William Pridemore and JoEllen Welsh Named SUNY Distinguished Professors

School of Criminal Justice Dean William Alex Pridemore. (Photo by Stephanie Snyder)

ALBANY, N.Y. (Nov. 27, 2017) – Two members of the UAlbany community can now add their names to the highest faculty achievement in the SUNY System.

School of Criminal Justice Dean William Alex Pridemore and School of Public Health Empire Innovations Professor JoEllen Welsh are among 10 faculty who were named SUNY Distinguished Faculty by the SUNY Board of Trustees at its meeting on Nov. 15.

SUNY confers the ranking of distinguished faculty upon individuals who have achieved national or international prominence and a distinguished reputation within their chosen field. Their work must be of such character that it elevates the standards of scholarship of colleagues both within and beyond these persons’ academic fields.

“We are tremendously proud to see Dean Pridemore and Professor Welsh appointed to SUNY’s highest faculty rank,” said UAlbany Provost James R. Stellar. “Both have made significant contributions as global leaders and innovators in their field, while also serving as mentors and delivering top quality education to our students.”

William Alex Pridemore:

Dean Pridemore is internationally recognized for his research on the impact of social structure on homicide and suicide rates, the role of alcohol in violence and mortality, and the collapse of the Soviet Union on violence and health in Russia.

Pridemore has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants totaling more than $2.5 million. He has also published more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, with his research appearing in leading journals in criminology, public health, substance abuse, and sociology.

In 2008, he received the Junior Scholar Award from the American Sociological Association’s Section on Alcohol, Drugs, and Tobacco; in 2009 he received Indiana University’s Trustees Teaching Award; and in 2012 he received the Radzinowicz Memorial Prize for his research on poverty, inequality, and national homicide rates.

He was honored in 2015 with the Gerhard O.W. Mueller Award for Distinguished Contributions to International Criminal Justice from the Academy of Criminal Justice Science’s International Section, and the Freda Adler Distinguished Scholar Award from the American Society of Criminology’s Division of International Criminology for significant contributions to international criminology over the course of his career.

Pridemore is a founding editorial board member of the new Annual Review of Criminology, the American Society of Criminology’s liaison to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and was the founding director of Indiana University’s “Workshop in Methods.”

He received his Ph.D. in 2000 from the University at Albany, and spent 2003-2004 as a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University in the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies. He was named dean and professor of UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice in 2015 and is an affiliate faculty member with the Department of Sociology and with the Department of Health Policy, Management, and Behavior.

“UAlbany’s School of Criminal Justice has been a leader in our field since its founding nearly 50 years ago,” Pridemore said. “I received my Ph.D. from the school in 2000, and it had a transformational impact on my professional trajectory and personal life. To return to lead the school as dean 15 years later will always be the highlight of my career. Now to be named a SUNY Distinguished Professor is a wonderful honor. My current and former co-authors, colleagues, Ph.D. students, and staff are the ones truly responsible for this distinction, and I thank them for it.”

You can learn more about Pridemore’s expertise here.


JoEllen Welsh is a pioneer in studying the role of vitamin D in breast cancer prevention and therapy. 

JoEllen Welsh:

JoEllen Welsh, a professor in the School of Public Health's Department of Environmental Health Sciences, has a long and distinguished research career and is one of the pioneers in studying the role of vitamin D for breast cancer prevention and therapy. She has published more than 125 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters. Since joining UAlbany in 2008 as an Empire Innovation Professor, Welsh has been based at the Cancer Research Center on the Health Sciences Campus, where she directs a research lab, mentors undergraduate and graduate students, supervises post-doctoral fellows and interacts with her UAlbany faculty colleagues on diverse projects dedicated to prevention and treatment of cancer.

After 10 years as a faculty member at the University of Ottawa, Welsh returned to the United States and has held academic positions at the W. Alton Jones Cell Science Center (Lake Placid, N.Y.) and the University of Notre Dame. Since returning to the U.S., Welsh has been awarded more than $ 9.5 million in grant funding from the NIH, the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program and other agencies, including $2.3 million for her current projects extending through 2020. She has served on multiple review panels for federal and private agencies, including the NIH Chemo-Dietary Prevention (CDP) Study Section, Komen for the Cure, and the CDMRP, has consulted for several pharmaceutical companies, and was the recipient of the Brown University Research Achievement Award for Vitamin D Biology in 2005. She currently serves on the editorial board of the prestigious journal Endocrinology.

Welsh is also on the board of directors and serves as the chief financial officer and webmaster for the Vitamin D Workshop, a non-profit organization focused on the biology and health implications of vitamin D.

She has mentored 18 graduate students and 10 postdoctoral fellows, many of who were supported by scholarships from the NIH, DoD and the Komen Foundation. A number of her previous students are now in leadership positions in academics, health services and health care industries.

“Being chosen as a SUNY Distinguished Professor is clearly an outstanding honor for me personally,” Welsh said. “However, science is a team effort and I would not have achieved this recognition without the dedicated efforts of the students, fellows and colleagues I have been so fortunate to interact with throughout my career. In addition, it’s particularly exciting to have the work at the UAlbany Cancer Research Center acknowledged with this award.”

You can learn more about Welsh’s expertise here.

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About the University at Albany
A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciencesbusiness, public health, health sciences, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.