2011 University Awards

Ben E. Lewis Management Award

This award recognizes an administrative employee for outstanding management abilities.

Wayne J. Anderson

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Wayne Anderson is highly respected and known for his efficiency.  As the grants and personnel administrator of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, he is a committed team player.  Wayne performs vital functions for the department that include assisting faculty in their preparation of grant applications; monitoring grants, endowments, and gift funds and their expenditures; assisting with the hiring of postdoctoral fellows; and aiding the department chair.  He is enthusiastic in his approach to his assignments and extremely efficient.  Wayne possesses computer and accounting skills and is also a PhD scientist who interacts with faculty in their “own” language.  His competence is clearly evident when reviewing department resources and tracking expenditures.  Wayne has impeccable integrity coupled with respect for sacred resources.


Karl G. Maeser Professional Faculty Excellence Award

This award recognizes outstanding achievement in fulfilling professional faculty responsibilities and is made possible by the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society.

Steven G. Wood

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steven G. Wood is a consummate teacher who has mastered the mix of academic rigor and humor to assist his students in successful learning. He is a creative instructor in person and in his sophisticated online materials designed to assist first-year chemistry student learning. Even though Steve teaches classes of more than 200 students, he is able to create a comfortable setting that actively engages students and encourages them to participate. Steve is such an effective teacher that his own colleagues frequently approach him to find out how he teaches particular concepts. As a previous student once remarked, “If you really want to learn something, take a class from Professor Wood.”


General Education Professorship Award

This award encourages and acknowledges outstanding contributions to undergraduate general education and honors courses by faculty who have pursued their scholarly interests and provided services to the university community.

Steven R. Goates

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Steven R. Goates is a champion of the principles of general education and honors programs. Over a long career he has worked to develop new GE courses, including a writing curriculum and a writing class specifically designed to help prepare students for the types of scientific communication required in chemistry and biochemistry.  Steven fosters a spirit of ongoing inquiry in his courses and is a trusted advisor to students. Perhaps one of Steven’s most impressive qualities is his complete dedication to superior teaching and to his students. It is not uncommon to see students lined up outside his office, where he provides an attentive ear, a depth of knowledge and a genuine desire to help.


Young Scholar Award

This award encourages and acknowledges outstanding promise and contributions by faculty in the early stages of their academic careers.

Kent L. Gee

Physics and Astronomy

Kent L. Gee is a nationally recognized authority in nonlinear acoustics.  Kent has been very active in his scholarship since coming here in 2005.  His commitment to both individual mentoring and classroom teaching are exemplary.  Kent is an enthusiastic and engaging mentor.  Many more students are attracted to his research program than he can take one, but he has worked with an impressive number of them.  Kent has published 22 peer-reviewed articles in top-tier journals since arriving at BYU, 18 of which have had student co-authors.  He regularly takes his students to national research conferences to present their work, and since 2007 12 of these presentations have been recognized with some variant of “best paper’ awards at these conferences.  Last year, Kent also received the 2010 R. Bruce Lindsay Award from the Acoustical Society of America “for contributions to the fields of jet noise propagation, nonlinear acoustics, and active control of fan noise.”


BYU Class of 1949 Young Faculty Award

This award acknowledges outstanding contributions by junior faculty.  It is made possible by the generosity of the Class of 1949.

Allen R. Buskirk

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Allen R. Buskirk of the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry epitomizes what it means to be a teacher-scholar.  He is a skilled and dynamic teacher, whose breadth of knowledge is as impressive as his depth of understanding of biochemistry.  Allen has been very innovative in his scholarly work.  One example of this innovation was manifested when Allen was awarded an NIH R01 grant on his first attempt here at BYU with a score in the top 10 percentile. – something almost unheard of for a new investigator.  Along with this innovation, Allen is also an excellent research advisor.  He has mentored 20 undergraduates, 7 graduate students and 2 post-docs.  He has published a number of papers reporting his work in top tier biochemical journals, with 13 of his students as co-authors on those papers.


Sponsored Research Recognition Award

This award recognizes faculty members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in scholarly activities funded by external sponsors or who give significant service in support of sponsored research and creative programs.

Scott D. Sommerfeldt

Physics and Astronomy

 Scott D. Sommerfeldt has a long and significant history of external research funding, including significant student support.  Since 1992, he has secured 29 external grants totaling $2.68 million. These grants have come from 17 different funding agencies, the majority of them industrial.

Dr. Somerfeldt served as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy from July 2003 to June 2007, and had been serving as dean since then.  In these administrative positions, he has set a stellar example in pursuing external funding.  He received nine grants while chair, and has received eight grants thus far as dean.

Dr. Sommerfeldt is the senior professor in the acoustics research group that involved both the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.  This group supports an average of 15 graduate and 15 undergraduate students.  Through his leadership, the BYU acoustics research group has risen to national prominence.

It is noteworthy that in August 2007, Dr. Sommerfeldt also received the BYU Technology Transfer Award.


Technology Transfer Award

This award recognizes faculty who have made significant research contributions that have led to the development of useful commercial products.

Daniel L. Simmons

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Daniel L. Simmons is receiving this year’s Technology Transfer Award, which recognizes faculty who have made significant research contributions that have led to the development of useful commercial products. Dan serves as the director of BYU’s Cancer Research Center and focuses on researching signal transduction in cancer cells and investigates the role of critical enzymes in cancer formation. Dan discovery the COX-2 enzyme that has been widely used to create a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug used to reduce fever, pain, and inflammation without causing common side effects such as ulcers or kidney damage. Dan is also the discoverer of connective tissue growth factor, serum inducible kinase, and other growth control proteins.


 John A. Widtsoe Grant

This award recognizes staff and administrative personnel for exceptional service, creativity, and competence.

Emily A. Bates

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Emily A. Bates was awarded a John A. Widtsoe Grant, which provides support for innovative research or creative work that enhances the quality of life.  Emily’s proposal focuses on identifying mechanisms associated with migraine, in an effort to alleviate the suffering that results from migraine.  Migraine is the most common neurological disorder in pre-menopausal women, affecting one in five women.  Emily came to BYU in 2009after completing her PhD in genetics at Harvard University and completing a post-doc at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  She is being assisted by both graduate and undergraduate students in her research.


President’s Appreciation Award

This award recognizes staff and administrative personnel for exceptional service, creativity, and competence.

Linda Richards

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Linda Richards, who serves as assistant manager in the chemistry stockroom, received the President’s Appreciation Award. The award recognizes staff and administrative personnel for exceptional service, creativity and competence. Richards was nominated for her tremendous work ethic, congeniality, honesty and exceptional attention to detail. Her duties include supervising student employees, managing the stockroom’s large supply of gas cylinders, receiving shipments, overseeing department deliveries, managing stockroom cash sales, and preparing lab kits for Chemistry 107 and 113 classes.