Distinguished Scholar Award recipients for 2015: Boone, Bretz and Mao

Miami University Distinguished Scholar Awards for 2015 have been presented to William Boone, professor of educational psychology; Stacey Lowery Bretz, University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemistry; and LuMing Mao, chair and professor of English and Asian/Asian American studies.

Distinguished Scholar Awards honor faculty whose sustained excellence in research or other creative activity has brought them prominence in their fields.

William Boone, professor of educational psychology, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in business, education and social sciences.

ds-booneBoone has established an international reputation and following in the area of statistical review and in particular with Rasch analysis.

At Miami, he is founder/director of the Measurement Psychometric Laboratory specializing in application of Rasch measurement in the fields of business, education and medicine.

"He is a recognized worldwide expert on particular forms of statistical analyses, and he has provided consultations on measurement issues to numerous faculty members at Miami, to faculty at other U.S. institutions and to many scholars at European higher education institutions," a nominator wrote.

Boone has published two books, co-authoring Rasch Analysis in the Human Sciences (2014) and co-editing Rasch Measurement in Science Education (2006).

Boone has been the statistician on numerous collaborative research projects and is a joint author on many research articles that involved his measurement techniques, with more than 20 such articles published since 2010.

He was chosen as a Fulbright Scholar in 2012 and spent that time in Germany and other parts of Europe. He was named a visiting fellow in 2010 at Ludwig Maximilian Universitat in Munich, Germany. As part of his international work, he has collaborated with and/or presented at several universities in Turkey, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bosnia, as well as the United States.

As a speaker, he has discussed aspects of Rasch measurement theory and research at workshops and many national and international conferences. "Dr. Boone's teaching at Miami involves similar subject areas and thus his own scholarly work has been a valuable resource for his teaching of Miami students," a nominator wrote. His psychometric laboratory assists faculty and students in the application of Rasch measurement techniques to their research problems.

Boone joined Miami as a professor of teacher education in 2005 after serving on the faculty at Indiana University. He became a professor of educational psychology specializing in measurement in 2008.

He received his doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1991.

Stacey Lowery Bretz, University Distinguished Professor of chemistry and biochemistry, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in the applied and natural sciences.

ds-bretzLowery Bretz is considered one of the most prominent leaders in the field of chemistry education research (CER).

Her research is focused around the development of assessment tools to measure chemistry misconceptions in an effort to stimulate learning of chemistry.

She has served as the chair of the board of trustees for the American Chemical Society Examinations Institute since 2009 and has helped advance high-quality assessment in chemistry in hundreds of chemistry departments around the country, according to her nominators.

"She created an unprecedented network in the field and has attracted new funding this year to continue this effective, fieldwide professional development of CER scholars," one of her nominators said. "Her achievements put her in the spotlight, but her behind-the-scenes initiatives to advance our discipline are also of note."

Since arriving at Miami, her research productivity has been outstanding, said another nominator. She has been a principal investigator on National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $2.6 million and is a co-PI on an NSF grant of more than $500,000.

She has authored more than 68 peer-reviewed journal articles and more than 346 poster/conference presentations.

In 2014 alone, she was awarded a multiyear NSF grant worth $1.2 million, coauthored eight peer-reviewed articles and 14 poster/conference presentations, and gave 12 invited seminars.

Among other awards, she was named a 2012 Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2010, one of only two Miami faculty members to be named a AAAS Fellow. 

She was named Chemist of the Year for 2015 by the Cincinnati section of the American Chemical Society.

At Miami, she received the E. Philips Knox Teaching Award in 2009 and the Distinguished Teaching Award for Excellence in Graduate Instruction and Mentoring in 2013. 

She was named a Distinguished Professor in 2015.

Lowery Bretz joined Miami in 2005 after serving as professor of chemistry at Youngstown State University.  She received her doctorate from Cornell University in 1994.

"She crafted the model that I predict one day will be how all schools with CER programs prepare their students for successful careers in chemistry education," a nominator said.

LuMing Mao, chair and professor of English and Asian/Asian American studies, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in the humanities and creative arts.

ds-maoMao is widely known and highly regarded as a premier scholar in the field of rhetoric/composition, focusing particularly on comparative rhetoric, cultural studies and Asian and Asian-American rhetorics.

He is also well-known and respected for his expertise in multicultural rhetoric theory and in rhetoric historiography.

 Mao's work "represents an important and necessary development in multicultural theory: recognizing, first, that when cultures interact and overlap they develop hybrid rhetorical strategies; and, second, that within broad nationalistic identities lie important variations and differences," one of his nominators said.

Mao's well-received 2006 book, Reading Chinese Fortune Cookie: The Making of Chinese American Rhetoric, provides a full presentation of this multicultural rhetoric theory.

Among his 42 published essays and book chapters, three have earned prestigious awards from College English and Rhetoric Review, two of the top three journals in the discipline of composition and rhetoric.

Mao also has produced six edited or co-edited collections or journal special issues and has been invited to edit several collections and special journal issues.

"The number of Professor Mao's published works and presentations is impressive, but the significance of his work is even more impressive," a nominator wrote.

His work "is influencing a younger generation of scholars whose work is extending from and building upon his theories, and that influence includes our own doctoral students at Miami University who come here to work with him," the nominator wrote.

His scholarly profile in both the United States and China is extremely high, with Mao having delivered 34 invited lectures, keynote addresses and "featured panel" talks.

"That national and international scholarly status is also amply demonstrated in his service as one of seven editors of the forthcoming Norton Anthology of Rhetoric and Writing," one of his nominators wrote.

Mao joined Miami in 1991 after receiving his doctorate from the University of Minnesota. He has been chair of the department of English since 2012.