Lance Seefeldt, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at USU, said he became “addicted” to research as a graduate student at the University of California. Now, 25 years later, he has been named the recipient of USU’s D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award.Named for the first vice president for research at USU, the D. Wynne Thorne Award is the highest honor awarded to faculty researchers.”This is really a career-topper,” said Mark McLellan, vice president for research and dean of the School of Graduate Studies. “This is to recognize the cumulative effort of a researcher that has really gone all out and really produced a very special effort and received national and international recognition — someone who has really knocked it out of the ballpark.”Seefeldt said the biggest feeling that comes from receiving the award is humility.”It’s very humbling to be selected, especially knowing the legacy of D. Wynne Thorne, as well as the people who have received the award in the past,” he said. “It’s humbling to be a part of them, especially knowing the quality of the science that goes on at USU. To be selected among my peers is an incredible honor.”Each year, every department on campus has the opportunity to nominate a faculty member for the award. After the nominations are completed, a board of faculty peers meets to select the winner, McLellan said. After someone has been selected, he or she must be approved by both McLellan and USU President Stan Albrecht.”You’re looking for someone who is really engaged, who has met the expectations of their job and then gone well beyond,” McLellan said. “They are recognized by their peers for extraordinary contributions — making groundbreaking discoveries or very insightful interpretations of the science.”Seefeldt said his research focuses on ways to retrieve nitrogen from the air.
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