2010 Distinguished University Professor

The Distinguished University Professor title is awarded permanently to no more than three exceptional faculty per year.
Ellen Mosley-Thompson profile picture

Ellen Mosley-Thompson

Professor, Department of Geography 
Director, Byrd Polar Research Center


Ellen Mosley-Thompson is a pioneer whose research has played a key role in charting historical global climate change.

She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and was a contributing author to a 2007 Nobel Prize-winning report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

As director of The Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar Research Center and co-founder of the Ice Core Paleoclimate Research Group, Mosley-Thompson plays a vital part in climatological research through the collection and analysis of ice cores from around the globe. Much of the ice core collection has been done through “on the ground” fieldwork in remote areas by Mosley-Thompson herself.

In fact, she was the first woman to lead a “remote camp” drilling project to the Plateau Remote in Antarctica and has been instrumental in promoting the participation of women in the geosciences and field research in remote areas.

Mosley-Thompson teaches students from kindergarteners to collegeians as well as alumni, colleagues and community groups on climate change and its effects.

She also has popularized climate science through TV and film: She consulted for an IMAX film on Antarctica, was featured in a Discovery Channel investigative report and was highlighted in CNN’s America’s Best Science and Medicine.

As one colleague wrote, “Ellen’s spirit, enthusiasm and caring are evident in the vigor with which she disseminates knowledge to students and the general public. It is the rare faculty member who excels in all three professional roles — research, teaching and service. Ellen Mosley-Thompson is one of these rare multidimensional faculty.”

Mosley-Thompson received her master’s and doctorate in geography from Ohio State and has been a part of the Ohio State community ever since.

Prabir K. Dutta profile picture

Prabir K. Dutta

Robert K. Fox Professor of Chemistry
Department of Chemistry


Prabir Dutta’s contributions of scientific expertise in both his research and teaching have resulted in extraordinary innovations important to international scientific and technological communities.

In his extensive research career, Dutta has made significant contributions in several areas of study.

In the area of sensor technology, Dutta developed sensors monitoring the operation of auto engines, leading to valuable information that improves public health, safety and auto efficiency. His research in sensors has drawn support from commercial partners and national laboratories and attention from both mainstream and scientific media.

Dutta also has contributed groundbreaking research in the scientific study of zeolites — microporous materials with numerous scientific uses. His expertise in zeolite-based systems that convert light into electricity is paving the way for the development of alternative energy sources.

“Prabir continues to lead one of the most exciting research programs in the world in this area,” a colleague wrote.

Dutta’s expertise provides unique insight to the student community. He is the driving force behind the Research Experiences to Enhance Learning initiative, an NSF-funded program that adds a research component to the general chemistry lab curriculum. Now used throughout Ohio, Dutta’s innovative initiative affects hundreds of students every day.

“He has sustained an extraordinary record of academic and scholarly accomplishments that have significantly advanced knowledge and technological applications across a broad range of basic scientific and engineering disciplines,” a nominator wrote.

Dutta received one master’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, a second master’s and his doctorate from Princeton University and has been an Ohio State faculty member since 1983.

Nominations                    Previous Winners