Two faculty named Distinguished University Professors
COLUMBUS – A pioneering researcher on global climate change and an innovative scientist/academician received The Ohio State University’s highest faculty honor at the university’s Board of Trustees’ meeting on Friday (6/18).
The title of Distinguished University Professor was conferred by trustees on Ellen Mosley-Thompson, professor of geography (climatology), and Prabir Dutta, Robert K. Fox Professor of Chemistry.
The recipients will each receive a one-time cash award of $30,000 from the Office of Academic Affairs to support their academic work and will become members of the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Council.
Mosley-Thompson, who also serves as director of the university’s Byrd Polar Research Center, is co-founder of the Ice Core Paleoclimate Research Group, where she plays a vital role in climatological research through the collection and analysis of ice cores from around the world. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has led eight expeditions to Antarctica and six to Greenland to retrieve ice cores, using the chemical and physical properties preserved in the cores to reconstruct the Earth’s complex climate history.
Mosley-Thompson is a sought-after speaker, educating primary, secondary and college students as well as alumni and community groups on climate and climate change. She is the recipient of Ohio State’s Distinguished Scholar Award, the Distinguished Lecturer Award, the Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service and the Alumni Medalist Award.
A member of the geography (climatology) faculty since 1990, Mosley-Thompson began her service at Ohio State in 1973 as a graduate research associate in the Institute of Polar Studies. She received her master’s and doctorate degrees in geography (climatology) from Ohio State.
Dutta, who joined the university’s chemistry faculty in 1983, is internationally recognized for his interdisciplinary basic research, technical expertise and innovative work in materials chemistry. He is the author of some 200 scholarly articles and holds 4 U. S. patents. He is the recipient of Ohio State’s University Distinguished Scholar Award and the Office of Disability Services’ Outstanding Teaching Award.
His research on sensor devices and microporous materials has brought in $24 million in grant support over the past two decades. His work on zeolite-based systems that convert light into electricity is paving the way for the development of alternative energy sources.
A dedicated teacher and mentor, he is the driving force behind the National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences to Enhance Learning (REEL) program, comprised of the chemistry departments of 15 educational institutions throughout Ohio. The program aims to increase the number of Ohio students who earn bachelor degrees in science, technology, engineer and mathematics.
Dutta earned a master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and a master’s and doctorate from Princeton University.