OCSE Pre-Tenure Faculty Awards
- Tuesday, February 11th, 2020
The Ogden College of Science and Engineering (OCSE) is pleased to announce the recognition of two pre-tenure faculty, one for excellence in teaching and one for excellence in research.
Dr. Larry Hill from the Chemistry Department is the recipient of the 2019 Pre-Tenure Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. He has grown through what some would consider insurmountable obstacles on his educational journey from GED to Ph.D. He arrived at WKU in the fall of 2016 and sometimes uses his personal story to motivate students through their own obstacles. He wants his students to understand that they should have a growth mindset rather than perceiving themselves as having a fixed value. Dr. Hill has excelled with gathering feedback from students and colleagues alike to help him grow his teaching skills during his young career. He utilizes learning theory to help students understand how to build their knowledge base and develop skills in organic chemistry. He also has excellent engagement with students beyond the classroom, managing a strong and growing research group focused on materials and polymer chemistry.
Dr. Yongming Deng from the Chemistry Department is the recipient of the 2019 Pre-Tenure Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. He has built a robust and productive research group since joining WKU in the fall of 2017. His research is focused on environmentally benign, eco-friendly, earth-abundant catalysts as well as multiply-functionalized molecularly-derived small-molecule drug discovery. His group’s work has resulted in two peer-reviewed publications in very high-profile journals with three WKU students as co-authors as well as over 10 student presentations at various meeting. He is currently supported by funding totaling over $110,000 from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund and KY NSF EPSCoR and is a co-PI on a significant instrumentation acquisition grant from the National Science Foundation.