Montana State University

L&S faculty, staff and students receive college's top awards on April 26

April 23, 2010

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The College of Letters and Science will honor the recipients of the college's annual awards at a ceremony the will be held 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 26, in SUB Ballroom A.

Tomas Gedeon, mathematical sciences, and Timothy LeCain, history and philosophy, will receive the Letters and Science Award for Meritorious Research and Creativity.

Gedeon, who is also a member of the Center for Computational Biology at MSU, is internationally recognized as one of the leading mathematicians working in the field of mathematical biology where he has made important contributions in our understanding of the structure and function of neural systems.

LeCain is a widely published researcher in the areas of the history of technology and environmental history. He recently received the American Society for Environmental History's George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history for his book "Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines that Wired America and Scarred the Planet."

Carla Riedel, physics, and Ada Giusti, modern languages and literatures, will receive Letters and Science Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Riedel, an adjunct professor, has taught nearly every undergraduate course in the physics required curriculum, as well as two elective courses and two graduate courses. She is known for her ability to prepare for a physics class -- in any subject, at any level -- in a way that is effective and accessible to students. She consistently receives positive evaluations from students, and has become a role model for female students studying physics.

Giusti, an associate professor of French, has been teaching at MSU for nearly 20 years. She consistently receives praise from students for her performance in the classroom. Giusti is known for providing experiential learning opportunities for students, including service-learning projects in France and Mali. She frequently collaborates with other departments and colleges to develop interdisciplinary courses.

Carl Olimb, mathematical sciences, and Daniel Zizzamia, history and philosophy, won Letters and Science Graduate Student Teaching Awards.

Olimb has taught 14 classes in mathematical sciences. He consistently receives excellent teaching evaluations, and his colleagues commend him for his excellent communication skills, high academic standards and concern for student success. Zizzamia is commended for his excellent preparation, enthusiasm and energy he brings to the history classes he teaches while maintaining his own excellent scholarship and research.

Lisa Musgrave, cell biology and neuroscience, and Jennifer Smith, chemistry and biochemistry, will be honored with L&S's Kathy Griffith Employee Excellence Award.

Musgrave leads the administrative team in the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, and also advises the 415 students in the department! She is known for her hard work, efficiency, competence and willingness to make improvements in departmental operations. Students report that she is an "incredibly important component of their education."

Smith, who has worked in the college for 27 years, is a program coordinator and works with graduate students throughout their time at MSU, from admissions to graduation. She is also heavily involved in undergraduate programs with orientation, scheduling lab sections, and coordinating student awards.

Finally, Zuzu Feder, English, and Emily Buckhouse, chemistry and biochemistry, will receive the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence. This award is presented to the top two seniors in the college.

Feder was described by a faculty member as "a burgeoning scholar and brilliant student in her own right, and suburb peer tutor, teacher, and leader for her fellow students."

A faculty member said Buckhouse combines "outstanding academic achievements, with extensive and sustained leadership and service activities on our campus, in our community and beyond."

Jody Sanford, jody.sanford@montana.edu, 994-7791