2016 University Awards

Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award

This award honors faculty for outstanding teaching accomplishments and is made possible by the generosity of the Karl G. Maeser Scholarship Society.

Tyler J. Jarvis


Tyler is a highly respected scholar who is dedicated to excellence in teaching. He is the recipient of a 2016 Haimo award – a national award given to only 3 people in the country each year recognizing excellence in undergraduate teaching. In addition, Tyler has been one of two major contributors to the development of the new Applied and Computational Mathematics Emphasis (ACME) within the math department. An outstanding professor of mathematics, Tyler J. Jarvis holds high expectations for his students, cares deeply for them, and exudes enthusiasm. Students regularly comment on the impact that his courses have in their lives.


Young Scholar Award

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

Pace P. Nielsen


Pace is one of the most productive researchers in the mathematics department. His work falls into two very different areas of mathematics; he is a recognized expert in noncommutative ring theory, and is also known for his creative and groundbreaking work in classical number theory. He comes from a department where one paper per year is considered to be a good average publication rate. In contrast, Pace has 39 papers that have been published or accepted, with 29 of those papers appearing since he came to BYU – an average of approximately 4 papers per year.

Pace has a reputation of being a strong and engaging instructor. His student ratings have been consistently very high, but perhaps more impressive is that student comments and reviews by his peers have been very favorable. It is clear that Pace cares about his teaching and he cares about his students.


Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award

This award recognizes the contributions of part-time faculty who have demonstrated excellence in teaching or in other professional responsibilities over a period of at least five years.

Tracianne Nielsen

Physics & Astronomy

Although Traci’s official title is Adjunct Assistant Professor, the importance of her responsibilities and the scope, the depth, and the quality of her contributions to the physics department are such that she fully takes her place among the regular faculty of the department. Although her teaching responsibilities are significant, she has contributed in the acoustics research group, mentoring both graduate and undergraduate students, and has been coauthor on a number of publications. In fact, she publishes as much or more than many full-time faculty members. Traci has contributed in all areas of teaching, scholarship, and citizenship, and her contributions have been excellent.


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.

Jani Radebaugh

Geological Sciences

Jani is a top research scientist internationally in the field of planetary geomorphology. She specializes in studies of the landscapes of planets, especially Saturn’s moon Titan, Jupiter’s moon Io and Earth.

To better understand all of these planets geological features, she travels to unique locations on the Earth that serve as analogues for other planets. She and her students have studied megadunes in the Sahara, Arabia and Namibia and lava lakes and flows in Hawaii, Ethiopia and Vanuatu.

Jani is part of a research team that used the Cassini spacecraft to discover oceans, rain, wind, dunes, lava flows and mountains on Saturn’s moon Titan. She and her students have worked from NASA grants to determine the nature of Titan’s sand dunes, Io’s volcanoes and mountains, and has found temperatures of lava lakes on IO from the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft.

Jani will receive her award at the Sponsored Research Recognition luncheon on November 10th.

Here is the original info sent from Gary Reynolds:

Dr. Jani Radebaugh, in her 10th year at Brigham Young University, is a top research scientist internationally in the field of planetary geomorphology. She specializes in studies of the landscapes of planets, especially Saturn’s moon Titan, Jupiter’s moon Io and our own Earth. She published the discovery research paper on mountains on Titan from the Cassini spacecraft, and has published on rivers and volcanoes on Titan.

She and her students have worked from NASA grants to determine the nature of sand dunes of Titan, a dominant landform, and they travel to the deserts of Earth to study analogues there. Volcanoes and mountains of Io are another area of research focus for Dr. Radebaugh and students, and they have determined their distributions, collaborating with other faculty across BYU. She has found temperatures of lava lakes on Io from the Galileo and Cassini spacecraft, using NASA grants, and she studies lava lakes on Earth for comparison.


President’s Appreciation Award

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

Bart F. Whitehead

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Bart F. Whitehead serves in the Science Support Shop as the resident electrical engineer, providing support for maintaining and building scientific instruments. His efforts have saved the department tens of thousands of dollars. Bart work patiently with students who come to him with unreasonable demands. He is dependable, proficient and a creative problem solver.