The University Honors College (UHC) has announced that Tevian Dray and Willie (Skip) Rochefort have been named UHC Eminent Professors for 2012. Eminent Professorships recognize outstanding Oregon State University faculty for their academic achievements and dedicated service to the University Honors College and its students. Faculty members’ commitment to undergraduate education is the foundation of the Honors Experience at OSU, and Eminent Professors exemplify this spirit of engagement.
In his 24 years at OSU, Dray has established himself as a leading innovator in teaching mathematics at the university level. A professor in the Department of Mathematics with specializations in mathematical physics and geometry, Dray is particularly interested in shaping pedagogy to meet the special perspectives, expectations, and needs of different academic and professional fields. He is currently the Principal Investigator on two National Science Foundation projects, one designed to improve the curriculum structure of physics education and the other reshaping the way calculus is taught to young scientists. His own teaching has been previously recognized by the Mortar Board Senior Honor Society, the College of Science, and University Honors College students, who voted Dray UHC Outstanding Professor in 2009. During winter term of 2012, Dray taught Vector Calculus II – using his trademark chalkboards and colored chalk – continuing a long history of outstanding contributions to the Honors community. Tevian Dray’s commitment to innovative, cross-disciplinary, and student-centered teaching is the epitome of the qualities of a UHC Eminent Professor.
Rochefort, an associate professor in Chemical Engineering in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering and the Director of both OSU Precollege Programs and the Center for Outreach in Science and Engineering for Youth (COSEY), has been one of the UHC’s most active faculty partners since he first taught an Honors course in 1997. His research interests encompass all areas of polymer engineering and science, and he has been especially committed to engineering education at high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels. He founded the Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) program in 1997, a one-week research experience for high school girls and ethnic minorities that has served over 600 student participants and employed over 250 undergraduate engineering students as mentors and counselors. Rochefort has also served as the primary thesis mentor for nineteen UHC Senior Theses, more than any other faculty member. His colloquia Plastics for Poets has been a popular mainstay of the UHC curriculum since 1999, and he has also co-taught a new Honors seminar in energy issues for the past two years. For his longstanding and continuing commitment to the UHC and its students, both in the classroom and out, Skip Rochefort is recognized as the 2012 Sandy and Elva Sanders Eminent Professor in the University Honors College.
The UHC Eminent Professor awards are made possible through the generosity of donors, particularly Ruth Beyer and Joseph (Sandy) and Cheryl Sanders. By facilitating and rewarding the contributions of OSU’s top scholars to the Honors curriculum, UHC Eminent Professorships support the continued advancement of the creative, innovative programs the UHC offers high-achieving students at Oregon State University.