October 24, 2019

Academy of Scholars inducts new members

Wayne State University’s Academy of Scholars recently welcomed four professors into its esteemed ranks during its annual membership banquet on Oct. 14. They also issued junior faculty awards to four exceptional young faculty.

Founded in 1979, the Academy of Scholars is a community of interdisciplinary faculty members dedicated to raising the academic prestige of the university. Since its inception, the group has remained committed to recognizing outstanding excellence in scholarship, celebrating creative achievements and bringing the most prominent academic experts together on campus.

Academy of Scholars President Wei Zen-Wei welcomed the group's new members: 
(L-R) Mary T. Rodgers, Feng Lin, Alan Schenk and Melba Joyce Boyd.

New inductees include:

  • Melba Joyce Boyd is a distinguished professor in the Department of African American Studies in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. An award-winning author, editor, poet and documentarian, Boyd is often recognized for her academic, cultural and community service. Her poetry has been translated into German, Italian and French. She is the poet laureate of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and gives frequent poetry readings nationally and internationally.
  • Feng Lin is a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering. Lin is a pioneer in the field of discrete event systems and has made significant contributions to other areas of systems and control. He is a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He has published extensively, and according to Google Scholar, has been cited more than 7,700 times.
  • Mary T. Rodgers is a professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Rodgers is recognized as a leading expert in the fields of ion chemistry, chemical reaction dynamics, mass spectrometry, thermochemistry, ion spectroscopy and computational modeling. A mentor to more than 90 trainees and an active member of the scientific community, Rodgers’ work is supported by the National Science Foundation and international research and collaborative grants.
  • Alan Schenk is a distinguished professor of law in the Law School. Schenk’s academic career has focused on domestic and international taxation. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, the U.S. Tax Court and the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States. An expert on value-added tax (VAT), Schenk has authored and co-authored dozens of articles and five books in the field and served as a technical advisor for the International Monetary Fund for almost two decades. He drafted and revised sales and VAT laws for many countries in Africa and the Caribbean. Having taught VAT in the most prominent U.S. and foreign law schools, Schenk is the longest-serving professor in Wayne Law’s history and is working on a book exploring the school’s rich history. 
The Academy of Scholars has named its 2019 junior faculty award recipients:
(L-R) Nerissa Viola, Natalie Bakopoulos, Arun K. Iyer and Min Yu.

Junior faculty award recipients include:

  • Natalie Bakopoulos is an assistant professor in the English department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Bakopoulos, whose focus is creative writing, is an accomplished novelist, poet, essayist and literature critic. She is the author of the forthcoming novel Scorpionfish (Tin House, 2020) and the novel The Green Shore (Simon & Schuster, 2012).
  • Arun K. Iyer is an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Based on his expertise in fabricating nanosystems with variable physico-chemical and biological properties, Iyer is also the director of the Use-inspired Biomaterials and Integrated Nano-Delivery (U-BiND) Systems Laboratory.
  • Nerissa Viola is an assistant professor in the Department of Oncology at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. With support from the National Cancer Institute, Viola’s research is focused on harnessing the utility of imaging as non-invasive tools for cancer detection and as predictive markers of therapy, particularly in the field of immuno-PET.
  • Min Yu is an assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Education in the College of Education. Her work includes the fields of curriculum studies and comparative and international education. She focuses on how changing social, political and economic conditions affect the education of children from migrant and immigrant families and communities. She authored the award-winning book The Politics, Practices, and Possibilities of Migrant Children Schools in Contemporary China (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).

To learn more about the Academy of Scholars, visit academy.wayne.edu.