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Sources: April Mason, 785-532-6224,;
Elizabeth Dodd, 785-532-0384,;
and Anthony Joern, 785-532-7073,
Photos available. Contact or 785-532-2535
News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-2535,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Two Kansas State University faculty members who specialize in studying the natural world are K-State's newest university distinguished professors, a lifetime title that is the highest honor the university bestows on its faculty.

Both Elizabeth Dodd, professor of English, and Anthony Joern, professor of biology, are accomplished in their respective fields.

"These professors are first-rate scholars in addition to gifted educators," said April Mason, K-State provost and senior vice president. "Both have made significant contributions to their individual disciplines, which enhances K-State's reputation as one of the top universities in the nation."

Dodd is a poet, essayist and literary critic. As a literary scholar, she was an early leader in the field of ecocriticism, serving on the first advisory board for the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment. Much of her scholarly work has appeared in the premier journal of ecocriticism, Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, and she has frequently presented at the national forum for creative writing, the Associated Writing Programs National Conference.

Dodd has published two acclaimed collections of poetry, two books of creative nonfiction essays and one book of literary criticism. Her latest, "In The Mind's Eye," won the Best Creative Book Award from the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment in 2009. She regularly publishes in some of the most distinguished literary journals in the U.S., as well as in prominent environmental publications. She has had around 70 poems, 10 critical articles and 16 reviews published to date.

Since coming to K-State in 1989, Dodd has been recognized twice with the William L. Stamey Award for teaching, received K-State's Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award and was awarded the Kansas Arts Commission Master Fellowship in poetry in 2008.

Dodd has a bachelor's in English/creative writing and French from Ohio University, and a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a doctorate in literature, both from Indiana University.

Joern is co-director of K-State's Institute for Grassland Studies. His research expertise is in insect population and community ecology, insect and plant interactions, and grassland ecology. He also is a key participant in the Konza Prairie Long Term Ecological Research Program.

His work and research have been supported by the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Global Environmental Change and others.

He has published around 90 articles in refereed journals and has presented his work internationally. Joern has received multiple collegiate teaching awards throughout his career. He has served on grant review panels for the National Science Foundation, in addition to serving on the editorial board for the Ecological Society of America, of which he is a member. He also is a member of the Society for the Study of Evolution, British Ecological Society, American Society of Naturalists and the Orthopterists' Society.

Joern joined K-State in 2004. He has a bachelor's degree in zoology from the University of Madison-Wisconsin, and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in zoology and population biology-insect ecology.

University distinguished professors are appointed following a universitywide competition held by the provost.