Six outstanding ASU faculty members named exemplars

Six ASU faculty members who excel in teaching and research have been named exemplars this year by President Michael Crow. They are rising stars, cited as outstanding individuals whose talent and hard work place them among the finest teacher-scholars ASU has to offer.

They represent a broad array of expertise: a biologist, an educational policy researcher, a geneticist, an astronomer, a marketing expert and a criminologist. Three were promoted to professor, while the others earned tenure, two of them with promotion to associate professor.

Anne C. Stone was named professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, and James Rhoads received tenure as associate professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Both are in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Amy Ostrom was promoted to professor of marketing in the W. P. Carey School of Business. Travis Pratt was named professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, in the College of Public Programs.

Receiving tenure and promotion to associate professor were Pamela A. Marshall, biologist in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences; and Audrey Amrein-Beardsley, testing and assessment expert in the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College.

These exemplary faculty have received an extra salary increase in addition to the promotion adjustment, and a $10,000 per year award for five years to assist them in advancing their scholarly and creative activities.

Amrein-Beardsley has been nationally and internationally recognized for her research on three of the most contentious issues in public education: high-stakes testing, value-added measurement systems linked to tests and teacher quality. Her work has been used at the educational policy level, but also locally to help educators deal with the unintended consequences of high-stakes testing without sacrificing student learning, particularly in underserved schools.

She serves on a statewide project to help evaluate the impact of public colleges of education on teacher preparation. She is currently working with the Arizona Department of Education on some of their large-scale data, data-use and value-added initiatives. Amrein-Beardsley also is creator and host of an ASU-sponsored video broadcast titled “Inside the Academy,” during which she interviews top educational researchers.

“Professor Beardsley is an example of the wholeness for which most academics should strive,” said Mari Koerner, dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College. “She is a star researcher and a stellar teacher. Her teaching informs her scholarship and her research informs her teaching, and her service closes the circle.”

Marshall is a research biologist who is dedicated to helping undergraduates participate in her research, particularly nontraditional, first-generation and minority students. She has mentored more than 30 undergraduates since coming to ASU seven years ago, many of whom have gone on to medical school. She received a universitywide faculty excellence award for mentorship in 2008 and a collegewide teaching award in 2009.

With a colleague, Marshall recently received a grant from the Department of Education to support success programs for underrepresented students in science, technology, engineering and math disciplines. While remaining active in her own research, she is known nationally for her ability to teach upper-level undergraduate genetics, and has developed assessment tools and a workbook to accompany a genetics textbook by Snustad and Simmons.

“Dr. Marshall develops innovative and engaging pedagogical techniques to use in the classroom, and she mentors many of those students in her laboratory, working on cutting edge research,” said Roger Berger, director of the Division of Mathematical and Natural Sciences. “She has excelled as both a researcher and an educator, and has benefited students in both roles.”

Ostrom, who began her career at ASU in 1996, very quickly developed a reputation for her teaching, being named Arizona Professor of the Year in 2004 by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education and the ASU Parents Association Professor of the Year in 2007. She also has received a teaching award from the W. P. Carey School of Business.

She is an extremely active researcher in the area of services marketing, having published 21 articles in leading marketing journals and five book chapters. She has served as the thesis director for more than 30 honors theses, was the faculty adviser for several student groups and has been the chair of her department’s undergraduate program for seven years.

“What’s truly exceptional about Professor Ostrom is that she gives 100 percent to everything she does,” said Amy Hillman, executive dean at the Carey School. “She’s not only a terrific scholar whose research has impacted the science and practice of marketing, but she’s truly committed to excellence in the classroom and serving ASU.”

Only nine years after earning his doctorate, Pratt already is recognized as a top scholar in his field, as the winner of the 2006 Ruth Shonle Cavan Young Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology. He has changed the way his discipline thinks about its core issues, through the publication of 48 refereed articles and one book, and is one of the 50 most cited scholars in the field.

“Dr. Pratt has developed a national reputation for his work on one of the most hallowed and long-standing of all theoretical constructs in his field, self-control, and in so doing has changed perspectives on some of the most entrenched theories in criminology,” said Debra Friedman, dean of the College of Public Programs. “He is precisely the kind of faculty member on which a top-ranked program is built.”

Pratt also has won teaching awards and is extremely active in mentoring and developing the next generation of scholars. He has co-authored papers with 16 graduate students, an exceptional level of collaboration, and has chaired or served on 21 doctoral and 19 master’s thesis committees.

“He is a spark in our new doctoral program, inspiring and working with our Ph.D. students in and out of the classroom,” said Scott Decker, director of the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Though still early in his career, Rhoads already has established himself as an international leader in the field of astrophysics. Having earned his doctorate from Princeton in 1996, he has gone on to make fundamental advances in understanding the spectacular cosmic explosions called gamma ray bursts. In collaboration with ASU professor Sangeeta Malhotra, he also has advanced our understanding of the birth and evolution of galaxies by studying some of the most distant and earliest galaxies known.

He is an active teacher and mentor to students, serves as a referee for most of the prominent astronomy journals and has published more than 110 refereed articles. His collaborative research projects with Malhotra have brought in more than $600,000 in grant funding since his arrival at ASU in 2006.

“I am pleased that Dr. Rhoads’ work is so widely respected, and doubly pleased that the School of Earth and Space Exploration and ASU are associated with his accomplishments,” said Kip Hodges, director of the school. “We are fortunate, indeed, to have him on our faculty.”

Stone is widely known for her exceptional work in population history and understanding how humans and the great apes have adapted to their environments, including their disease environments. She continues to significantly impact the field of anthropological genetics through her studies of the evolutionary history of tuberculosis. Her research also examines the biological history of Native Americans, both ancient and modern.

Stone integrates her research into her teaching, to convey excitement about science and to foster critical thinking. She trains and mentors students in her laboratory, with 12 undergraduates and 11 graduate students having participated in her research.

“Dr. Stone is not only a pathbreaker in a highly competitive field, but also an exemplary collaborator whose first-rate genetic research across diverse areas is a real asset to ASU,” said Sander Van Der Leeuw, director of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change. “Even this early in her career, she is known for her active service, stellar publication record, and as a sought-after mentor for the emerging generation of scientists.”

Sarah Auffret
Media Relations
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