(l-r) Chancellor Gordon Gee congratulates Lynn Fuchs and Doug Fuchs, the winners of the Earl Sutherland Prize for achievement in research. The award was announced during Fall Faculty Assembly on Aug. 25.
by Jim Patterson
Education researchers Lynn and Douglas Fuchs were presented the Earl Sutherland Prize for achievement in research during Fall Faculty Assembly, and Douglas Knight was given the Thomas Jefferson Award.
Six Vanderbilt professors also were honored with Chancellor’s Awards for Research during the Aug. 25 assembly at the Commodore Ballroom in the Student Life Center. Thirty-seven others were recognized for 25 years of service to the university with commemorative chairs.
“Your commitment contributes to the unity of this university and encourages Vanderbilt to continue to be a good place to do one’s life work,” said Chancellor Gordon Gee to the 25-year honorees. “Thank you all for that encouragement.”
The Fuchs are a husband-wife research team who hold the Nicholas Hobbs Chair in Special Education and are investigators at the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. They are widely recognized for their education research and have published more than 200 articles and book chapters since 1995. The prize comes with $5,000 and a pewter cup engraved with their names that the Fuchs will keep for a year, until the next Earl Sutherland Prize winner is named.
“Over the 20 years they have spent with Vanderbilt, Doug and Lynn Fuchs have developed a research program in special
education that is unparalleled in its reputation and in its influence on that field of study,” Gee said.
Knight, professor of Hebrew Bible and co-director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Culture, was awarded the Thomas Jefferson Award for extraordinary contributions as a member of the faculty in the councils and government of the university.
Knight was presented an engraved goblet and $2,500.
“The Thomas Jefferson Award is given annually to a faculty member who exemplifies in character, work and influence, not only the principles and ideals of Thomas Jefferson, but also the principles and ideals of Vanderbilt University,” Gee said.
The six winners of the Chancellor’s Awards for Research received $100 and an engraved pewter cup. They were:
Martin Egli, professor of biochemistry, and Carl Johnson, professor of biological sciences, for their collaborative article published in Molecular Cell about the molecular structure of the core component of the circadian clock of cyanobacteria, the simplest organism to have a circadian rhythm.
Douglas Hardin and Edward Saff, professors of mathematics, for their collaborative article published in Notices of the American Mathematical Society on how to plot a large set of equidistant points on a complex surface, which they dubbed “the poppy seed bagel theorem.”
A.B. Bonds, professor of electrical engineering, for an article with colleagues in which they demonstrated that collections of neurons synchronize their electrical activity in order to represent information.
Nancy King, the Lee S. and Charles A. Speir Professor of Law, for a Vanderbilt Law Review article co-authored with Rosevelt Noble, senior lecturer in sociology, on a study showing that in states that use juries for criminal sentencing, sentences imposed by juries are more severe than those imposed by judges.
René Marois, assistant professor of psychology, for a study published in Nature showing that too much visual information decreases the ability to remember what one sees.
And David Weintraub, professor of astronomy, for a study published in Nature that used X-ray technology to shed light on the process of how stars are created.