Cutler Hall Panoramic Spring

Distinguished Professor Award

The Distinguished Professor Award recognizes outstanding scholarly and creative accomplishments and is the highest permanent recognition attainable by faculty at Ohio University. Recipients must have attained tenure and completed a minimum of five years of service at Ohio University.

Among the privileges granted to Distinguished Professors is the honor of annually naming an undergraduate student to receive a year's full-tuition scholarship, lifetime designation title of Distinguished Professor, a one-quarter paid research leave, stipend, and travel support.

The award, first given in 1959, is supported by an endowment provided by Edwin and Ruth Kennedy to the Baker Fund.

The Ohio University and Athens communities are invited to attend events honoring
Alexander Govorov, 2016 Distinguished Professor of Physics
Judith Yaross Lee, 2016 Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies

Monday, February 20, 2017
Baker University Center, Grand Ballroom, Fourth Floor

6:30 PM - Reception - Pre-function area outside the ballroom
7:00 PM - Portrait Unveilings and Lectures

Judith Yaross Lee

Sociable Sam: Mark Twain among Friends

Samuel Langhorne Clemens met thousands of people through his writing and travels as Mark Twain, and many of them turned up in his tales or shaped them in other ways. In this illustrated talk, Judith Yaross Lee draws on the Mark Twain archives to share details on the family, friends, editors, and others--including a pastor, a cook, and a delivery boy--behind “Jim Smiley and His Jumping Frog,” 1601, and other works by Mark Twain.

Alexander "Sasha" Govorov

Trapping Photons and Heat Using Nanocrystals

Nanocrystals are tiny pieces of a crystalline material. To appreciate the size of such objects, one can recall that one nanometer is the size of just ten hydrogen atoms. Nanocrystals have very unusual optical properties. They can trap and absorb light very efficiently, and they also can enhance the electromagnetic field of light.  When nanocrystals are made of metals, they exhibit so-called plasmonic resonances. When the incident light excites a plasmonic resonance, a metal nanocrystal acts as a tiny “solar cell”, converting optical energy into heat and electricity. This talk will describe how plasmonic nanocrystals can be used for detecting biomolecules and for designing optical materials with useful and futuristic properties.


Biography - Judith Yaross Lee

Dr. Lee is the Charles E. Zumkehr Professor and Director of Honors Tutorials in the School of Communication Studies at Ohio University. An interdisciplinary Americanist educated at Oberlin College (A.B.) and the University of Chicago (A.M., Ph.D.), she studies popular rhetorics in the contexts of media, social, political, and intellectual history. Dr. Lee is one of the world’s leading experts on American literary humor and an eminent scholar of Mark Twain. She has written 60 essays in scholarly books and learned journals along with three university-press books--Twain’s Brand: Humor in Contemporary American Culture (2012), Defining New Yorker Humor (2000), and Garrison Keillor: A Voice of America (1991)--which are in the libraries of more than 50 nations around the globe as well as in every U.S. state and Canadian province. Dr. Lee has lectured across the U.S., Europe, and Asia, and held visiting professorships at Leiden University, The Netherlands; Bangkok University, Thailand; and the University of Helsinki, Finland.  She has received the Provost’s Transformational Teaching Award (2010), Honors Tutorial College Outstanding Tutor Award (2010), and School of Communication Studies Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teacher Award (2010, 2015). In 2015, she won a Fulbright Scholar Award for research and teaching in The Netherlands as the 2016 Senior Professor of American Culture.

Biography - Alexander “Sasha” Govorov

Dr. Govorov joined Ohio University in 2002 as an associate professor. He is an esteemed physics professor and researcher, who is credited for starting the field of chiral plasmonics and plasmonic assemblies. He is considered to be an expert regarding the theory of optical properties of nanomaterials and nanostructures, and some of his more than 200 published works on the subject are highly-cited by academic peers. His research has appeared in top academic journals such as Nature and Physical Review Letters. Dr. Govorov has organized 16 national and international conferences since 2007.  Dr. Govorov is frequently invited to participate in academic conferences. Between 2006 and 2016, he has been invited to give 80 talks regarding his research. Dr. Govorov is Fellow of the American Physical Society (2012) and a recipient of Bessel Research Award (A. v. Humboldt Foundation, Germany), Ikerbasque Research Fellowship (Spain), E.T.S. Walton Visitor Award (Ireland), 2013 Chang Jiang Chair Professorship of the Scholar Program of MOE of China, 2014 Jacques-Beaulieu Excellence Research Chair Award (INRS, Montreal), and 2015 Arts & Sciences Outstanding Faculty Research and Scholarship Award at Ohio University.  Dr. Govorov is a well-regarded professor and colleague who teaches and mentors both undergraduate and graduate students, and collaborates widely with his peers.


Alexander Govorov and Judith Yaross Lee named

2016 Distinguished Professors

April 29, 2016

 Alexander Sasha Govorov Judith Yaross Lee

Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis bestowed the 2016 Distinguished Professor Award on Alexander Govorov, Professor of Physics, and Judith Yaross Lee, Charles F. Zumkehr Professor of Communication Studies.

The prestigious Distinguished Professor award was established in 1959 and recognizes scholarly accomplishment, professional reputation and contribution to the University.

With the honor, Drs. Govorov and Lee will receive a lifetime designation, one semester of academic leave and the privilege of naming one undergraduate student annually to receive a Distinguished Professor scholarship.

Dr. Govorov is an esteemed physics professor and researcher who is credited for starting the field of chiral plasmonics and plasmonic assemblies. With over 140 published articles, many of which are highly-cited by his peers, Dr. Govorov has been asked to organize 25 national and international conferences, and has been invited to give close to 60 talks on his research.

Dr. Lee is an award-winning professor and scholar who is recognized as a leading authority on American literary humor, and is an eminent scholar of Mark Twain. She has held 3 positions as a visiting scholar/professor, has written 4 books, and has almost 60 published articles and essays on the subject of humor. Dr. Lee was recently named the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Faculty Teacher in the School of Communication Studies.



June 1, 2016

Ohio University and Athens community mourn death of Distinguished Professor Guido Stempel

June 1, 2016

Conference to be held in honor of Distinguished Professor Surender Jain

April 29, 2016

Dr. Judith Yaross Lee and Dr. Alexander Govorov named as the 2016 Distinguished Professors

February 23, 2016

Distinguished Professor Gerardine Botte presents lecture

February 19, 2016

Distinguished Professor Tadeusz Malinski honored by Ohio State Senate

November 6, 2015

Distinguished Professor Charles Smith named as keynote speaker for fall commencement

October 19, 2015

Ohio University ranks first in state for university research licensing revenue for fiscal year 2014, largely due to Distinguished Professor John Kopchick's research

September 30, 2015

Distinguished Professor John Kopchick honored by Danish university

September 22, 2015

Distinguished Professor Alonzo Hamby publishes book on FDR

August 17, 2015

Distinguished Professor Tom Carpenter edits book on 'Italic People of Ancient Apulia'

July 15, 2015

Distinguished Professor Damian Nance publishes new book on physical geology

May 1, 2015

Gerardine Botte named 2015 Distinguished Professor

March 16, 2015

Christopher France to discuss blood donation

March 10, 2015

Distinguished Professor Christopher France presents lecture

February 10, 2015

Meet Distinguished Professor Christopher France

August 4, 2014

Distinguished Professor Damian Nance elected Fellow of the Geological Society of America

May 2, 2014

Christopher France named 2014 Distinguished Professor

May 1, 2014

Distinguished Professor Damian Nance publishes book on engine houses of Cornwall

March 3, 2014

University Community honors Carpenter as Distinguished Professor

Feb 2, 2014

Distinguished Professor Tom Carpenter

May 3, 2013

Tom Carpenter named Distinguished Professor at 2013 Graduate Commencement ceremony

Mar 18, 2013

"Growth Hormone, Mini Mice, Football, Dirty Shorts and A New Drug."

Mar 5, 2013

Meet Distinguished Professor John Kopchick

November 25, 2012

Distinguished Professor Surender Jain publishes book on cyclic modules and the structure of rings

June 8, 2012

John Kopchick named Distinguished Professor

Mar 5, 2012

Distinguished Professor finds appeal of short poems

Mar 1, 2012

Distinguished Professor Lecture and Portrait Unveiling

August 31, 2011

Tadeusz Malinski accepts Doctor Honoris Causa award from Poznan University of Technology

Jun 11, 2011

Mark Halliday named Distinguished Professor

Mar 16, 2011

University mourns death of Distinguished Professor of Physics

Mar 8, 2011

University mourns death of Distinguished Professor

Feb 10, 2011

Meet Distinguished Professor Charles Smith