Distinguished University Professor Award

  • Jeffery Larkin: 2018–19 Distinguished University Professor

    Jeffery Larkin: 2018–19 Distinguished University ProfessorJeffery Larkin, professor in the Department of Biology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, has been selected as the 2018–19 Distinguished University Professor at IUP, based on his demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service since he joined the IUP faculty in 2005.

    About Jeffrey Larkin

    “The Distinguished University Professor award recognizes faculty who exemplify excellence in teaching, service and scholarship,” IUP President Michael Driscoll said.

    “Dr. Larkin is exceptionally successful in obtaining external funding for research, and is known internationally for his expertise in wildlife conservation and habitat management. His expertise and involvement with state and federal agencies offers incredible research opportunities to IUP undergraduate and graduate students, including meaningful field work and participation in conferences at the regional, national and international levels.” 

  • State, federal, and international agencies have praised Larkin for his efforts to understand, conserve, and restore imperiled wildlife and to develop adaptive management programs. He has also built an internationally recognized educational program at IUP that provides students with unique opportunities for experiential and service learning.

    “I am honored to receive this award,” Larkin said. “My success at IUP is driven by my passion for conservation and educating students, professionals, and the public about the importance of conservation.

    “There is no doubt that my success is fueled by the support and enthusiasm of so many individuals. I am particularly grateful to the many dedicated undergraduate and graduate students with whom I have been fortunate to mentor during my time at IUP….they are my inspiration.”

    Larkin has a robust history of grant awards. His more than 60 external awards have secured more than $6 million for research focused on the habitat and ecology of threatened wildlife species, specifically declining populations of ecologically sensitive songbirds.

    He and his student coauthors have produced more than 50 publications and have provided important insights into the effects of humans and their infrastructure on the sustainability or restoration of these species.

    Larkin’s work guides the efforts of state and national wildlife management agencies and helps with the recovery of declining wildlife species and their habitats. In addition to the direct impact his research has on the ecosystem, the funding it brings provides many opportunities and significant financial support for graduate and undergraduate students and helps to attract high-quality students from across the nation to IUP’s Biology/Ecology, Conservation, and Environmental Biology program.

    As a nationally recognized expert in the field of ecology and conservation of neotropical songbirds, Larkin has—at the request of the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Department of Agriculture, US Forest Service, US Department of the Interior, Pennsylvania Game Commission, and Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources—presented his research and participated in policy and management activities to promote the long-term viability of these species.

    In 2017, the USDA presented Larkin with the Abraham Lincoln Award in recognition of his role as science advisor for a federal conservation program. The Lincoln Award recognizes those who have made outstanding contributions in support of the USDA’s mission and goals.

    During his tenure as Distinguished University Professor, Larkin will complete data collection and analysis for post-fledgling survival, resource selection, and migratory connections to develop a full life-cycle approach to golden-winged warbler and cerulean warbler conservation. He also will work on two research articles summarizing wintering and breeding ecology and conservation efforts.

    Additionally, Larkin will continue to protect imperiled species of songbirds through professional service to biologists from a variety of government agencies and conservation organizations to promote science-based decisions about adaptive management programs and conservation policies.

  • Each year, the President's Office recognizes one faculty member with the Distinguished University Professor Award, choosing from a field of many exemplary faculty in an extremely competitive process.

    The honored faculty member must hold the rank of full professor; hold a doctorate or other terminal degree; possess a record of outstanding teaching, quality research/scholarly activities, and university service; and show active and demonstrable engagement in research/scholarly activity that advances his or her discipline or its pedagogy.

    The Distinguished University Professor Award, established in 1988, brings recipients a grant and reduced teaching load for one year to allow them to dedicate more time to research/scholarship, as well as other benefits.