News from Ohio State University

Ohio State faculty awards recognize outstanding scholarship, research

Educators, researchers and scholars who were recognized at The Ohio State University’s annual Faculty Awards Celebration are major contributors to fulfilling the university’s land-grant mission, President Walter “Ted” Carter Jr. said. The event was held April 30 at the Ohio Union.

“We’re here tonight to celebrate the best of the best  ̶  those of you who define innovative thinking, high-quality scholarship, impactful service, leadership, the power of mentorship. What happens when you apply your expertise to society’s biggest challenges?” Carter told the honorees. “The work you do not only impacts lives, it saves lives.”

Honorees represent a wide range of expertise, said Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Karla Zadnik.

“These colleagues represent the extraordinary quality that our faculty members bring to our students, the community and beyond,” she said. “Our eminent faculty are the key drivers behind the success of our talented students, and I’m proud that our university fosters excellence at every stage of the faculty life cycle.”

The Distinguished University Professor award, Ohio State’s highest faculty honor, was presented to Judit Puskas, distinguished professor in the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Wooster campus. Her extensive research on polymers has resulted in more than 430 publications and 33 patents, showcasing the significant applied impacts of her research in biomedical engineering and sustainability.

“This was definitely a big surprise for me,” Puskas said. “Ohio State is the best.”

Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Karla Zadnik informs Professor Christopher Jaroniec about his award during a classroom visit.Three professors were recognized with the President and Provost’s Award for Distinguished Faculty Service: Eric Bielefeld, professor and chair, Department of Speech and Hearing Science, College of Arts and Sciences; Elizabeth Hewitt, professor, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences; and Christopher Jaroniec, distinguished professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; associate dean for research and creative inquiry, College of Arts and Sciences.

“These awardees are tireless servants of the university,” said Patrick Louchouarn, senior vice provost for faculty. “Their contributions to the development and implementation of university policies and programs through non-administrative roles have been extensive and have positively impacted the quality of our university.”

The Distinguished Scholar Award was presented to six faculty members.

“The Distinguished Scholar Award is among the highest annual honors The Ohio State University bestows on a faculty member in recognition of outstanding scholarly activity, research or creative works,” said Helen Malone, vice provost for academic policy and faculty resources. “These colleagues represent exceptional achievements in their fields and have brought distinction to themselves and Ohio State.”

Distinguished Scholar Award recipients are:

Amal Amer, professor and vice chair for translational research, Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, College of Medicine.

Sara Butler, professor and King George III Chair in British History, Department of History; Director, Center for Historical Research, College of Arts and Sciences.

Smita Mathur, professor, Department of Astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences.

Srinivasan Parthasarathy, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering.

Robyn Warhol, distinguished professor, Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences.

Shang-Tian Yang, professor, David H. George Endowed Chair, William G. Lowrie Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, College of Engineering.

Also during the ceremony, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering C. Emre Koksal was recognized as the Innovator of the Year. His areas of expertise include data science, wireless communications, information security, communication networks and information theory.

Kotaro Nakanishi, associate professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, received the Early Career Innovator of the Year award. His research seeks to understand how small non-coding RNAs and their binding proteins work together to control eukaryotic gene expression.

Other honors presented during the celebration included the Community Engaged Scholar Award. Recipients are:  

Sharon Amacher, professor and vice chair, Department of Molecular Genetics, College of Arts and Sciences; professor, Department of Biological Chemistry and Pharmacology, College of Medicine.

John Beacom, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy, College of Arts and Sciences; Henry L. Cox Endowed Professor, Department of Physics; director, Center for Cosmology and AstroParticle Physics, Department of Astronomy.

Joshua Joseph, associate professor, Endowed Professor for Research in Internal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine.

Paula Meijerink, associate professor, Landscape Architecture Program, Knowlton School of Architecture, College of Engineering.

Townsand Price-Spratlen, associate professor, Department of Sociology, College of Arts and Sciences.

Smitha Rao, assistant professor, College of Social Work.

Kevin McClatchy, associate professor, Department of Theatre Film and Media Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized as Ohio State’s 2024-25 Artist Laureate. Also recognized were Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching honorees, who are inducted into the university’s Academy of Teaching for the improvement of teaching at Ohio State.

The Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching honorees are:

Katrina Lee, John C. Elamn/Vorys Sater Professor in Law, Moritz College of Law.

Joe Raczowski, assistant professor of professional practice, Department of Entomology, College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.

Frances Sivakoff, assistant professor, Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, College of Arts and Sciences, Marion campus.

Mary Sterenberg, assistant professor of practice, School of Communication, College of Arts and Sciences.

Zachary Woods, assistant professor of practice, Division of Pharmacy Education and Innovation, College of Pharmacy.

Faculty members who have received external awards during the 2023-24 academic year also were recognized. Those honored included Pierre Agostini, professor emeritus of physics and 2023 Nobel Laureate, and 2024 Guggenheim Fellows Ryan Johnson, post-MFA dance scholar; Gina Osterloh, associate art professor; and Abby Zbikowski, associate dance professor.   

For a complete list of Faculty Awards honorees, visit the program’s website.