Dr. Chris Groves is Professor of Geography and Geology at Western Kentucky University. Dr. Groves also serves as Director of the Hoffman Environmental Research Institute, Director of the China Environmental Health Project, and Director of the Crawford Hydrology Laboratory at WKU. Chris has received numerous awards and honors over his career including: the Ogden College Award for Outstanding Faculty Achievement in Teaching, the Ogden College Award for Outstanding Faculty Research and Creative Activity, and the Ogden College Award for Outstanding Pubic Service. In 2010 he received the university’s highest honor by being named University Distinguished Professor. Dr. Grove’s extensive work in China led to his nomination by China’s Ministry of Land and Resources, for the China Friendship Award, China’s highest award for foreign experts. Dr. Groves has authored numerous papers and book chapters, and has been awarded over 3 million dollars in grants and contracts over his career. As one of his colleagues stated in a letter of support for his nomination for this award, “hundreds of Dr. Grove’s students over the years have gone on to productive careers within the state, contributing in a variety of ways to betterment of the quality of life for Commonwealth citizens”.
Mr. Glen Zwanzig has been a teacher at DuPont Manual High School in Louisville, Kentucky since 1985. His career has positively impacted not only the students at DuPont Manual, but also students across the Commonwealth. One of individuals who provided a letter in support of his nomination stated, “I have been in his classroom observing him many times and I always come away feeling uplifted by being in his classroom. He is a master with his students…. I cannot say enough about the importance of Mr. Zwanzig to Manual High School”. Mr. Zwanzig is perhaps best known across the Commonwealth for his work with High School Science Fairs. He has served as a High School Science Fair Director since 1996 and he became a Regional Science Fair Director in 2001. He has served as a coach for DuPont Manual’s Science Olympiad Team, a team that went on to win the State Championship in both 2008 and 2010. As stated in another letter of support “….a perfect teacher would combine the natural teaching talents of Socrates, the simple, down to earth philosophies of Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin, the intuitive problem solving of Einstein and the engaging personality of Will Rogers. Now stop imagining. This perfect teacher does exist and he is teaching in DuPont Manual High School.”
Dr. Stephen Richter is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at Eastern Kentucky University. He has maintained an outstanding record of teaching, service, and research since joining the faculty at EKU in 2005. He has taught an astonishing 13 different courses in 13 semesters, and these courses have ranged from 100 level freshman level courses to graduate level courses. Dr. Richter also has been very active in encouraging undergraduate research in his department and currently serves as Undergraduate Research Coordinator (a position that he originated). He has supervised a total of 22 undergraduate students in research and 10 masters level graduate students. He has involved his undergraduate and graduate students in professional presentations (28 oral presentations and 34 poster presentations) and numerous publications. In addition, he routinely serves on numerous masters committees – averaging 9-10 per year. As stated in his letter of nomination, “…there is no doubt that Dr. Richter has helped 100s of people, at all age levels, come to a better understanding of the wonders of nature, the intricacies of biology, and the importance of conserving biodiversity ….. although still in the initial phases of his career, he has already established wide-ranging programs of teaching, service, and research.”
Dr. Amer Lahamer is a Professor of Physics at Berea College. He began his tenure as a faculty member at Berea College in 1989, and he has served as Chair of the Department of Physics since 2002. In 2008 he was appointed a W. Leslie Worth Chair in Science at Berea. Dr. Lahamer has taught over 25 different courses as a physics professor at Berea College. Quoting from a letter in support of his nomination submitted by several of his research students, “One needs only to see him lecture on the mysteries of Newton’s Laws or electromagnetic theory to feel his passion for the subject, expressed with wild gesticulations and peppered with idiosyncratic phrases. As a matter of course, students find themselves imbued with his contagious fervor, encouraging them to excel in his classes and others. Here is the very heart of Dr. Lahamer’s talent with teaching: he does not merely instruct, but inspires.” Over 30 students have participated in research projects under his supervision, and he has a large number of presentations and publications with student co-authors. It has been estimated that 84% of all students earning bachelor’s degrees in Physics at Berea College have gone on to enter Ph.D. programs in Physics or related fields over the past 20 years.
Dr. David White is a Professor of Biological Sciences at Murray State University and Director of the Hancock Biological Station. He has been Director of the Hancock Biological Station and a member of the faculty at Murray since 1988. He was named as Murray State University’s first Distinguished Research Professor in 2001, and received the Bill Barfield Award for Outstanding Contributions in Water Resources Research in 2007. Dr. White has published over 100 papers and has secured millions of dollars in extramural funding. He also has a truly exemplary record of professional service. Dr White has been a member of the KAS Governing Board and Editor of the Journal of the Kentucky Academy of Sciences for the past six years. During his tenure as editor, Dr. White has continued to hold the JKAS to a high standard of professionalism. He also showed great foresight in recognizing the need to preserve all of the volumes of the Journal in electronic format. He coordinated the effort to scan every back issue of the JKAS into PDF files. Thanks to his efforts, every issue of the JKAS (representing nearly 100 years) is now available through the KAS website. Dr. White has also worked with BioOne so that the JKAS has a professional and easily accessible online presence. As one of his colleagues stated in a letter of support for his nomination, “David White has been a tremendous asset to our organization. …he has spent many hours working as Editor to make the JKAS a publication that KAS members can read with pride”.
The Research Awards Committee would like to encourage more KAS members to take advantage of the Academy's grant opportunities. Instructions and guidelines can be found by clicking here.