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Recipients of the 2023-24 Distinguished Professor Awards announced

Boise State University has named the Distinguished Professor Awards for 2023-24, which bestows the title of distinguished professor and constitutes one of the highest honors that may be given to a faculty member at the university. The award is reserved for a select few who have made significant contributions to their academic disciplines and the Boise State community. The three recipients of this year’s awards are Shelton Woods, Mark Cowan and Eric Landrum.

“These three incredible faculty members illustrate and model what it means to be an outstanding scholar and teacher. They advance work in important fields for the benefit of Idaho and beyond, inspire students with their passion for learning, and are accomplished and caring colleagues,” said Boise State President Dr. Marlene Tromp. “Congratulations to each of them for their achievements. We are delighted to honor them with this prestigious Boise State award.”

Shelton Woods, Honors College

Shelton Woods

Shelton Woods, associate dean of the Honors College, is a professor of East and Southeast Asian History with more than sixty publications on the topics of Vietnam, China and the Philippines. He has served in various roles at Boise State since 1994, including interim dean, associate dean, interim director and interim chair. 

“I’m so grateful for Boise State’s administration, librarians, Office of Information Technology personnel, colleagues, students and friends who provide daily inspiration – especially my friends and partners in the Honors College. Certainly, my wife and son also share in this award,” Woods said.

Nominator Dean Andrew Finstuen wrote of Woods, “For thirty years, Shelton has annually received outstanding reviews from students, which led former Boise State president, Bob Kustra, to say ‘When one walks around campus and hears students talking about their favorite teacher, it is the name ‘Dr. Woods’ that is most often repeated.’”

Mark Cowan, College of Business and Economics

Mark Cowan

Mark Cowan is the director of the Master of Science in Accountancy-Taxation Programs and a professor in the Department of Accountancy. He joined Boise State in 2004 and has authored numerous publications on a wide range of tax-related topics, including one cited in an opinion of the U.S. Supreme Court and another used by CPA firms across the world. He also coordinates the JD/MSAT concurrent degree program in partnership with the University of Idaho College of Law. 

“I feel incredibly honored to receive this recognition and am fortunate to work at a dynamic university like Boise State,” Cowan said. “I am grateful to my colleagues – both present and past – in the Department of Accountancy and the College of Business and Economics for their support and encouragement throughout my career. I am also grateful to my students, whose potential keeps me motivated to improve and whose successes make the effort worthwhile.”

“Mark has made and will continue to make for many years to come a tremendous impact on both our undergraduate and graduate students,” wrote nominator Troy Hyatt, chair of the Department of Accountancy. “He is also an excellent researcher and provides invaluable service in a variety of ways, and I can’t think of anyone more deserving of this award.”

Eric Landrum, College of Arts and Sciences

Eric Landrum

Eric Landrum is a professor of psychology and has been at Boise State since 1992. He has previously served as the chair of the Department of Psychological Science and has authored hundreds of scholarly publications, book chapters and books. 

“I am honored to be named a distinguished professor at Boise State,” he said. “I want to thank my nominators, Mary Pritchard and Matt Genuchi, and those who wrote letters of support on my behalf: Cynthia Campbell, Jane Halonen, Regan Gurung, Dean Leslie Durham and former student Efren Velazquez. No one has accomplishments in a vacuum: I want to thank my colleagues and collaborators over the years, especially my family, my adult children Allison and Scott, and my wife Lisa. They have always been understanding and patient with my commitment to work and the lack of work-life balance at times over my career.”

Nominators Mary Pritchard, a professor, and Matthew Genuchi, an associate professor, in the Department of Psychological Science, wrote of Landrum, “We can attest that Dr. Landrum practices what he preaches. He consistently has some of the highest course evaluations in the Department of Psychological Science. He also developed a course specifically for our psychology majors to ground their expectations of what they can do with a psychology degree, and versions of this course are now implemented in colleges and universities across Idaho.”

“The Distinguished Professor Award recognizes our faculty members who have made outstanding achievements academically and for our community,” said John Buckwalter, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Dr. Woods, Professor Cowan and Dr. Landrum have made profound impacts on their departments, their fields, and most importantly, their students. I am proud to recognize their work with this award.”

The three award recipients will be recognized at the annual employee appreciation breakfast on April 16. Distinguished professors also receive a $10,000 monetary award.

More information on the Distinguished Professor Award and details on the nomination and selection process can be found on the Distinguished Professor Award website.