Faculty Member Named Distinguished Professor

Joseph J. Pavelites, assistant professor of chemistry at William Woods University, received the Louis D. Beaumont Dad’s Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at the university’s academic convocation April 17.

The award carries a $3,000 honorarium and is given annually to a faculty member who has displayed dedication to teaching. Pavelites, a Fulton resident, has taught chemistry, physics and introductory mathematics at the university since 1999.

At William Woods, he has been active in numerous committees, including the Welcome Committee, Freshman Experience Committee and Online Course FIS Committee. He chairs the Curriculum Committee and co-chairs the Martin Luther King Observance Committee. He also has conducted various seminars and workshops on science technology.

His current research is developing undergraduate laboratory exercises that illustrate the principles of protonics and their application to fuel cell technology.

Pavelites moved to Fulton from Houston, Texas, where he was a faculty member at the University of Houston-Downtown for three years. At UHD, he was an assistant professor of chemistry and director of the Science Learning Center, Science Education Center and Science Demonstration Laboratories. While there, he received the Mattern-Tyler Teaching Award for excellence in undergraduate instruction.

He received a bachelor of science degree in medicinal chemistry, a bachelor of arts in history and a Ph.D. in computational chemistry, all from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

In addition to his academic pursuits, Pavelites is an officer candidate with the Missouri National Guard and is scheduled to be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the fall. He and his wife, Luisa, have three children: Alisha, 7; Joe, 3, and Sam, 1.