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Distinguished Scholar Awards announced: Morton, Romano, Hartley and Misco

Distinguished Scholar Awards for 2012-2013 have been presented to Yu Tong (Jade) Morton, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Tom Romano, professor of teacher education. C. Scott Hartley, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, and Thomas Misco, associate professor of teacher education, each received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member who has demonstrated great potential in research and achieved some standing in the field. Candidates for this award must have received their highest degree no more than eight years before the time of nomination.

The scholars, named by the committee on faculty research (CFR) and the office for the advancement of research and scholarship (OARS), each receive a $2,000 grant for the pursuit of further research. They were announced at the Faculty Assembly meeting Sept. 17. 

The deadline for nominations for the 2013-2014 Distinguished Scholar Awards is Nov. 1.

Yu Tong (Jade) Morton, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in the applied and natural sciences. 

jade morton

Jade Morton, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Morton is recognized worldwide as a leading expert in the interdisciplinary field of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS), particularly in GNSS-based ionosphere sensing and advanced GNSS navigation technologies.   

During the past 10 years, she has attracted the attention of academic scholars, industries, governments and students around the world because of "her remarkable contributions to the advancement of GNSS in several fundamental and practical areas," according to her nominators. They explained "because of her pioneering efforts in this area, many GPS receivers today can successfully generate reliable navigation solutions in urban streets."

Morton has produced groundbreaking work in resolving two of the most challenging error factors in GPS measurements: ionosphere error and multipath effects.

To study ionosphere effects on GNSS, Morton has established partnerships with researchers around the world, since the most frequent natural ionosphere events of high impact occur in the high latitude and equatorial regions of the globe.  She has built a globally distributed data collection network of GNSS sensors at strategically selected locations.  Her collaborations include the Air Force Institute of Technology, the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and other institutions nationwide and, among institutions internationally, at University Center In Svalbard, Norway; Curtin University, Australia; Puerto Rico's Arecibo Observatory; Peru's Jicamarca Radio Observatory; Hong Kong Polytechnic University; Nanyang Technical University in Singapore; University of Newcastle, U.K.; and Banaras Hindu University in India.

She has received more than $4 million in grants and contracts plus more than $108,000 in industry donations in support of her research.

Morton has published more than 38 journal publications and given more than 200 conference and seminar presentations. In 2012 alone she received 12 invitations for invited talks worldwide.

She has advised or co-advised a number of senior capstone teams that have won honors in their field:  Her Radar teams have presented papers at national and international conferences; the RedBlade autonomous vehicle teams won second place at the first and second national Institute of Navigation Autonomous Snowplow Competitions and second place this year at the ION Autonomous Lawnmower Competition; and Track'M, the GPS bus tracking team, and the RedBlade robotics team won the MUITDC competition in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Among other awards, including those for teaching, Morton was the SEAS Outstanding Researcher award winner in 2005 and in 2011 and the Sigma Xi Researcher of the Year award winner in 2009. She received the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color Award in 2013.

Among many other leadership positions she was the 2011 president of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Global Positioning Systems (CPGPS) and is the 2012-2014 chair of the Institute of Navigation (ION) Satellite Division. 

Morton joined Miami as assistant professor of manufacturing and mechanical engineering in 2000. 

Tom Romano, professor of teacher education, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for sustained excellence in research in the area of business, education or social sciences.

tom romano

Tom Romano, associate professor of teacher education.

Romano has established a national reputation as a leader in scholarship on the pedagogy of writing in high school classrooms. "He is thoroughly devoted to instilling skill as well as passion in young writers," according to his nominators. His work is situated in the broader field of integrated language arts and English teacher preparation. 

His seminal contribution is the ongoing development of the pedagogy of the multigenre research paper. This technique has been heralded as the biggest advent in high school research writing in the last two decades, according to Romano's nominators.

Romano has published six books and is working a seventh. All of his books are still in press, and his early volumes are considered classics in the field, most notably Clearing the Way: Working with Teenage Writers (1987) and Writing with Passion (1995).  His most recent contribution is The Multigenre Companion (in press).

"Clearly devoted to both the pedagogy and practice of writing," according to his nominators, Romano has also published 13 chapters in edited books, 32 journal articles, eight book forwards, 11 poems, four pieces of fiction and 15 book reviews.

Before receiving his doctorate from the University of New Hampshire in 1991, Romano (Miami '71, MEd '75) taught high school students for 17 years.

He is sought after as a keynote speaker and consultant: since 1989, he has given 57 keynote speeches and 25 invited presentations; served as a visiting scholar/teacher/writer at 14 different universities; and served as a consultant for more than 80 writing workshops and projects across 32 states. He has been consistently invited to work with the most prestigious writing programs in the country.

Romano has received many awards for his scholarship and teaching, including the Naus Family Faculty Scholar; Richard T. Delp Outstanding Faculty Award; the 2001 Ohio Council of Teachers of English Language Arts Outstanding English/Language Arts Educator – University Level; and the Alumni Association's 2007-2008 Effective Educator Award.  His 2006 radio commentary, "My Father's Voice," won the first place Associated Press award in the category of Best Broadcast Writing and the second place Public Radio News Director award.

He joined Miami in 1995. 

C. Scott Hartley, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member in the applied or natural sciences who has demonstrated great potential in research and achieved some standing in the field.

Candidates for this award must have received their highest degree no more than eight years before the time of nomination.

scott hartley

C. Scott Hartley, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Hartley received his doctorate in 2005 from Queen's University, Ontario, and joined Miami in 2007 after postdoctoral work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor in 2013.

Hartley has developed a "world-class research program in graphene (one of the crystalline forms of carbon) chemistry - the subject of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Physics - and has been a pivotal feature in our department's efforts to establish a reputation in nanotechnology," said his nominators.

His research focuses on organic chemistry at the interface with materials science and nanotechnology. He exploits the structural versatility of organic chemistry to design new molecules for use in organic electronics and other applications.

He uses a strategy that prepares the designed macromolecules from smaller, carefully designed precursors. "As a result, he occupies an important niche in this popular field that will make him one of the few international experts in the design of such materials," his nominators said.

During his five years at Miami, Hartley has received more than $1.3 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund for his research program.

Hartley has published more than 14 papers during his time at Miami, in journals considered the premier in his field, including the Journal of the American Chemical Society and the Journal of Organic Chemistry.

Hartley "truly embodies the Miami University ideal of the teacher scholar," said his nominators, and has worked with 13 undergraduate students in independent studies, mentored six graduate students at the master's and doctoral levels and has supervised three postdoctoral colleagues.

Thomas Misco, associate professor of teacher education, received the Distinguished Scholar Award for a faculty member in the area of business, education or social sciences who has demonstrated great potential in research and achieved some standing in the field. 

tom misco

Thomas Misco, associate professor of teacher education.

Misco received his doctorate from the University of Iowa in 2006.  He received a master's degree in 2000, also from the University of Iowa, and was a high school social studies teacher from 2000 to 2003. He joined Miami in 2006 and was granted tenure and promotion to associate professor in 2011.

Misco has established an outstanding record of high quality scholarship and significant, national contributions to the profession, according to his nominators. His work is situated in the field of social studies teacher education, where he focuses on the teaching of controversial issues, moral education and citizenship education. His scholarship centers on preparing citizens to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good.

Misco focuses on how assessment, curriculum design, pedagogical strategies, sociocultural contexts and other factors inhibit or encourage the treatment of controversy in social education. His work is both national and international in scope.

He has published more than 36 refereed journal articles and three chapters in edited books. He has made more than 34 international and national conference presentations and has been invited to present at the Berlin Roundtables; the Asia-Pacific Association for International Education in Taipei, Taiwan; the Asia Pacific Network for Moral Education's Annual Conference in Nagasaki, Japan; the Holocaust Conference in Krakow, Poland; the Beijing Normal University's Centre for Citizenship and Moral Education in Beijing, China; and Korea University in Seoul, South Korea.

He has received six small grants from external organizations and foundations, as well as 14 internal grants, and is currently developing a major proposal to fund curricular and pedagogical innovations for the teaching of controversial issues in China.

Misco has provided important service to the profession: He is an invited evaluator for the U.S. State Department's American Council for International Education grants; a reviewer for eight journals (including the premier journals in his field); and a member of the ETS Praxis Social Studies National Advisory Committee, among other contributions.

Written by Susan Meikle, university news and communications, meiklesb@MiamiOH.edu.

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