Professor Zak selected as U-M Distinguished University Professor
SEAS Professor Don Zak is one of four faculty members who have received one of the University of Michigan’s top honors as Distinguished University Professors.
The Board of Regents approved the appointments July 16. They are effective Sept. 1, last throughout the recipient’s period of active service at U-M and may be retained after retirement.
Distinguished University Professors are invited to give an inaugural lecture early in their appointment. The 2020 recipients are:
- Arthur Lupia, Gerald R. Ford Distinguished University Professor of Political Science. He is also professor of political science, LSA.
- Annemarie Sullivan Palincsar, Ann L. Brown Distinguished University Professor of Education. She is also an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, the Jean and Charles R. Walgreen Jr. Professor of Reading and Literacy, and professor of education, School of Education.
- Lutgarde M. Raskin, Vernon L. Snoeyink Distinguished University Professor of Environmental Engineering. She is also the Altarum/ERIM Russell D. O’Neal Professor of Engineering, associate dean for academic programs and initiatives, and professor of civil and environmental engineering, College of Engineering.
- Donald R. Zak, Alexander H. Smith Distinguished University Professor of Ecology. He is also an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, the Burton V. Barnes Collegiate Professor, and professor of natural resources, School for Environment and Sustainability; professor of environment, SEAS and LSA; and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, LSA.
“Professor Zak is one of the nation’s foremost ecologists, and the world leader in the study of soil microbial communities,” Rackham Graduate School Dean Michael Solomon wrote. “He is in the vanguard of scientists bringing molecular biology and genomic approaches to understanding how soil microbial communities are influenced by anthropogenic change and the impact of these changes on terrestrial ecosystems.”
The Distinguished University Professorships were established in 1947 to recognize senior faculty with exceptional scholarly or creative achievements, national and international reputations for academic excellence and superior records of teaching, mentoring and service. Each professorship bears a name determined by the appointed professor in consultation with his or her dean.