Kentucky Academy of Science

2013 Superlative Awards

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William H. Martin, Eastern Kentucky University

Dr. Martin was Director of the Division of Natural Areas and Professor of Biology at Eastern Kentucky University until his retirement in 2005 after more than 35 years of service to the university. From 1992-1998, he served as Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1971. His research interests were and remain the composition and dynamics of forests and grasslands of the southern Appalachians and Midwest. At Eastern, he developed and taught a number of graduate and undergraduate courses in ecology as well as courses in environmental ethics and surface mine reclamation. As Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, he was responsible for the Divisions of Forestry, Energy, and Conservation and served as representative of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet on the Kentucky River Authority. He was a lead member of the teams that developed and successfully passed the 1994 Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund and Board Act and the 1998 Kentucky Forest Conservation Act. He also served as the co-chair of the 1995 Biodiversity Task Force. He has authored several scientific papers with emphasis on old-growth forests and he was senior editor of the award-winning three-volume series, Biodiversity of the Southeastern United States (1993). He belongs to a number of professional organizations including the Ecological Society of America and the Kentucky Academy of Sciences. He is past president of the Association of Southeastern Biologists and the Southern Appalachian Botanical Society. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and The Nature Conservancy regarding a number of forest, conservation, and resource management issues. Previous awards include the 1995 Distinguished Service Award of the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts; the 1996 Public Servant Award of the Kentucky Environmental Quality Commission; and the 2006 Biological Diversity Protection Award of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. The Southern Appalachian Botanical Society designated him as the 2002 recipient of the Elizabeth Ann Bartholomew Award for “distinguished service to botany and the public, “ and the Center for Biological Studies at Western Kentucky University presented him the award for a lifetime contribution to the conservation and study of biodiversity (2002). Dr. Martin served as the Chairman of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board from its establishment in 1994 until 2013. He also served on the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government’s Greenspace Commission and terms as a board member of the Kentucky Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, the Kentucky Conservation Committee, the Kentucky Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, and the Virginia 500-Year Forest Foundation.


Dr. Megan Hoffman,

Dr. Megan Hoffman< Dr. Cheryl Davis, KAS President, presents Dr. Megan Hoffman with the 2013 Outstanding College/University Teacher award

Her professional life has focused on biology education with over 20 years of college classroom teaching. Her vocation began when she served as an undergraduate biology teaching assistant at Dartmouth College. After earning her Ph.D. in 1990 in biological and neural sciences from Washington University, she completed a teaching and research post-doctoral fellowship at Bryn Mawr College. Since arriving at Berea College in 1994, she has taught a variety of courses, primarily for introductory and upper-level biology and the General Education Curriculum. At Berea College, she has been active in campus governance and served for four years as the as director of The Center for Learning, Teaching, Communication, and Research. She has been involved in the professional development of a significant proportion of the Berea teaching faculty and has served as academic advisor, labor supervisor, and research mentor for decades of Berea students. She is actively involved in the POGIL Project (Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning), an organization with a mission ”to connect and support educators from all disciplines interested in implementing, improving, and studying student-centered pedagogies and learning environments”. She has served the POGIL Project as a member of the steering committee, as the biology content editor for classroom materials developed by the High School POGIL Initiative, and as designer and facilitator of regional and national workshops. In 1994, she stood in front of the class and talked to students. Students sat in rows, taking notes, occasionally asking questions and even more occasionally, answering them, and teaching happened. The room was orderly and fairly quiet. Now she listens rather than lecturing. Students sit in small groups, discussing with one another, pointing out areas of interest in the complex biology images, and puzzling through new material together and learning happens. The main impetus for this change has been my adoption of the POGIL approach. The use of the POGIL approach in the classroom dramatically changes the tenor of the class: rather than one voice, there are dozens of voices as students discuss, explain, and argue. Research shows that they are learning more effectively as well. The recent changes to her pedagogical approach have been accompanied by a shift in her scholarly interests. When she is now involved in the scholarship of teaching and learning, including investigations into the effectiveness of the POGIL approach in introductory biology classes. Her student colleagues will be presenting their preliminary studies as KAS poster presentations (Keil, Wedding, and Hoffman).


Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy,

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy< KAS President Cheryl Davis presents Dr. Roman Yampolskiy with the 2013 Outstanding Early Career in Post-Secondary Education award

Dr. Roman V. Yampolskiy Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, University of Louisville Dr. Yampolskiy holds a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo. There he was a recipient of a four year NSF (National Science Foundation) IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) fellowship. Before beginning his doctoral studies, he received a BS/MS (High Honors) combined degree in Computer Science from Rochester Institute of Technology. He held a position of an Affiliate Academic at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University of London, College of London. In 2008 he accepted an assistant professor position at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, KY. He had previously conducted research at the Laboratory for Applied Computing (currently known as Center for Advancing the Study of Infrastructure) at the Rochester Institute of Technology and at the Center for Unified Biometrics and Sensors at the University at Buffalo. He is an alumnus of Singularity University (GSP2012) and was a visiting fellow of the Singularity Institute. Dr. Yampolskiy’s main areas of interest are behavioral biometrics, digital forensics, pattern recognition, genetic algorithms, neural networks, artificial intelligence and games. Dr. Yampolskiy is an author of over 100 publications including multiple journal articles and books. His research has been cited by numerous scientists and profiled in popular magazines both American and foreign (New Scientist, Poker Magazine, Science World Magazine), dozens of websites (BBC, MSNBC, Yahoo! News) and on radio (German National Radio, Alex Jones Show). Reports about his work have attracted international attention and have been translated into many languages including Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, and Spanish. Teaching Experience He has won multiple teaching awards at the departmental, university, and even national level. His students have chosen him as the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 “Faculty Favorite”, 2010-2011 “Top 11” faculty at the University of Louisville, and 2012 “of the Year”. In 2013 a committee of professors from universities across the United States recognized him as a Top 10 “Online College Professor of the Year” - a national recognition. He feels that he has come a long way and grown considerably in skill since his first teaching experiences. To date, he has been an instructor (or TA) for 10 different courses at three different universities (two public, one private). He has lectured, taught labs and recitations for graduate and undergraduate courses, small seminars with just a dozen of students as well as large courses with as many as 160 students. He has designed new courses and modified existing ones. He experienced working with advanced CS students and with non-majors who are typically not very enthusiastic about computer science in general. In addition to general introductory courses in computer science he has also taught courses in Artificial Intelligence, Forensics, and Engineering Design.

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