Samuel P. Hazen, biology, was awarded the Dr. Constantine J. Gilgut Professorship in Plant Biology for a term of three years following approval by the Board of Trustees at its Thursday, Dec. 10 meeting.
The conditions of the Gilgut Professorship specify that the recipient will be a full professor in the biology department and act as the director of the plant biology program. The incumbent of the Gilgut Professorship will be an outstanding, active scholar in the field who can lead by the example of his or her teaching as well as scholarship and administrative skills.
Hazen came to the UMass Amherst department of biology in 2008 as an assistant professor, became an associate professor and was awarded tenure in 2014 and was promoted to full professor in 2020.
Hazen’s area of research is the thickening of the secondary cell wall and the regulation of this process in the grass Brachypodium distachyon and a variety of other plants. He has received substantial external funding to support his research from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. He also received several awards to support small business innovation and community science projects. Hazen has published 47 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and his work has been cited over 5,200 times according to Google Scholar.
In their letter of nomination, Chancellor Kumble Subbaswamy and Provost John McCarthy wrote: “Dr. Hazen has contributed to the teaching mission of the university in many ways. He taught highly rated courses both at the undergraduate and graduate level. In his lab, he worked with, trained, and mentored over 50 graduate and undergraduate students. His administrative service has contributed to both the department and the university.”
Hazen earned his B.S. in plant sciences from the University of Arizona, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant breeding and genetics from Michigan State University. He was a Ruth L. Kirschstein NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute in California from 2003 through 2007.