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NC State Announces Inaugural University Faculty Scholars

North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson announced today the inaugural group of University Faculty Scholars, a recognition and reward program for top NC State early- and mid-career faculty who will receive $10,000 ­– in donated funds – for each of the next five years to support their academic endeavors.

The program is part of the university’s strategic initiative to invest in and retain top faculty. It is funded by generous gifts totaling $5.7 million: $3 million from Jim and Ann Goodnight and $2.7 million from the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.

“Investing in retaining and attracting the best faculty to teach our students and lead innovative research that improves lives and enhances the state’s economy is a key strategic goal for NC State,” Woodson says.

“The generous support of Jim and Ann Goodnight and the Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust enables NC State to make this strategic investment in some of our most outstanding and promising faculty scholars, for the benefit of our students as well as the citizens of North Carolina.”

Those eligible for awards include assistant professors who have been reappointed for a second term; all associate professors; and full professors within the first three years of appointment at that rank. Nominees were evaluated based on evidence of their significant achievements in scholarship, teaching and/or service appropriate to their rank and discipline.

Faculty members are nominated by their colleges and selected by a committee of senior faculty. Forty faculty members were nominated for the award.

This year’s class of University Faculty Scholars includes:

  • Jose Alonso, associate professor of genetics
  • Joseph Brazel, associate professor of accounting
  • Jessica Decuir-Gunby, associate professor of curriculum, instruction and counselor education
  • Michael Dickey, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • Rob Dunn, associate professor of biology
  • Andrew Fox, assistant professor of landscape architecture
  • Bonnie Fusarelli, associate professor of leadership, policy and adult and higher education
  • Amy Grunden, associate professor of microbiology
  • Jason Haugh, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering
  • William Hunt, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering
  • Fikret Isik, associate professor of forestry and environmental resources
  • Elizabeth Loboa, associate professor of biomedical engineering
  • Jon-Paul Maria, professor of materials science and engineering
  • Alison Motsinger-Reif, associate professor of statistics
  • John Muth, professor of electrical and computer engineering
  • Nanette Nascone-Yoder, assistant professor of molecular biomedical sciences
  • Heather Patisaul, assistant professor of biology
  • Orlando Rojas, associate professor of forest biomaterials
  • Ann Ross, professor of sociology and anthropology
  • Heike Sederoff, associate professor of plant biology
  • Seth Sullivant, associate professor of mathematics
  • Lori Foster Thompson, professor of psychology
  • Keith Weninger, associate professor of physics
  • Xiangwu Zhang, associate professor of textile engineering, chemistry and science

The University Faculty Scholars program strengthens NC State’s ongoing commitment to faculty excellence. Last year the university launched the Chancellor’s Faculty Excellence Program, an effort to attract some of the best and brightest minds to join NC State’s interdisciplinary efforts to solve some of the globe’s most significant problems.