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Meritorious Faculty Award

The Meritorious Faculty Award is presented to a faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in the areas of teaching and research. Nominees must have an appointment (full or partial) in the College of Natural Science. Recipients exemplify MSU’s commitment to the land-grant mission of teaching, research and outreach through their dedication to professional, community and/or MSU service. The award includes a one-time stipend of $1000.

Anyone may submit a nomination.

The award is presented at the annual alumni awards held in conjunction with Classes Without Quizzes.

Nominations not selected to receive the award are held for three years and automatically re-nominated each year.

Questions? Please contact Sara Ford via email or (517) 884-0290.

2022 Meritorious Faculty Award

Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy, and FRIB; Interim Chair, Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering

Professor Edward Brown, a renowned researcher in the field of nuclear astrophysics, is one of the foremost experts regarding astronomical compact objects. In the area of computational astrophysics, his research exemplifies the interdisciplinary nature of nuclear astrophysics, and he collaborates extensively with both observational astronomers and nuclear physicists.

His work has made it possible for scientists to interpret astronomical observations of cooling neutron stars, some of the most exotic stellar objects in our universe. Brown and collaborators have made some of the first quantitative studies of how the interior structure of accreting neutron stars could be understood through observations of how they cool. It remains one of the few ways to reduce the timeline—from millennia to just years—when studying the structure of these objects.

Brown is a proponent of open-source modeling where different research groups can easily share and benchmark results. He has contributed to the open-source MESA (Modules for Experiments in Stellar Astrophysics) code, which has thousands of users worldwide in many subfields of astronomy.

In addition to Brown’s illustrious scientific career, he has been an excellent teacher and mentor, with a strong commitment to his students and a desire to see them succeed. He has been involved in the overhaul of several physics and astronomy courses intended to increase student engagement and provide more relevant and modern training (such as programming). He was awarded MSU’s 2013 Thomas H. Osgood Teaching Award as well as the 2015 MSU College of Natural Science Teaching Prize. The open-source textbooks that he created for his astronomy courses have also been adopted by physics and astronomy departments at other universities.

He has also given public lectures at astronomical associations in Michigan, and served as a research mentor for the local Okemos High School (2016-2018).

Brown received his B.S. in physics (1993) from The Ohio State University, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics (1999) from the University of California, Berkeley. He joined the MSU faculty as an assistant professor in 2004.

Past Recipients

  • 2021 - Shannon Manning, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • 2020 - Gemma Reguera, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • 2019 - David P. Weliky, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry
  • 2018 - L. Karl Olson, Department of Physiology
  • 2017 - Richard Hill, Integrative Biology
  • 2016 - Edward Walker, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and Entomology
  • 2015 - Babak Borhan, Chemistry
  • 2014 - Steven Heidemann, Physiology
  • 2013 – Robert Maleczka, Chemistry
  • 2012 – Gary Westfall, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2011 – C. Robin Buell, Plant Biology
  • 2010 – Julie Libarkin, Geological Sciences
  • 2009 – James Stapleton, Statistics & Probability
  • 2008 – Aureal Cross , Geological Sciences & Plant Biology
  • 2007 – Ralph Taggart , Plant Biology & Geological Sciences
  • 2006 – Jack Bass, Physics & Astronomy, George Bird, Entomology
  • 2005 – G.J. (Mike) Karabatsos, Chemistry
  • 2004 – Edwin Kashy, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2003 – Susan Conrad, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2002 – Loren Snyder, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2001 – Jerry Babcock, Chemistry
  • 2000 – Robert Hausinger, Biochemistry/Microbiology
  • 1999 – Julius Kovacs, Physics & Astronomy
  • 1998 – John E. Wilson, Biochemistry
  • 1997 – Glenda Lappan, Mathematics
  • 1996 – Jack Preiss, Biochemistry
  • 1995 – Emanuel Hackel, Zoology
  • 1994 – Hans Kende, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1993 – Howard Hagerman, Lyman Briggs School
  • 1992 – Pamela Fraker, Biochemistry
  • 1991 – James Hamilton, Chemistry
  • 1990 – Jerry Dodgson, Biochemistry
  • 1989 – John Beaman, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1988 – Clarence Suelter, Biochemistry
  • 1987 – Everett Beneke, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1986 – Alexander Tulinsky, Chemistry
  • 1985 – Marvin Hensley, Zoology
  • 1984 – Fumio Matsumura, Pesticide Research Center
  • 1983 – John Lockwood, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1982 – Kyung Whan Kwun, Mathematics
  • 1981 – Leo Mericle, Botany & Plant Pathology