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25 Years of Service

Each year, Vanderbilt University recognizes those members of the faculty who have just completed twenty-five years of full-time service. Vanderbilt honors these twenty-five year veterans with the presentation of a chair bearing brass plates engraved with the professor’s name and the Vanderbilt logo.

The brief highlights included here cannot begin to do justice to the contributions these faculty have made to Vanderbilt and their disciplines.


2021 Recipients

Theodore Bapty, Ph.D.

Research Professor of Electrical Engineering





W. James Booth, Ph.D.

Professor of Political Science

James Booth’s current research is focused on memory, identity, and justice. His most recent book, Communities of Memory: On Witness, Identity, and Justice, is centered around those issues, and several articles further develop and explore them in the context of race in America and violence in Northern Ireland. Booth has also written extensively on economics and justice, (Households: On the Moral Architecture of the Economy), and on topics in the history of political theory, including ancient Greek economic thought, Kant’s philosophy of history and politics, and Marx’s understanding and critique of capitalism. His articles have been published in scholarly journals in the US, Britain, France, and Germany. Before coming to Vanderbilt, Booth was on the faculties of McGill University and Duke. At Vanderbilt, Booth teaches courses in the history of political thought, religion and politics, and graduate and undergraduate seminars on topics in contemporary theory.

Steven H. Brown, M.D.

Associate Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director, Health and Medical Informatics

Dr. Brown’s informatics interests include terminology and knowledge representation, clinical decision support, standards, interoperability, and large-scale quality improvement. Dr. Brown began his informatics career in 1981 as a programmer working on applications of image analysis for diagnostic surgical pathology after graduating from Brown University.  He earned his MD degree from Brown in 1987 and completed an internship and residency in internal medicine at Emory University.  Dr. Brown completed an NLM-sponsored post-doctoral medical informatics fellowship at Vanderbilt University under Dr. Randolph Miller, and concurrently earned a master’s degree in biomedical engineering. He has been a Vanderbilt faculty member since 1994. He was board certified in Clinical Informatics in 2014 and now sits as an ABPM Clinical Informatics Board member.

Dr. Brown began a long-standing relationship with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 1996. In his current role as Director of Knowledge Based Systems (KBS) at VA Central Office, Dr. Brown oversees a team of over 50 staff and contractors working in technical informatics. The VA KBS Office has won 4 Federal Health IT Innovation awards in the past 3 years. Dr. Brown is the founding Director of the VA Tennessee Valley Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Informatics and has authored or co-authored 85 publications and 8 book chapters.

Dr. Brown was elected to the American College of Medical Informatics in 2005 and the International Academy of Health Science Informatics in 2020. His body of work has been recognized by dignitaries including VA Secretaries, the Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Vice President of the United States.

Anthony J. Cmelak, M.D.

Professor of Radiation Oncology

Dr. Cmelak is the Medical Director for the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Centers at Franklin, The Gateway-Vanderbilt Cancer Center in Clarksville Tennessee, and the Vanderbilt-Maury Cancer Center in Spring Hill Tennessee.  He trained at both Northwestern University and Stanford University. He is a recognized leader in cancer treatments utilizing radiation therapy with novel chemotherapy agents in head and neck cancers, human papillomavirus, and provides comprehensive radiation treatment for patients with head and neck cancers and brain tumors, using the latest technologies including stereotactic radiosurgery and stereotactic body radiotherapy.  Dr. Cmelak has been the Clinical Track Team Leader for Head and Neck Cancers for ASCO in 2014 and 2015, and on the Scientific Review Committee for the past 3 years.  He is a member of the Head and Neck Core Committee for the ECOG-ACRIN and a Head and Neck Committee member on the NCCN.  He is the Principal Investigator in Head and Neck carcinomas and Intracranial Neoplasms at Vanderbilt University where he trains residents in these disciplines and in conducting clinical trials and participates in multidisciplinary conferences and specialty clinics in these areas. He has also been the Institution’s lead investigator in stereotactic radiosurgery since 1996 and has developed new technologies and treatment strategies for several disease processes, both benign and malignant, including radiosurgery for essential tremor and Parkinson’s tremor, trigeminal neuralgia, and for skull-based tumors.  He has authored over a hundred publications on new techniques and treatment outcomes.

William O. Cooper, M.D., MPH

Professor of Pediatrics, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Pediatrics, and Professor of Health Policy


William O. Cooper, MD, MPH is a practicing physician, researcher, teacher, and administrator.  He has led School of Medicine programs, including the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy, the Master of Public Health Program, and the Pediatrics Office for Faculty Development.  He is an internationally recognized expert in medication safety in children and has published over 140 scholarly articles to date. In his role as Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs for Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and Vice President for Patient and Professional Advocacy, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Cooper oversees the Medical Center’s professional programs and provides leadership and direction for the Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy.


Ariel Y. Deutch, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, James G. Blakemore Chair in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, and Professor of Pharmacology

Professor Deutch studies central dopamine (DA) systems that are critically involved in a number of neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. His lab focuses on the studies of the DA innervations of the prefrontal cortex and striatal complex, using a number of anatomical, biochemical, and molecular approaches.



Brian S. Donahue, M.D.

Professor of Anesthesiology, and Professor of Pediatrics






L. Jane Easdown, M.D.

Professor of Anesthesiology

Dr. L. Jane Easdown is Professor of Anesthesiology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Dr. Easdown is a graduate of McGill University Medical School, Montreal, Canada with postgraduate training in Anesthesiology at McMaster University and the University of Toronto.  In 2015, she received a Master of Health Professions Education from the Vanderbilt School of Medicine. She has been the recipient of the Volker Striepe Teaching Award and is a member of the Academy of Excellence in Teaching.  Her research interests are neuroanesthesiology, faculty development, and patient safety.




Dale Clark Farran, Ph.D.

Research Professor of Teaching & Learning

Dr. Farran, currently a Research Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning in Peabody College, has been involved in research and intervention for high-risk children and youth all her professional career including as a researcher on the Abecedarian Project for 10 years, most recently leading the only randomized control trial of statewide prekindergarten, longitudinal evaluations of pre-k curricula and developing measures and strategies to improve prekindergarten classrooms. Three additional years of funding have just been obtained from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to follow the state pre-k sample through high school. In addition to IES, her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health and the Heising Simons Foundation.



Elliot M. Fielstein, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor Department of Psychiatry and Assistant Professor Department of Biomedical Informatics

Elliot M. Fielstein, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University and Director of Clinical and Data Analytics in the Informatics Section of Mental Health Service at the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office, Washington DC.  Dr. Fielstein is a neuropsychologist and informaticist and spent 15 years as a faculty member in the Vanderbilt University Department of Psychiatry before transferring to Biomedical Informatics.  While in Psychiatry, he founded the Neuropsychology Laboratory at the Nashville VAMC where he conducted neuropsychological assessment as well as Psychology and Psychiatry resident and fellow training.  He also participated part-time as a software engineer in the StarPanel electronic patient record systems where he developed an electronic cancer staging system utilizing the AJCC Cancer Staging system. 

At the Department of Veterans Affairs Central Office, he has worked in the Chief Business Office supporting VA Compensation and Pension (C&P) where he developed a national C&P examination database system and electronic exam review system.  Currently, he works in VA Mental Health Service Informatics Section focused on the development of national mental health performance measures and coordination and building of business applications for the National Center for PTSD and other program offices.  His operations and research activities and interests are in mental health informatics including natural language processing, clinical terminologies, and decision support in posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

Dr. Fielstein received a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Vermont and completed fellowships in Clinical Neuropsychology at the Neurosurgical Section, Department of Surgery, University of Alabama-Birmingham School of Medicine, and in Medical Informatics at the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Edward Frederick Fischer, Ph.D.

Professor of Anthropology, Cornelius Vanderbilt Chair in Anthropology, and Professor of Health Policy


Edward (Ted) Fischer was born in Dothan, Alabama, educated in Birmingham and New Orleans, and accepted his first tenure-track job at Vanderbilt in 1996 after completing a Ph.D. earlier that year. For almost twenty years, he directed the Center for Latin American Studies, and he now leads an initiative on the Cultural Contexts of Health and Wellbeing. He is currently Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Anthropology with secondary appointments in Health Policy, Management, and Radiology.


James V. Gainer, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Ralf C. Habermann, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine






Daniel P. Himes, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Talat Alp Ikizler, M.D.

Professor of Medicine, and Catherine McLaughlin Hakim Chair in Vascular Biology






Waleed N. Irani, M.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Waleed Irani received his M.D. from the University of North Carolina in 1985. He completed his internship and residencies in medicine at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical center in 1993 and completed his Cardiology fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern in 1996. He joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1996 in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine and now serves as an Assistant Professor of Medicine.

Dr. Irani has served as the medical director of the VHVI Outpatient clinic since 2001. He has a long history of institutional service including attending on inpatient teaching and non-teaching services. He has also worked with health IT to help develop outpatient clinical documentation tools and currently serves as the lead health IT officer for the division of Cardiovascular Medicine.


Akos Ledeczi, Ph.D.

Professor of Computer Science, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Director, Computer Science Graduate Studies

Ákos Lédeczi received his undergraduate degree from the Technical University of Budapest and then went on to get his Ph.D. at Vanderbilt, both in electrical engineering. He joined the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department in 1996, first as research faculty and eventually as a tenured Professor of Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Currently, Dr. Lédeczi is the Director of Graduate Studies in the newly formed Department of Computer Science. He is a founding member of the Institute for Software Integrated Systems, a well-known center of research on Cyber Physical Systems and of the Learning Incubator: a Vanderbilt Endeavor (LIVE), a collaboration between the Peabody College of Education and the School of Engineering.  Dr. Lédeczi’s research spans model-based systems engineering, wireless sensor networks, and computer science education. He is the co-creator of a popular massive open online course (MOOC) that has introduced computer programming to over a quarter-million students since 2015.

Viki B. Matson, M.Div.

Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry, and Director of Field Education

Professor Viki Matson is the Director of Field Education and Associate Professor of the Practice of Ministry at Vanderbilt Divinity School. Prior to coming to Vanderbilt, she served as Chaplain at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville, TN. Professor Matson holds a Bachelor of Science in Religion from Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma, (1977)and a Master of Divinity from Phillips Theological Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma, (1982). Additionally, she has completed a residency year in Clinical Pastoral Education and has done graduate study in ethics. Matson’s professional interests and expertise include theological reflection on practice, the global dimensions of theological education, and the capacities needed for religious leaders in our times. Professor Matson is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).



Jami L. Miller, M.D.

Associate Professor of Dermatology






Anthere Nzabatsinda, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of French

Anthère Nzabatsinda is currently Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian in the College of Arts of Science at Vanderbilt University. He teaches Francophone Language and Literatures. After receiving his Ph.D. in French Studies from the University of Montréal, Canada, he subsequently taught French at the University of Montreal and the University of Toronto, Canada, before joining Vanderbilt University in 1996. Apart from his books published in Canada and in France, he has published many book chapters and dozens of journal articles related to African and Caribbean topics. He served as the Chair of the Francophone Caucus of the African Literature Association. In his department at Vanderbilt, he served on several occasions as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in French. His research deals with the relationship between writers and the passage as well as the translation of languages, between literature and other artistic forms in French-Speaking literary institutions.

Ray L. Paschall, M.D.

Associate Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology






Geraldine C. Reeves, MSN, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Nursing

Dr. Reeves is a board-certified family nurse practitioner and an experienced nurse educator. She also has expertise as a primary care provider, in addition to experience in management of NP run clinics. She received her MSN from Vanderbilt school of nursing and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. Her research interests are the impact of depressive symptoms on chronic disease outcomes. She joined the faculty at Vanderbilt in 1996 in a joint practice and academic role. Dr. Reeves has published many journal articles and textbook chapters and is the inaugural Editor-in-Chief of Advances in Family Practice Nursing journal.



Albert B. Reynolds, Ph.D.

Professor of Pharmacology






Melissa K. Rose, D.M.A

Professor of Piano, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

Melissa Rose is Professor of Piano and Senior Associate Dean at the Blair School of Music, where she teaches courses in collaborative piano and chamber music. She has a 30-year career partnering with instrumentalists and singers in concerts throughout the United States and at venues abroad. Her chamber music recordings are on the Naxos, Centaur, Blue Griffin, Delos, Good Child Music, and Navona labels.





Sandra J. Rosenthal, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, Jack and Pamela Egan Chair in Chemistry, Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Professor of Materials Science & Engineering, and Professor of Pharmacology

Sandra J. Rosenthal is the Jack and Pamela Egan Professor of Chemistry and Professor in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.  She holds courtesy appointments in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Pharmacology. Sandy is one of the most highly decorated undergraduate instructors on Campus.  Additionally, she has been awarded the Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award, the SEC Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Herty Medal of the American Chemical Society. Her research concerns the development of quantum dots and their implementation to elucidate molecular mechanisms of mental disorders.



Ronald D. Schrimpf, Ph.D.

Professor of Electrical Engineering, Orrin H. Ingram Chair in Engineering, and Director of the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics

Ron Schrimpf is the Orrin Henry Ingram Professor of Engineering and Director of the Institute for Space and Defense Electronics at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.E.E., M.S.E.E., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Minnesota and was a professor at the University of Arizona for ten years, before joining Vanderbilt in 1996. His research is related to semiconductor devices, particularly radiation effects and reliability. The projects on which he works include semiconductor-device design and simulation, atomic-scale analysis of radiation-induced defects, and application and development of design and simulation tools for radiation effects. Ron has received three of Vanderbilt’s highest awards: The Chancellor’s Cup, the Harvey Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award, and the Chancellor’s Award for Research. He has served as the President of the IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society, Chair of the Radiation Effects Steering Group, and Chair of the Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference. He received the IEEE NPSS Merit Award, the NPSS Early Achievement Award and was elected a Fellow of the IEEE in 2000. Ron was the first Faculty Head of House for Memorial House in Vanderbilt’s residential college program for first-year students: The Martha Rivers Ingram Commons. As part of the Commons experience, Ron led and resided in Memorial House with his wife, Kathy, and eighty first-year students.

Jin-Hui Shen, Ph.D.

Research Associate Professor of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences






Paul J. St. Jacques, M.D.

Professor of Anesthesiology, and Professor of Biomedical Informatics






Bradley B. Stancombe, M.D.

Professor of Clinical Pediatrics

Bradley B. Stancombe, M.D., has been the director of neonatology at Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville, Tennessee since becoming Vanderbilt faculty in 1996. He completed his undergraduate degree in Physics at Vanderbilt in 1980 and a medical degree at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. This was followed by a pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship in Air Force medical centers. In1996, as a LtCol, he left the Air Force to return to Tennessee to build and direct the new Vanderbilt regional Newborn ICU in Clarksville. He currently is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics for Vanderbilt University and recently assumed the role of Associate Chief Medical Officer for Vanderbilt University Medical Center for the Northwest region. Dr. Stancombe specializes in late preterm and term newborn intensive care and continues to be involved in quality improvement and risk reduction projects as well as the enhancement of community healthcare. He credits his family for their steadfast support despite all the nights of critical care callbacks. Dr. Stancombe truly values his professional collaborations and long-standing relationship with Vanderbilt that began as a freshman in 1976.


Kay Washington, M.D.

Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology

Kay Washington, MD, Ph.D. is Professor of Pathology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and has a long-standing interest in gastrointestinal (GI) and liver pathology, having published over 350 scientific papers covering a wide range of topics in GI and liver disease.  She received her doctorate and medical degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and trained in pathology at Duke University Medical Center.  Dr. Washington is a member of the College of American Pathologists Cancer, Center Guidelines, and Publications Committees, and as Chair of the Editorial Board for the American Joint Committee on Cancer is charged with leading the revision of their Cancer Staging Manual.  She is also a member of the World Health Organization Standing Editorial Board for the WHO Classification of Tumours series and an Associate Editor for the journal Gastroenterology.



Dechao Zheng, Ph.D.

Professor of Mathematics