Ohio State Honors Five at Autumn Commencement

News Release Date: 
12.11.13

Ohio State Honors Five at Autumn Commencement
Famed author R. L. Stine to deliver address

Columbus, Ohio – Five individuals will be honored at The Ohio State University’s autumn 2013 commencement for their scholarship and dedication to the university. As has been previously announced, Goosebumps author R. L. Stine will be the speaker for this fall’s commencement.
During the ceremony, Ohio State will award the Joseph Sullivant Medal to Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor of Earth Sciences, and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Distinguished University Professor of Geography.

The Joseph Sullivant Medal was established in 1920 with a fund endowed by Thomas C. Mendenhall, an Ohio State professor of physics. The Sullivant Medal is awarded every five years and recognizes individuals for “notable achievement… in the form of an important invention, discovery, contribution to science, the practical solution of a significant engineering, economic or agricultural problem, or the production of a valuable literary, artistic, historical, philosophical, or other work.” 

In addition, the university will award the honorary doctor of science degree to Leonard Berkowitz, Vilas Research Professor in Psychology Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ohio State will also present Distinguished Service Awards to Rudine Sims Bishop, an influential scholar on multicultural children’s literature who served 17 years as a professor in the College of Education and Human Ecology; and Dan Wampler, whose relationship with Ohio State spans more than 30 years, dating back to his days as an undergraduate food technology student.

Ellen Mosley-Thompson, The Joseph Sullivant Medal

Ellen Mosley-Thompson, an internationally acclaimed climate scientist, is director of the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State. Her pioneering research on paleoclimatic reconstruction has led to some of the most important data providing deeper insight on past and present climate change.

Mosley-Thompson’s research focuses on using ice cores to reconstruct climate conditions from hundreds of thousands of years ago. She uses the chemical and physical properties preserved in ice cores – such as dust and chemical content and isotopic ratios reflecting atmospheric temperature at the time the ice layers formed – to establish past climatic and environmental conditions. Published in more than 130 research publications, her ice core discoveries have led to scientific and societal concerns about global warming. Her observations of glacier retreat over the last three decades confirm that glaciers are melting and provide evidence that the warming of earth over the last 50 years is now outside the range of natural variability.

Mosley-Thompson has led 16 expeditions to Antarctica, Greenland and Peru to retrieve ice cores. She served as the principal investigator and field team leader for the ice core drilling project on the Bruce Plateau in the Antarctic Peninsula, which was part of LARISSA (LARsen Ice Shelf System, Antarctica), an initiative funded by the National Science Foundation.

Her service activities at Ohio State and across the nation are exceptional. In 2011, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She also is a member of the American Philosophical Society and, in 2009, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, where she currently serves on the Study Group for Emerging Research Questions in the Arctic and on the Polar Research Board. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2003, she was inducted into the Ohio Women’s Hall of Fame.

At Ohio State, she serves on the faculty advisory board for the Energy and Environment Discovery Theme, the Presidential Committee of AAAS Fellows and the President and Provost’s Advisory Committee. She has been named University Distinguished Lecturer and University Distinguished Scholar, and she has received an Alumni Medalist Award and the Faculty Award for Distinguished University Service.

Mosley-Thompson received her bachelor’s degree in physics from Marshall University, and her master’s and doctorate in geography (climatology) from Ohio State. She joined the Byrd Polar Research Center in 1979.

Lonnie G. Thompson, The Joseph Sullivant Medal

Lonnie G. Thompson is a senior research scientist in the Byrd Polar Research Center at Ohio State. As one of the world’s foremost authorities on paleoclimatology and glaciology, he has become a national spokesperson on the subject of global climate change and related policy issues.

Thompson has led 58 expeditions during the last 35 years, drilling ice cores from polar ice sheets and high-altitude mountain glaciers in 16 countries, including China, Peru, Russia, Tanzania and Indonesia. His team was the first to develop lightweight solar-powered drilling equipment to obtain cores from ice fields in the Andes Mountains, the Himalayas and on Mount Kilimanjaro. His expeditions have recovered the world’s longest ice core from a mountain range (Alaska, 2002), the first tropic ice core (Peru, 1983) and cores that are more than 750,000 years old.

The cores retrieved during these expeditions contain climate records layered in time that allow Thompson’s team to reconstruct earth’s complex climate history and provide insight into the changes occurring on our planet today. In 2001, he shocked the public and scientific community when he announced that analysis of ice cores from mountaintop glaciers in Africa and Peru showed that the glaciers were melting at an alarming rate – one that will likely lead to the disappearance of Mount Kilimanjaro’s ice fields within the next decade or so.

Thompson’s research, published in more than 200 publications, has garnered him numerous awards. In 2007, he received the Seligman Crystal, the most prestigious professional award in glaciology, and the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given to an American scientist. In 2005, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and was awarded the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He has been selected by Time magazine and CNN as one of “America’s Best” in science and medicine. Additionally, he is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Geophysical Union. He is a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and in the past two years, he has received the Friendship Award and the International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Award, both from the People’s Republic of China.

Thompson earned his bachelor’s in geology from Marshall University, and his master’s and doctorate in geology from Ohio State. He joined the Byrd Polar Research Center in 1976.

Leonard Berkowitz, Doctor of Science

Leonard Berkowitz is one of the world’s preeminent social psychologists, and one of the first to systematically employ experimental research when investigating human aggression. Since the early 1950s, he has been a faculty member at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he has served as the Vilas Research Professor in Psychology Emeritus since his retirement in 1993. Over the course of his distinguished 60-year career as a scholar, researcher and educator, Berkowitz has trained some of the most prominent social psychology scholars, and his research and writings have helped spur and shape the current great interest in the social psychology of aggression.

Berkowitz’s research focused on the causes and consequences of human aggression, and his theoretical contributions have had substantial implications for the broader field of social psychology as well as other social sciences, such as communications and sociology. He was a pioneer in showing that human aggression has both automatic and controlled components, and he was one of the first to challenge the theory of catharsis, which proposed that behaving aggressively, or watching others behave aggressively, relieves aggressive tendencies.

Berkowitz has shared his expertise by testifying before numerous Congressional and U.S. Surgeon General committees on the effects of violent media. He also has published nearly 200 research publications and two seminal textbooks on aggression. Most aggression researchers have studied from one of his textbooks, Aggression: A Social Psychological Analysis (1962) and Aggression: Its Causes, Consequences, and Control (1993), which have been cited more than 3,000 times. He further shaped the field of social psychology as founding editor of the prestigious peer-reviewed Advances in Experimental Social Psychology series, which he edited from 1962 to 1988.

Listed as one of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the 20th century by the American Psychological Association, Berkowitz was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He also has received the American Psychological Association’s Distinguished Scientific Award for the Applications of Psychology (1988), the Society of Experimental Social Psychology’s Distinguished Scientist Award (1989) and the Association for Psychological Science’s James McKeen Cattell Fellow for applied psychological research (1993). He served as president of the American Psychological Association’s Division of Personality and Social Psychology from 1971 to 1972 and as president of the International Society for Research on Aggression from 1981 to 1983.

Berkowitz earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology from New York University in 1948, and a doctorate in psychology from the University of Michigan in 1951.

Rudine Sims Bishop, Distinguished Service Award

Rudine Sims Bishop is a professor emerita in the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State. As a leading literary scholar, she has influenced the growth and appreciation of multicultural children’s literature on an international level.

Bishop began her career in 1959 as an elementary school teacher. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from West Chester University, her master's in education from the University of Pennsylvania and her EdD in curriculum development (reading and children's literature) from Wayne State University. Prior to her arrival at Ohio State in 1986, she taught children’s literature, reading and language arts courses at Morgan State College, Wayne State University, the State University of New York at Buffalo and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In 1982, with the publication of her seminal book, Shadow and Substance: Afro-American Experience in Contemporary Children’s Fiction, Bishop became one of the first researchers to produce scholarly criticism about how African Americans are represented in children’s books and the impact that representation has on children’s lives. In the ensuing decades, she has published extensively, including books, chapters and articles in prestigious academic journals.

At Ohio State, Bishop taught children’s literature courses from 1986 until her retirement in 2002. During that time, she served on numerous university committees; directed doctoral research; chaired the Language, Literacy and Culture section in the Department of Teaching and Learning; and co-chaired the highly regarded annual Children’s Literature Conference at Ohio State. She was known for establishing long-lasting relationships with her students and for making her massive, private collection of children’s literature available to the Ohio State community. In 2004, her family, friends and colleagues established the Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop Scholarship Fund in Children’s Literature to support doctoral students at Ohio State.

For her contributions to the field of children’s literature, Bishop has garnered significant recognition. The National Council of Teachers of English has recognized her with the James R. Squire Award for outstanding service to the council and to the profession of education, as well as the council’s Outstanding Elementary Language Arts Educator and Distinguished Service awards. In 2001, she was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame. She also has received the Arbuthnot Award, given to an outstanding college or university teacher of children’s or young adult literature, and served on the selection committees for the Caldecott and Newbery medals for children’s books.

Daniel J. Wampler, Distinguished Service Award

Daniel J. Wampler’s relationship with Ohio State spans more than 30 years, dating back to his days as an undergraduate student. After graduating with a bachelor’s and a doctorate in food technology from Ohio State, as well as an MBA from Xavier University, he embarked on a successful food science career while maintaining strong philanthropic and leadership ties to the university.

In 1983, Wampler parlayed his Ohio State education into a position at The Pillsbury Co., where he served as a product development scientist. His team developed more than $10 million in products and launched Pillsbury as the leader in microwave products. Wampler’s professional success continued as he served in positions of increasing responsibility for a variety of companies.

In 1999, he collaborated with his alma mater to launch his own business. Sensus was born in the labs of Ohio State's Food Industries Center, where Wampler channeled his passion for food innovation into creating one of the nation’s premier natural product extraction companies. In 2012, he sold Sensus to an international company.

Wampler brings his considerable expertise and passion to bear in championing countless causes at Ohio State. He serves on the University Foundation Board of Directors and on the advisory boards of the Food Innovation Center and Food Industries Center. He served 10 years on the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences alumni board, and co-chaired a capital campaign that raised $12 million to create the Parker Food Science and Technology Building. He currently co-chairs the college's But for Ohio State Campaign, which aims to raise $150 million to support students, faculty and research within food science.

In addition to mentoring dozens of students, Wampler and his wife, Lisa, give back to the university in ways that advance both students and research. Together, they established two endowments within the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. The Lisa and Dan Wampler Endowed Fellowship for Food and Health Research funds graduate student research in critical areas of health maintenance and disease prevention. The Lisa and Dan Wampler Vice President’s Excellence Fund Endowment supports long-term programs and strategic initiatives at the college.

For his extensive service and commitment, Dr. Wampler was awarded the College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award and the Department of Food Science and Technology's first-ever Difference Maker Award.

About The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University is a dynamic community of diverse resources, where opportunity thrives and where individuals transform themselves and the world. Founded in 1870, Ohio State is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 57,000 in Columbus), the Wexner Medical Center, 14 colleges, 80 centers and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences and the professions.