SEC Selects 2018 Faculty Achievement Award Recipients

Boyd Professor Ward Plummer chosen as LSU’s honoree

Ward Plummer03/28/2018
BATON ROUGE – Faculty members from each SEC university have been named recipients of the 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award, SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey announced on Wednesday, March 28. The awards, now in their seventh year, honor one individual from each SEC university who has excelled in teaching and research.

To be eligible for consideration, the individual must be a teacher or scholar at an SEC university; have achieved the rank of full professor; have a record of extraordinary teaching; and have a record of research that is recognized nationally and/or internationally.

“The SEC Faculty Achievement Awards continue to provide us with a unique opportunity to celebrate faculty from our conference who have demonstrated a commitment to our students while also making meaningful contributions in their fields,” said Sankey. “Although we have chosen to honor 14, we know they are truly representative of all SEC faculty members.”

The 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award selection from LSU is Ward Plummer, Boyd Professor of Physics. Plummer is special assistant to LSU’s vice president for research and economic development. He is a world‐renowned physicist, specializing in surfaces and interfaces phenomena, having completed his Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University. After working at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Tennessee, Plummer came to LSU in 2009 to lead the materials science program. He has authored more than 400 scholarly publications and has mentored both graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He has received numerous awards from national and international organizations, including the International Scientific Cooperation Award from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2016, the Friendship Award from the State Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs (China) in 2017, and the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award, presented by Chinese President Jinping Xi in 2018. Plummer was appointed a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008, elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2006, and appointed as Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014.

Each SEC Faculty Achievement Award winner will receive a $5,000 honorarium from the SEC and will become his or her university’s nominee for the SEC Professor of the Year Award. The SEC Professor of the Year, to be named in April, receives an additional $15,000 honorarium.

“The SEC is home to 14 of the finest universities in the nation, and our faculty are some of the most accomplished individuals in academia,” said Mark E. Keenum, president of Mississippi State University and President of the Southeastern Conference. “We are delighted to have a way to recognize their achievements, and along with the other SEC Presidents and Chancellors, I offer each of them my sincere congratulations.”

The SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are both selected by the SEC provosts, and they are two foundational programs designed by the SEC to support and promote the academic endeavors and achievements of its students, faculty and administrators.

There are approximately 14,000 full-time, tenured faculty in the SEC, and below is a list of the 2018 SEC Faculty Achievement Award recipients:

  • University of Alabama, Trudier Harris, University Distinguished Research Professor of English
  • University of Arkansas, Peter Ungar, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology
  • Auburn University, David Ketchen, Harbert Eminent Scholar and Professor of Management
  • University of Florida, Scott Powers, UAA Endowed Professor and Distinguished Professor
  • University of Georgia, Mary Ann Moran, Distinguished Research Professor
  • University of Kentucky, Issam Harik, Raymond-Blythe Professor of Civil Engineering
  • LSU, Ward Plummer, Boyd Professor of Physics
  • University of Mississippi, Jane Reckelhoff, Billy S. Guyton Distinguished Professor
  • Mississippi State University, James Fowler, Billie J. Ball Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • University of Missouri, Inder Khurana, Geraldine Trulaske Chair in Accountancy
  • University of South Carolina, Julius Fridriksson, Carolina Distinguished Professor
  • University of Tennessee, Louis Gross, Alvin and Sally Beaman Distinguished Professor
  • Texas A&M University, Marcetta Darensbourg, Distinguished Professor of Chemistry
  • Vanderbilt University, Kathleen Gould, Louise B. McGavock Endowed Professor



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Ernie Ballard
LSU Media Relations