Bouton, Escaja, Tracy named UVM’s 2019 University Distinguished Professors

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Tue, 05/14/2019 - 6:07pm -- Denise Sortor

The University of Vermont has announced three new recipients of its Distinguished Professor Award, the highest academic honor that the university can bestow on a faculty member. University Distinguished Professors are recognized as having achieved international eminence within their respective fields of study and for the truly transformative nature of their contributions to the advancement of knowledge.

Faculty receiving this award in 2019 are:

  • Mark E. Bouton, professor of Psychological Science and the Robert B. Lawson Green and Gold Professor of Psychology. Bouton is considered among the most outstanding experimental psychologists of his generation working on animal learning. Throughout a 39-year career at UVM, he has conducted pioneering research into the role of context in the learning and memory process, resulting in over 130 publications, including some of the most highly cited research papers in the discipline. He is one of the leading experts on associative learning—a core type of learning and memory—and considered by colleagues as the foremost expert on extinction, a learning process that has been demonstrated to be fundamentally important to learning and to the treatment of a number of clinical disorders.
  • Tina Escaja, professor of Romance Languages and Linguistics. Escaja is recognized as the foremost scholar of the works of Delmira Agustini, a Uruguayan poet from the early 20th century, and Ana Rosetti, a contemporary Spanish poet. The breath of her pioneering research and trans-cultural scholarship, in several genres, is displayed in over 100 works that include books, book chapters, journal articles, reviews, encyclopedic entries, anthologies, and other venues. Professor Escaja is internationally known for her creative and groundbreaking work integrating poetry and technology (electronic literature), and for her digital exhibits at museums and galleries around the world.
  • Russell P. Tracy, professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine and Biochemistry. Tracy is an international leader in the field of biomarkers. His research, over the span of 34 years at the Larner College of Medicine, has produced over 700 publications describing the etiology of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, other complex chronic diseases of aging, infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and the process of aging itself. Professor Tracy is among the top 1 percent most highly cited researchers of 2018 in his discipline, and has also been recognized as one of the 400 most highly influential biomedical researchers. He has a distinguished record of service at UVM, including ten years as Senior Associate Dean for Research and Academic Activities for the Larner College of Medicine.

The University Distinguished Professor Award, founded in 2009. Only ten individuals may hold an active appointment as University Distinguished Professor at any one time. Faculty holders of this honor may use the title University Distinguished Professor throughout their career at the University of Vermont and wear a medal with their academic regalia signifying this distinction. They will also serve as an informal advisory body to the leadership of the university and receive an annual professional expense stipend to support their scholarly endeavors until retirement or departure from UVM.

Bouton, Escada and Tracy join the following faculty in the program: 

  • Ralph Budd, University Distinguished Professor, director of the Vermont Center for Immunology and Infectious Diseases.
  • Rex L. Forehand, Heinz and Rowena Ansbacher Professor of Psychology and University Distinguished Professor, director of Clinical Training.
  • Major Jackson, Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor of English and University Distinguished Professor of English.
  • Wolfgang Mieder, University Distinguished Professor of German and Folklore.
  • Brooke T. Mossman, University Distinguished Professor of Pathology.
  • Mark T. Nelson, Chairman and University Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology. 
  • George F. Pinder, University Distinguished Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering.

The three new faculty in the program will be honored at the 2019 Commencement ceremony.