Two K-State professors honored with Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award

Yong-Cheng Shi (left), professor of grain science and industry, and Jeffrey Pickering (right),...
Yong-Cheng Shi (left), professor of grain science and industry, and Jeffrey Pickering (right), professor of political science and security studies, are recipients of the Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.(Kansas State University)
Published: Sep. 20, 2023 at 10:57 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Two Kansas State University professors were honored with the Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.

Kansas State University officials said they selected Jeffrey Pickering, professor of political science and security studies, and Yong-Cheng Shi, professor of grain science and industry, as the recipients of the 2023-2024 Commerce Bank and W.T. Kemper Foundation Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.

K-State officials indicated the award, which is funded by the W.T. Kemper Foundation and Commerce Bank, honors current graduate faculty who are recognized nationally and internationally for their outstanding scholarly achievements and contributions to graduate education at the university. Award recipients receive an honorarium and will deliver public lectures on their research to the campus community.

“Drs. Pickering and Shi exemplify why Commerce Bank and the W.T. Kemper Foundation have long supported this award to recognize Kansas State University’s most outstanding graduate faculty,” said Shawn Drew, market president and CEO of Commerce Bank, Manhattan. “Both are wonderful educators and researchers, and they care deeply about their students. We are honored to recognize them for their outstanding work.”

According to officials with K-State, Shi has built a research program in the area of cereal grain carbohydrates. He has been a pioneer in the development and production of resistant starch, a food ingredient that is resistant to digestion in the human small intestine but fermented in the large intestine, providing health benefits.

K-State officials said his work has also focused on the development of technologies and products for food, beverage, pharmaceutical and other industrial applications. According to a 2020 Stanford University study, Shi is among the top two percent of researchers in the world.

Since joining K-State in 2006, K-State officials indicated Shi and his co-PIs have been awarded more than 5 million dollars in grants to support his research. Shi has 17 granted U.S. patents, and his novel research at K-State has led to five patents or pending patents.

K-State officials said Shi was the Belfort Lecturer at the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research at Purdue University in 2015. He received the Phil Williams Applied Research Award from the American Association of Cereal Chemists International, or AACCI, currently known as the Cereals and Grains Association, and was named AACCI Fellow in 2016. In 2021, he was awarded the Alsberg-French-Schoch Memorial Lectureship Award from the Cereals & Grains Association for his distinguished contributions to fundamental starch science.

K-State officials indicated Shi has more than 100 publications. Among his published work is a book he co-edited with C. C. Maningat in 2013, “Resistant Starch: Sources, Application and Health Benefits.” He also served as an associate editor of Cereal Chemistry from 2006 to 2013. He currently sits on the editorial board of Carbohydrate Polymers and the advisory board of Starch.

According to K-State officials, Shi has been the major professor of 14 master’s students and 15 doctoral students, and he has co-advised three master’s students and two doctoral students. Additionally, Shi has mentored 10 postdoctoral scientists in his laboratory.

K-State officials indicated Shi earned his doctorate in grain science with an emphasis in starch chemistry from K-State in 1993. He worked at the National Starch and Chemical Company from 1994 to 2005.

K-State officials said Pickering’s research examines global patterns of military intervention and other coercive foreign policies. He has received two Distinguished Scholar Awards from the International Studies Association, or ISA. In 2019, Pickering received the Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar Award from the ISA-Midwest. He will receive the ISA Foreign Policy Analysis Distinguished Scholar Award in April 2024, where a panel will be held in his honor.

According to K-State officials, Pickering has regularly published in major journal outlets in the field, and he is the author of two books and one edited volume. His most recent book, “African Interventions,” co-authored with department colleague Emizet Kisangani, is published with Cambridge University Press. The book won the ISA-Midwest’s biennial J. David Singer Book Award for the best title published in the previous three years.

K-State officials said He has been invited to give numerous international talks, including at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in Belgium, the University of Heidelberg and the Berlin Center for Cold War Studies in Germany, and Uppsala University in Sweden.

K-State officials indicated Pickering currently serves as editor-in-chief of the International Studies Association journal, International Interactions, and previously served as a co-editor of another of the association’s journals, Foreign Policy Analysis. He is the incoming co-editor-in-chief of ISA’s flagship journal, International Studies Quarterly. He has served on numerous journal editorial boards.

K-State officials said Pickering also played a significant role in K-State’s selection as host of the 2019 Peace Science Society annual conference, which brought more than 250 well-known academics to campus from around the world. K-State is the second Big 12 institution to host this conference.

K-State officials indicated Pickering’s contributions to graduate education at K-State include helping design the curriculum for the master’s and doctoral programs in security studies and mentoring countless students. His Ph.D. students have gone on to successful careers in both academia and the private sector. Three of Pickering’s students are now faculty members at the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies.

K-State officials said Pickering earned his doctorate in political science from Indiana University, Bloomington. He joined K-State’s political science department in 1997. He has been recognized with a number of awards at K-State including the Commerce Bank and W. T. Kemper Foundation Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, William L. Stamey Award for Undergraduate Teaching, and the Presidential Award for Outstanding Department Head.

K-State officials noted Shi will give a public lecture of his work at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, in Town Hall at the Leadership Studies Building. Pickering will present his public lecture in the spring 2024 semester. The date and time are to be determined.