2004-2005 Teacher/Scholar of the Year Winner

Published: May 11th, 2005

Category: Memos

Joseph Glover, Interim Provost

I am pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Paul Avery, Professor of Physics, as recipient of the 2004-2005 Teacher/Scholar Award. A faculty committee consisting of former awardees and senior faculty makes the selection from nominees made by each college. This is the university’s highest honor for faculty who demonstrate excellence in teaching and scholarly activity and exhibit visibility within and beyond the university. The awardee serves as a very distinguished example of the teacher/scholar as represented at the University of Florida.

For 20 years Prof. Avery has demonstrated his commitment to UF through an exceptionally high level of scholarship, teaching and service. Dr. Avery is a world-recognized scholar for his fundamental and important contributions to high energy physics and national Grid projects for which he has received much recognition. In 2003 he received an NSF grant to provide people and financial support for the recent World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva, Switzerland. His national science education and outreach projects are aimed primarily at minority undergraduate students. One of these projects, CHEPREO, is a $4M outreach effort aimed at secondary school Hispanic students in the Miami area.

Avery has published more than 390 refereed publications. Avery has supervised more than 23 PhD students, postdoctoral associates and scientists while maintaining consistent extramural funding for more than 19 years. His research is in elementary particle physics (also called high energy physics), which studies the basic particles and the forces between them that together determine the underlying structure of the universe. He collaborates on two high-energy physics experiments, CLEO, based at Cornell University, and CMS, in Europe’s CERN laboratory. His particle physics research is funded by the Department of Energy, which has supported most of his postdoctoral researchers, PhD Physics students and undergraduate students.

Generations of students at all levels have enjoyed Prof. Avery’s lectures and mentorship. Student evaluations consistently note that he is a gifted teacher. His primary contribution to learning and outreach has been to develop information technologies that not only provide unparalleled opportunities to enhance student learning through direct engagement. His work in this area reaches far a multitude of students, particularly those in poor or remote regions. He also has served as a judge at local and state Science Fairs.

Avery achieved this high level of productivity while serving the university in many capacities. In addition to many years of extensive committee work he served, in 2000-2001, on the Provost’s Advisory Panel for Information Technology. This panel was charged with changing UF’s computing infrastructure consistent with its goal of reaching the top 10 public institutions. Over the years he has also been entrusted to serve on several important university committees, including CLAS Tenure and Promotion Committee and the University High Performance Computing Committee.

My congratulations to Prof. Avery for his exemplary contributions to the University of Florida!

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