Professors Laurie Starkey, Ernie Simpson and Vilupanur Ravi have been chosen to receive the third annual Provost’s Awards for Excellence.
The awards honor the faculty members’ efforts in teaching, service, and scholarly and creative activities, respectively.
“I continue to be awed by the dedication of our faculty to their students and their discipline,” says Provost Marten denBoer. “The 2013 awardees are no exception. Their determination and devotion to excellence in the classroom and in our communities is a testament to the commitment of these individuals and a reflection of the university as a whole. They are worthy examples for all of us.”
Starkey will receive the Provost’s Award for Teaching. Her scholarly focus has been on developing effective, unique, and advanced teaching techniques for the organic chemistry classroom and for adapting these techniques for online learning through Educator.com. She has authored an organic chemistry textbook and created a YouTube chemistry channel for teachers and students of all ages. Starkey has successfully introduced the Calibrated Peer Review into her courses, enabling students to work online to evaluate each other’s work and making them an integral part of the teaching process. She also has incorporated online tutorials and quizzes to prepare students for challenging laboratories.
Simpson will receive the Excellence in Service Award. He taught for 40 years before earning emeritus status in 2009. He has served on numerous department, college, and university committees and as chemistry department chair and graduate studies coordinator. Simpson founded and led the Cooperative Education Program in the College of Science, placing 300 students a year at more than 125 companies. He was named an American Chemical Society Fellow in 2012 and chaired or organized numerous annual conferences. As principal investigator on contracts, grants and philanthropic funding, he brought in more than $4 million.
Ravi, chair of the chemical & materials engineering department, will receive the Excellence in Scholarly & Creative Activities Award. A world-class materials scientist with a successful career in industry before coming to Cal Poly Pomona in 2000, Ravi has done pioneering research on the mechanical properties of thermoelectric materials, pack cementation coatings, and the environmental resistance of boron-modified titanium alloys. His work has resulted in new materials, products, and processes. He has conducted interdisciplinary research with faculty across the university; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; the Air Force Research Laboratory; and companies, universities and research institutions around the world. Ravi is co-inventor on 11 U.S. patents and 13 international patents.
The three honorees will be recognized at commencement ceremonies this June. They also will present their work and experience at the Provost’s Awards Symposium, scheduled for this October.
(Photo: Laurie Starkey, Ernie Simpson and Vilupanur Ravi)