Published: Sept. 16, 2021

This award recognizes outstanding achievements in research, teaching and service

Four faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences have won Provost’s Faculty Achievement Awards, Provost Russell Moore announced this month.

The awards, which carry a $1,000 research grant and are given annually, recognize outstanding achievement in research, teaching and service that enhances the public good. A faculty committee selected the winners.

The winners are:

  • Julia Comerford, associate professor of astrophysical and planetary sciences;
  • Lori Emerson, associate professor of English;
  • Scott Ortman, associate professor of anthropology; and
  • Honor Sachs, associate professor of history.

A&S Winners Provost Award

Julia Comerford, Lori Emerson, Scott Ortman and Honor Sachs are all winners of this year's Provost’s Faculty Achievement Awards.

Comerford, who focuses on galaxy evolution and active galactic nuclei (or AGN), was cited for her set of four papers titled “The Origin of Double-Peaked Narrow Lines in Active Galactic Nuclei: I – IV.” Published from 2015 to 2018 in Astrophysical Journal and Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, they describe a breakthrough in the methods used to identify galaxies that contain “dual” black holes.

Emerson, who is also an associate professor in the Intermedia Arts, Writing and Performance Program, was cited for her book, Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound, which has been highly cited, received numerous positive reviews and has been taught at institutions across the country.

“Your scholarly work is helping shape the field of media studies, as well as defining new research and teaching paradigms for digital humanities scholarship,” the provost wrote for Emerson.

Ortman, who focuses on indigenous partnerships and collaborative synthesis in archaeology, was cited for his work related to the Social Reactors Project, a transdisciplinary collaboration that has investigated the fundamental social processes behind agglomeration effects. Faculty colleagues describe the project as making “groundbreaking contributions to the field of archaeology.” Ortman has also worked with outside partners to establish the Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology, which he directs, within the Institute of Behavioral Science.

Sachs, who specializes in the history of early America and focuses on slavery, gender and law, was cited for her book Home Rule: Households, Manhood and National Expansion on the Eighteenth-Century Kentucky Frontier. Describing the book as well-crafted, the committee noted that its purpose was to understand how struggles for authority in ordinary households contributed to the larger processes of reconstituting national sovereignty and American identity.

The committee noted the diverse documents used as data sources and appreciated how Sachs “listened to voices and struggles that have long been forgotten”—records from Kentucky Overseers of the Poor, court records and workplace records, as well as petitions and broader kinds of literature.

The provost will present the awards at the Fall Convocation on Oct. 15.