WSU Names 2008 Presidential Distinguished Professors

OGDEN, Utah – Physics professor Bradley Carroll and business administration professor Brian Davis are the 2008 recipients of Weber State University's Presidential Distinguished Professors award.

Carroll and Davis were selected by WSU's Board of Trustees. They will formally receive their awards at the university's spring commencement exercises.

Both professors will receive a cash prize of $16,000, payable over four years, which may be used to further professional academic goals. Honorees also will retain the Presidential Distinguished Professor title throughout their tenure with the university. Upon retirement from WSU, "Emeritus" will be added to the end of the title. The professors also will be featured on the Honor Wall for Presidential Distinguished Professors located on the second floor of the Stewart Library in the west atrium.

Funding for the annual recognition program was made possible by a generous gift from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The program was established as a way to recognize outstanding WSU faculty members who demonstrate the highest quality of teaching, scholarship, research and community service.

"It is a pleasure to recognize Brad and Brian as distinguished professors," said President Ann Millner. "Although they represent very different disciplines on campus, they share a strong commitment to teaching, scholarship and excellence."

"Both of this year's honorees exemplify what this award is all about," said Provost Michael Vaughan. "We are very grateful to this donor for recognizing the important role faculty play in the lives of our students and the vitality of the campus."

Faculty members are nominated by current or past WSU colleagues, administrators and/or students. Nominees are screened and evaluated by a selected group of senior faculty and academic administrators appointed by the provost. The finalists are recommended by the president of the university to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Carroll joined the WSU faculty in 1985 and has served the university with enthusiasm at all levels. His classes are sought out by physics majors and minors, and he often teaches courses requested by students, from the history of physics to cosmology. Known for his innovative teaching style, Carroll collaborated with faculty in the Department of Chemistry to develop a unique physical science course for elementary education students. He co-authored "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics," a premier undergraduate text, and also has published a number of scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, as well as film and book reviews. Carroll shares his expertise with the community, hosting workshops for school teachers, giving public lectures and presentations to astronomy groups, contributing to events such as the Science Olympiad, serving on WSU's Cultural Affairs Advisory Board and volunteering at the Ogden Nature Center. As chair of the Department of Physics, he has been a fervent promoter of faculty success, helping obtain support for research, outreach and teaching. He has received numerous awards and honors, including the George and Elizabeth Lowe Innovative Teaching Award and the Dr. Spencer L. Seager Distinguished Teaching Award in the College of Science. Carroll also was named the Distinguished Cortez Professor by WSU's Honors Program and was awarded the Honors Program Eccles Fellowship in 2007. Prior to joining WSU, he was an instructor and research associate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Rochester. Carroll earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, Irvine, and his master's degree in physics from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also received his Ph.D. in astrophysics in 1981.

Davis, who is known as a gifted professor and an active scholar, teaches courses in ethics and leadership in WSU's John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics. Since joining the faculty in 1987, he has received the Centennial Faculty Teaching Award, the University Academic Advising Award, and the George and Elizabeth Lowe Innovative Teaching Award. Davis was named the Rodney H. Brady Crystal Crest Master Teacher in 2000, and he received WSU's John S. Hinckley award for excellence in teaching, service and scholarship in 2002. Davis helped establish the university's Master of Business Administration degree program, and he served as coordinator of the university's Graduate Council during a period in which several new master's degree programs were launched. In recognition of his campus-wide contributions, he has twice received the Exemplary Collaboration Award. Davis also has been awarded a number of research honors at WSU and has been published in a variety of academic journals, most recently in the "Public Administration Review" and the "Journal of Business Ethics." In addition, Davis, who coordinates WSU's Religion and Ethics Resource Center, has garnered national and international attention for his religious studies. Beyond the classroom, he has worked with a variety of charitable organizations overseas, including the Working Group on Poverty and Development for the World Council of Religious Leaders, a United Nations advisory body based in Bangkok, Thailand. Following active duty military service as a Navy hospital corpsman, Davis earned his associate's degree from Weber State College in 1977 and went on to earn his bachelor's degree in psychology and master's degree in human resource administration from Utah State University. He received his Ph.D. in business administration from the University of Georgia in 1985.

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Michael Vaughan, provost
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Presidential Distinguished Professors

Craig Oberg
Gene Sessions
Sam Zeveloff

Eric Amsel
Yasmen Simonian
Michael Wutz

Bradley W. Carroll
Brian Davis

Jim Christian
Brenda Marsteller Kowalewski
Susan Matt
Adolph Yonkee

John Cavitt
Lauren Fowler
Ed Walker