The 2013-14 Regent’s Distinguished Research Award winners from Oklahoma State University. From left to right are Dr. Dianne McFarlane, Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, Dr. Amanda Sheffield Morris, Dr. James K. Good, Dr. Loren Smith and Dr. Leon Spicer. (not pictured: Dr. J. Craig Wallace)

Oklahoma State University has selected seven outstanding faculty members as this year’s Regents Distinguished Research Award winners.  These faculty members maintain records of past and continuing excellence in research and are recognized nationally and internationally for achievements in their respective fields of study.  Winners will be honored at the Fall Convocation later this year.

The winners are:

Dr. Leon Spicer, professor of animal science in the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

Dr. Spicer’s major research areas are growth factor control of ovarian follicle development, hormonal control of granulosa and theca cell function, and nutritional regulation of reproduction in cattle.  His research efforts have been supported by extramural grants from USDA, NIH and private industry totaling more than $1.4 million and intramural grants totaling $410,000.  He has published 152 peer-reviewed journal articles, 208 abstracts and 74 other publications.  During his 26-year career in the animal science department at OSU, he has also mentored dozens of graduate students.  He maintains active collaborations with several international colleagues and serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Animal Science.   

Dr. Loren Smith, Regents professor and head of zoology in the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Smith studies the natural dynamics and human-induced alterations of plains aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.  He is widely considered one of only a handful of experts on Playa Lake ecosystems.  He received his first research grant in 1981, and his work has been funded ever since.  His funding sources include the National Science Foundation, USDA, EPA, U.S. Forest Service and several state agencies and private foundations.  He has published nearly 200 refereed publications with eight books or edited symposia volumes plus a long list of technical reports for government agencies.  In addition, he has mentored 38 graduate students and has served on panels and advisory boards for several national and international agencies within his field.

Dr. Z. Randall Stroope, associate professor/Burns professor in the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Stroope is one of the top five best known choral conductor/composers working today.  He maintains a staggering rate of publications in music, with annual sales of 250,000 copies and an average slate of nine new works accepted for print each year by publishers such as the Oxford University Press.  His published works have been performed by numerous esteemed ensembles throughout the U.S. and abroad.  Stroope regularly conducts at world-renowned venues like Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  Internationally, he serves as artistic director for summer music festivals in Rome, Italy and Salzburg, Germany.  He has also conducted the music for mass at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican four times in the last three years.      

Dr. J. Craig Wallace, associate professor/Spears chair of management in the Spears School of Business

Dr. Wallace’s primary research interest revolves around predicting, explaining and enhancing multiple aspects of performance and effectiveness at the individual and group levels by integrating individual-level theories of personality, motivation and emotion with higher-level organizational constructs such as climate and leadership.  He has authored over 30 journal articles and made over 70 conference presentations.  He has been involved with a number of grants that total more than $219,000.  He was one of the primary architects of OSU’s Ph.D. in Executive Leadership program.  He also serves as associate editor of the Journal of Management, one of the leading journals in his field.  

Dr. James K. Good, professor/Noble Foundation chair of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology

Dr. Good is one of the world’s leading researchers in web handling, which refers to the mechanics of transporting thin media through process machinery.  Specifically, his work on winding and wrinkling has been pioneering.  He has been personally responsible for securing at least half of the annual funding for OSU’s Web Handling Research Center, which has averaged about $600,000 per year.  He has produced at least 78 technical publications, including 37 which appeared in internationally recognized peer-review journals, and he has served as editor-in-chief of the bi-annual International Web Handling Conferences.  He has been elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a position reserved for only the top 2 percent of members in this society.  During his career, he has also mentored 19 doctoral and 89 master’s students.

Dr. Amanda Sheffield Morris, professor of human development and family science in the College of Human Sciences

Dr. Morris’ research focuses on social and emotional development in childhood and adolescence.  During her career, she has received more than $1million in extramural funding to support her work.  Her ongoing project on mental health and resilience in adolescent girls is funded by both the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology.  She has published more than 43 peer-reviewed publications, including 22 with students.  She serves as a member of the NIH review panel for the Academic Research Enhancement Award and has been an external grant reviewer for NICHD and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Dianne McFarlane, associate professor/Ricks-Rapp professor in the College for Veterinary Health Sciences


Dr. McFarlane studies age-related neurodegeneration in horses.  Specifically she evaluates equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction, a debilitating condition similar to Parkinson’s disease in humans.  She has been an author or co-author on 38 peer-reviewed publications, many of which focus on her interests in pituitary dysfunction.  She has also made 60 presentations, including nine at international meetings and two keynote lectures.  Her work has been supported by nearly $1.5 million in ongoing funding.  She serves on the editorial review board for Domestic Animal Endocrinology and has served as a grant reviewer for the U.S. Equine Health Research Fund and other animal health groups.  She has been the recipient of the Canadian Governors Gold Medal and the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine Hero in Medicine Awards for her research in equine neuroendocrine disease.

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