Betty Smocovitis has been selected as a Distinguished Alumni Professor for, among other criteria, her immeasurable positive impact on students.

Above: Betty Smocovitis has been selected as a Distinguished Alumni Professor for, among other criteria, her immeasurable positive impact on students.

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V. Betty Smocovitis Selected as 16th Distinguished Alumni Professor

V. Betty Smocovitis of the Departments of Biology and History has been selected as the 16th Distinguished Alumni Professor from July 2009 to June 2011. She receives an award of $20,000 from the UF Alumni Association and monetary support from the Office of Academic Affairs.

Criteria for selection include having a stellar reputation among students and alumni as a superior and influential teacher with an "immeasurable positive impact" on students, contributing to the distinction of UF through service to the university, state and nation, and being on the faculty of UF for at least 10 years.

The selection committee for the award, originated by Bruce Flower in 1978, comprises alumni, administrators, faculty members, and community representatives who are connected to UF. The Distinguished Alumni Professor works with the Alumni Association in its recruitment of National Merit Scholars, the Outreach and Back to College programs, and the Distinguished Lecturer Series.

Smocovitis, who received a Ph.D. from Cornell in 1988, studies the history, philosophy and social study of the twentieth-century biological sciences, especially evolutionary biology, systematics, ecology and genetics. She also studies the history of the botanical sciences in America. Much of her research concentrates on gaining a better understanding of the “evolutionary synthesis” which saw the establishment of the modern synthetic theory of evolution. She is presently completing a book-length project that is a biography of the botanical architect of the evolutionary synthesis, G. Ledyard Stebbins, as well as a centennial history of the Botanical Society of America.

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Jane Dominguez

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Jane Dominguez

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