Bishop Herbert Welch Award for Scholarly or Artistic Achievement (2023)

2023 Commencement Ceremony Excerpt

Dr. Chris Wolverton is an internationally recognized scientist who has built his research program around teaching Ohio Wesleyan students how to practice science for themselves. Students comment that he makes lectures engaging and easy to understand, and that he is always willing to take extra time to explain something if they are confused.

Wolverton has been the principal investigator on two research grants from NASA since 2015 to study how plants perceive gravity, one of which was focused on designing and carrying out several months of experiments on the International Space Station. More than 60 different students have collaborated in this work through tutorials, independent studies, and summer research positions.

He has published 16 papers since coming to OWU, many of which include student co-authors. His scholarship has been noted beyond OWU as well. For the past two years, he has served as co-chair of the Biological Sciences Panel of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences Research in Space. He was awarded the NASA Ames Research Center Honor Award and has chaired and served on numerous grant review panels. He is an accomplished classroom teacher, inspiring research mentor, highly productive scholar, and generous colleague.

More information about Professor Wolverton