Loyola University Maryland

The Office of Academic Affairs

Distinguished Scholar of the Year

Professor at the board, Professors with students on-on-one

The Distinguished Scholar of the Year award honors a faculty member for outstanding achievement in the area of research and creative activity. The award is granted to a faculty member based on his or her distinction as a scholar as demonstrated through work that might include, but is not limited to: books and other major publications, major musical compositions, major works of art, and other scholarly or creative work that has had a major impact on a field. The award is meant to recognize distinctive achievement in the past year in the context of a successful career and ongoing research agenda. 

Beginning in 2017, this faculty award honors Loyola’s commitment to academic excellence and the highest standards of scholarship in a given field. It joins the Distinguished Teacher of the Year as a status conferred upon a tenured colleague. Selection is based on department nominations to a small committee of academic leaders and past award recipients. The recipient is announced each year at the annual Faculty Excellence Celebration (formerly known as the Deans' Symposium) where each year’s recipient also has the honor of offering a brief scholarly presentation (recipients notified a month in advance). Colleagues who have been nominated in the past may be re-nominated. Colleagues can only receive the award once.

Nominate a Colleague

2021 - Brett Davis, philosophybrett davis, professor of philosophy

Bret W. Davis joined the Philosophy Department at Loyola Maryland University in 2005, and since 2019 has served as the T. J. Higgins, S.J. Chair in Philosophy. He teaches classes in Asian, Western, and cross-cultural philosophy, and also directs The Heart of Zen Meditation Group on campus. In addition to attaining a Ph.D. in philosophy from Vanderbilt University, he has studied and taught for more than a year in Germany and thirteen years in Japan. Having passed the highest Japanese government language exam in 1994, he studied Buddhist thought at Otani University and completed the coursework for a second Ph.D. in Japanese philosophy at Kyoto University in 1996–2004, while also undergoing rigorous training at a Zen monastery. He has lectured in more than a dozen countries, and his work has been translated into six languages. In addition to authoring more than seventy-five scholarly articles in English and in Japanese, he has authored, translated, or edited nine books, most recently The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Philosophy (Oxford University Press, 2020), and Real Zen for Real Life (Great Courses, 2020). In 2015, he received the Nachbahr Award for his outstanding scholarly contributions to the humanities.

2020 - Robert Miola, English

Robert S. Miola, B.A. Fordham, Ph.D. University of Rochester, is the Gerard Manley Hopkins Professor of English and a Lecturer in Classics at Loyola University Maryland, where he has taught for several decades. He has edited Ben Jonson, most recently The Case is Altered for the Cambridge edition, and has just won the 2019 Beverly Rogers award for his article on Jonson and Lucian. He has edited several Shakespeare plays, The Comedy of Errors and Much Ado about Nothing, and most recently Macbeth and Hamlet for Norton. Miola has published extensively on early modern receptions of Greek and Latin writers—Aristophanes, Sophocles, Euripides, Plautus, Terence, Seneca, Vergil, and others, and has just brought out an edition of Chapman's Iliad (2017), nominated for Book of the Year in the Times Literary Supplement. Another major interest is Early Modern Catholicism, on which he has published an anthology of primary sources (Oxford, 2007), and a number of articles. He has also written Shakespeare’s Rome (Cambridge, 1983), Shakespeare and Classical Tragedy (Oxford, 1992), Shakespeare and Classical Comedy (Oxford, 1994), and Shakespeare’s Reading (Oxford, 2000), among other works.

2019 - David Rivers, biologydavid rivers, professor of biology

David Rivers is Professor of Biology and Director of Forensic Studies at Loyola University Maryland.  He received his B.S. in Biology from Ball State University, a Ph.D. in Entomology with a concentration in Insect Physiology from the Ohio State University, and was a NIH post-doctoral fellow in Cellular and Molecular Parasitology at the University of Wisconsin. He joined the faculty at Loyola in 1994, was named the Harry Rodgers III Teacher of the Year in 1999 and has served as chair of the biology department on two occasions. He is a member of the North American Forensic Entomology Association, Entomological Society of America, and American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He also is co-author of the critically acclaimed textbook The Science of Forensic Entomology and conducts research in several areas involving necrophagous flies and parasitic wasps as they relate to legal investigations.

2018 - Jiyuan Tao, mathematics and statisticsdr. jiyuan tao

Jiyuan Tao joined the Loyola faculty in 2004 in the department of mathematics and statistics, was tenured and promoted to associate professor in 2010 and promoted to full professor in 2015. He came to Loyola right after he received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics, University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research field is in optimization and focuses on complementarity problems over symmetric cones and Euclidean Jordan algebras. He has been published in numerous prestigious peer-reviewed journals including Mathematical Programming, Mathematical Operations Research, and Linear Algebra and its Applications. He was an invited speaker in various international meetings. He has been a reviewer for several reputed journals like Mathematical Programming, SIAM Optimization, Journal of Linear Algebra and its Applications, Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications. His recent joint paper “On perturbation bounds of eigenvalues in Euclidean Jordan Algebras” with Kevin Seltzer (a former Loyola student and now a Ph.D. student at Washington University in St. Louis) has been published in the Journal of Linear and Multilinear Algebra which is one of the three top tier journals in the linear algebra society.

2017 - David Binkley, computer Science david binkley

David Binkley is a professor of computer science at Loyola University Maryland where he has worked since earning his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1991. While at Loyola he has been a visiting faculty researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), worked with Grammatech Inc. on CodeSurfer development, been a member of the Crest Centre at Kings' College London, and recently spent a year in Oslo working with colleagues at Simula Research. Dr. Binkley's research, partially funded by NSF, focuses on supporting software engineers through better tool support. Recent highlights include his 2006 paper, "What's in a Name," co-authored with Dawn Lawrie, Christopher Morrell, and Henry Feild (then a Loyola student), receiving the Most Influential Paper award at the 2016 International Conference on Program Comprehension.