Heritage College’s Stevens honored as OHIO Presidential Research Scholar

Sep 16, 2016

Nancy Stevens at work doing field research.

(ATHENS, Ohio) Nancy Stevens, Ph.D., a Heritage College professor of biomedical sciences, is one of five OHIO faculty members named as a 2016 Ohio University Presidential Research Scholar.

The Presidential Research Scholar program recognizes mid-career faculty members at OHIO who have achieved national and international prominence for their research, scholarship and creative activity. It brings with it an award of $3,000 to be used at the scholar’s discretion as an honorarium or to support research or creative activity. Stevens was one of three recipients honored for excellence in life and biomedical sciences; two other recipients were honored for their work in the arts and humanities.

“Dr. Stevens’ work has certainly helped raise the visibility of our college nationally and internationally, and we’re so fortunate to have her on our faculty,” said Heritage College Executive Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O. “We’re proud of the important research she’s done already, and we look forward to more of it in the future.”

Stevens said she was deeply honored to be nominated for the award. “Ohio University and the Heritage College offer a vibrant atmosphere for research and creative activity,” she said. “This award reflects years of transdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues and students on field exploration and laboratory research.”

Stevens was honored for her paleontological research in Tanzania and Afro-Arabia, which has made important contributions to the fields of vertebrate paleontology, paleoanthropology and evolutionary functional anatomy. This has included finding a number of mammal species new to science, including new primates that represent the oldest fossil evidence of the split between apes and Old World monkeys. Stevens has also provided field and laboratory research and training to dozens of graduate and undergraduate students from nine universities in six countries.

Calvin James, Ph.D., chair of the Heritage College biomedical sciences department, said the award reflects that its recipients have achieved a level of distinction in scholarly work that makes them stand out from their peers. He said Stevens’ work “has deservedly brought some attention to the department of biomedical sciences, showing that we have outstanding faculty members. This brings positive attention to the college, and the department’s profile is enhanced.”

Sonia Najjar, Ph.D., associate dean for research and innovation at the Heritage College, said that in her position, “one of my top goals is to expand and strengthen our research base. Having internationally recognized, well-accomplished top-flight scientists like Dr. Nancy Stevens on our faculty constitutes the solid foundation on which to further build our reputation as a leading research institution.”

Click here to read more about Stevens and the other 2016 Presidential Research Scholars, who were honored at a ceremony Sept. 6.

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