Nicholls names Melancon, Boopathy top distinguished professors


THIBODAUX – Drs. Earl Melancon and Ramaraj Boopathy, both distinguished service professors of biological sciences at Nicholls State University, were named Alcee Fortier distinguished service professors at the first faculty meeting of the fall 2012 semester.

The designation recognizes the top educators at Nicholls. Others who currently hold the titles include Dr. Al Davis, dean of University College; Dr. Marilyn Kilgen, distinguished service professor of biological sciences; and Dr. Betty Kleen, distinguished service professor of information systems and director of university graduate studies.

“These educators represent the best of the best among Nicholls faculty,” Dr. Allayne “Laynie” Barrilleaux, vice president for academic affairs, said. “Earl and Raj are well deserving of this honor, and I am proud to be part of an institution with such outstanding educators.”

  • Boopathy

In addition to teaching, Boopathy studies ways to help sugarcane farmers eliminate the practice of cane burning. He has received funding from the Governor’s Energy Initiative to develop methods to produce fuel grade ethanol from sugarcane waste, such as sugarcane leaf litter and bagasse.

Boopathy earned his baccalaureate and doctorate degrees from the University of Madras and his master’s degree from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University.

  • Melancon

Outside the classroom, Melancon’s specialties include estuarine ecology, especially commercial shellfish, oysters, blue crabs, shrimp and crawfish. He also focuses on coastal restoration. A frequent expert source for media representatives, Melancon’s face is well-recognized both on and off campus.

He earned his baccalaureate degree from Nicholls, followed by master’s and doctorate degrees from LSU.

The Alcee Fortier distinguished service professorship is presented to faculty members with a reputation for excellence in instruction, dedication to academics, outstanding professional relationships and distinguished professional accomplishments. Awardees receive an annual professional stipend of $2,500 along with travel funds and support staff for research assistance and conference presentations.

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