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Edgerton, Luo Are Co-Winners of Faculty Research Achievement Award

Gary Edgerton, professor of communication and theatre arts, and Li-Shi Luo, professor of mathematics and statistics, were named winners of the Faculty Research Achievement Award at the Faculty Awards and Retirement Dinner on May 3.

The award is presented each spring to a tenured member(s) who has exhibited consistent excellence in his or her research efforts. The purpose of the award is to recognize the accomplishments of faculty who achieve national prominence for high-quality research and scholarship.

The Office of Research forwards the nominations it receives to the Faculty Senate's Committee on Scholarly Activity and Research, which selects the winner(s). Honorees receive a plaque and a check for $2,500.

The nomination letter for Edgerton included quotes from scholars across the country who attested to his "scholarship of the first rank" and described him as a "major contributor to the rise and legitimization of popular culture studies in the last quarter century." The word "pioneer" was mentioned more than a few times.

Scholars repeatedly mentioned how he has shaped the emergence of an important new field - media studies and culture topics in radio, television and print venues - and assisted the growth and maturation of that field by providing definitive studies that expand its parameters.

Edgerton's prolific output comprises nine books (with three additional books under contract for 2012 and 2013), 20 book chapters, 25 refereed journal articles, 36 other invited, contracted, review essays and encyclopedia entries, 100-plus book and film reviews and over 90 conference and keynote presentations.

Most of this work has been accomplished during the 17 years that he has been the chair of the Department of Communication and Theatre Arts. Edgerton's book, "Ken Burns's America," published in 2001, on the well-known documentary filmmaker, received awards from both the American Culture Association and the Popular Culture Association. Columbia University Press chose Edgerton to write "The Columbia History of American Television," which was published in 2007. Scholars cite this honor as a testament to his stature in the field. His book is considered a classic, comprehensive contribution of meticulous scholarship that is also highly readable.

In 2008, the American Culture Association awarded Edgerton its highest honor, the John G. Cawelti Award for Outstanding Scholarly Inquiry into American Cultural Studies.

Luo came to ODU in 2004, was awarded tenure and promoted to full professor, and since 2007 has held the Richard Barry Jr. Distinguished Endowed Professor in Mathematics Chair. Last fall he was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work in fluid dynamics. He is one of 12 ODU faculty holding this honor, and the only one not in the physics department.

Luo has 64 peer-reviewed journal publications to his credit, and his nominators attested to the quality of his research by noting that papers authored or co-authored by him have received more than 3,000 citations. Furthermore, Luo can claim the top-cited article to be published during the past five years in both the Journal of Computational Physics and the journal Computers & Fluids.

He has been awarded close to $1 million in external funding during his time at ODU. His recent appointment as Visiting Fellow at the prestigious Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, serves to confirm the high international regard in which he and his research are held.

This article was posted on: May 6, 2011

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