LSU College of Science Celebrates 2023 Hall of Distinction Honorees
BATON ROUGE- The LSU College of Science is proud to induct three honorees and, for the first time, an Industry Champion into the Hall of Distinction this Friday evening.
Each year, the College recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves in their endless pursuit of excellence and fervent dedication to scientific leadership. This year, we are also recognizing an industry partner who has made a transformational investment in our college that will impact our students and faculty for years to come.
Join us in celebrating the contributions of our honorees to our College, University, and the STEM fields.
E. Ward Plummer, Boyd Professor, Physics & Astronomy (posthumously)
Dr. E. Ward Plummer was one of the world’s leading experts in electron spectroscopy and its application to the study of the electronic, vibrational, and atomic structure of a range of materials, with a particular emphasis on surface properties. His research spanned a wide range of materials from fundamental properties of metal surfaces to surface chemistry of catalytic materials, to interfacial/surface quantum phenomena of transition metal oxide materials. He was a central part of the team that developed single-electron spectroscopy, which enabled the first-ever glimpse into electronic energy levels of atoms at the surface of a metal.
He earned his B.A. in physics and mathematics from Lewis and Clark College in 1962, followed by his Ph.D. in physics at Cornell University in 1967. Plummer held professional and academic positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Tennessee, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory before joining the LSU Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2009.
Over his 11 years at LSU, Plummer led the way to transform the fragmented materials efforts at LSU into a more coherent collaboration by developing the Institute for Advanced Materials and the Shared Instrumentation Facility (SIF) at LSU. This formed a partnership between LSU’s Office of Research & Economic Development (ORED), the Colleges of Science and Engineering, 13 departments, and over 100 faculty involved in Materials Research and Engineering on the LSU campus. The collaboration between interdisciplinary materials researchers was instrumental in bringing a DOE Neutron Scattering Center to LSU. In 2017, Plummer was given LSU’s highest, most prestigious honor of being named a Boyd Professor. Ward was also honored on an international level in 2017 when Chinese President Xi Jinping presented Ward with the Award for International Science and Technology Cooperation for his role as the Scientific Advisor for the International Center for Quantum Structures sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He mentored over 50 graduate students and 30 postdoctoral fellows during his 47-year career. Plummer passed away in July 2020 and left a portion of his estate to endow a Superior Graduate Student Scholarship and Plummer Professorship at LSU.
Eileen Skelly Frame, Chemistry Alumna (posthumously)
A true trailblazer, kicking in glass ceilings at every turn, the late Dr. Eileen Skelly Frame had expertise in both fundamental and applied research in the field of atomic spectroscopy. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pa., Frame graduated Summa Cum Laude from Drexel University and became the first woman to be commissioned from Drexel’s Army ROTC program. She served as a Medical Service Corps officer in the U.S. Army for 11 years, rising to the rank of Captain. As the Army’s only female chemist, she was given the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D., ultimately choosing LSU, and earned her doctorate in 1982 under Professor Jim Robinson (LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction, 2011). Following her attendance at the Medical Service Corps Advanced Course at Fort Sam Houston, she became the first female chemistry professor at the United States Military Academy (USMA) at West Point.
After her service, Frame worked for General Electric Corporation and the Research Triangle Institute before starting her own company, Full Spectrum Analytical Consultants. Wanting to get back into teaching, Frame held positions as a Clinical and Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at both Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York. Frame was a 45-year member of the American Chemical Society and served one year as the local section Chair. With her husband George, she was the co-author of a 1200-page textbook, Undergraduate Instrumental Analysis. She and George met at the 1988 Analytical Chemistry Gordon Research Conference at the Hampton School and married in July 1989. Frame passed away in January 2020 following a year-long battle with cancer.
Gregg DeMar, Executive Committee Member, LSU Foundation National Board
A native of New Orleans and a long-time friend of the LSU College of Science, Mr. Gregg DeMar has had an impressive 34-year career at IBM Corporation and has built a remarkable record of service along the way. DeMar earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Engineering and Applied Physics from Harvard University and joined IBM in 1976 where his career spanned a range of sales, marketing, management, and executive roles. He held executive positions in Baton Rouge, Dallas, Raleigh, Detroit, and New York, including three global executive leadership positions.
At the invitation of former LSU College of Science Dean Peter Rabideau, DeMar joined what is now known as the LSU College of Science Executive Committee in 1992. During his 31 years on the committee, he has provided support and wisdom to four College of Science deans and has enjoyed many opportunities to engage with different departments and their faculty and students, to learn more about the college’s different programs, and to work with other Dean’s Circle members to enhance and evolve these programs for future students. DeMar also held roles as the IBM Diversity Executive at Southern University in Baton Rouge for many years; a member of the Board of Trustees for Barton College in Wilson, North Carolina, serving as Chair from 2011 to 2016; and the Chair of the Trustee Ministry for his Stamford, Connecticut home church, Union Baptist Church from 2006 to 2015. DeMar currently lives in Houston, Texas with his wife Hyacinth, and they have three children, Brent, Troy, and Keri.
Our Lady of the Lake Health, 2023 LSU College of Science Industry Champion
Our Lady of the Lake Health is a not-for-profit Catholic healthcare ministry based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with more than 7,500 employees committed to serving the Capital Region and building a healthy community through excellence in patient care and education. With an 800-bed Regional Medical Center, a dedicated Children’s Hospital, a 78-bed hospital in Gonzales, Louisiana, two freestanding emergency rooms in outlying parishes, and a 600+ provider Physician Group, Our Lady of the Lake Health provides comprehensive healthcare services for common to complex conditions. Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center is a primary teaching site for graduate medical education programs in partnership with LSU, and is recognized in the areas of heart and vascular, trauma and emergency care, stroke, cancer care, advanced surgical procedures, minimally invasive procedures, and more. Our Lady of the Lake is part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System, one of Louisiana’s largest private employers, with more than 18,000 team members.
Last February, Our Lady of the Lake Health committed $170 million over the next 10 years to set a new standard for healthcare delivery, research, and education. This unprecedented level of investment establishes Our Lady of the Lake Health as LSU’s exclusive Championship Healthcare Partner, and now the LSU College of Science’s Industry Champion. Our Lady of the Lake is investing $85 million each in academics- and athletics-focused initiatives, including $15 million to construct the Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building. This crucial space will be home to the LSU College of Science, the springboard for more than half of Louisiana’s physicians, and will instantly close more than half of the college’s current gap in educational and lab space needs. The Our Lady of the Lake Health Interdisciplinary Science Building will create an epicenter for academics, research, and industry collaboration and a hub for collaborating on nearly $35 million in annual research awards.
Visit our Hall of Distinction honoree page for more information on each of our honorees.