Stony Brook Faculty Named "People of the Year"
Careers Committed to Excellence in Fields of Medicine and Science are Recognized
N.Y., December 30, 2011 – The Village Times Herald has named four Stony Brook University faculty members as People of the Year for 2011. These include Margaret M. McGovern, M.D., Ph.D., as Woman of the Year; Eckard Wimmer, Ph.D., as Man of the Year in Medicine; Carl Safina, Ph.D., as Man of the Year in Science; and Charlie Backfish, as Man of the Year in the Arts. Stories on their respective impact in their fields and in the community are featured in the newspaper’s December 29, 2011, edition. Also selected as People of the Year in Education is The School of Professional Development’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Chosen as Woman of the Year for her expertise, passion, and insistence on high standards in the care of pediatric patients, Dr. McGovern is Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, and Physician-in-Chief, Stony Brook Long Island Children’s Hospital. The Village Times article cites her commitment and broad skills as an expert in genetics and pediatrics, and as a medical researcher and educator of the next generation of pediatricians.
Eckard Wimmer, Ph.D., Distinguished University Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, Stony Brook University School of Medicine, is being recognized as Man of the Year in Medicine for his enormous contributions as a scientist investigating the poliovirus and being instrumental in putting the virus on a path to eradication worldwide. The Village Times article points to Dr. Wimmer’s lifelong commitment to eradicating polio, his internationally renowned poliovirus genome research, and his 20-plus year career at Stony Brook.
Selected as Man of the Year in Science for his marine advocacy, Carl Safina, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor, School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, and Visiting Professor, Stony Brook University School of Journalism, has devoted his life as an ecologist, marine conservationist and author to the preservation of marine life. The Village Times piece cites Dr. Safina’s work as “a voice for the marine life that cannot speak for itself” in protesting overfishing and pollution of the oceans.
Chosen as Man of the Year in the Arts, Charlie Backfish is Director of Student Teaching and Field Experience, Social Studies Education Program, and lecturer in the Department of History. He is host of a program on WUSB and responsible for bringing a weekly concert series to the campus of Stony Brook University. A former president of the SBU Alumni Association, Backfish volunteers at WUSB and is well known to music promoters on Long Island. The Village Times piece details his passion and knowledge for music and his role in bringing live concerts to the community.
Named as the People of the Year in Education, the faculty and staff of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, part of the School of Professional Development, seeking to educate adults and retirees in the second half of life by conducting dozens of classes and workshops annually. The program has grown to a membership of 955, and The Village Times article highlights the program as innovative in its mission as a center for lifelong learning.
At the end of the calendar year, The Village Times names leaders in areas of science, medicine, education, and the community who live locally as People of the Year. Many are recognized nationally and internationally as experts in their respective fields and professions.