2008 Superlative Awards

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D. Joseph Hagerty , University of Louisville

Dr. Hagerty obtained Bachelor of Civil Engineering and Master of Engineering degrees from the University of Louisville, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Hagerty served as Director of Soil Engineering for Vollmer Associates in Louisville after graduating from the University of Illinois, and then joined the faculty of the University of Louisville in January 1970. He has been a consultant to the World Health Organization, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Justice, the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, local government organizations and numerous industrial clients. Dr. Hagerty has been an active researcher for more than 38 years. Hagerty is the author or co-author of 55 papers in peer-reviewed technical journals and 52 papers in peer-reviewed conference proceedings and other journals. . One of the most rewarding aspects of the research work he has done has been working with young engineering students; Hagerty has directed more than sixty master of engineering theses and doctoral dissertations at the University of Louisville. He is particularly proud of the fact that 28 of the papers he has published have been written with former students, and he has seen a number of his former advisees become recognized as distinguished members of academia. Curriculum development has been an integral part of Hagerty’s professional life, and he has maintained always the importance of taking new knowledge, gained through research, into the classroom. Since 1970, Hagerty has introduced and developed fifteen courses, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, twelve of which are being taught currently in the J. B. Speed School of Engineering curriculum. A number of these courses were developed and have been taught with instructors from other departments. Early in his career, Dr. Hagerty published, with several co-authors, a number of textbooks, because no such books were available at that time in several subject areas of environmental engineering. In cooperation with Dr. G. C. Lindauer, Hagerty developed a course required for all engineering students at the University of Louisville; that course was designed to focus student attention on the manifold interactions among technology and society. In 2004, he introduced a graduate course for civil and environmental engineers based on the use of case histories, with the students functioning as groups of consultants responding to actual problems presented by faculty members and practicing engineers. Most recently, in 2006 and 2007, Dr. Hagerty was a member of the University Task Force charged with developing a Quality Enhancement Plan as a requirement for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. That plan, titled Ideas to Action, will change and rejuvenate undergraduate education at the University by emphasizing critical thinking not only in academic endeavor, but also as a way of life. A visiting SACS accreditation team approved that plan in April 2007, and Hagerty then was appointed to the implementation Task Force for Ideas to Action, on which he now serves. Hagerty was asked to serve on a committee to evaluate the adequacy of an introductory course for all engineering students, in early 2007. Outside the classroom, Dr. Hagerty has served as the faculty advisor for the student chapters of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Society of American Military Engineers, for three separate terms since 1970, serving a total of fifteen years.


Diane M. Snow , University of Kentucky

Dr. Snow, a highly productive neuroscientist in the University of Kentucky (UK) Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, conducts basic science research focused on the role of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules in nerve cell guidance. Her research has significant implications for advancing understanding of nervous system development and function and is closely focused on resilience within neural systems. She has done pioneering work for almost two decades in the field of neural regeneration, stemming from her discovery as a graduate student that a particular class of ECM molecules, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans, was inhibitory to nerve regeneration. Dr. Snow’s research contributions have broadly encompassed neuroscientific discovery, development of novel molecular tools to support investigations of axon growth and regeneration, and a dedicated approach to integrating research and training. Her achievements in advancing the understanding of the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and neuroregeneration at the molecular level are significant and indicative of her stature as a premier research scientist. After receiving her PhD in Neuroscience from Case Western Reserve, Dr. Snow completed two postdoctoral fellowships and was appointed as a Research Associate at University of Minnesota. She was recruited as an Assistant Professor into the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UK in 1996. Currently, Dr. Snow is a tenured Full Professor with an Endowed Chair position in the prestigious Spinal Cord and Brain Injury Research Center at UK. To date she has published 44 peer-reviewed papers, many in top-tier neuroscience journals. She has successfully competed for state and federal research grants, receiving three separate awards from the Kentucky Spinal Cord and Head Injury Research Trust, an NRSA, R29 and principal or co-principal investigator positions on a total of eight additional awards from the National Institutes of Health in addition to a foundation award from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation. For her most recently NIH funded project, active through 2012, she and her collaborators have engineered a novel and intriguing array of chondroitin sulfate proteoglycans (CSPGs) isoforms and mutants called “Designer Proteoglycans" as well as unique bioassays to express CSPGs and imaging methods to measure subtle nerve responses. Using these research tools, her team is generating new insights into neurite inhibition and axonal growth in the central nervous system. In collaboration with ECM Biosciences, a local company based in Versailles Kentucky, Dr. Snow is also involved in critically important research to develop the molecular tools needed to study axon growth and regeneration. The panel of cell-permeant peptidomimetics being created through an NIH-funded Small Business Innovation Research project will enable researchers to manipulate protein function in neurons. These novel technologies have considerable potential for commercialization with significant implications for future research capabilities.


Susan Templeton, Kentucky State University

Susan holds a Masters of Public Affairs and Associate of Applied Science from Kentucky State University and a Bachelor of General Studies from the University of Kentucky. She is currently a Co-Investigator in Human Nutrition Research at KSU and an Adjunct Instructor, Computer & Information Technologies at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, Lexington KY. Susan began the volunteer position of KAS newsletter editor in 2002. Since that time KAS members have seen annual improvements in the newsletter to where much of the KAS membership depends on the newsletter from not only key KAS information but also science related topics. KAS is grateful to Susan and thankful for the countless hours she has volunteered to KAS.


Daniel Jesse Phelps, Consultant

Born in Lexington, Kentucky in 1962, Dan Phelps graduated from Lafayette High School in 1980. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1984 with a BS in Geology, and in 1990 with an MS in Geology. His MS thesis was on the stratigraphy and paleoecology of the Silurian Louisville Limestone. While in graduate school he consulted for various oil companies and sometimes taught introductory labs and was occasionally a substitute lecturer. Upon graduation he moved to Plano, Texas to work for ARCO Oil and Gas’s Plano Research Center. In 1994 he returned to Kentucky and worked for the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet as a coal geologist. In late 1994 he was hired by Kentucky Environmental Protection and has since worked in the Hazardous Waste, Underground Storage Tank, and Superfund branches. From 1994 to 2000 he was a part-time assistant to Dr. Nicholas Rast, the North American Editor of The Journal of Geodynamics, and completed the peer review process for papers received before the unfortunate death of Dr. Rast. Beginning in 1998, he was hired as a part-time professor at Lexington Community College (now Bluegrass Community College) to teach Physical Geology, and Dinosaurs and Disasters (a class on the history of the earth and life, with an emphasis on dinosaurs). Presently (2007), Dan is President of the Kentucky Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists. He is also Chairman of the Geology Section for the Kentucky Academy of Sciences. He is founder and President of the Kentucky Paleontological Society (http://www.kyps.org); one of the most respected amateur paleontological organizations in the United States. In 2004 the Kentucky Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists, awarded Dan its “Geologist of the Year” award for his efforts in educating the public about geology and paleontology. Additionally, Dan is well known for his efforts in organizing Kentucky’s scientific community to oppose teaching creationism and intelligent design creationism in public school science classes. He has written numerous letters to the editor and op-eds on this subject.

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