Distinguished Scholar Award honors 3 professors

Britni Williams

A nuclear physicist, accounting scholar and Beethoven specialist are this year’s recipients of the Distinguished Scholar Award.

Declan Keane, a professor of physics; Ran Barniv, a professor of accounting; and Theodore Albrecht, a professor of music, will be recognized for their scholarship and research achievements Friday at a luncheon ceremony.

Declan Keane

Keane’s research group received worldwide attention when they discovered the heaviest antimatter nucleus.

He said antimatter has always sparked public interest and has been featured in science fiction works such as “Star Trek” and Dan Brown’s “Angels and Demons.”

“For anybody who’s watched these Star Trek movies,” Keane said, “Star Trek Enterprise spaceship is powered by antimatter.”

He said he was surprised to receive the award.

“I know there were a lot of people nominated,” Keane said. “Very distinguished people nominated.”

Keane is originally from Dublin and did his doctorate research at the CERN, Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research, laboratory in Switzerland.

Keane later became a researcher at the University of California, then took a job at Kent as an assistant professor in 1988. He later became a full professor.

Ran Barniv

Barniv’s research is focused on financial and international accounting.

One of his studies shows that regulations, compared to no regulations, on financial accounting benefit the consumer investors.

Since joining Kent in 1990, he has published 11 articles in the top 10 journals of accounting.

Barniv has had two articles published in The Accounting Review, the top-rated accounting journal that has a 90-95 percent rejection rate of articles submitted. One of his articles was accepted in only six months when some articles take as much as five years to be accepted.

Barniv said he was pleased when he found out he won the award. He said it came with a feeling of satisfaction because “it’s a lifetime achievement.”

Theodore Albrecht

Albrecht compiled “Letters to Beethoven,” a three-volume collection of more than 500 letters and documents from and related to Beethoven, some of which had never before appeared in English.

Through his research for the collection, Albrecht became interested in interactions Beethoven had with the orchestral musicians he worked with. The documents Albrecht found led him to do more research, and Indiana University Press offered him a contract for a book about this topic.

“I’ve managed to trace between 400 and 450 orchestral musicians that Beethoven worked with,” Albrecht said. “These are people who have been essentially anonymous. Other than seeing their names on a personal list, we have not had any idea who they were.”

By doing this, Albrecht expects to find specific brands or makers of instruments in order to gain a more exact picture of how Beethoven’s music was meant to be played.

“It’s not just dry as dust scholarship,” Albrecht said. “This is the sort of thing that can be applied to the music as you and I hear it on the stage in performance.”

Contact Britni Williams at [email protected]