At President Rita Cheng’s recommendation, the Arizona Board of Regents on Friday approved seven Northern Arizona University professors to be promoted to the rank of Regents’ professor, the highest rank a faculty member can achieve.
The professors are Scott Goetz, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems; Jani Ingram, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; Björn Krondorfer, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies; Yiqi Luo, Department of Biological Sciences; Michelle Mack, Department of Biological Sciences; Ted Schuur, Department of Biological Sciences; and Miguel José Yacamán, Department of Applied Physics and Materials Sciences.
Nominees must be full professors, have outstanding achievements and be distinguished nationally and internationally in their fields. Nominations are submitted by tenured faculty members, and a committee evaluates each nomination. President Cheng considers the review and recommendations from the committee and determines which names should go to the Board of Regents for consideration. No more than 3 percent of faculty have achieved this rank.
“These seven professors are among the elite in their fields and represent the breadth and depth of groundbreaking research and scholarship that happens at NAU,” Cheng said. “These professors are studying the critical issues of our world, ranging from the far-reaching effects of climate change to the continued impacts of the Holocaust to cancer prevention among Native Americans. They are all highly deserving of this honor.”
Scott Goetz, School of Informatics, Computing, and Cyber Systems
Goetz recently was recognized as one of the most highly cited researchers in the world, an indicator of a long career of impactful research. His work, which has been funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation, uses satellite remote sensing research to study the effects of a changing climate. He is the science lead of NASA’s Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment and deputy PI of NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation.
Jani Ingram, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Ingram, the lead principal investigator of the Partnership for Native American Cancer Prevention, investigates environmental contaminants on Navajo Nation lands and their impacts on health. In addition to her research, which has been funded by multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, she has made a priority of recruiting Indigenous students and students from other groups underrepresented in STEM into her research.
Björn Krondorfer, Department of Comparative Cultural Studies
Krondorfer, the director of the Martin-Springer Institute, studies religion, gender and culture and post-Holocaust reconciliation; his scholarship helped define the field of critical men’s studies in religion. He has presented his research throughout the world and is chair of the Consortium of Higher Education Centers for Holocaust, Genocide, and Human Rights Studies. He has facilitated a number of partnerships, both locally and globally, to further conversations about the Holocaust and religious studies.
Yiqi Luo, Department of Biological Sciences
Luo was a highly cited researcher in 2020, putting him in the top 1 percent in his field for the year. He has received multiple grants from the NSF to study how global climate change alters the structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems and how those ecosystems regulate climate change. He has been elected a fellow for the Ecological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union.
Michelle Mack, Department of Biological Sciences
Mack, a recognized leader in plant and ecosystem ecology, studies the impacts of increasing disturbances, such as wildfires, on plant growth and soil carbon storage in boreal forests, the Arctic tundra and in thawing permafrost soils. She also studies the effects of climate change on plants in warmer ecosystems like Costa Rica, Panama and South Africa. She is a fellow of the Ecological Society of America and author or co-author of nearly 400 publications, with more than 18,000 citations.
Ted Schuur, Department of Biological Sciences
Schuur is the lead investigator for the international Permafrost Carbon Network; his research focuses on the effects to the Arctic system as the Earth warms and how natural ecosystems interact with human emissions. He was one of 101 scientists selected to produce a global report examining the effects of climate for the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and is a fellow in the American Geophysical Union. He is the author or co-author of almost 500 publications.
Miguel José Yacamán, Department of Applied Physics and Materials Sciences.
Yacamán is a world-renowned expert in using electron microscopy to study the properties of materials at the atomic level and developing methods to study nanoparticles and 2D materials. He has received the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Robert Franklin Mehl Award of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. He has authored or co-authored more than 500 publications.