Oakland University’s own Gopalan Srinivasan, Ph.D. and professor of physics, has been named a distinguished professor by the President’s Council of the State Universities of Michigan (PCSUM).
Just four professors from the entire state were honored with the 2011 Distinguished Professor of the Year award, which was created to recognize outstanding faculty contributions to undergraduate instruction.
Dedicated to engaging students in the sciences, Dr. Srinivasan habitually involves his students in his projects, by “teaching physics through research.” Since establishing his research laboratory in 1989, Dr. Srinivasan has constantly sought and encouraged undergraduate students to become involved in material research and sensor and device technologies.
“I believe it is important to expose undergraduates to research and experiences beyond the classroom,” Dr. Srinivasan said. “Some students are afraid of physics, but working in the lab can spark their interest, particularly when they see the practical applications of their research can be useful to the community and humanity.”
A total of 38 physics, chemistry, and mechanical and electrical engineering students have participated in investigations in the past twenty years, under the creative supervision of Dr. Srinivasan. This partnership resulted in 32 publications in peer-reviewed journals co-authored with undergraduate students.
Being published as an undergraduate can have a big impact on a student’s graduate school applications and career, Dr. Srinivasan added. Many of his students have gone on to attend prestigious universities across the country to pursue additional degrees.
Dr. Srinivasan has also been very successful in obtaining funds from the Research Corporation, Office of Naval Research, and the Petroleum Research Fund to support undergraduate research on magnetic materials. His research has attracted over $4.5 million in grant awards from national funding agencies.
“Professor Srinivasan exemplifies the integration of research with the desire to advance student learning and academic success,” said Virinder Moudgil, OU’s senior vice president for Academic Affairs and university provost.
The award is intended for professors who have made a significant impact on student learning through various mediums, as well as a demonstrated commitment to experiential learning, academic advising, undergraduate research opportunities and scholarship on teaching and learning.
This year’s honorees will be recognized at an awards luncheon ceremony in Lansing this May, and will be presented with a commemorative plaque and $3,000 each.
For more information about the PCSUM, view the website
. For more information about Oakland’s physics programs, visit oakland.edu/physics