The University of Toledo provosts announced that five faculty members have been selected as 2010-11 Distinguished University Professors pending approval from the UT Board of Trustees.
The appointees chosen are Dr. Rane Arroyo, Dr. Jiquan Chen, Dr. Saleh Jabarin, Dr. Jon Kirchhoff and Dr. Marcia McInerney.
“We are pleased to recognize the distinguished careers of these faculty members with this honor,” said Dr. Rosemary Haggett, Main Campus provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “These professors have outstanding reputations in their fields, are recognized on campus as great teachers, and have achieved meaningful outreach and engagement.”
“This year’s recipients represent the exceptional faculty we have at the University,” said Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, Health Science Campus provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “They have reached a broad audience with their research and scholarship, and have had a strong impact on our students and this institution.”Arroyo, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences, joined the UT faculty in 1997.
He has written nine acclaimed books of poetry published six chapbooks of poetry, a collection of short stories, and a collection of plays. Another poetry book, White as Silver, will be published this month.
Arroyo is known for bringing his love, enthusiasm and passion for the written word to his students and has received multiple teaching awards from the University.
“Teaching creative writing is intimate in a way many disciplines aren’t because students write from their own experiences, as do I as a Latino and gay man,” Arroyo said. “This award is an affirmation of why art matters in these trying times and also a tribute to the University leadership that they realize research goes beyond labs.”Joining the UT faculty in 2001, Chen is a professor of environmental sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, and is known as a star researcher in the areas of landscape ecology and ecosystem sciences.
He has developed a nationally and internationally recognized research area by linking biophysical measurements to important ecosystem processes underlying the changing climate and increasing environmental disturbances.
Chen has made extensive contributions in research and scholarship, with more than 150 journal publications and eight books, averaging of more than 25 citations per article. He has been involved in a number of projects, including the flux measurement of greenhouse gases of multiple ecosystems in Oak Openings and the Great Lakes Climate Modeling Project.
“I do recognize that Distinguished University Professor is one of the highest honors the University can give our faculty,” Chen said. “I am excited and really appreciate it.”Jabarin, a professor of chemical and environmental engineering in the College of Engineering, is the founding director of the UT Polymer Institute.
Jabarin, who joined the faculty in 1987, is a world-renowned expert in PET, or poly(ethylene terephthalate). He is director and lead investigator for the PET/Polyester Industrial Consortium and the Active Barrier Consortium.
During his career working with PET, which is used to make soda and water bottles, X-ray films, cassette tape and more, Jabarin has researched the best ways to use and improve the materials. His research funding exceeds $13 million, and Jabarin has authored more than 100 technical papers and presentations, holding 35 U.S. and foreign patents.
“This is really a great honor,” he said. “I’m proud to be part of the long list of people before me, and I’m humbled to be recognized for doing well something I love to do.”Kirchhoff, professor and associate chair of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been a member of the UT faculty since 1989.
His research program in analytical electrochemistry focuses on developing electrochemical sensors and the analytical methods to measure low levels of biologically and environmentally important molecules.
While maintaining an active research program, Kirchhoff has consistently been ranked by students as one of the most effective teachers in the department and has mentored numerous graduate students. His approach is to make chemistry relevant in the classroom and encourage independent thought and experimentation in research.
“Allowing students to find their own way in research with some direction makes them better independent scientists in the end. I’m always proud to see their path to the discovery of new knowledge,” Kirchhoff said. “This recognition of my teaching and research is an incredible honor, especially to be included with the outstanding UT faculty who have achieved this distinction in past years.”McInerney, professor and chair of medicinal and biological chemistry in the College of Pharmacy, joined the UT faculty in 1991.
Her research focus is defining immunopathology mechanisms in Type 1 diabetes. McInerney has published a number of articles and presented research findings at national and international conferences. She has received more than $3 million in research funding.
McInerney has completed sabbatical leaves as the Mary K. Iacocca Senior Research Fellow in immunogenetics at the Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School and more recently at the University of Michigan School of Medicine, where she has adjunct faculty status.
“I am gratified at this recognition of my work by my colleagues at the University,” McInerney said. “It is an honor, considering the wealth of productive faculty in this institution.”
The UT Board of Trustees Academic and Student Affairs Committee is expected to review the selections April 12, and the full board will do so in May.
The Academic Honors Committee considered 13 nominations for this year’s appointees, based on exemplary teaching, research, scholarship and professional service.
Each Distinguished University Professor receives an annual grant of $5,000 for five years funded by the UT Foundation.