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Physics professor named outstanding teacher in the sciences

Steven Herbert receives 2005 Joan G. McDonald award and cash prize earmarked for further research


Associate physics professor, Steven Herbert, was recently named the 2005 recipient of the Joan G. McDonald award for outstanding teaching in the sciences. Herbert received the award from University President Michael J. Graham, S.J., and Dr. Robert H. McDonald Jr. during a ceremony on April 13.

Herbert earned his bachelor's degree in physics and mathematics from Xavier in 1984. He received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1993 in experimental condensed matter physics under James Garland. He was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Cincinnati's department of physics from 1993-1995 and joined Xavier’s department of physics in 1995.

His primary research area involves the electrical transport properties of materials with a specialization in conventional and high temperature superconductors. He also is interested in critical phenomena and phase transitions in two- and three-dimensional systems, scanning probe microscopy, carbon nanotubes and astrophotography.

“I believe that Xavier’s strong commitment to its liberal arts core, including its strong science component, gives our students a unique advantage in our global society,” said Herbert after accepting the award. He also thanked many of his own teachers, the faculty and staff of the physics department and his family.

McDonald established the award in 1997 in honor of his late wife Joan. The award recognizes outstanding teaching among natural science faculty members. McDonald graduated from Xavier in 1955 with a degree in chemistry and has had a very successful career as a physician in Pittsburgh.

The McDonald Teaching Award carries a $10,000 prize, half of which goes directly to the recipient and half of which is held in a fund earmarked for support of the recipients’ work.