Ogilvie earns ISU Morrill Professorship


Courtesy of Iowa State University

Craig Ogilvie, professor of physics and astronomy, has been awarded the prestigious Morrill Professorship for his outstanding success in teaching and learning. He joins Iowa State’s Morrill Academy for Teaching and Learning.

Matthew Rezab

Editors Note: This is the first in a series of Iowa State Daily articles featuring the winners of the prestigious Morrill, University and Distinguished Professorships.

Professor Craig Ogilvie took the long way round to Iowa State. In addition to his homeland of New Zealand, Ogilvie studied or taught in England and Germany, along with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before arriving at Iowa State in 2000.

Ogilvie, who is also an assistant dean in the Graduate College, is one of four ISU faculty members in 2015 to earn Morrill Professorships. The Morrill Professorship recognizes faculty members with outstanding success in teaching and learning at all university levels. They join Iowa State’s Morrill Academy for Teaching and learning where they can share their expertise with colleagues and also receive a $6,000 increase to their base salaries.

At MIT, only about 20 percent of faculty members are awarded tenure, Ogilvie said. When Iowa State offered him an opportunity to earn tenure, he jumped at it. He said ISU and MIT students aren’t all that different.

“Many of the students at Iowa State are as good as the students at MIT,” Ogilvie said. “I truly believe that.”

Ogilve credited his colleagues with helping him on his way to the Morrill Professorship.

“An award like this is really a culmination of lots of team projects,” Ogilvie said. “To be awarded a significant professorship says this community of administrators [and] this community of faculty value education. I jumped up and down a bit when I received the call from the president.”

Excitement can been seen in Ogilvie’s eyes when he describes his current physics research.

“We recreate the conditions of the early universe,” he said. “Once we have that material, we can study how it behaves and get some insight as to how the universe evolved from the big bang to where it is today.”

Ogilve, who has been married for 26 years and has two adult children, said he enjoys his life in Iowa outside the university as well. He enjoys volunteering in the community and is thankful for his family life and the future at Iowa State.

“I’m very pumped about the quality of education Iowa State students are getting and I’m really grateful for the faculty partners I’ve been able to work with,” he said.