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Friday, July 15, 2005
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Joseph Shields named physics and astronomy chair

ATHENS, Ohio (July 15, 2005) -- Joseph Shields has been appointed chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy. The department faculty unanimously recommended Shields for the position.

Joseph ShieldsHe replaces Louis E. Wright, who served as chair since 1990, except for two years when he served as chair of the Faculty Senate.

"I am confident that Joe is an excellent choice to lead one of the most successful departments at Ohio University," Wright said. "With the help of the faculty in the department and our hard-working students, the department will continue to strive for excellence at Ohio University. Joe Shields has the experience and aptitude to be an outstanding academic leader."

Shields researches quasars, black holes in galaxy nuclei and other nebular astrophysics. He earned his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley in 1991. Before joining Ohio University, he held positions at Ohio State University and the University of Arizona.

Shields is a College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Teacher Award recipient. He has served on various national peer review panels for funding and telescope time allocation, and led negotiations resulting in Ohio University's joining the MDM Observatory as part of the "Structure of the Universe" University Research Priority initiative. Shields also works as scientific editor for The Astrophysical Journal.

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to serve as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy," Shields said. "The department has an outstanding group of faculty and staff committed to excellence in teaching and research. I look forward to working with my colleagues and our students in advancing our understanding of the physical universe we live in."

The Department of Physics and Astronomy researches astrophysics, biophysics, nanoscience and nuclear physics. This research is partially supported by federal research grants from agencies including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the National Institutes of Health and NASA. The department's faculty annually brings in more than $3 million in external research grants.

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Media Contact: Specialist George Mauzy, (740) 597-1794 or mauzy@ohio.edu

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