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Peter R. Saulson honored as Syracuse University’s 2003-04 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year
Peter R. Saulson honored as Syracuse University’s 2003-04 University Scholar/Teacher of the YearOctober 09, 2003Edward Byrnesedbyrnes@syr.edu
One of Syracuse University’s leading scientists, Peter R. Saulson, has been named the 2003-04 University Scholar/Teacher of the Year.
Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw announced the award at his annual address to the University community, which took place Oct. 8 in Hendricks Chapel. “Peter is highly regarded by students past and present for his teaching and advising acumen, and his work with the groundbreaking LIGO project has brought significant scientific recognition to Syracuse University,” says Shaw. “He is a most worthy recipient of this award.”
Saulson, a physics professor in The College of Arts and Sciences, was nominated for the award by Dean Cathryn R. Newton. “Professor Saulson is an extraordinary scientist and an unusually gifted teacher,” she says in her nomination letter. “His commitment to the highest ideals of scholarship and pedagogy and his intense concern for his students’ success make him ideally suited to this important University honor.”
Saulson’s publications are widely regarded by the scientific community, and he is a widely sought-after speaker in the U.S. and abroad. Earlier this year, he was elected by several hundred of his peers as spokesperson for the LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Scientific Collaboration. This $500-million dollar National Science Foundation-funded collaboration embraces more than 44 academic institutions around the globe and holds the potential to help answer fundamental questions about the dynamics, origin and structure of the universe. NSF has continuously funded Saulson since his arrival at SU in 1991, with grants totaling more than $2.7 million.
Saulson came to SU in 1991 from the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics in Boulder, Col., where he was a visiting fellow and research associate. Supporting the NSF’s aim to increase the number of American undergraduates studying the physical sciences, Saulson redesigned several astronomy courses shortly after his arrival at SU to provide more compelling introductory courses. Consequently, the courses experienced a steep rise in their popularity, not only for science majors but for non-science majors. His recent extensive revisions to the introductory physics lectures and labs earned him the inaugural SU Department of Physics Award for Excellence in Introductory Teaching in 2002.
Saulson holds an A.B. magna cum laude in physics from Harvard University, and an M.A. and Ph.D., both in physics, from Princeton University. For much of the 1980s, he worked at the MIT Department of Physics, first as a postdoctoral research associate and later as principal research scientist. Between those assignments, he spent a year as a member of the sponsored research technical staff at MIT’s Center for Space Research.
The Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award is sponsored by the Division of Higher Education and Ministry of the Methodist Church.
Officially chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is a leading student-centered research university. Syracuse’s 11 schools and colleges share a common mission: to promote learning through teaching, research, scholarship, creative accomplishment and service while embracing the core values of quality, caring, diversity, innovation and service. The 680-acre campus is home to more than 18,000 full- and part-time undergraduate and graduate students from all 50 states and 90 countries.