Perspectives Online

Abrams, Weir among Holladay medalists

Frank Abrams and Bruce Weir

The 2005 recipients of the Alexander Quarles Holladay Medal for Excellence include Dr. Frank Abrams, a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences alumnus and faculty member, and Dr. Bruce Weir, director of the Bioinformatics Research Center and an associate faculty member in the College. They were among five N.C. State University faculty members who received the honor in recognition of their outstanding careers at the university.

Abrams is a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, as well as director of graduate programs for biomedical engineering. He holds N.C. State bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in biological and agricultural engineering, and he has devoted 33 years to research, teaching, service and administration at N.C. State. A leader in the early development of study opportunities for students in the area of biomedical engineering at the university, he led development of the university's Department of Biomedical Engineering, a partnership between N.C. State and UNC-Chapel Hill and the first joint department in the UNC system. He served as elected chair of the university faculty and also was N.C. State's senior vice provost for academic affairs and chief of staff from 1994 to 2003.

Dr. Bruce S. Weir, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Genetics, is an associate faculty member in the College's Department of Genetics. The founding director of the university's Bioinformatics Research Center, Weir has built an international reputation in population genetics during his 29 years at N.C. State. His pioneering work in statistical genetics has broad impacts, ranging from plant and animal breeding to bioinformatics and DNA forensics. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. His awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship, the O. Max Gardner Award, the Kriz Study Award and the Alumni Outstanding Research Award.

The medals were presented May 12 during the university's Honors Baccalaureate and Celebration of Academic Excellence. Also receiving the Holladay Medal were Sarah Burke Berenson, professor of mathematics education and director of the Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education; Fred R. DeJarnette, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the North Carolina Space Consortium; and Thom J. Hodgson, James T. Ryan Professor and Distinguished University Professor of Industrial Engineering and director of the Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering Institute.

The Holladay Medal, the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member by the trustees and the university, is named for Col. Alexander Quarles Holladay, the university's first president. It recognizes the contributions of faculty members in teaching, research and service. Winners receive a medal and a framed certificate, and their names are inscribed on a plaque in the N.C. State Faculty Senate chambers.