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Geoscientist, historian named emerging scholars

Sept. 9, 2009

KALAMAZOO--A geoscientist known for his wide-ranging research and a historian specializing in the events of modern Japan will be honored as emerging faculty scholars by Western Michigan University on Thursday, Sept. 10, during a campuswide awards ceremony.

Dr. G. Michael Grammer, associate professor of geosciences, and Dr. Takashi Yoshida, associate professor of history, will be presented the Emerging Faculty Scholar Award during WMU's Academic Convocation ceremonies beginning at 3:30 p.m. in the WMU Dalton Center. Convocation activities also will include WMU President John M. Dunn's State of the University address and the presentation of several other faculty, teaching and service awards.

The Emerging Scholar Award program was launched late in 2006 to acknowledge the accomplishments of WMU faculty members who are among the rising stars in U.S. higher education. It is designed to celebrate the contributions of faculty who are in the first decade of their careers at WMU and who, by virtue of their contributions to scholarship or creative activity, have achieved national recognition and demonstrated outstanding promise to achieve renown in their continuing work. The award goes to scholars nominated for consideration through a campuswide selection process and carries a $2,000 cash prize for each recipient.

Dr. G. Michael Grammer
Associate Professor of Geosciences
2009 Emerging Scholar

A faculty member since 2002, Grammer served as interim director of WMU's Michigan Geological Repository for Research and Education for two years and is a nationally and internationally recognized scientist known for his area of specialty--carbonate geology--and for his comprehensive knowledge of the ancient rock record, modern environments and subsurface data sets. His expertise is reflected in an impressive publication track record. Since coming to WMU, he has written 28 peer-reviewed articles and 48 abstracts for presentations at professional meetings and established an extremely successful external funding record approaching $1.2 million as principal investigator.

Grammer is constantly being recruited by both U.S. institutions and industry to share the record led to being named a Distinguished Lecturer by American Association of Petroleum Geologists, one of only 15 in his field of specialization selected in the past 75 years from among nearly 40,000 members.

Grammer has extended his efforts far beyond the walls of higher education.

"Michael's career as a professional geoscientist has not remained within academia," wrote one nominator. "He has worked in multiple professional geoscience fields, geological survey, the oil and gas industry, K-12 outreach, and (he) instructs professional courses for geoscience training in the oil and gas industry. His experience in the professional work world and academia has resulted in global recognition."

Dr. Takashi Yoshida
Associate Professor of History
2009 Emerging Scholar

Yoshida, a WMU faculty member since 2002, also has compiled an enviable track record in his research. In addition to being a specialist in Japan's recent history, his work more broadly encompasses the recent history of Asia, World War II and historical memory in the 20th century.

His credits include the book "The Making of the 'Rape of Nanking': History and Memory in Japan, China and the United States," an analysis of cultural and historical significance of the 1937 Nanjing massacre by the Japanese army. In the book, Yoshida examines how views of the Nanjing Massacre have evolved in history writing and public memory in Japan, China and the United States. For these nations, the question of how to treat the legacy of Nanjing--whether to deplore it, sanitize it, rationalize it or even ignore it--has aroused passions revolving around ethics, nationality and historical identity.

Yoshida's expertise on the massacre was well known before the book's publication, and at least four scholars have solicited chapters from him related to the massacre for books they were editing. The book's release in 2006 has resulted in 19 speaking engagements.

In addition to his 14 book chapters and journal articles in English, he has published four articles in Japanese, and one of his English-language articles was translated and published in Japan. Another was published in the Netherlands. In 2005, the United States Institute of Peace granted Yoshida a yearlong fellowship to conduct research on Asian peace movements. Shortly thereafter, he was awarded the Abe Fellowship, funded by the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership and designed to "encourage international multidisciplinary research on topics of pressing global concern."

"Professor Yoshida's work knows no national borders," wrote one colleague. " ... It stands to reason that a scholar at home with multiple languages, having grown up in Japan, at home in the U.S., and researching in multiple countries about issues of global concern would enjoy an international reputation."

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Media contact: Mark Schwerin, (269) 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

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