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SEC Announces 2012 Faculty Achievement Award Recipients Including UK's Steven W. Yates


By Torie Johnson, Kathy Johnson

steven yatesThe Southeastern Conference (SEC) today announced the winners of its first ever Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards. The awards honor professors from SEC universities with outstanding records in teaching and scholarship who serve as role models for other faculty and students. The University of Kentucky's recognized professor is Steven W. Yates, professor of chemistry, physics, and astronomy in the UK College of Arts and Sciences.

In presenting the awards, the SEC becomes the only Division I conference within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently recognizing university faculty for their achievements, unrelated to athletics or student-athletes.

To be eligible for the SEC Faculty Achievement Award, a professor must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor at an SEC university; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and have a record of scholarship that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.

“This diverse group of men and women share a passionate dedication not just for teaching, but for empowering their students with the knowledge and wisdom to make a difference in our world,” said Dr. Bernie Machen, President of the University of Florida and President of the Southeastern Conference. “Some of the finest minds have studied on our campuses, and we have the SEC university professors to thank for helping to position them for success.”

SEC Faculty Achievement Award winners, one from each university, will receive a $5,000 honorarium and become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year receives an additional $15,000 honorarium and will be recognized during the annual SEC Spring Banquet in May.

SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “These winners are exceptional and have inspired their students and colleagues through a deep commitment to teaching and research in their chosen fields. The SEC is privileged to honor the men and women who motivate and encourage our students to be the best they can be.”

Chosen by a selection committee of SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of a set of non-athletically related academic initiatives the Southeastern Conference has undertaken through its SEC Academic Consortium to encourage academic leadership and collaboration within the SEC membership.

The 2012 SEC Faculty Achievement Award Winners are:

University of Alabama, Dr. David A. Dixon, Robert Ramsay Chair of the Department of Chemistry

University of Arkansas, Dr. Elliott West, Alumni Distinguished Professor of History

Auburn University, Dr. Christopher Roberts, Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering and the George E. and Dorothy Stafford Uthlaut Professor of Chemical Engineering

University of Florida, Dr. Kenneth D. Wald, Distinguished Professor of Political Science

University of Georgia, Dr. Loch Kingsford Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs and Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor

University of Kentucky, Dr. Steven W. Yates, Professor of Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy

Louisiana State University, Dr. J. Gerald Kennedy, Boyd Professor of English and former chair of the English Department

University of Mississippi, Dr. John O’Haver, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Dean of Engineering

Mississippi State University, Dr. Keith H. Coble, Giles Distinguished Professor, Agricultural Economics Department

University of South Carolina, Dr. Scott Price, Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy, Head of the Piano Area, and Coordinator of Piano Pedagogy

University of Tennessee, Dr. Carol Tenopir, Chancellor's Professor at the School of Information Sciences and the Director of the Center for Information and Communication Studies and Director of Research, College of Communication and Information

Vanderbilt University, Dr. Cecelia Tichi, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of English


Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award Winner Biographies:

Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award FAQ:

Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award Information Backgrounder:

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