The Oregon State University Honors College has named Dr. Belinda A. Batten from the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Dr. Melissa Cheyney from the School of Language, Culture and Society as the 2020 Honors College Eminent Professors. These annual awards recognize faculty members for outstanding teaching, research and service to the Honors College.
Dr. Batten is the executive associate dean of the College of Engineering and has held this leadership position since 2017. She started with Oregon State University in 1993 as an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics before taking a position at Virginia Tech in 1998. She returned to Oregon State in 2003 as department head of mechanical engineering and led in the creation of the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. She served as school head from 2007 to 2011 and director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center from 2011 to 2017 before taking her current role on the College of Engineering’s leadership team. During her time at Oregon State, she has taught a wide range of courses, leading, in several terms, two colloquia in the Honors College, Experiencing Engineering Research and Design Thinking in Teams. She has also mentored two honors theses. Since 2017, she has been a member of the Honors College Board of Regents, advising college leadership on strategic planning and fund development initiatives.
Dr. Batten’s broad research interests include computational methods for partial differential equations, reduced order model and control design, numerical optimization and control, mathematical modeling, marine energy and autonomous vehicles. In total, Dr. Batten has written and published over 60 journal papers, book chapters and refereed conference proceedings, presented over 70 lectures around the world and been the principal or co-investigator on over $25 million of federally-funded research. In recognition of Dr. Batten’s many contributions to Oregon State University, the Honors College and honors students, a committee of faculty peers selected her as the 2020 Sandy and Elva Sanders Eminent Professor in the Honors College.
Dr. Melissa “Missy” Cheyney has been a faculty member in anthropology at Oregon State University since 2007. She has also served as vice chair of the Institutional Review Board at Oregon State and as the graduate program director for the Department of Anthropology. Dr. Cheyney has taught numerous courses in the School of Language, Culture and Society, ranging from Introduction to Anthropology to Reproductive Justice, and has led an honors version of Introduction to Medical Anthropology. She has advised 12 Honors College students through their thesis processes.
Dr. Cheyney has written or edited two books, with a third in progress, focusing on birth and maternity care, in addition to more than sixty journal articles and book chapters. She is currently serving on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Birth Settings in America Study Committee. In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Cheyney has been highly active in the community; she is the co-founder and vice president of the Board of Directors for the local birth justice non-profit Heart of the Valley Birth and Beyond, the director of the Community Doula Project and a member of the Homebirth Summit Steering Committee. In recognition of her service to the Honors College and the broader Oregon State and regional community, a committee of faculty peers selected Dr. Cheyney as a 2020 Honors College Eminent Professor.
The Honors College Eminent Professor awards are made possible through generous support from the Margaret and Thomas Meehan Estate and Joseph (Sandy) and Cheryl Sanders. A list of past eminent professors and mentors can be found at https://honors.oregonstate.edu/faculty-awards.