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Susan Olesik

Distinguished University Professor, 2020

Susan Olesik, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was given the permanent, honorific title of Distinguished University Professor. The distinction is the highest faculty honor at Ohio State and is given on a competitive basis to full professors who have demonstrated exceptional teaching, research, scholarly or creative work, and service.

Olesik, who was recently appointed dean for natural and mathematical sciences effective July 1, 2020, is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of analytical chemistry. She sits on the Academic Affairs, Student Life and Research Committee of the Board of Trustees and co-chairs the University Advisory Subcommittee of the Presidential Search Committee.

Olesik is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the American Chemical Society. She served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry from 2011-2019, during which she helped launch the interdisciplinary Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Chemistry Building. Committed to inclusion and access, Olesik has overseen scholarship programs that support first-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students, and she directs the Ohio House of Science and Engineering and Wonders of Our World science outreach programs.

Olesik earned her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a faculty member at Ohio State since 1986.

No more than three Distinguished University Professors are appointed annually, and the honorees must have been on the Ohio State faculty for at least five years. They receive a $30,000 grant to support their academic work and are automatically added to the President’s and Provost’s Advisory Committee. The Board of Trustees will confer the awards at a future meeting.