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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 inducts largest class of Faculty Fellows in fourth year

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Photo by By: Leah Kappayil

A&M President Michael Young and University System’s Chancellor John Sharp welcome TIAS inductee Karl Hedrick, who is the sixth TIAS Factually Fellow to become a permanent A&M faculty member. 

The Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study inducted their largest class yet Friday night, with 13 Faculty Fellows making up the institute’s fourth class.
TIAS is now in its fourth year at Texas A&M. The institute aims to better the academic environment of A&M by attracting top scholars and researchers 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 35 fellows across eight colleges and the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Many of the scholars have been recipients of prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize and the Hubble Prize in Literature.
This year’s inductees were David Arnett, John Brosnan, Robert Calderbank, Richard Delgado, Richard Gibbs, Karl Hedrick, Richard Holm, Michael King, Steve Polasky, John Rogers, Manfred Schartl, Kumares Sinha, Susan Suleiman and William Marras.
Texas A&M President Michael Young said TIAS has become a significant part of Texas A&M and enhanced the academic reputation of the university.
“It really is extraordinary, as I was looking over what our TIAS fellows over the years have represented, to me it was really extraordinary,” Young said. “One of the finest universities in the world has had access to some of the finest minds in the world to join the remarkable scholars we already have here at this university.”
Young said A&M not only attracts the finest minds in fellows and in faculty, but in students as well, and TIAS helps to put all of those minds together to do incredible work.
Chancellor John Sharp said since the founding of TIAS, the institute has brought six permanent members of faculty, including this year’s inductee Karl Hedrick.
Sharp welcomed the TIAS inductees onto the stage and congratulated them personally with Young as their individual achievements were announced.
John Judkins, founding director of TIAS, said the process to choose the Faculty Fellows takes about three months and is extremely selective.
“They must be a currently active leader in their field,” Judkins said. “They must have changed the direction of their field. They must have tangible evidences of their contributions that we can focus on.”
Making sure the person would fit in at Texas A&M is vital in the selection process as well, said Judkins.
“The unit that nominates them has to make a strong case that this is a direction that we want to go in, and that we have a young rising star … whose career will be accelerated as a consequence, and that these people are good mentors,” Judkins said. “They have to have a good legacy of mentorship. They have to have a legacy of making a difference in the lives of the young people that work with them.” 
On behalf of the 2015-2016 Faculty Fellow inductees, Richard Gibbs inductee and researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine, said he and the recipients are honored to receive the fellowship and to work with the students and faculty at Texas A&M. 
“Regarding the impact on your students, I can only imagine what it would have meant to me to have the opportunity as a student to team with top faculty members of A&M as well as other international leaders in their field,” Gibbs said. “Such opportunities can be life changing events for students and for faculty.”  

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  • Robert Gibbs, TIAS 2015-2016 inductee, spoke on behalf of his fellow inductees at the induction gala. 

    Photo by By: Leah Kappayil

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