The Office of the Provost and the Graduate School are pleased to announce the new recipients of the Distinguished McKnight University Professorship. The purpose of the Professorship is to recognize and reward our most outstanding mid-career faculty. Recipients are honored with the title Distinguished McKnight University Professor, which they hold for as long as they remain at the University of Minnesota. The grant associated with the Professorship consists of $100,000 to be expended over five years.
The recipients were chosen based on the following criteria: the level of distinction and prestige that their scholarly work brings to the University; the merit of their achievements and the potential for greater attainment in the field; the dimension of their national or international reputation, including leadership efforts in interdisciplinary or collaborative initiatives; the extent to which their career has flourished at Minnesota and their work and reputation are identified with Minnesota; the quality of their teaching and advising; and their contributions to the wider community. Professor Spivak is a world authority on honeybees, their behavior, and their services to humankind. As pollinators of one-third of all crops, bees are critical to environmental and human health. Spivak fuses basic and applied research, producing insights into basic biology while making significant differences for beekeepers. Spivak bred a widely used honeybee line resistant to disease through hygienic behavior. She is currently uncovering the antimicrobial benefits of propolis, a resin, to bees and humans. Spivak is past-president of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects’ North American Section, a trustee of the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees, and a member of the board of directors of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She received the University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professor award in 1996 and a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER grant in 1997. She has had continuous research funding from NSF since 1997.