Published: Sept. 17, 2010

CU system news release

DENVER – The University of Colorado Board of Regents today awarded three professors the university's highest faculty honor, designation as Distinguished Professor.

Nominated by an academic committee of their peers, the recipients are Zoya Popovic, Ph.D., Lorrie A. Shepard, Ph.D., and Margaret Tolbert, Ph.D., all of whom teach at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Distinguished Professors are CU faculty members who are leaders in their fields and are recognized for their outstanding contributions in teaching, research and distinguished scholarship or creative work. To date, 56 professors across the CU system hold the title.

President Bruce D. Benson reviewed recommendations from colleagues and deans and recommended all three for the award to the CU Board of Regents during their September meeting on the Denver campus.

"These professors exemplify the best of what CU faculty can be," said CU President Bruce D. Benson. "They are active scholars, engaged teachers and exceptional researchers. Our students are the beneficiaries of the professional excellence they demonstrate every day."

Popovic is a member of the Department of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering and is considered an expert in microwave antennas and circuits. A native of Belgrade, Serbia, she has received many awards for teaching and research, including the National Science Foundation Presidential Faculty Fellow Award, the American Society for Engineering Education Frederick E. Terman Gold Medal, and the Eta Kappa Nu Professor of the Year award.

In a letter supporting Popovic's nomination, Robert H. Davis, dean and Tisone Chair of the College of Engineering and Applied Science, called Popovic a "most valuable jewel" and cited her exceptional teaching and mentoring of students since she came to Boulder in 1990.

Shepard is dean of the School of Education and a professor of statistics, research methods, and testing and assessment policy at the graduate level. She is chair of the Research and Evaluation Methodology program. Her research focuses on psychometrics and the use and misuse of tests in educational settings. Dr. Shepard has previously served as president of the National Academy of Education, the American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education. She is the only person to have served as president of all three associations.

Recommended by Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Stein Sture, Shepard was lauded for her exceptional 36 year career along with the 3,000 citations of her scholarly work by other researchers and her service commitment to the Boulder campus through a variety of committees.

Tolbert, a Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Fellow, is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (Analytical, Environmental and Atmospheric Chemistry Division). She earned several awards in recent years, including the Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from the American Chemical Society, the Hazel Barnes Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two NASA Group Achievement Awards. Her research analyzes atmospheric chemistry, planetary atmospheres, and chemistry related to polar and global ozone depletion.

Todd Gleeson, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, endorsed Tolbert, citing her outstanding record as a chemist, her plethora of national honors, and testaments from her students and peers describing Dr. Tolbert's contributions to her field. "I'm not sure what more we would reasonably expect to see in a nominee's record as an educator. Her record is outstanding," Gleeson said.

The University of Colorado is a premier public research university with four campuses: the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. More than 57,000 students are pursuing academic degrees at CU. The National Science Foundation ranks CU eighth among public institutions in federal research expenditures in engineering and science. Academic prestige is marked by the university's four Nobel laureates, seven MacArthur "genius" Fellows, 18 alumni astronauts and 19 Rhodes Scholars.

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Zoya Popvic

Zoya Popvic

Lorrie Shepard

Lorrie Shepard

Maggie Tolbert

Maggie Tolbert