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9 OSU faculty recognized as ‘key innovators and leaders in their fields,’ says Gee

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Nine distinguished Ohio State faculty have been named 2010 “Fellows” in the American Association for Advancement of Science (AAAS) for its ninth consecutive year.

“These nine faculty members join a very distinguished group of Ohio State colleagues who are recognized around the world as key innovators and leaders in their fields,” said President E. Gordon Gee in a Jan. 11 press release.

AAAS is an international non-profit organization that upholds the title of being the “world’s largest general scientific society,” according to the AAAS website.

OSU was caught in a three-way tie for second place in the AAAS ranking with the University of Michigan and Iowa State, who also had nine university faculty elected. OSU has ranked first or second the past nine years, said Earle Holland, OSU’s assistant vice president for research communications, in the press release.

Four of the nine Fellows were selected from the chemistry department: Michael Chan, Craig J. Forsyth, Dehua Pei and Samuel D. Stout.

Holland said it is “random” that the chemistry department had more of its faculty named Fellows in 2010 than in previous years.

Malcolm Chisolm, chemistry department chair, said, “in general the chemistry department has somebody elected each year (as an AAAS Fellow)” and “it’s quite prestigious to be elected.”

Umit S. Ozkan, the only woman elected as a 2010 OSU Fellow, said she did not find the lack of women alarming.

“The number of women in sciences and engineering is still small,” said Ozkan, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering. “We need to get young women and girls interested in and excited about science and to start this process at a young age.”

Only members of AAAS are qualified to be nominees. To be a Fellow, three former Fellows, two of them not affiliated with the nominee’s university, must nominate the individual.

Ozkan said being an AAAS Fellow is a meaningful recognition of her research and teaching career.

Fellows must have a high track record of research and an extensive publication record to be considered as a Fellow nominee, Chisolm said.

More than 500 AAAS members were elected as 2010 Fellows and will be honored for their achievement on Feb. 19 at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

The other 2010 OSU Fellows are David L. Haury, associate professor in the School of Teaching & Learning, Bradley M. Peterson, professor and chair of astronomy, Marc Howard Pinsonneault, professor of astronomy, and Sheldon G. Shore, distinguished professor of math & physical sciences and professor of chemistry.

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