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Holly Ellis named William P. Molette Professor

Published: 10/12/2016

By: Candis Birchfield

Professor Holly Ellis in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry was selected as the William P. Molette Professor in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. The professorship supports superior faculty who demonstrate a strong commitment to students and to the provision of high quality instruction, research and teaching. The professorship serves to strengthen and enhance the college, and through the quality of the holder’s work, promotes a positive role model for colleagues and students.

The professorship is designed to support superior faculty in the College of Sciences and Mathematics.

An Auburn University faculty member since 2001, Ellis has developed a strong reputation through both her teaching and research. Her research is in the area of enzyme biochemistry, and Ellis’ work has been consistently funded by the National Science Foundation, including a prestigious NSF CAREER Award in the amount of $844,784 for a project titled, “Mechanism of Flavin Transfer Between the Monooxygenase Proteins.” Ellis also served as a program officer at NSF from 2011-2012, and she was elected chair for the 2018 Gordon Research Conference on Enzymes, Coenzymes & Metabolic Pathways.

Ellis is well respected for her work with Auburn University students, and in addition to serving as the undergraduate program officer for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, she has received numerous awards and honors for her efforts including the COSAM Teaching Award, the Student Government Association COSAM Teaching Award, the Alpha Epsilon Delta Honorary Membership/Favorite Faculty award, a Panhellenic Council Favorite Faculty Nominee, a COSAM Advisor Award, the Mortar Board Favorite Educator Award, and a Camp War Eagle Faculty Honoree award.

“Over the course of her career at Auburn University, Holly Ellis has developed into an exemplary faculty member, one who contributes strongly in all areas, including research, teaching, service and outreach,” said Curtis Shannon, chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “She has made a significant impact in all areas of faculty activity over the course of her career thus far, and as such, she is an excellent choice to be named the William P. Molette Professor.”

The William P. Molette Professorship in the College of Sciences and Mathematics was established with a gift made through the William P. and Ruth Molette Estate. Molette, a 1927 graduate of Alabama Polytechnic Institute, passed away on July 4, 1989. His wish was to leave his entire estate to Auburn University after his wife Ruth’s passing. Upon her death in 2006, Ruth bequeathed a significant gift to Auburn University’s College of Sciences and Mathematics.

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