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Pickering and Shi earn K-State Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023



MANHATTAN — Kansas State University has selected Jeffrey Pickering, professor of political science and security studies, and Yong-Cheng Shi, professor of grain science and industry, as the recipients of the 2023-2024 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

The award, funded by the W.T. Kemper Foundation and Commerce Bank, honors current graduate faculty who are recognized nationally and internationally for their outstanding scholarly achievements and their contributions to graduate education at the university. Award recipients receive an honorarium and will deliver public lectures on their research to the campus community.

"Drs. Pickering and Shi exemplify why Commerce Bank and the W.T. Kemper Foundation have long supported this award to recognize Kansas State University's most outstanding graduate faculty," said Shawn Drew, market president and CEO of Commerce Bank, Manhattan. "Both are wonderful educators and researchers, and they care deeply about their students. We are honored to recognize them for their outstanding work."

Shi has built a research program in the area of cereal grain carbohydrates. He has been a pioneer in the development and production of resistant starch, a food ingredient that is resistant to digestion in the human small intestine but fermented in the large intestine, providing health benefits.

His work has also focused on the development of technologies and products for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other industrial applications. According to a 2020 Stanford University study, Shi is among the top two percent of researchers in the world.

Since joining K-State in 2006, Shi and his co-PIs have been awarded more than 5 million dollars in grants to support his research. Shi has 17 granted U.S. patents, and his novel research at K-State has led to five patents or pending patents.

Shi was the Belfort Lecturer at the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research at Purdue University in 2015. He received the Phil Williams Applied Research Award from American Association of Cereal Chemists International, or AACCI, currently known as the Cereals and Grains Association, and was named AACCI Fellow in 2016. In 2021, he was awarded the Alsberg-French-Schoch Memorial Lectureship Award from the Cereals & Grains Association for his distinguished contributions to fundamental starch science.

Shi has more than 100 publications. Among his published work is a book he co-edited with C. C. Maningat in 2013, "Resistant Starch: Sources, Application and Health Benefits." He also served as an associate editor of Cereal Chemistry from 2006 to 2013. He currently sits on the editorial board of Carbohydrate Polymers and the advisory board of Starch.

Shi has been the major professor of 14 master's students and 15 doctoral students, and he has co-advised three master's students and two doctoral students. Additionally, Shi has mentored 10 postdoctoral scientists in his laboratory.

Shi earned his doctorate in grain science with an emphasis in starch chemistry from K-State in 1993. He worked at the National Starch and Chemical Company from 1994 to 2005.

Pickering's research examines global patterns of military intervention and other coercive foreign policies. He has received two Distinguished Scholar Awards from the International Studies Association, or ISA. In 2019, Pickering received the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award from the ISA-Midwest. He will receive the ISA Foreign Policy Analysis Distinguished Scholar Award in April 2024, where a panel will be held in his honor.

Pickering has regularly published in major journal outlets in the field, and he is the author of two books and one edited volume. His most recent book, "African Interventions," co-authored with department colleague Emizet Kisangani, is published with Cambridge University Press. The book won the ISA-Midwest's biennial J. David Singer Book Award for the best title published in the previous three years.

He has been invited to give numerous international talks, including at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in Belgium, the University of Heidelberg and the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies in Germany, and Uppsala University in Sweden.

Pickering currently serves as editor-in-chief of the International Studies Association journal, International Interactions, and previously served as a co-editor of another of the association's journals, Foreign Policy Analysis. He is incoming co-editor-in-chief of ISA's flagship journal, International Studies Quarterly. He has served on numerous journal editorial boards.

Pickering also played a significant role in K-State's selection as host of the 2019 Peace Science Society annual conference, which brought more than 250 well-known academics to campus from around the world. K-State is the second Big 12 institution to host this conference.

Pickering's contributions to graduate education at K-State include helping design the curriculum for the master's and doctoral programs in security studies and mentoring countless students. His Ph.D. students have gone on to successful careers in both academia and the private sector. Three of Pickering's students are now faculty members at the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.

Pickering earned his doctorate in political science from Indiana University, Bloomington. He joined K-State's political science department in 1997. He has been recognized with a number of awards at K-State including the Commerce Bank and W. T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching, and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head.

Shi will give a public lecture of his work at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building. Pickering will present his public lecture in the spring 2024 semester. The date and time are to be determined.

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Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award


Download the following photo.

Yong-Cheng Shi

Yong-Cheng Shi, professor of grain science and industry, is a recipient of the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.

Download the following photo.

Jeffrey Pickering

Jeffrey Pickering, professor of political science and security studies, is the recipient of the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.

Written by

Michael Sellman