Ivan Rusyn, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Superfund Research Program (SRP) Center, became one of the first five TAMU faculty members to be awarded the title of University Professor. This honor recognizes scholars who have demonstrated significant accomplishments in their field. Rusyn specializes in analyzing the combined effects of multiple chemicals on human health and leads the TAMU SRP Center, which focuses on addressing exposure to mixtures during environmental emergency-related contamination events.
As part of the University Professor accolade, the recipient can name their professorship for a faculty member that had a significant impact on their career and studies. Rusyn chose the late Professor K.C. Donnelly as his award's namesake. Donnelly was a longtime SRP grantee who worked on environmental and occupational health projects. Before his death in 2009, Donnelly was a dedicated researcher and mentor and a key player in establishing an SRP Center at TAMU.
"This is a humbling honor," Rusyn said. "I am indebted to all of my current and past trainees and colleagues for their hard work and encouragement and feel that this honor is shared by all of them. I also wish to recognize the legacy of K.C. Donnelly, one of the pioneers of environmental health and toxicology at TAMU. K.C. was and remains a role model and inspiration to many toxicologists who work to protect public health in Texas, the United States, and worldwide."
The SRP has also recognized Donnelly's contributions to the program by naming an externship grant after him. The KC Donnelly Externship Award Supplement provides current SRP-funded graduate students and postdoctoral researchers with opportunities to work across disciplines and learn new skills at other SRP-funded sites. This year's awardees are Jill Riddell, a Ph.D. candidate at West Virginia University and Nabil Shaikh, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Mexico. The applications are due between January 1 and January 31 of each year.