Topics from Mongolia to outer space, and a good bit in between, will be presented by the latest class of Claude Worthington Benedum Distinguished Scholars during four separate lectures this fall.

The 2014-15 Distinguished Scholars – Physics and Astronomy Professor Maura McLaughlin, English Professor Kirk Hazen, Pharmacology and Neurosciences Professor James Simpkins and Geology and Geography professor Amy Hessl – were announced last spring.

The awards can be given in four categories: behavioral and social sciences, biosciences and health sciences, humanities and the arts, and physical sciences and technology. Award winners each receive $5000 in professional development funds and the opportunity to share their research with the campus community in a lecture made possible by the Office of the Provost.

The lecture schedule for this fall:

• Sept. 17, 4 p.m., Rhododendron Room, WVU Mountainlair: McLaughlin, “Detecting Ripples in Spacetime Using Nature’s Cosmic Clocks.”

• Sept. 24, 4 p.m., Rhododendron Room: Hazen, “A Linguistic Life.”

• Sept. 29, 4 p.m., Barnette Board of Governors Room, Erickson Alumni Center: Simpkins, “Wandering in Aging Research: A Life of Running Against the Wind.”

• Oct. 1, 4 p.m., Mountaineer Room, WVU Mountainlair; Hessl, “Pluvials, Droughts, the Mongol Empire and Modern Mongolia.”

All four lectures and the accompanying receptions will be open to the community. For more information about the lecture series or the Benedum Distinguished Scholars Awards program, contact the office of Dr. C.B. Wilson, the Associate Provost for Academic Personnel, at 304.293.2021 or



CONTACT: Ann Claycomb; Office of the provost

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