning outcomes.

The Writer's Studio: Excellence in Curricular Innovation
School of Letters and Sciences
The Writers’ Studio team, consisting of Andrew Bourelle, Tiffany Bourelle, Sherry Rankins- Robertson and Duane Roen, all English and rhetoric and composition faculty in the School of Letters and Sciences, worked collaboratively to redesign first-year composition courses. The online learning environment they developed allows teachers to work as a team to collectively facilitate and assess the learning of a large number of students with an emphasis on multimodal instruction and learner-centered pedagogy.

Anne Feldhaus: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies
honored for Humanities/Literary Work
Anne Feldhaus’s extensive and groundbreaking research has shaped our understanding of Hinduism in Maharashtra. Her research has led to greater understanding of the larger topics of place and religious practice, and the relationships between pilgrimage and archaeology in general. With unparalleled mastery of Marathi literature and Sanskrit, she has gained unique insight into Marathi culture and opened new areas of study to the world through her translations. Her work has become a model for scholars working in every region of the Indian subcontinent.

Petra Fromme: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
honored for Natural Sciences/Mathematics
Leading a pioneering international research team alongside professor R. Bruce Doak and Regents’ Professor John C. H. Spence, Fromme’s work has led to the development of a revolutionary new approach to determining atomic structures utilizing pulsed X-ray laser radiation focused on a stream of micro-droplets containing nanocrystals or biomolecules. Fromme is being recognized for her extraordinary contributions developing methods for the preparation of biological nanocrystals and biomolecules, as well as X-ray diffraction analysis.

T. R. Hummer: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
Department of English
honored for Best Performance or Art Work
Hummer is an American poet, essayist and musician. The author of 12 books, hundreds of poems and numerous essays, editorials and chapters, he continues to produce new forms of art. Hummer is being recognized for his latest book, "Ephemeron," which presents a beautiful and haunting meditation on ephemerality, exploring the boundary of being and nonbeing. His next book of essays, "Available Surfaces," examines the making of music and poetry, as well as the concept of “making.” It will be published this year.

Ajay Vinzé: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
Department of Information Systems
honored for Professional Application
Professor Vinzé has applied his research in information systems to create response models for public health crises based on business inventory planning. The models allow researchers and policy-makers to simulate strategies and make informed decisions in anticipation of crises to promote public health and efficient use of resources. The software he developed has been used to design flu vaccination strategies for Maricopa County, saving more than $100 million annually, while preventing the flu and saving lives.

R. Bruce Doak: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
Department of Physics

honored for Innovation
Professor Doak’s exciting innovations in beam techniques have made possible new methods of atomic structure determination. The technique delivers micro-droplets containing nanocrystals or biomolecules to intersect with a pulsed X-ray laser. His leadership on an international research team, alongside Professor Petra Fromme and Regents’ Professor John C. H. Spence to develop what is being called the “diffract and destroy” method is widely anticipated to have revolutionary impact on the fields of biology and biochemistry.

Daniel J. Hruschka: Defining Edge Research and Creative Work
School of Human Evolution and Social Change

honored for Young Investigator
Professor Hruschka has been called the most exciting young cultural anthropologist in the world for his trailblazing scholarship that spans the fields of anthropology, mathematics and epidemiology. While the scope of his work is extraordinarily wide – ranging from public health research on topics like obesity and vaccine acceptance, to fascinating multidisciplinary and cross-cultural study of friendship, to a large collaborative multi-country investigation into human virtue – its singular and very powerful point is the question: When does culture matter for decision-making?

Institutional Inclusion Awards

For the first time, two faculty members were honored with Institutional Inclusion Awards – presented to full-time tenured or tenure-track faculty for excellence in scholarship that significantly advances understanding of diversity and inclusion.

C. Alejandra Elenes, director of the Social Justice and Human Rights master's degree program at ASU's West campus, won the Faculty Google Award for Diversity and Inclusion. Elenes is an associate professor whose research focuses on the application of borderland theories to study the relationship between Chicana cultural productions and knowledge as they relate to pedagogy and epistemology.

The Social Justice & Human Rights degree program is based on an innovative learner-centered curriculum that emphasizes team-taught, problem-based, and community-embedded seminars, as well as professional internships.

The Faculty Google Award for Diversity and Inclusion is supported by a grant from the Google Corporation in recognition of ASU’s past and anticipated accomplishments in diversity. The Faculty Google Award comes with a $750 prize.

ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication took home the College Award for Contributions to Institutional Inclusion. The award was accepted by the school's dean Christopher Callahan.

The College Award for Contributions to Institutional Inclusion is presented to the dean of a college for the unit-level efforts which reflect the value ASU places on inclusion. The award, which recognizes integrated efforts that align with the university’s diversity plan and its emphasis on people, programming and policies, provides a $5,000 account that will enable the college to host a multi-day visit from a renowned scholar who exemplifies the intersection of excellence and inclusion in higher education.

For more information on the Faculty Excellence Awards, visit

Professor of the Year Award

Ian Gould, professor chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was awarded the ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year – an endowed professorship honoring those who best exemplify a passion for teaching and who excel in both undergraduate teaching and in their area of research and/or creative activity.

Professor of the Year recipients are given life-long designation as a Parents Association Professor and receive a $20,000 cash stipend – $10,000 of which is distributed over two years to fund undergraduate student assistance. They also are invited to become a fellow in the ASU Distinguished Teaching Academy.