BGSU’s James Evans embodies life of scholarship, service

BOWLING GREEN, O.—“When I hear the name ‘James E. Evans,’ I think of ‘Distinguished Service,’” wrote Dr. Patrick Pauken in nominating his Bowling Green State University colleague for the Faculty Distinguished Service Award. Presented by Faculty Senate, the award honors one faculty member each year who has a record of outstanding continuous service to the University.

Evans, a professor of geology, is this year’s winner. At the Faculty Awards dinner Oct. 28, he was presented a $1,000 cash award and a plaque. He will also have a reserved parking space for a year.

A Bowling Green resident, Evans joined the geology department in 1988 and that same year began what has become a long career of contribution to his department, the College of Arts and Sciences and the University. He has been the advisor both for undergraduates and graduate students in geology, a member of 14 departmental committees and, when the department became part of the new School of Earth, Environment and Society, was part of the director search committee in 2005-06. Currently he is chair of the Geology Promotion and Tenure Committee.

As a member of the Academic Honesty Committee, his work was “powerful, objective, calming and inspiring,” Pauken said of his fellow committee member. For a new member of the University community, Pauken noted, Evans’ example was inspiring: “In Jim, I saw what a faculty member’s service life was. I also saw how such service connects so beautifully to teaching, research, and ultimately to the humanity of people.”

Evans has also been a member of the Graduate Council, Faculty Research Committee and the Intercollegiate Athletics Committee.

He has been a mainstay of Faculty Senate and its committees, having been a member from 1995-2002 and now again from 2008-11. He is chair this year of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee and is on the Senate Executive Committee and Committee on Committees. He was vice chair of the senate in 2000-01 and chair in 2001-02. He was instrumental in founding the Committee on Professional Affairs, which has maintained “consistent contact with state legislators, discussing and helping to answer the important questions of our day—significantly more important today than ever,” said Pauken.

A prolific scholar in the areas of sedimentary geology, surface water hydrology and environmental geology, Evans has also been honored by a number of professional organizations. In 2001, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Geological Society of America, and was chair of its Committee on Geology and Public Policy in 1999-2000 and a Congressional Science Fellow of the society in 1987-88. He was named an Honorary Fellow of the organization in 1997, and of the Ohio Academy of Sciences in 1998.

He also received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1988.

He is vice chair of the Ohio Dam Safety Organization and has been on its executive committee since 1997. He also serves on committees for the American Geophysical Union, the U.S. and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies and the U.S. Department of Natural Resources, among others.

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(Posted November 03, 2008 )