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Two Professors Named to Endowed Chairs

  • News Image
    Dirk Early
  • News Image
    Emily Niemeyer

Dirk Early will hold chair in economics and Emily Niemeyer will hold chair in science

Two Southwestern University professors have been named to endowed chairs.

Dirk Early, professor of economics and associate dean of the Brown College of Arts and Sciences, has been named to the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cullen Chair in Economics. The chair was previously held by Ken Roberts, who is retiring this year.

Early has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1994. He earned his undergraduate degree from Miami University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia. His research focuses on low-income housing programs, housing markets and homelessness, and some of his work has been supported through grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Early has received both the Southwestern University Outstanding Teaching Award and the Exemplary Teaching Award from the General Board of Higher Education of the United Methodist Church.

Emily Niemeyer, professor of chemistry, will hold the Herbert and Kate Dishman Chair in Science. The chair was previously held by Frank Guziec, who is retiring this year.

Niemeyer has been a member of the Southwestern faculty since 1998. She was one of the founders of Southwestern’s Environmental Studies Program and also started a summer program at Southwestern called STEPS for high school students who are interested in science. She was instrumental in helping Southwestern land a $1.3 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in 2012 to transform its science curriculum and currently serves as co-director of the HHMI-Southwestern Inquiry Initiative.

Niemeyer earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio Northern University and her Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research focuses on analyzing factors that affect the antioxidant properties of plants, particularly culinary herbs. She has received Southwestern’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award and the Exemplary Teaching Award from the Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.