Division of Science & Research

West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission


From biometrics to animal science to poetry, WVU professors honored for excellence in teaching


Arun Ross  has co-authored the first and only textbook on biometrics.

Mary Ann Samyn is being hailed as one of the finest young poets in the country.

Jianbo Yao  is in the front lines of a national project to study the genome of rainbow trout.

All three research, create and teach at West Virginia University . And for their efforts, they are being recognized with the Claude Worthington Benedum Distinguished Scholar Awards, which honor excellent faculty in creative research at the University.

 “The Benedum Award recognizes distinction in research, scholarship or creative activity, said Provost Michele Wheatly. “The truly wonderful thing about these three Benedum professors is that they exemplify not only the excellence of our faculty but the diversity of that excellence across disciplines and departments.”

 The award, handed out this year in three categories – physical sciences and technology, biosciences and health sciences, and humanities and the arts – recognizes distinction in research, scholarship or creative activity. Each recipient will receive $5,000 in professional support, provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

 Each will give a lecture in the spring as part of the award. Ross will present on “Faces and Fingerprints: Human Recognition Using Biometrics” on March 14 at 4 p.m. in Room 101A of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy .

 Yao will present on “Functional Characterization of Oocyte-specific Maternal Effect Genes in Cattle” on April 11 at 4 p.m. in Room 101A of the NRCCE. Samyn’s presentation will be “‘You Don’t Know the Beauty That Could Happen': Poetry, Presence, Weather, Grace & Deer” on April 10 at 4 p.m. in the Rhododendron Room of the Mountainlair .

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