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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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TIAS celebrates latest class of faculty fellows

The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study inducted their third class of faculty fellows Friday evening, celebrating the event with a gala.
TIAS, which is now in its third year at Texas A&M, aims to increase the university’s academic environment by attracting top scholars from around the world to collaborate with A&M faculty and students for up to 12 months with the possibility of extension.
The institute has recruited 22 scholars since it began. Many of there scholars are recipients of prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize and National Medal of Science winners.
This year’s inductees were Harold Adams, Rakesh Agrawal, Jack Dongarra, William Marras, Ed Moses, Yuri Oganessian and Robert Skelton. All of these researchers and academics are well known for contributions to their fields, and will collaborate with the College of Architecture, the College of Science and he Dwight Look College of Engineering
Carl Jaedicke, vice president for principal gifts at the Texas A&M Foundation said he feels the institute’s scholars have a great impact on A&M’s programs and reputation.
“I think it is impossible to overestimate the impact of these scholars can have,” Jaedicke said. “I don’t have to tell the folks in this room the heart of our institution is our faculty and the enhancement of our faculty benefits our students who enhance our society.”
Founder of TIAS and distinguished professor of aerospace engineering John Junkins said he felt the third class of faculty fellows is a continuation of the momentum of the program.
“It’s just a tremendous ejection of energy into the university, which changes everything for the students, the faculty, and the prestige of the university,” Junkins said. “So really we just are lucky to keep going forward with this approach and we’re going to increase the numbers as we go forward.”
Junkins said the reason the inductees this year were mostly in science-related fields was random and that the people chosen are based on campus-wide process.
“Winners are dictated by the nominations and of course they are invited from across the entire university and then after we do our evaluations and say these are the people we want, we only get about half of them,” Junkins said. “And so we had a lot of really good people that would’ve diversified intellectually and from a chromosome and pigmentation sense the pool that we’ve got here but it works out differently every year.”
Junkins said next year TIAS will have other academic fields, such as humanities, the veterinary medicine school and others.
Robert Skelton, one of the inductees, spoke on behalf of the third class of the faculty fellows for TIAS.
“The institute is attracting some of the most accomplished scholars to this university,” Skelton said. “Some of the most significant advances in human knowledge occurred through research across disciplinary boundaries.”
Skelton said faculty fellows are encouraged to collaborate with students in all colleges of the university and he believes TIAS is an ideal catalyst for both disciplinary and cross-disciplinary scholarship.

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