Six members of the College of Science are among the 24 Texas A&M University faculty and staff set to be honored by the university and The Association of Former Students with 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards.
The awards and their respective recipients from Texas A&M Science (which ties the previous record of six honorees set in 2017, 2012 and 2005) are as follows:
Teaching (10 given university-wide)
- Dr. Duncan S. MacKenzie, biology
Research (6 given university-wide)
- Dr. François P. Gabbaï, chemistry
- Dr. M. Suhail Zubairy, physics and astronomy
Administration (1 given university-wide)
- Dr. Sherry J. Yennello, chemistry
Extension & Outreach (1 given university-wide)
- Dr. Tatiana Erukhimova, physics and astronomy
Graduate Mentoring (2 given university-wide)
- Dr. Bani K. Mallick, statistics
The university-level Distinguished Achievement Awards were first presented in 1955 and have since been awarded to more than 1,000 professionals who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.
The 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards will be formally presented during a 1:30 p.m. April 29 ceremony in Rudder Theater as part of 2019 Distinguished Day festivities. In recognition of their achievements, each recipient will receive a cash gift, an engraved watch and a commemorative plaque.
For more information about the awards, contact Kelli Hutka ’97 at The Association of Former Students at (979) 845-7514.
The Association of Former Students was established in 1879 and is the official alumni organization of Texas A&M University. The Association connects hundreds of thousands of members of the worldwide Aggie Network with one another and the university, and provides more than $13.6 million a year in impact toward university scholarships, awards, activities and enrichment for students, faculty, staff and former students.
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Brief biographies on each recipient as included in the official event program appear below:
Duncan S. MacKenzie
Duncan MacKenzie, associate professor, joined the Texas A&M Department of Biology faculty in 1983 after earning his Ph.D. in zoology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1980. He currently serves as director of Texas A&M Biology’s Honors Program, which began in fall 2016 and already has more than 150 students. MacKenzie also serves as co-chair of the Graduate Marine Biology Interdisciplinary Degree Program. He is a two-time recipient of The Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching (2002 and 1989). His students have twice recognized him with the Texas A&M University System Student-Led Award for Teaching Excellence (SLATE). In 2018, the Department of Residence Life selected MacKenzie as one of the inaugural recipients of the Honoring Excellence Awards recognizing Texas A&M University faculty and staff for outstanding support of students and their academic success. He has served as research advisor to more than 60 undergraduate students who have worked in his laboratory.
François P. Gabbaï
François Gabbaï was born in France and studied at the University of Bordeaux, where he obtained the equivalent of a bachelor of science in 1990. The same year, he moved to the United States to undertake his graduate work at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1998, he joined the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry, serving as department head from 2014 to 2016 and as holder of the Arthur E. Martell Chair of Chemistry since 2014. He is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the recipient of the 2009 North American Dalton Lectureship. More recently, he was recognized with the 2016 ACS F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry. He has also served the field in multiple capacities including as an associate editor for Organometallics. His research interests revolve around the chemistry of p-block and late transition metal elements with applications in the domains of molecular recognition and catalysis. To date, he has published more 210 research articles.
M. Suhail Zubairy
M. Suhail Zubairy is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and holder of the Munnerlyn-Heep Chair in Quantum Optics. He joined the Texas A&M faculty in 2000. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1978. Zubairy has made many pioneering contributions in quantum optics and laser physics, including his groundbreaking contributions on precision microscopy and lithography, his work on quantum information and computing including a criterion for quantum entanglement, usually known as Hillery-Zubairy criterion. He is the recipient of a number of international awards, such as the prestigious Humboldt Research Prize for Distinguished Scientists in Germany, the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the George H.W. Bush Excellence Award for Faculty in International Research, the Outstanding Physicist Award by the Organization of Islamic Countries and the Abdus Salam Prize for Physics. He is an elected member of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences and a fellow of the American Physical Society and Optical Society of America.
Sherry J. Yennello
Sherry Yennello, Regents Professor of Chemistry, is director of the Cyclotron Institute and holder of the Bright Chair in Nuclear Science. She began her career at Texas A&M in 1993 as an assistant professor of chemistry. She has since held three major administrative roles within Texas A&M. As an associate dean in the College of Science, she led a National Science Foundation-funded SSTEM program to build a bridge from Palo Alto College to Texas A&M. Within ADVANCE, she coordinated a university-wide NSF-funded effort to improve the climate for STEM women faculty. As Cyclotron Institute director, she has increased support from the United States Department of Energy by more than 60 percent. Yennello is a fellow of the American Chemical Society (2011), the American Physical Society (2005) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2013). Her many awards include the ACS’s Francis P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal, the Texas A&M Women’s Faculty Network Outstanding Mentor Award, the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching at both the university and college levels, the Sigma Xi National Young Investigator Award, the NSF Young Investigator Award, the Oak Ridge Junior Faculty Enhancement Award and the General Electric Faculty for the Future Award.
Tatiana Erukhimova, instructional associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, earned her Ph.D. from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She joined Texas A&M in 2001. Her passion for inspiring learning in science has motivated creation of several innovative programs, which integrate education with science outreach and service to the community including DEEP (Discover, Explore, and Enjoy Physics and Engineering), Physics Show, Just Add Science, and Real Physics Live. Since 2007, she has conducted in excess of 400 shows attended by more than 24,000 people of all ages. Since 2006, Erukhimova has coordinated the Texas A&M Physics and Engineering Festival, an event attracting several thousand visitors annually. She is a coauthor (with Gerald R. North) of the textbook, Atmospheric Thermodynamics, published by Cambridge University Press (2009). She is a recipient of three Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards for Teaching at both the university and college levels and was recognized in 2017 with the Texas A&M Presidential Professor for Teaching Excellence Award. She also received the John E. Trott, Jr. Award in Student Recruiting and earned Sigma Xi’s Outstanding Science Communicator Award.
Bani K. Mallick
Bani Mallick is a Distinguished Professor of Statistics and holder of the Arseven Endowed Chair in Data Science and Computational Statistics. He is director of the Texas A&M Statistical Bioinformatics Center. He joined the Texas A&M Department of Statistics faculty in 1998 after earning his Ph.D. at the University of Connecticut in 1994 and a stint as a lecturer at Imperial College, London. A fellow of several scientific societies, his research in Bayesian modeling and computation has been supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the Department of Defense. He has graduated 26 doctoral students with four more currently pursuing degrees, directed 12 postdoctoral fellows, served as a member of 30 additional Ph.D. committees and 22 MS committees (since 2009). More than 70 percent of his students have joined academia in top universities, in addition to securing positions at IBM, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Glaxco-Smith-Kline and the Penn Cancer Center. His Ph.D. students have received major international awards, such as the Savage Award and top honors in the American Statistical Association’s best paper competitions.
Contact: Shana Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or email@example.com