Distinguished Scholar Award recipients for 2019: Brudzinski, Bush and Norris

By Susan Meikle, university news and communications

Miami University Distinguished Scholar Awards for 2019 have been presented to Mike Brudzinski, professor of geology and environmental earth sciences; Kevin Bush, associate dean of the College of Education, Health and Society (EHS) and professor of family science and social work and of educational psychology; and Stephen Norris, professor of history. 

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

They were recognized at the University Awards Reception March 19. 

Read about the three Junior Faculty Scholars online.

Mike Brudzinski received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member in the applied or natural sciences.

mike-brudzinski-headshotBrudzinski is one of the top seismologists of his age group at an international level, according to an external nominator.

His research along the Pacific coast of Mexico and the Pacific Northwest of the United States has provided seminal insight into the physical process controlling the occurrence of slow-slip and seismic tremor and how they may be related to large “mega-thrust” earthquakes that can generate life-threatening temblors and tsunamis.

Over the past nine years he has expanded his research to focus on earthquakes generated by activities associated with hydrocarbon production and wastewater disposal in the eastern and midwestern United States.

His research has been supported by more than $2.1 million in external funding, including an NSF CAREER award. He also has supervised the acquisition of an additional $650,000 of funding led by his student and postdoctoral researchers —  a testament to his dedication to mentoring and training students in scholarship, a nominator said.

Brudzinski has authored or co-authored 49 peer-reviewed journal articles in high–impact publications, 22 of which were published in the last three years. His publication list includes six papers in Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Brudzinski created Miami’s geophysics program from the ground up when he joined Miami in 2005. It has since grown into a dynamic and internationally-recognized research program that integrates field- and computational-based approaches to addressing diverse geologic problems, a nominator said.

Another commendable aspect of Brudzinski’s research program is the involvement of his students in his induced seismicity research, a nominator said.

Since his work began on the topic, each of his induced-seismicity publications have included a Miami graduate student or undergraduate student as a lead- or co-author. The attention Mike has provided to his students has also resulted in their own research and career successes, the nominator said.

Brudzinski is a national leader in communicating the implications of induced seismicity to the general public. His research on this topic has resulted in the development of meaningful governmental regulations related to induced seismicity in Ohio and in other states that have undoubtedly decreased the number and magnitude of induced earthquakes, a nominator said.

He has also been interviewed by the national print media including Time magazine and the New York Times. He has done broadcast interviews in such disparate venues as "The Glenn Beck Show "and National Public Radio’s "Science Friday" and "Here and Now."

“He is an enthusiastic, dedicated and productive scholar who is committed to deciphering the workings of the natural world,” a nominator said.

Follow him on Twitter @seismohio

Kevin Bush received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member in business, education and social sciences.

kevin-bushKevin Bush is a highly regarded scholar whose research focuses on family processes, parenting behaviors and adolescent development.

Several nominators said that Bush is a productive scholar who has provided leadership to the field of family science even given the demands of his position as an academic leader (associate dean of the College of Education, Health and Society).

Among other publications Bush has co-edited two books, with a third under contract. One of these, the Handbook of Marriage and Family, continues to be an important resource for not only family scientists but also scholars from fields such as sociology, social work and psychology, a nominator said.

His research has been funded more than $1.6 million from external grants from the Ohio Department of Education and the Butler County Educational Service Center, among other organizations.

Bush serves his profession as a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Marriage and Family (since 2015) and of Marriage and Family Review (since 2003).

Bush has served as an exceptional research mentor to colleagues and students alike, a nominator said. He has mentored nearly 100 undergraduate research assistants, two Undergraduate Summer Scholars and two Undergraduate Research Award recipients.

He is a productive scholar who has sustained excellence in research. "Not only has his own research been impactful and brought him prominence in his field, but Bush has also dedicated countless hours to improving the research skills and experiences of his students and colleagues. And he has accomplished and sustained this while serving the university in an administrative capacity since 2011,” a nominator said.

Prior to joining Miami in 2005, Bush served as assistant professor of child and family development at the University of Georgia from 2000-2005. He became associate dean of EHS in 2011.

Stephen Norris received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member in the humanities or creative arts. 

stephen-norrisNorris is an established authority in the areas of Russian visual culture, memory and nationalism from the early 19th century to the present, according to his nominators.

The range of his scholarship, “drawing on film and visual studies, literature, and politics is impressive," a nominator said.

In addition to two published monographs, and a contract for a third, he has edited six volumes, has a new book series in the works and has edited five special issues of journals.

He has also published 11 peer-reviewed articles and more than a dozen invited articles.  

Among books, he has authored the well-reviewed Blockbuster History in the New Russia: Movies, Memory, and Patriotism (2012) and A War of Images: Russian Popular Prints, Wartime Culture, and National Identity, 1812-1945, (2006).

Norris co-founded the series Russian Shorts (Bloomsbury), which has five books under contract and 10 more in the planning stage.

He is co-editor of the innovative film journal KinoKultura, and is a member of the editorial board of three interdisciplinary journals in his field.

His current research project, "Communism's Cartoonist: Boris Efimov and the Soviet Century," involves an exhibition of Efimov’s works, an album containing examples of his cartoons, and a biography of his life and work. 

With this book, Norris’ “triptych of scholarly monographs will have completed an illuminating panorama of a czarist, and post-Soviet Russian history across more than two centuries,” a nominator said.

Norris has earned the CTE Commendation for Influence on Student Learning each year from 2011-2017. He was named the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Educator in 2017 and students have honored him several times.

Norris has produced “an astonishing output for someone who all along has been one of the history department's top instructors, an attentive mentor of students, a regular adviser of graduate students (many of whom have gone on to excellent doctoral programs) and a former film studies director,” a nominator said.

He is “a deeply engaged member of the Havighurst Center, which he has helped build into a nationally recognized center and which he now leads.”

Norris was assistant director of the Havighurst Center from 2013-2016; interim director from 2016-2018 and was named director in 2018.

Norris joined Miami in 2002.  He received his doctorate from the University of Virginia in 2002.