In announcing the OAS Award of Merit for Dr. Craig Clifford, Ron Tyrl, President of the Academy, cited his excellence as a teacher and his substantial promotion of student research. He has served unstintingly as a mentor for both undergraduate and graduate students doing research on a diversity of topics. He also has actively shared with the academic community his own research and knowledge through numerous publications and presentations.
Dr. Clifford joined the biology department at Northeastern State University in 1985, the same year he completed his Ph.D. at Louisiana State University. Since 1995, he has been Professor of Biology, and Chair of the department since 1996. He teaches a wide variety of courses including animal physiology, general zoology, human anatomy, human physiology, parasitology, and pathophysiology.
He has been active in campus committee work, serving as President of the Northeastern Faculty Council (1991-1993), and as a delegate on the Faculty Advisory Committee to the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (1993-1995). In addition, he serves as the representative for higher education on for Teams Enhancing Eisenhower Mathematics and Science (1995-present). Of importance to OAS is Dr. Clifford's ongoing work with the Junior Academy; further evidence of his commitment to students in science.
Dr. Clifford's nomination for the OAS teaching award was initiated by students. This honor suggests the high esteem in which his students hold him.
As Chair, his colleagues write, he develops course schedules and course offerings that "...best meet the needs of the students." In addition, Dr. Clifford's colleagues cite his enthusiasm in the classroom, his ability to motivate his students, his maintenance of high standards, and his encouragement of students to develop their own high standards. These assessments of his commitment to teaching are supported by the consistently high ratings students give him on evaluations. Also indicative of his efforts is the high percentage of Northeastern students who are admitted to medical, dental, and optometric schools.
President Tyrl concluded his introduction of Dr. Clifford by highlighting one point made in the nomination letter submitted by the students and faculty at Northeastern: "Students in Dr. Clifford's courses consistently report that his classes are academically rigorous and in the same breath declare him to be a great teacher. These statements are testaments to the success Dr. Clifford has achieved in the classroom."
Congratulations, Dr. Clifford, and thank you for your many years of service to science, your students, and especially to OAS.