Professor of the Year Recipient to Deliver Lecture

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Dr. Ann Rushing with Dr. Randall O'Brien, executive vice president and provost (left), and Dr. James Bennighof, vice provost for academic affairs (right)
Sept. 28, 2007

by Katie Brooks, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University's Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year, Dr. Ann E. Rushing, professor and associate chair of the department of biology, will deliver the annual award lecture at 4 p.m. Monday, Oct. 1, in room B110 of the Baylor Sciences Building.

Rushing said she will speak on "Don't Miss the Opportunity", focusing on the opportunities each of us have to make a difference in the lives of others.

Rushing was recognized for her award at the spring Honors Convocation and again at May commencement. She said she was honored to receive an award that recognizes the work she has accomplished throughout her career, especially with an award named after a venerated female biology professor in Smith.

"Anytime I receive something like this it inspires me to try harder and be worthy of that award," Rushing said.

The annual award is presented to a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor. As this year's recipient, Rushing received $20,000 and will present this lecture on a topic of her choosing. The criteria for the award includes:

• teaching, which is judged to be of the highest order of intellectual acumen and pedagogical effectiveness,

• research, which is recognized as outstanding by the national and international, as well as local, community of scholars,

• service, which is regarded as exemplary in building the character of intellectual community at Baylor.

Rushing earned her bachelor's degree in botany magna cum laude from Duke University in 1975, a master's degree in biology from the University of Cincinnati in 1978, and her doctorate in botany from Texas A&M University in 1982. She has taught at Baylor in the department of biology and Institute of Biomedical Studies since 1989.

Before joining Baylor, Rushing conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Illinois and was a research associate at the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris and at Auburn University, where she studied electron microscopy and taught for a year in the general biology program.

Currently, Rushing teaches several undergraduate courses, including general biology for majors and non-majors, an undergraduate biology seminar, electron microscopy and plant anatomy. She has helped develop and teaches the Natural World sequence of integrated, interdisciplinary science courses for the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core (BIC). She also serves as director of the departmental electron microscope facility and supervises undergraduate and graduate research projects that use electron microscopy.

Rushing is active in research with interests that include the ultrastructure and development of plants, particularly bryophytes; comparative sporogenesis, spermatogenesis, and sperm morphology in bryophytes; and systematics of plants. Her research has been published in numerous scholarly publications and journals, and she has presented her findings at conferences and meetings around the country.

A 1918 Baylor biology graduate, Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago and her doctorate from Johns Hopkins. She was a Baylor professor of biology from 1940-67, chair of the biology department from 1943-67, and director of Strecker Museum from 1943-67. Smith retired in 1967, but maintained an office in Armstrong Browning Library to assist charitable causes. In 1980, Baylor honored Smith with an endowed chair known as the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professorship in Biology. She passed away Aug. 27, 1997, at the age of 101.

Previous recipients of the award include Dr. D. Thomas Hanks Jr., professor of English and Master Teacher; Dr. Robert M. Baird, professor of philosophy and Master Teacher; and Dr. Kevin G. Pinney, professor of chemistry.

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