Meritorious Faculty Award

Nominate an alumnus or faculty member

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.

2017 Meritorious Faculty Award

Richard W. Hill, Ph.D.
Department of Integrative Biology

Richard “Dick” Hill has been a true scientist in every sense of the word. He joined MSU’s Department of Zoology in 1972 as an assistant professor. He began his career in mammalian thermal regulation and at one time was one of the world's experts on  the energetics of small mammals and birds. In the early 1990s, he switched his focus to marine biology, which he continues to study today.

His legacy is clearly his students. For the past 45 years at Michigan State, Hill has made students his priority. He has impacted them in the areas of research, education and how to become better members of society. He is identified as one of the top teachers at MSU every year, and has organized and led nearly 30 educational trips for undergraduate students to the Atlantic seaboard and the Galápagos Islands. He calculates he has spent a year and a half on the road with MSU students. He is the first author and primary organizer of one of the most widely used  undergraduate physiology textbooks—Animal Physiology. He is also an author of a compact introduction to biology—Principles of Life. In 1990, he was awarded the Outstanding Faculty Award by the MSU Senior Class Council.

His excellence in research is proven by his impressive list of publications. He has authored more than 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and multiple papers presented at national or international meetings.

He served as associate chair of MSU’s zoology department from 1996-2009 and has been the recipient of numerous visiting professorships, fellowships and honors, including U.S. Senior Fulbright Scholar (2000 – 2001) and Fellow of the AAAS (1992). His professional affiliations have included the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the American Society of Mammalogists and the International Hibernation Society. He is also a corporation member of the Marine Biological Laboratory (Woods Hole).

Hill is certainly a scientist in all that he does, a commitment that goes beyond credentials and awards. Today, Hill remains as excited about the natural world and the unanswered questions as he did 40 years ago. He inspires those around him and motivates all to continue the scientific search for answers.

Past Recipients

  • 1980 – Charles Sweeley, Biochemistry
  • 1981 – Leo Mericle, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1982 – Kyung Whan Kwun, Mathematics
  • 1983 – John Lockwood, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1984 – Fumio Matsumura, Pesticide Research Center
  • 1985 – Marvin Hensley, Zoology
  • 1986 – Alexander Tulinsky, Chemistry
  • 1987 – Everett Beneke, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1988 – Clarence Suelter, Biochemistry
  • 1989 – John Beaman, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1990 – Jerry Dodgson, Biochemistry
  • 1991 – James Hamilton, Chemistry
  • 1992 – Pamela Fraker, Biochemistry
  • 1993 – Howard Hagerman, Lyman Briggs School
  • 1994 – Hans Kende, Botany & Plant Pathology
  • 1995 – Emanuel Hackel, Zoology
  • 1996 – Jack Preiss, Biochemistry
  • 1997 – Glenda Lappan, Mathematics
  • 1998 – John E. Wilson, Biochemistry
  • 1999 – Julius Kovacs, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2000 – Robert Hausinger, Biochemistry/Microbiology
  • 2001 – Jerry Babcock, Chemistry
  • 2002 – Loren Snyder, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2003 – Susan Conrad, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics
  • 2004 – Edwin Kashy, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2005 – G.J. (Mike) Karabatsos, Chemistry
  • 2006 – Jack Bass, Physics & Astronomy, George Bird, Entomology
  • 2007 – Ralph Taggart , Plant Biology & Geological Sciences
  • 2008 – Aureal Cross , Geological Sciences & Plant Biology
  • 2009 – James Stapleton, Statistics & Probability
  • 2010 – Julie Libarkin, Geological Sciences
  • 2011 – C. Robin Buell, Plant Biology
  • 2012 – Gary Westfall, Physics & Astronomy
  • 2013 – Robert Maleczka, Chemistry
  • 2014 - Steven Heidemann, Physiology
  • 2015 - Babak Borhan, Chemistry
  • 2016 - Edward Walker, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics and Entomology