College of Science Announces 2022-23 Faculty Awards

Author: Tammi Freehling

Santiago Schnell, D.Phil., the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science, has announced several faculty awards, including two new awards in research science and advising.

Father James L. Shilts, C.S.C./Doris and Gene Leonard Teaching Award

This award, bestowed annually on a faculty member in the College of Science, is named in honor of Father James Shilts, C.S.C., who taught in the Department of Physics from 1961 until his death in 1982, and was endowed in 1984 by Dr. Eugene T. Leonard III in memory of his parents Dr. Eugene and Doris Leonard.  Dr. Leonard III was a member of the Science Advisory Council from 1976 until 1991. The award recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated sustained excellence in teaching.

The 2023 recipient is: Michael Gekhtman, Ph.D.


Gekhtman is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Gekhtman graduated from Kiev State University in 1985 and earned a Ph.D. from the Institute of Mathematics in the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in 1990. Gekhtman joined the Department of Mathematics at Notre Dame as a visiting assistant professor in 1998 and became a member of the regular faculty as an associate professor in 2000. Gekhtman was promoted to professor in 2007. During his teaching career at Notre Dame, Gekhtman has become renowned for his willingness to teach almost any course, amassing an impressive 28 distinct courses among his list of classes taught.  Gekhtman is known to both students and colleagues as a passionate and empathetic instructor capable of both challenging and uplifting his students. He is also a generous mentor, providing guidance to colleagues seeking to benefit from his years of successful teaching.

The College of Science Research Award

Each year, the College of Science aims to recognize an outstanding investigator who has made substantial recent contributions to her or his field. This award highlights a highly-productive faculty member with a steep upward trajectory in research and widening national and international impact.

The 2023 recipient is: Elizabeth A. Archie, Ph.D.

Portrait of Dr. Beth Archie in her lab.

Archie, Professor and Associate Department Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, is an internationally recognized scientist who joined Notre Dame in 2009 as a Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor. Professor Archie is co-director of the Amboseli Baboon Project in Kenya, one the longest running studies of wild primates in the world.  Her work is widely interdisciplinary, spanning the fields of behavior, developmental biology, microbiology, and aging. In particular, she studies how early life stressors in baboon populations affect rates of aging, disease, and sociality later in life, and whether these effects are mediated by changes in the microbiomes of individuals. This work has clear implications for human health. She has published almost 80 peer-reviewed journal articles in some of the most prestigious journals, including recent works in Science, Science Advances, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Communications, and Nature Ecology and Evolution. She has received an NSF CAREER award, an NSF Rules of Life Grant, and concurrent funding from the NIH, reflecting the diversity and high quality of her research program.  She and her doctoral student recently received the Omenn Prize from the International Society for Evolutionary Medicine and Public Health, and she was awarded the Department of Biological Sciences Research award in 2022. She is also an outstanding mentor to her students and research scientists, who have been very successful in winning prestigious fellowships. Her recent productivity and scientific impact make her an ideal candidate for this year’s award.

New Awards

The College of Science Outstanding Research Scientist Award

The College of Science aims to recognize an outstanding scientist who has made a difference supporting scientific research in the college. This award highlights a research faculty or staff member who has had a significant impact on the research of others by providing technical assistance, consulting, training, or other guidance.

The 2023 recipient is:  Allen G. Oliver, Ph.D.

Portrait of Dr. Allen Oliver.

A Research Professor and Director of the Molecular Structure Facility in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Oliver is an internationally recognized scientist who joined Notre Dame in 2008. Professor Oliver is an X-ray crystallographer who develops and implements techniques to determine the connectivity of atoms that make up crystals. His excellent and meticulous work make him a sought-after collaborator: his research has contributed to more than 275 publications with 7,600 citations. In addition to his direct research support work, Oliver teaches the fundamental graduate training course for X-ray crystallography, an essential resource for students who need to understand how to analyze samples using these methods. He led a proposal to secure funding for a dual-source single crystal X-ray diffractometer, ensuring Notre Dame will remain at the leading edge of molecular structure science. Oliver has recently been elected Vice President of the American Crystallographic Association and he serves on the editorial board of Acta Crystallographica C, a leading journal in his field. The world-class research support he provides to users of the Molecular Structure Facility, the science he enables, and the training he provides makes Oliver the ideal inaugural recipient of this award.

Sister Kathleen Cannon Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising

This award is named in honor of Sister Kathleen Cannon, OP, D.Min., a long-time advisor for the Science collegiate sequence majors, and a tireless advocate for students from all backgrounds. Sister Kathleen served as an associate dean of the college of science from 1998 to 2022 and was associate provost of the university from 1990 to 1997. 

There are two recipients for 2023: DeeAnne Goodenough-Lashua, Ph.D. & Kelly Harrington, M.S.

Portrait of Dr. DeeAnne Goodenough-Lashua

DeeAnne Goodenough-Lashua is a Teaching Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Goodenough-Lashua graduated from Valparaiso University with a B.S. in chemistry in 1994. She earned the Ph.D. degree in medicinal chemistry from the University of Michigan in 2002. In her 22 years at Notre Dame, Professor Goodenough-Lashua has become the advisor for all chemistry and biochemistry majors in addition to teaching biochemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry labs. Student nominators were effusive in their praise of her dedication to their learning and
development, with a universal citation of her help and concern for them. 


Kelly Harrington, Advisor

Kelly Harrington is a First Year Academic Advisor in the Center for University Advising. Harrington advises first year students who intend to pursue a major in the College of Science. She received her B.F.A. in Studio Art in 1989 from Saint Mary’s College and a Master of Science in Art Education from Indiana University in 1992. She began her role as an advisor at Notre Dame starting in August 2021. With special interest in utilizing art and creativity in advising and teaching, she has developed a proposal for a natural science drawing course. Her student nominators all point to her ability to make them feel welcome and at home in their advising meetings, to find common ground, and to care for them as a whole person while they discern their academic and career choices.

Originally published by Tammi Freehling at on May 01, 2023.