MSUToday
Published: Jan. 23, 2013

2013 Distinguished Faculty Awards

Johannes Bauer
Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media
College of Communication Arts and Sciences

Johannes Bauer is one of the world’s leading scholars in the area of telecommunications policy, with a remarkable record of global engagement, sustained productivity and grant funding. Bauer’s research on the governance of complex network infrastructures has informed policy makers and scholars throughout the world. He has applied economic theory to analyze how malware evolves, which has led to new Internet security approaches, while concurrently developing a distinct theoretical framework for telecommunications policy that is synchronized with his empirical work. Bauer’s unique and informed blending of economic theory, policy analysis and international comparative studies has led to his being sought out for his advice and counsel by the world’s foremost international telecommunications policy institutions, including the Federal Communications Commission in the United States and the United Nations International Telecommunications Union in Geneva. He has been described by a noted law and policy scholar from Harvard as “one of the most distinctive and influential scholars in telecommunications policy in the world today.”

Bauer’s publications, which number more than 100, have appeared in the leading journals in his field, including “Telecommunications Policy,” “Information Economics and Policy” and “Communications and Strategies.” Bauer is chairman of the board of directors for the annual TPRC Research Conference on Communication, Information and Internet Policy, the premiere scholarly meeting for his field, and serves on the board of directors for the International Telecommunications Society.

Bauer is widely regarded as an enthusiastic and engaging teacher who encourages active debate in the classroom. An assignment in his graduate communications policy class a few years ago required his students to prepare entries for Wikipedia on communications policy issues as part of a multi-university initiative sponsored by the WikiMedia Foundation; his class was ranked as the strongest in the country in terms of its contributions. An exceptional mentor who always puts students’ needs ahead of his own, Bauer has guided numerous Ph.D. students to successful academic careers in both the United States and abroad. His undergraduate students are equally enthusiastic about his classes, acknowledging him as a brilliant and innovator teacher, whose classes are always enjoyable.

David Closs 
Department of Supply Chain Management
Eli Broad College of Business

David Closs, whose recent research has focused on supply chain security and sustainability, risk management and using supply chain principles to enhance economic development, holds the John McConnell Chair in Business Administration. Since completing his Ph.D. in 1978, Closs has been involved in the development and application of computer models and information systems for logistics operations and planning, including applications for location analysis, inventory management, forecasting, and routing. The excellence of Closs’s scholarly work has reached beyond academic borders into the realm of practice. Closs is very accessible to practitioners and regularly immerses himself in problem solving for industry, government and nonprofit organizations. So notable are his contributions that he was invited to the White House in March 2012 to participate in a roundtable discussion with fifty other business experts on improving federal supply chair sustainability.

Closs has been a senior member of the MSU supply chain management research teams that have completed multiple projects identifying supply chain management industry best practices, domestically and globally. Closs actively works with professionals across campus and in industry to provide integrated solutions to complex problems. He regularly teaches executive education at the Henry Center and around the world. He is co-author of one of the leading texts in supply chain management, which has been published in seven editions and translated into ten languages.

Since beginning his career at MSU, Closs has been one of the leaders in the design and creation of the academic discipline of supply chain management. He has been instrumental in developing both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in SCM programs at MSU. His teaching innovations include management of the design and development of the Supply Chain Operating Decision Environment, a PC-based tool that allows students and business executives to design and operate a global supply chain in a simulated environment. Closs has been instrumental in establishing the Broad College of Business as a leader in supply chain management/logistics programs, with MSU ranked either first or second in the nation—at both the graduate and undergraduate levels—in the U.S. News and World Report rankings since 2000. As department chair, Closs actively mentors junior faculty to continue the supply chain tradition at MSU. The doctoral students that he has mentored now serve as faculty at Alabama, Arizona State, Memphis, Northeastern and Ohio State.

Douglas Landis
Department of Entomology
College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Douglas Landis is passionate about the natural world and helping people work with, rather than against, nature. Landis’s research focuses on the interactions of insects with landscape structure and the application of that knowledge to ecologically based pest management and the control of weeds. His recent research investigates the ecological problems associated with seemingly innocuous landscape alterations; specifically, he has found that areas that devote more land to corn production—often for biofuel reproduction—significantly reduce the land area that supports the natural production of insect predators, which then increases the need to control insect pests with chemicals, an insect control method that then introduces other agroecological problems. Landis’s work is motivated by a desire to create agricultural landscapes that support biodiversity as well as high agricultural productivity. A farm following a Landis design would be modest in size, highly diverse and profitable. Fields’ borders would sustain habitat for crop pollinators as well as pest parasites and predators. Sustainable biofuel production would be part of the operation, but its transport and processing would be kept local.

In terms of grants and publications, Landis ranks near the top of MSU faculty. His funding includes support from the USDA, the DOE, and several other agencies. To date, he has participated in garnering more that $28 million with nearly $7 million assigned to him. He has published more than 100 papers, seventeen just in 2010¬¬¬–2011. Two of his publications have been in the prestigious “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” Dr. Landis is in great demand as a speaker, giving talks at colleges, universities, and national and international meetings.

Landis has proven to be an excellent teacher and a superb disseminator of new knowledge, adding an informed perspective on how knowledge should be best used to his teaching topics. He has mentored countless students and served as the major professor for nine doctoral students, 12 master’s students, and 15 postdocs. His graduate courses always require original lab or field research from his students—and this requirement is often cited as the highlight of the course by many of them.

Dennis Miller
Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Sciences
College of Engineering

Dennis Miller exemplifies the ideals of blending research, teaching, and service in the university environment and has made significant contributions in all of these fields throughout his many years of service to the University. Recognized as a leading expert on catalysis, reaction engineering, biofuels, and reactive distillation, Miller has achieved impressive and critical accomplishments in the field of green chemistry and catalysis, exhibiting pioneering leadership in the use of renewable biomass feedstocks to make chemicals and fuels traditionally obtained from petroleum; he began this work in the early 1990s, well before international interest in renewable feedstock blossomed. He also initiated research on reactive distillation at MSU and established a world-class, pilot-scale facility for demonstration and validation of novel separation and reaction.

Miller’s work in producing biobased chemicals using environmentally friendly catalytic processes has important significance. Companies such as Dow Chemical and Cargill, national laboratories such as Pacific Northwest and Argonne, and crop producers such as the National Corn Growers Association have all recognized his expertise and have had active programs with him. The National Science Foundation, recognizing his leadership role in this area, selected him to organize a workshop in this disciple—the results of which help set governmental funding priorities. Miller has more than 20 patents and four technologies licensed to corporate partners or organizations for commercialization. Recently, he has been pioneering advanced biofuels development, leading a $2.4 million U.S Department of Energy project on “Novel Biofuel Formulations for Enhanced Vehicle Performance.”

Respected and admired as a great teacher, Miller won the College of Engineering Withrow Award for Teaching Excellence five times, the Outstanding Professor Award (AIChE, student chapter) in 1986, the Teacher-Scholar award from MSU in 1986, and the Amoco Foundation Excellence in Teaching Award (MSU, 1997). He is one of the highest-rated MSU professors on student websites and consistently earns high scores in teaching evaluations. Miller is an innovator in the educational field, noted for using advanced instructional paradigms, group learning, multifaceted class projects and state-of-the-art technologies.

Miller’s tenure at MSU has been further distinguished by service to his department and college, including establishing a new course in catalysis and another in green and sustainable engineering, the latter of which evolved into the “Bioenergy Concentration,” jointly administered with Biosystems Engineering. He also established graduate student recruiting practices and leading curricular reform within the department.

Katherine Osteryoung
Department of Plant Biology
College of Natural Science

Katherine Osteryoung is an internationally recognized authority and pioneer in the field of chloroplast division and biology in plants. Chloroplasts carry out photosynthesis and produce many compounds critical for plant growth and development, including membrane lipids, amino acids and growth regulators. Specialized plastids also manufacture such key agricultural products as oil and starch and are being exploited as factories for the production of biopharmaceuticals. Osteryoung’s discovery of the first chloroplast division gene was considered by many scientists to be the definitive evidence supporting the hypothesis that photosynthetic bacteria were the evolutionary ancestors of chloroplasts; this discovery launched an entirely new field of research on the molecular analysis of chloroplast division in plants and algae. Since this discovery, Osteryoung and her team have combined the powerful genetic and genomic resources of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana with the tools of biochemistry and cell biology to uncover many new components of the chloroplast division machinery and to investigate how they function together to divide chloroplasts. Ultimately, Osteryoung hopes to uncover the complete network of genes and proteins controlling chloroplast division and to fully define the biochemical mechanisms and regulatory processes underlying this crucial process in photosynthetic organisms. In recognition of her contributions to plant biology, Osteryoung has been honored as a fellow of AAAS and a fellow of the American Society for Plant Biologists.

Osteryoung’s success as a researcher carries over into her teaching and mentoring. She has designed her large introductory biology course to promote student-centered learning and to provide students with opportunities to develop critical-thinking skills on key concepts. Osteryoung expects excellence from her students but also provides them with the means necessary to meet her expectations. She has incorporated a diverse array of teaching tools into her classes, including animations, videos, and the internet; many of these tools are geared toward enhancing class discussions. Outside of the classroom, she has mentored twenty-two undergraduate researchers and served on dozens of graduate thesis committees. Her students all have the opportunity to gain experience in lab research and in making presentation at scientific meetings. All of her former Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows now hold positions in academia, government or industry.

David Rayl
College of Music

As a conductor, scholar, teacher, administrator, and mentor, David Rayl has brought distinction to the College of Music on the national and international stage. Widely viewed as a scholar able to effectively bridge research to practice, Rayl has a gifted way of connecting performers and teachers to scholarship such that national and international standards of artistry reach wider audiences.

Rayl has achieved sustained and meaningful research productivity, including juried invitations for performances at national and regional conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association. His invitations to guest conduct, present scholarship, and to teach conducting master-classes are significant and ongoing. He is well regarded as a scholar of seventeenth and eighteenth century choral music, notably the choral music of Mozart, of which it has been noted that he “has an uncanny ability to distill the complex and abstract into the relevant and immediate.” He is an acknowledged expert on the choral music of Marc Charpentier and has authored an important critical edition of his work. Active on the international stage, his appearances include conducting performances at festivals in Austria and Brazil as well as presentations at the Busan International Choral Festival in Korea, the Phenomenon of Singing International Symposium V in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and at the national conference of the Brazilian Choral Directors Association.

Intangibles help set Rayl apart in the classroom and department as well as on the podium. His peers consider his classes the standard for scholarship in graduate conducting programs nationwide. Mentoring for Rayl is a life-long process that emanates from his commitment to the students he teaches. Having chaired dozens of graduate committees, his former students are in leadership positions across the United States and Canada. His teaching has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Teacher–Scholar Award at both MSU and the University of Missouri, Columbia, and the Withrow Award for Teaching in the College of Music. As Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research, Rayl has distinguished himself for his collaborative, innovative leadership. Time to degree is down in all programs and faculty and students alike are actively mentored in personal and meaningful ways.

Edward Rothwell 
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering

Edward Rothwell is an internationally recognized leader in the area of electromagnetics, particularly computational, experimental, and theoretical electromagnetics; his groundbreaking scientific achievements have advanced numerous technologies and brought distinction to MSU. As one of the pioneers of the E-pulse technique for target recognition, which has proved useful in military and medical applications, Rothwell has developed methods to include materials as well as late time and early time date into the technique, which is increasing the confidence levels in detection applications.

Rothwell also invented the self-structuring antenna, which is capable of reconfiguring itself and improving its own performance automatically. This work has several applications, especially in the automobile antenna area and solves a rather fundamental problem—the development of radiating systems that can dynamically adapt to the environment. Building on this innovation, U.S. Army engineers were able to field low profile antennas on their vehicles. One of Rothwell’s peers describes the impact of this self-structuring antenna: “This innovation alone has saved many lives in Afghanistan.”

Rothwell is a brilliant lecturer and a natural mentor. One of his former students said, “Dr. Rothwell is an amazing professor who challenged me academically while fostering a passion for research that still drives me today.” Rothwell has received several MSU awards for teaching, including the MSU Alumni Club of Mid-Michigan Quality in Undergraduate Teaching Award (in 2003) and the very first College of Engineering Withrow Award for Teaching Excellence in 1991—and again in 1996, 2006 and 2012. He has been chosen eleven times as the teacher who “most positively influenced” students being honored at the College of Engineering Awards Banquet.

Michael Shields
Department of Accounting and Information Systems
Eli Broad College of Business

The Schaberg Endowed Chair in Accounting at MSU, Michael Shields is recognized nationally and internationally for his research on management accounting. His studies on budgets, performance measurement, and performance incentives have made notable contributions to the accounting literature and address important issues for organizations of all types, including businesses, government, and nonprofits. Shields draws upon economics, psychology, and sociology to investigate how accounting tools can be designed and used to successfully manage complex organizations; and his accounting research has contributed significantly to the interface between academic research and accounting practices. His work can help organizations improve their financial planning as well as their control and evaluation of their financial performance, which, in turn, can greatly increase their economic effectiveness and efficiency.

As a researcher, Shields has a prolific publication record, including more than 70 research articles, many in the leading accounting journals. He has published four books that have had a major influence on management accounting research around the world: three volumes of the “Handbook of Management Accounting Research” (as coeditor) and “Psychology Models of Management Accounting,” which he published with MSU Broad professor of accounting Joan Luft. In addition to publishing, Shields has made significant research contributions as editor of the “Journal of Management Accounting Research and Accounting, Organizations and Society.” In recognition of his research, Shields has received several awards from the American Accounting Association and the Institute of Management Accountants.

Shields has a long and sustained track record of contributing to and developing academic gatherings. He was a founding figure in the development of two international conferences: the EIASM (European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management) and the GMARS (GLOBAL Management Accounting Research Symposium), both of which are now central management accounting conferences, attracting more than 200 participants each. Shields has also been the primary organizer of nineteen additional annual and biannual international research conferences.

Shields’ influence extends even further around the world through his mentoring of young scholars—from Champaign-Urbana and Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Hong Kong and London. For his many years, he taught doctoral students in Asia and Europe through short seminars.

Juli Wade
Department of Psychology
College of Social Science

Since joining the faculty in 1995, Juli Wade has distinguished herself as a researcher, teacher and mentor, and administrator. Wade’s research focuses on the mechanisms regulating structural and behavioral changes in the nervous system and muscles that control particular behaviors, specifically, the hormonal and molecular bases of sexual differentiation in the bird brain, and the environmental and hormonal control of behavioral and neural plasticity in Anolis lizards. She addresses these issues from both the biomedical and basic science perspectives, and her work has been continuously funded by both NIH and NSF.

Because her work is inherently multidisciplinary, she holds appointments in the Department of Zoology and the Department of Psychology and is centrally involved in the Neuroscience program. She has published more than 92 peer-reviewed papers in prestigious journals—a rate of five to six papers a year since her arrival on campus. In addition, she has presented more than 40 invited addresses and dozens of conference papers and published numerous abstracts. Her status in the field has been recognized by appointment to several journal editorial boards and to NIH and NSF panels and study sections. She is very active professionally, particularly in the Society for Behavioral Endocrinology, in which she has held several offices.

Wade is an excellent mentor at all levels: undergraduate, graduate and junior faculty. She has supervised the research of many honors students and served as coordinator of the Honors program and chair of the University Committee on Honors Programs. She has successfully mentored several graduate students, three of whom received NRSA pre- and postdoctoral awards under her direction. She has always been a willing reader and mentor to junior faculty members seeking external funding and has made this one of her main priorities as department chair. Wade has also served in various other administrative roles. She was director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program in Psychology and was twice elected to and served on the department’s advisory committee; she has served as department chair since 2010.

Stephen Zepf
Department of Physics and Astronomy
College of Natural Science

Stephen Zepf is an observational and computational astronomer, who has produced world-class scholarship; among his many honors and distinctions is the prestigious Hubble Fellowship Award. An eminent astronomer and astrophysicist, Zepf investigates two forefront areas of modern astrophysics: Globular cluster systems and X-ray binaries, accreting black holes and neutron stars in galaxies. He is the world leader in the investigation of globular cluster systems and successfully predicted the formation of globular clusters in galaxy mergers. He discovered the first known black hole in a globular cluster, and he built the world-leading team in the study of accreting neutron star and black hole populations. His Cambridge Press monograph “Globular Cluster Systems” remains the standard reference in the field. Zepf currently has nine different grants, totaling approximately $880,000 in funding. In his ten years at MSU, he has received continual PI funding from NASA and the NSF, in addition to grants from the Space Telescope Science Institute and the Chandra X-ray Center.

Zepf is an outstanding teacher in the classroom, where he has covered the entire spectrum of undergraduate and graduate astronomy classes. Evaluations for his large lecture classes are consistently very strong and particularly note his enthusiasm and clarity. Zepf has a very strong mentoring track record. From undergraduate and graduate students to postdocs and junior faculty, he makes everybody around him more successful. Among his students are a Goldwater Fellowship and an NSF Graduate Fellowship recipient.

Zepf has an outstanding record of service on national and international panels, most notably on the National Academy Science Frontiers Panel for the 2010 Astronomy Decadal Survey. He has been co-chair of several key science meetings, including the 2009 program on Globular Cluster Systems at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at Santa Barbara. Locally, Zepf has played a pivotal role in the dramatic increase in productivity and prominence of the MSU astronomy group over the last decade, both through his own research and by attracting other world-class scientists to MSU’s astronomy faculty.

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