HIGH POINT, N.C., June 2, 2014 – Dr. Nicole Hughes, assistant professor of biology at HPU, recently received the Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award during the 2014 commencement ceremony. The award is presented to recognize a full-time faculty member for exemplary accomplishments in their research and creative endeavors.
A world-renowned plant biologist who studies how plants adapt to environmental stress, Hughes came to HPU as an assistant professor of biology in 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Stetson University, a Master of Science degree from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from Wake Forest University.
“It was such an honor receiving this award, not only because my own scientific contributions were being recognized, but also my students’,” says Hughes. “Some of them gave up summers and spring breaks to help me collect data, run stats and present our research at scientific conferences. None of this would have been possible without them, and I can’t forget to thank the plants, too!”
As one of her letters of nomination states, “Dr. Hughes has distinguished herself in the classroom and in the laboratory as a passionate, engaging and innovative professor who invests an incredible amount of time and energy into mentoring her students. What is most noteworthy is the scholarly contributions she has already made to her field while at HPU.”
Hughes has been published in numerous scientific journals and publications, including the “Journal of Experiential Botany,” the “American Journal of Botany,” “Functional Plant Biology,” the “Journal of Plant Physiology,” “Trends in Ecology and Evolution,” and the “International Journal of Plant Biology.” She has given presentations at workshops across the globe, and was recently awarded funding by the National Science Foundation for her work investigating the effects of cloud cover on photosynthetic productivity, bringing national prominence to the HPU biology department.