College of Science Celebrates 2016 Hall of Distinction Honorees
On April 22, the LSU College of Science will induct four new honorees into its Hall of Distinction. The 2016 class includes premier military surgeon, Brigadier General Charles Chappuis, Alumni Professor Emeritus in Chemistry William “Bill” Daly , Professor Emeritus in Physics & Astronomy William “Bill” Hamilton and renowned statistician and 2013 MacArthur Foundation genius grant winner Susan Murphy.
“Our 2016 honorees are trailblazers in education, innovation and discovery with deep LSU roots,” said Cynthia Peterson, dean of the LSU College of Science. “We are very excited to honor these outstanding individuals and celebrate their contributions to their fields and the global community.”
Recognized physician and surgeon, Dr. Charles Chappuis graduated from LSU in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology followed by a MD from the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. Chappuis enlisted in the Louisiana Air National Guard, or LANG, at the age of 46. He received a direct commission in 1998 serving as flight surgeon in the 159th Medical Squadron. He has also served as chief of clinical services, commander of the 159th Medical Group and is currently the state air surgeon. Chappuis served four tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, led the 159th Medical Group in the relief effort at the Louisiana Superdome following Hurricane Katrina, and served as medical commander in Belle Chasse caring for all military forces stationed in the area following Hurricane Katrina. In May 2014, the Rayne, Louisiana native was promoted to Brigadier General, a rank traditionally held by Army personnel. Chappuis also holds the academic rank of professor of clinical surgery at the LSU School of Medicine and is chief of surgery and associate medical director at University Hospital and Clinics in Lafayette
Emeritus Alumni Professor Bill Daly began working at LSU in 1966. Throughout his nearly 50 years at LSU, he has received numerous awards including the Charles E. Coates Memorial Award given by the Baton Rouge division of the American Chemical Society, or ACS, the Outstanding Service Award from the ACS division on polymer chemistry, the LSU College of Basic Sciences Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching and most recently, the Kiwanis Club of LSU Distinguished Leadership Award. Daly is a national leader in polymer chemistry with 100 research publications in peer-reviewed journals. He also holds eight patents, has given more than 280 seminar presentations, and has mentored 40 PhD and eight master’s students. Daly also played an instrumental role in the construction of Choppin Hall in the 1970’s and led the charge to construct a second facility, the Chemistry and Materials Building, which opened in 2012. Since his retirement in 2008, he has remained an active researcher and contributor to the chemistry department. For the past eight years, he has served as vice chair of the University Planning Committee, an advisory body to the LSU Provost, and he and his wife, Jan, are active members of the College of Science Dean’s Circle.
Known as the “father of gravitational physics at LSU,” the work of Emeritus Professor of Physics & Astronomy Bill Hamilton helped lay the foundation for the establishment of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or LIGO. His research, combined with the efforts of Physics Professor Warren Johnson and LSU Chancellor Emeritus Jim Wharton, helped locate the site and initiate the proposal that led to the construction of the LIGO facility in Livingston. On September 14, 2015, LIGO-Livingston and its twin observatory in Hanford, Washington made the first direct detection of gravitational radiation, a phenomenon predicted by Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Hamilton’s research in low-temperature physics, development of early cryogenic detections and operation of the ALLEGRO gravity wave bar detector helped solidify the physics departments’ reputation as a premier gravitational wave physics program. While at LSU, he served on the Faculty Senate and Senate Executive Committee, as chair of the Graduate Council and as associate dean of academic services. A fellow of the American Physical Society, Hamilton is also a long-standing member of the College of Science Dean’s Circle Executive Committee.
LSU alumna and renowned statistician Susan Murphy is the H.E. Robbins Professor of Statistics and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. She received a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from LSU in 1980, followed by a PhD in statistics from the University of North Carolina in 1989. Her research focuses on developing new methodologies to evaluate courses of treatments for individuals coping with chronic or relapsing disorders such as depression or substance abuse. Her work garnered international attention in 2013 when she was one of 24 individuals awarded the MacArthur Foundation genius grant, an award that recognizes talented individuals who have shown extraordinary originality and dedication in their creative pursuits and a marked capacity for self direction. Murphy was elected to the National Academy of Medicine of the National Academies of Science in 2014. Currently, her research group is working to launch a mobile application that uses data from wearable activity sensors, like FitBit and Jawbone, to propose physical activity and support behavioral changes that will have a positive impact on health.
About the Hall of Distinction:
Established in 2004, the LSU College of Science Hall of Distinction celebrates individuals who make significant contributions to science, business, academia, or government as well as to their community.