April 25, 2013 | By: Keith Hautala

The University of Kentucky Provost's Distinguished Service Professors are being honored today during a recognition ceremony hosted by Interim Provost Timothy S. Tracy. The professorship recognizes and honors professors for consistently high level of achievement in their contributions to their disciplines and the university.

The professors were nominated by the deans of their colleges or departments, and the awards are based on excellence in all areas of assignment, including service to the university as well as public service. The term of appointment is three years, and each professor will receive $10,000 per year, which may be used as a research or professional development fund, or as a salary stipend.

This year’s recipients of the Distinguished Service Professors Award are:

Daniel Breazeale, professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences, received his doctorate from Yale University in 1971 and began teaching at UK that same year. Breazeale specializes in German philosophy from Kant to Nietzsche, with a research focus on post-Kantian idealism and the philosophy of J. G. Fichte. Other interests include existentialism, skepticism, and social and political philosophy. 

Edward T. Jennings, professor in the Martin School of Public Policy and Administration, received his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977. He joined the UK faculty in 1989, and has taught in both the political science department and the Martin School.  He currently is serving as director of graduate studies in the school's doctoral program, one of a number of important administrative roles he has handled during his tenure in Lexington. From 2004-2008, Jennings was director of the Martin School. He has authored numerous books and articles. His primary research and teaching interests include public policy, intergovernmental relations and public administration. Jennings is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration, and a recipient of the Charles H. Levine Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service. He is past president of the American Society for Public Administration.

Michael F. Potter, extension professor of entomology in the College of Agriculture, received his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1982. Before coming to UK in 1991, Potter was national technical director for Orkin, the world's largest pest control company.  Potter's education and research program at UK provides cutting-edge information to homeowners, multi-unit housing, hospitality, health care, food and manufacturing industries, as well as government and regulatory agencies.  Potter is recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on the subject of bed bugs and how to deal with infestations of this age-old pest. Together with colleagues such as fellow UK entomologist Ken Haynes and others, Potter's research on bed bugs consistently garners local, statewide, national, and international news media attention. In 2011, the National Pest Management Association honored Potter with its Pinnacle Award.

Jurgen Rohr is director of the Division of Drug Discovery in the UK College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Rohr's research is focused on natural product drugs, including antibiotics, anticancer drugs and drugs against bone diseases. It includes the elucidation of complex multi-step biosynthetic pathways, carried out by bacteria, fungi or plants, with particular emphasis on enzyme mechanisms. The results of these biosynthetic studies are used to generate modified natural product drugs through genetic engineering (pathway engineering, combinatorial biosynthesis). Before joining the faculty at UK, Rohr was assistant and associate professor in the Department of Chemistry of the University of Göttingen, Germany, and associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston.

Sharon Walsh is a professor of behavioral science and psychiatry, and is director of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research. Walsh earned her master's degree and doctorate in behavioral neuroscience from Rutgers University. She trained in human behavioral pharmacology as a postdoctoral fellow at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 1992, becoming a professor of behavioral science and psychiatry in 2003. She has been with UK since 2005. Walsh's clinical research has focused on pharmacological issues in opioid and cocaine dependence. She has conducted studies on pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic characteristics of opioid treatment agents, including buprenorphine, methadone and LAAM and has evaluated potential pharmacotherapies for efficacy and safety in the treatment of cocaine dependence.

Heidi L. Weiss is a professor in the Departments of Surgery and Biostatistics and director of the Markey Cancer Center's Biostatistics Shared Resource Facility. She earned her doctorate in biostatistics from the University of South Carolina and holds a master's degree in applied statistics from Louisiana State University. Since coming to UK in 2009, Weiss has developed and expanded the Biostatistics Shared Resource Facility significantly by recruiting outstanding faculty members and guiding them to successful collaborations with basic, translational and clinical investigators. Her leadership has played a key role in Markey's ongoing quest for NCI designation.

News Topics: