19:00 PM

Ohio State honors two at winter commencement

Two individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University's winter 2011 commencement for their contributions to society and academics, and their dedication to the university. Ceremonies begin at 2 p.m. Sunday (3/20), at the Jerome Schottenstein Center.
Ohio State will present the honorary doctor of science degree to Solomon H. Snyder, MD, a world-renowned neuroscientist and distinguished service professor of neuroscience, pharmacology, and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
The Distinguished Service Award will be presented to Ellen J. Tressel, who has worked to fill compelling needs at Ohio State and in the community through service and stewardship. The commencement address will be delivered by Donna James, managing director of Lardon & Associates LLC, the advisory services firm she founded in 2006.

Solomon H. Snyder, MD, Doctor of Science

Solomon H. Snyder, MD, is a world-renowned neuroscientist and distinguished service professor of neuroscience, pharmacology, and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. He was a founding member of the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins in 1980 and served as head of the department from 1980 to 2006, when it was renamed the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience.

A 1962 graduate of Georgetown Medical School, Dr. Snyder trained as a research associate at the National Institutes of Health from 1963 to 1965, and was a resident in psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1965 to 1968. He joined the faculty there in 1966 as an assistant professor of pharmacology and, in 1970, was granted full professorship.

Dr. Snyder is a pioneering figure in the field of neuropsychopharmacology. His key discoveries have contributed in innumerable ways to the advancement of scientists' understanding of the neurobiology of brain disorders and their treatments. Of the many discoveries originating from his laboratory, two of the most notable are the characterization of opiate receptors--leading to a greater understanding of pain perception and its treatment--and the role of nitric oxide in neurotransmission. His lifelong efforts have had a major impact on the understanding of molecular mechanisms of drug action, and on drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry for the treatment of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, stroke, and schizophrenia.

Dr. Snyder is the author or coauthor of more than 1,000 journal articles. He has written six research books and serves on major scientific editorial boards. In 2005, Dr. Snyder was awarded the nation's highest scientific honor, the National Medal of Science. Numerous other recognitions include the Albert Lasker Award, the Albany Medical Prize, the Bower Award of the Franklin Institute, and the Gerard Prize of the Society for Neuroscience. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.

Ellen J. Tressel, Distinguished Service Award

Ellen J. Tressel has defined her role as an ambassador for The Ohio State University in ways both exceptional and enduring. Shortly after accompanying her husband, head football coach Jim Tressel, to the university in 2001, she began to fill compelling needs at Ohio State and in the community through service and stewardship.

Ms. Tressel's belief that a world-class library is at the heart of a learning community was manifested in her leadership during the extremely successful campaign for renovation of Thompson Library at Ohio State. Serving as co-chair with her husband, she worked tirelessly to secure resources for the magnificent structure that now stands at the head of the Oval. In addition, the Tressels have been generous in their personal support of Thompson Library.

Ms. Tressel has been an equally enthusiastic volunteer in an effort to raise funds and awareness for the James Cancer Center and Solove Research Institute, serving as honorary co-chair for the Power to Change Lives Campaign that helped raise more than $104 million to support cancer research and expansion programs. Her philanthropic efforts also include the $1 billion expansion project for The Ohio State University Medical Center. A frequent speaker to community groups, she donates her honoraria to the Tressel Family Fund for Cancer Research and Prevention.

Ms. Tressel's community involvement is far reaching and includes service on the boards of directors for The James Foundation, Mount Carmel College of Nursing, Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Child and Family Advocacy, West Ohio United Methodist Conference, and Buckeye Boosters. She and her family also remain engaged in the Youngstown area, most recently providing funding for the Watson and Tressel Training Site at Youngstown State University.

Ms. Tressel is an alumna of Youngstown State University, where she earned a degree in business education in 1975, and a graduate of the Security Industries Association program at the Wharton
School of Finance. Her financial career began at her family business, The Youngstown Welding and Engineering Company. She later joined brokerage firm Butler Wick and Co., where she held the post of vice president of trading before relocating to Columbus.