Six NatSci faculty members honored at All-University investiture
Six Michigan State University College of Natural Science (NatSci) faculty members were among 36 honored at the 2022 Michigan State University Investiture for Endowed Faculty on Sept. 14 at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts in the Great Cobb Hall.
The event celebrates MSU’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation by bestowing faculty recognition at the university level on those who hold endowed chair, endowed professor and MSU Foundation Professor positions.
NatSci’s 2022 honorees are:
- Jonas Becker, Jerry Cowen Chair of Experimental Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Becker is an assistant professor of physics and is the primary investigator for the Solid-State Quantum Physics Optics Group within the Quantum Optical devices laboratory. His research focuses on experimental quantum information science using optically active systems in solid-state hosts, such as defects in synthetic diamond and rare-earth-doped crystals.
- Danny Caballero, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Science Education, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Caballero is an associate professor of physics education who studies how tools and science practices affect student learning in physics and the conditions and environments that support or inhibit this learning. His work employs cognitive and sociocultural theories of learning and aims to blend these perspectives to enhance physics instruction at all levels.
- François Greer, Van Haften Endowed Professor in Deductive Literacy, Department of Mathematics. Greer is an assistant professor whose research is focused on algebraic geometry, with a specific focus on moduli spaces of Calabi-Yau varieties. Greer spent 2020-2021 at the Institute for Advanced Study, conducting NSF-funded research into the relations between quasimodular forms and Gromov-Witten theory.
- Thomas O’Halloran, MSU Foundation Professor, Departments of Chemistry and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics (also College of Human Medicine). O'Halloran is a professor whose research focuses on the discovery of soluble metal receptor proteins, the pathways they participate in, and the mechanisms by which they regulate cellular events and the physiology of the organism.
- Timothy Warren, Barnett Rosenberg Endowed Professor, Department of Chemistry. Warren is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry. His research group is focused on developing environmentally friendly new methods for organic synthesis, exploring the interconversion of nitrogen and ammonia as carbon-free fuel, and decoding ways that biology communicates using nitric oxide as a molecular messenger.
- Aman Yadav, Lappan-Phillips Professor of Computing Education, Department of Computational Mathematics, Science and Engineering (also Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Special Education, College of Education). Yadav is a professor of educational psychology and educational technology and also serves as associate director of computer science education in MSU’s CREATE for STEM Institute. His research focuses on preparing teachers to embed computational thinking practices and computing in the classroom.
“The faculty members recognized at this investiture bring outstanding creativity and innovation to NatSci scholarship from the mathematical and physical sciences to the chemical and biological sciences,” said Phil Duxbury, NatSci dean. “They address societal opportunities and challenges from new technologies, such as quantum information science; to education innovation; the molecular and cellular foundations of health sciences; and understanding the mathematical foundations of fact-based communications. Endowed positions such as these are a pinnacle of academic achievement, an accolade that these faculty truly deserve.”
In addition to its faculty honorees, NatSci was represented at the ceremony by NatSci alumnus Dan Van Haften (mathematics, ’70), who provided the donor’s remarks at the investiture. Van Haften gifted funds to establish the Van Haften Endowed Professorship in Deductive Literacy, which honors his parents, the late James and Esther Van Haften, who set a lifelong example of support for learning.
The inaugural Van Haften Endowed Professorship was awarded to François Greer in 2021. Greer, an assistant professor in the MSU Department of Mathematics who studies algebraic geometry, was an honoree at this year’s investiture.
“Mathematics is important to teaching people how to think logically, Van Haften said. “A faculty position devoted to deductive literacy will raise awareness throughout MSU and help influence logical thinking in many disciplines.”
For a complete list of all of MSU’s most distinguished faculty members—respected leaders and innovators within our campus community and in their disciplines—visit https://msu.edu/honored faculty/.
Banner: The MSU Investiture for Endowed Faculty event celebrates MSU’s commitment to academic excellence and innovation by bestowing faculty recognition at the university level on those who hold endowed chair, endowed professor and MSU Foundation Professor positions.