Home > News and Events > 2005 News > Berlyand and Shriver Receive C.I. Noll Awards

Berlyand and Shriver Receive C.I. Noll Awards

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Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics, and Sharon Shriver, instructor of biology, were selected recently as recipients of the C.I. Noll Award for Excellence in Teaching. Sponsored by the Eberly College of Science Student Council and Alumni Society, the award is designed to recognize faculty members who have taken a special interest in students and who, through interaction with students, have had a positive impact upon them.

Instituted in 1972 and named in honor of Clarence I. Noll, dean of the college from 1965 to 1971, the award is the highest honor for undergraduate teaching in the college. Winners are chosen by a committee of students and faculty from nominees suggested by students, faculty, and alumni.


Leonid Berlyand, professor of mathematics, studies homogenization theory, multiscale analysis for effective properties of composite materials that have either deterministic or random microstructure, discrete networks and continuum limits, percolation theory and its applications to disordered materials, and Ginzburg-Landau type problems.

His teaching style differs from the traditional “lecture-only” method, incorporating an interactive discussion format that draws students into the conversation, encourages them to ask questions or make comments, and stimulates critical thinking. Always keenly aware of whether or not his students understand the material, he often will move around the classroom while his students are working through problems, and will work one-on-one with those who are having difficulty.

Berlyand serves on the Penn State Faculty Senate and on several committees in the Department of Mathematics. He was the coordinator for multi-section courses in ordinary differential equations as well as for courses in ordinary and partial differential equations. He has taught undergraduate courses at elementary and advanced levels, and is chair of the mid-term committee for freshman calculus. He teaches several graduate-level courses, and administers summer industrial internships for graduate students under a Vertical Integration of Research and Education (VIGRE) grant from the National Science Foundation.

Berlyand is a member of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He has organized professional conferences across the United States and in Canada, and he has presented invited talks at conferences, workshops, universities, and research centers worldwide.

He has published more than forty scientific papers and is a member of editorial boards of International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering and Networks & Heterogeneous Media — a new journal in applied mathematics. He also serves as a referee for Nonlinearity, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Journals of Applied Mathematics, SIAM Journal of Mathematical Analysis, SIAM Journal of Mathematical Modeling and Simulations, the Journal of Applied Physics, Physical Review Letters, Measurements and Control, the Journal of Applied Mathematics, Smart Materials and Structures, the Journal of Mathematical Physics, the Journal of Statistical Physics, the Journal of Physics-A, and the Journal of Elasticity, among others. He also served as a referee and panelist for the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Army Research Office.

Berlyand earned his doctoral degree at Kharkov State University in the former USSR in 1984. He was a senior research scientist at Kharkov State University, from 1979 to 1986, and at the Institute of Chemical Physics of the Academy of Sciences in Chernogolovka, USSR, from 1986 to 1991. He was a visiting faculty member at Penn State from 1991 to 1993, and was a visiting scientist at Schlumberger-Doll Research in 1992. He joined the faculty at Penn State as assistant professor of mathematics in 1993, was promoted to associate professor in 2000, and was promoted to professor in 2003. While on leave from Penn State in 1999 and 2000, he was an associate professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of Akron in Ohio. He also has held visiting professorships at the University of Arizona, the California Institute of Technology, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of Minnesota, Princeton University, and the University of Paris-6 in France.

Shriver, Sharon_72.jpg
Shriver, Sharon_72.jpg

Sharon Shriver, an instructor in the Department of Biology, focuses on the need to balance scholarship and course materials with a creative, enjoyable, and interactive learning environment that requires students to take responsibility for their own learning. She says, "I have found that maintaining high expectations of students, requesting and respecting their opinions, and sharing my love of the academic environment are effective approaches to classroom instruction." She participates in programs in the campus interest houses and spends time mentoring students. She also has a strong interest in communicating science information to the public, and has presented seminars on evolution, cloning, and stem cells to both adults and children through local schools and churches.

Shriver served as co-chair of the Eberly College of Science Academic Integrity Committee from 2000 to 2002 and has been chair of the committee since 2002. She is a member of the program committee for the intercollege Bioethics and Medical Humanities minor and serves on the Faculty Senate. She has served the Department of Biology on numerous committees and was a judge for the Graduate Research Exhibition in 2000, 2001, and 2005.

Shriver is a member of the American Society of Human Genetics, the American Association for Cancer Research, and The Hastings Center — an independent bioethics-research institute in New York. She participated in the National Agricultural Biotechnology Council 's Bioethics Institute in 2000. She has published several scientific papers and presented invited talks about her research, and serves as a reviewer for the journals Lung Cancer and Cancer Detection and Prevention.

Shriver received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Indiana University in 1986 and her doctoral degree in biology from Case Western Reserve University in 1991. Prior to joining Penn State as an instructor of biology in 1999, she was an instructor of pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1996 to 1998. She was a lecturer in biology at Chatham College during 1997 and was a member of the Molecular Oncology Program at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute from 1995 to 1998. She was an instructor of radiation oncology at the University of Pittsburgh from 1994 to 1996, where she also had been a research associate in 1994. She was an American Board of Medical Genetics fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine from 1992 to 1994 and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas from 1991 to 1992.

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