Ohio University honors alums Jue Chen and John Roush with Honorary Degrees

Published: June 18, 2020 Author: Staff reports

Ohio University honors alums Dr. Jue Chen and Dr. John Roush with honorary degrees for their achievements in molecular mechanisms of multidrug transporters and higher education administration, respectively.

Honorary degrees are awarded annually to individuals who have achieved distinction in scholarship, creative activities, professional pursuits, business, governmental, civic affairs, or in service to Ohio University.

“I am truly honored to receive an honorary degree,” Chen said. “This recognition brings so much joy to me and my family and I am looking forward to participating in the upcoming commencement ceremony.”

Chen is a structural biologist and biochemist who has focused her research on ATP-driven transporters for the benefit of humanity. She is currently a professor and head of the Laboratory of Membrane Biology and Biophysics at Rockefeller University and is an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

She has been internationally recognized for her role in the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of multidrug transporters, especially the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator, and for her advancements in finding more effective therapies for human diseases.

In 2019, Chen was recognized by her peers as a distinguished researcher when she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, making her one of only three OHIO alumni to earn this prestigious membership.

Chen received her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in the Honors Tutorial College from Ohio University in 1993, a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Harvard University in 1998 and completed her postdoctoral work at Baylor College of Medicine.

Roush will conclude 22 years of serving as president of Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, at the end of June, leaving a legacy of building leaders for the future and significant contributions to the advancement of Centre College and to his profession in higher education.

He graduated from Ohio University summa cum laude in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in English and as a member of the Bobcat football team, he was selected as the National Christian Athlete of the Year. He completed ROTC training and was commissioned a captain in the United States Army.

“Ohio University changed my life in ways I could not have imagined,” Roush said. “I discovered Susie Miller Roush, OHIO alumna ’72, on day one and she is now my wife and best friend of more than 50 years, and I acquired a love of learning from a host of faculty and staff mentors who challenged and inspired me in all ways. Susie and I loved our time at OHIO – a blessing to be sure.”

Since Roush became the institution’s president in 1998, Centre College has established five premier undergraduate scholar programs, as well as added 20 new endowed professorships and chairs. He also led campaigns raising nearly $350 million focusing on endowment for student financial aid, scholarships, academic program enhancements, the addition of 11 new structures, and the renovation of all college buildings.

Roush has served in many leadership roles, been a member of numerous national boards, and written and published compelling essays and articles on issues in higher education. His many recognitions, honors and awards include the Ohio University Distinguished Alumnus Award, the NCAA Champion Award, the Golden Key and the Blue Key National Honor Society, Ohio University Scholar Athlete of the Year, and three-time Academic All-American for football. He earned his Master of Education in 1973 and his Ph.D. in Educational Administration in 1979, both from Miami University.

To receive an honorary degree, the Honorary Degree Committee solicits nominations and biographical information from the University community. After screening nominees, the committee recommends candidates to the president who, in turn, forwards a final list to the Board of Trustees for ratification. The Board ratified these degrees at the June Board meeting.