Three faculty members in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at West Virginia University are being honored with the 2008 Outstanding Researcher Award.

This years honorees are Charles Jaffé, a professor of chemistry; Mathew Vester, a professor of history; and Lawrence Nichols, a professor of sociology and formerinterim chair of WVU s Division of Sociology and Anthropology.

They will be recognized during Saturdays (April 12) Eberly College Awards and Honors Recognition Ceremony and Brunch from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Mountainlair ballrooms, part of the UniversitysWeekend of Honors.

Outstanding Researcher Award recipients are selected by a committee appointed by the dean of the Eberly College. A faculty member must be nominated to be considered. Following nomination, the faculty members research, scholarly activity and letters of recommendation are submitted to a committee for peer review.

It is a privilege and a pleasure to recognize these outstanding scholars,said Mary Ellen Mazey, dean of the Eberly College.It is important not only to reward them for their excellence, but also to remind the University and the community about the quality of our faculty. Research at this level brings WVU national and international attention, and it also provides our students with the opportunity to study with professors who are on the cutting edge of their fields.

More information about this years outstanding researchers follows:

  • Jaffé, a professor of chemistry, specializes in transition state theory as applied to celestial mechanics, atomic physics and chemistry. He has taught chemistry at all levels, given international lectures in many countries, including France and Japan, and has numerous publications. Jaffé joined the faculty at WVU as an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry after receiving his doctorate in chemical physics from the University of Colorado in 1979. He earned his bachelors in physics from Antioch College in 1973. During his time at WVU , Jaffé has been honored as a fellow of the American Physical Society, one of the highest honors a scientist can receive; an American Society of Engineering Education/NASA summer faculty fellow at Cal Tech; and a visiting associate professor at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid in Madrid, Spain. In June 2007, he traveled to Marseille, France, to give a presentation on transition state theory and its practices.
  • Vester is an associate professor of history specializing in political culture and institutions in early modern Europe. He earned his doctoral degree in European history from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1997. Vester has been published widely in three languages. His latest book,Jacques de Savoie, duc de Nemours (1531-1585),will be published with the prestigious Swiss press, Droz, which specializes in Renaissance and early modern studies. He has presented his work to audiences across Europe and North America. Vesters honors include the Chester Penn Higby Prize, awarded by the Modern European History section of the American Historical Association, for the best article published in the Journal of Modern History biennially.
  • Nichols is a professor of sociology and former chair of WVU s Division of Sociology and Anthropology. For the past 10 years, he has edited The American Sociologist, a national quarterly journal. He has also served on the Council of the History of Sociology Section of the American Sociological Association. Since joining the WVU faculty in 1985, Nichols has taught a variety of courses, including new offerings he developed on sociology of American business; white collar crime; organized crime; terrorism; constructing social problems; and mass media, crime and deviance. Nichols has conducted research on processes through which social problems are defined, portrayals of crime and deviance in mass media and popular culture, social problems theory and history of the social sciences in American universities. He has conducted extensive archival research at Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Chicago and several other colleges and universities.