Colorado State University

College of Natural Sciences Professor Laureates

Professor Laureate is the highest academic title awarded by the College of Natural Sciences and is intended to honor faculty who have made outstanding contributions to its mission with work in the areas of research, teaching, mentoring and outreach. The title also recognizes the nominee’s career accomplishments and provides them an honorarium and two years of resources for student projects directed by them. During the academic year, each laureate must also deliver a college-wide address on an academic subject of his or her choice.

Awardees display to the rest of the college and university the role model of an excellent senior faculty member and establish a group that the dean’s office may go to for advice and counsel on ad-hoc issues. The title of professor laureate remains for three years, is not renewable, and the award is relinquished upon passing to retirement or transitional retirement.

2017 Professor Laureates

Dan Cooley
Dan Cooley, Ph.D. (University of Colorado)
Department of Statistics

Dan Cooley is an associate professor in the Department of Statistics at Colorado State University. Cooley’s research is primarily in extreme value analysis, which aims to characterize the tail of the distribution. Specifically, his research has focused on describing and modeling extremal dependence both in the multivariate and spatial cases. Much of his research is motivated by quantifying risk of extreme weather events and Cooley has collaborated with atmospheric scientists at institutions such as the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Berkeley National Labs.


Melissa Reynolds
Melissa Reynolds, Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
Department of Chemistry

Melissa Reynolds is an associate professor and assistant chair in the Department of Chemistry. With several collaborators, her group has developed new approaches to address long term biocompatibility and prevent biofouling on surfaces. These efforts have included collaborative and fruitful discussions with clinicians, manufacturers, engineers, and chemists. By bringing together the various parties, her team addresses the key scientific questions at the same time as the clinical challenges. Melissa also serves on the Surfaces in Biomaterials Foundation that connects industry to academics and provides training opportunities for students to learn about industry drivers.


2016 Professor Laureate

Tony Rappé
Anthony K. Rappé, Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology)
Department of Chemistry

Tony Rappé, a professor in the Department of Chemistry. along with several collaborators, has developed and used theoretical approaches to study catalytic processes. These efforts resulted in the text “Molecular Mechanics across Chemistry” with Dr. Carla Casewit, and “UFF, a Rule-Based Full Periodic Table Force Field for Molecular Mechanics and Molecular Dynamics Simulations” with Casewit, K. Colwell, W. A. Goddard, and W.M. Skiff. This test has received nearly 4000 citations. Recent efforts have focused on using earth abundant metal catalysts to carry out solar photoconversion.

Rappé has served on the President’s Sustainability Committee since 2007 and was a founding member of the Clean Energy Supercluster advisory board.

In collaboration with Matthew P. Shores, Ph.D. and Terry Gray, Ph.D., Rappé developed a Chemistry in Context syllabus with a strong energy and sustainability thrust which was subsequently adapted to an on-line offering. Rappé and Gray have also produced an e-book, “Energy-What the World Needs Now.”


2015 Professor Laureates

Dr. Debbie Crans
Debbie Crans, Ph.D. (Harvard University)
Department of Chemistry

Crans, originally from Denmark, is a chemist known for her work with vanadium, a promising trace metal that has been administered as an anti-diabetic drug. Like many treatments, vanadium has to be handled carefully, in part because of its toxicity – Crans’ work has helped shed light on the best delivery methods and how to aid patients while introducing less of the element.

Crans received a prestigious 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship, and she was named a 2011 Teacher of the Year at CSU. Known for her no-nonsense style, she pushes her students hard – but always with the broader goal of teaching them how to think like scientists.

Dr. Jennifer Hoeting
Jennifer Hoeting, Ph.D. (Washington)
Department of Statistics

Hoeting’s main research interests are in spatial statistics and Bayesian statistics. Spatial statistics explores the complex dependencies in data that are spatially referenced, such as the locations of wetlands in Colorado, while Bayesian statistical methods allow an analyst to combine previous knowledge with results based on new data in a coherent manner. The application of Bayesian and spatial statistical methods generally requires sophisticated computational algorithms.

Hoeting has also authored the textbook “Computational Statistics,” and she serves as an executive editor for the journal “Advances in Statistical Climatology, Meteorology and Oceanography.”


2014 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Robert B. France
Robert B. France, B.S. (University of West Indies)
Ph.D. (Massey University, New Zealand)
Department of Computer Science

A Ram since 1998, France is renowned for his work on model-based software engineering and, in particular, the use of Unified Modeling Language. He is in high demand as an international speaker, and in 2007 he was invited to write a “state of the research” paper on model-driven software development for the International Conference on Software Engineering. This year he was named international chair of INRIA, a Francebased computer-science research organization, and awarded the prestigious Dahl-Nygaard Prize.


Photo of Dr. Carl E. Patton
Carl E. Patton, B.S. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
M.S. & Ph.D. (California Institute of Technology)
Department of Physics

Patton joined CSU in 1971 and has led a remarkably productive career in magnetics and material physics. A life member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), he has also been named Distinguished Lecturer and received both the Millennium Medal and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the IEEE. Over the years, he has guided no fewer than 29 post-doctoral fellows and visitors. He has published 255 refereed papers and given approximately 275 invited talks, including several lecture series. His service to the department and university, continual over 43 years, has included work on the Committee on Strategic Planning; the Committee on Scholarship, Research, and Education (CoSRGE); and the Faculty Council.

2013 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Patricia Bedinger
Patricia A. Bedinger, Ph.D. (University of California, San Francisco)
Department of Biology





Photo of Dr. F. Jay Breidt
F. Jay Breidt, B.A. (College of Idaho)
M.S. & Ph.D. (Colorado State University)
Department of Statistics





2012 Professor Laureate

Photo of Dr. Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss, B.A. (Franklin and Marshall College)
M.S. & Ph.D. (Northwestern University)
Department of Chemistry

Steve Strauss, was born and raised in New York City and received his higher education in chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College (BA cum laude), Northwestern University (MS, PhD), and Stanford and Harvard Universities (Postdoctoral Fellow). He began his academic career at Colorado State University in 1981 and is now Professor of Analytical and Inorganic Chemistry and, for 2012-2014, College of Natural Sciences Professor Laureate. He is the author of more than 200 scientific papers, an inventor on more than a dozen patents and patent applications, and has supervised more than 30 PhD students and four MS students in his 31 years at CSU. He has often been involved in one volunteer organization or another to give part of himself back to the community, most notably as a VISTA volunteer on the Blackfeet Reservation in 1973 and as a volunteer rehabilitator and lecturer for the Rocky Mountain Raptor Program during 1990-1995.


2011 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Laurie Stargell

Laurie Stargell, B.A. (University of Virginia)
M.S. & Ph.D. (University of  Rochester)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Laurie Stargell, professor and associate chair of undergraduate studies in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has active interests in research, teaching, and outreach. Her research program addresses the fundamental question of how genes are turned on and off in response to biological cues, and has been the basis for the training of dozens of undergraduate and graduate students at CSU using external funding from both the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. She also partners with fifth graders and their teachers at an elementary school in Weld County to introduce younger Coloradoans to the excitement of scientific discovery.


Photo of Dr. Lorann Stallones

Lorann Stallones, B.A. (University of California, Santa Barbara)
M.P.H. & Ph.D. (University of Texas, School of Public Health)
Department of Psychology

Lorann Stallones, MPH, PhD, FACE is Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Psychology, the Director of the Colorado Injury Control Research Center and of the Institute of Applied Prevention Research. Dr. Stallones is the Director of the CSU Graduate Degree Program in Public Health, part of the inter-insitutional Colorado School of Public Health. She has been on the faculty at CSU since 1990. She is nationally and internationally recognized as an occupational epidemiologist who has worked extensively in agricultural safety and health, and has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles. In 2005, an article she published was selected by the Editor of the Journal of Agromedicine as one of the best articles in ten years of publishing. In 2005 she received a research award from the National Institute for Farm Safety for major contributions to the prevention of farm injuries for an article published in Injury Prevention. Dr. Stallones is currently the Principal Investigator on an NIH/Fogarty International Center funded project to train Chinese scholars to conduct agricultural injury prevention.


2009 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Adele Howe

Adele E. Howe, B.S.E. (University of Pennsylvania)
M.S. & Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts)
Department of Comupter Science

Adele Howe is a professor in the computer science department and a researcher in artificial intelligence. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, one of the first electronic scientific journals to publish peer-reviewed research articles, survey articles, and technical notes. Howe was also selected to be part of the highly competitive Defense Science Study Group 2000-2001, a program dedicated to understanding the rapidly evolving technology and defense needs of national security.


Photo of Dr. LeRoy Poff

N. LeRoy Poff, B.A. (Hendrix College)
Ph.D. (University of Utah)
M.S. (Indiana Univeristy)
Ph.D. (Colorado State University)
Department of Biology

LeRoy Poff is a professor in the Department of Biology and director of the campus-wide and nationally renowned Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University. Poff’s work focuses on basic and applied questions of how rivers function and on how to develop science-based criteria for managing these systems sustainably in the face of rapid global change. Poff collaborates extensively with national and international scientists in academia, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. He has served on numerous National Research Council committees and science advisory boards in the nation. Poff is also a recent elected president of an international professional society of river scientists and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America’s Aldo Leopold Leadership Program.


2008 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Ellen Fisher

Ellen R. Fisher, B.S. (Texas Lutheran College)
Ph.D. (University of Utah)
Department of Chemistry, Chairwoman

Ellen Fisher is the current chair of the Department of Chemistry at Colorado State University and has been a professor of chemistry at Colorado State since 1993. Fisher is an international expert in gas-phase ion and plasma chemistry mechanisms and its interactions with surfaces, making important, new contributions continually to the surface chemistry community in both experimental and theoretical areas. Her work has resulted in 5 patents, 80 invited talks, and 26 contributed talks. Professor Fisher’s program has received virtually seamless funding throughout her career at CSU.


Photo of Dr. Alan Knapp

Alan K. Knapp, B.S. (Idaho State University)
Ph.D. (University of Wyoming)
Department of Biology

Alan Knapp, professor and senior ecologist in the Department of Biology, is best known for his research in the area of physiological plant ecology. He has published more than 135 peer-reviewed journal articles and has been cited by his peers more than 4,700 times in a variety of publications. Knapp has made many significant scientific contributions including redefining the understanding of vegetation dynamics and productivity in grassland ecosystems.


2007 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Michael Elliott

C. Michael Elliott, B.S. (Davidson College)
Ph.D. (University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill)
Department of Chemistry

C. Michael Elliott, professor of chemistry and former department chairman (1999-2003), has used electrochemical and spectroelectrochemical methods to address challenging problems in bioinorganic chemistry, surface science, polymer light emitting diodes, and solar energy conversion. Mike’s teaching has spanned a wide range of courses all the way from our large sections of General Chemistry (CHEM 107 and CHEM111) to graduate courses (e.g., C537 Electrochemistry).  He connects exceptionally well with students, setting expectations high and encouraging them to master the material. For his efforts, Mike was recognized with the Outstanding Science Mentor Award from the College of Natural Sciences Students as Leaders in Science program.


Photo of Dr. Jennifer Nyborg

Jennifer K. Nyborg, B.S. (University of California, Riverside)
Ph.D. (University of California, Riverside)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Jennifer Nyborg, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, joined the department in 1990 and quickly built a reputation as a first-rate scientist in the viral transcription regulation field. Nyborg’s lab has made significant contributions to the fields of HTLV gene expression and mechanisms of DNA-protein interactions. In recent years, the human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) has become increasingly recognized as an important cause for public health concern throughout the world and the research coming out of Nyborg’s lab may reveal basic aspects of CBP/p300 and Tax function as they pertain to gene regulation, chromatin structure, and leukemogenesis.


Photo of Dr. Anireddy S. N. Reddy

Anireddy S. N. Reddy, M.S. (Kakatiya University)
Ph.D. (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
Department of Biology

 Anireddy Reddy, professor in the Department of Biology, has a sustained record of making seminal contributions to our understanding of calcium signaling in plants, as well as significant insights into mRNA splicing and plant responses to pathogen attack. The impact of Dr. Reddy’s work on the field is reflected in over 2,500 citations of his publications, which includes papers that are cited more than 200 times. At the national level, Dr. Reddy has reviewed manuscripts for many journals, served on numerous panels for federal grant agencies, and currently serves on the Program Committee for the American Society for Plant Biology.


2006 Professor Laureates

Photo of Dr. Norman Curthoys

Norman Curthoys, B.S. (Clarkson College of Technology)
Ph.D. (University of California, Berkeley)
Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Norman Curthoys, professor and former chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, is considered to be among the top researcher in his field, which focuses on understanding the molecular mechanism by which the kidney responds to a decrease in blood pH to restore normal acid-base balance. This research has been supported by two major grants from the National Institues of Health.


Photo of Dr. Richard Davis

Richard A. Davis, B.A. (University of California, San Diego)
Ph.D. (University of California, San Diego)
Department of Statistics

Richard Davis, professor and former chair of the Department of Statistics, is a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association, and is an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. He is co-author (with Peter Brockwell) of the best selling books, Time Series: Theory and Methods, Introduction to Time Series and Forecasting, and the time series analysis computer software package, ITSM 2000. He is also co-director of PRIMES.


Photo of Dr. Jerry L. Deffenbacher

Jerry L. Deffenbacher, B.S. (University of Washington)
M.A (University of Oregon)
Ph.D. (University of Oregon)
Department of Psychology

Jerry Deffenbacher is a professor in the Department of Psychology and former director of training of the APA-approved doctoral program in counseling at CSU. He is a fellow of several divisions/societies of the APA, a licensed psychologist, a diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, and an editorial board member of five journals. For over twenty years, his research has focused on the nature and consequences of anger, correlates (including alcohol and substance use) and risk factors for problematic anger, and effective interventions for anger. Recently, Jerry was also the first person to study angry drivers and the development and evaluation of interventions for the reduction of ‘road rage’.


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