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    Southeastern Conference Announces 2012 Professor of the Year Award Recipient

    SEC Honors Dr. Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia

    SEC Professor of the Year (PDF)

    Birmingham, Ala. – The Southeastern Conference today announced the winner of its first ever SEC Professor of the Year Award: Dr. Loch K. Johnson, a faculty member in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia.

    An expert on national security issues, Dr. Johnson previously has won university honors for his teaching and research. He holds the title of Regents Professor, an award given by the University System of Georgia to faculty whose scholarship is recognized nationally and internationally as being innovative and pace-setting. He is also a Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor, the University of Georgia’s highest honor for teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

    Dr. Johnson is the author of more than 20 books, including National Security Intelligence: Secret Operations in Defense of the Democracies (2012) and The Threat on the Horizon: An Inside Account of America’s Search for Security After the Cold War (2011).

    For the past decade, Dr. Johnson has been a mentor to undergraduate students in UGA’s Center for Undergraduate Research Opportunities. He also played a critical role in establishing UGA’s School of Public and International Affairs in 2001, departments of which are consistently ranked among the best in the nation.

    In matters of service, Dr. Johnson spearheaded the creation of the UGA Memorial Service Garden, which honors members of the university community who have fallen in service. He is a member of the Sphinx Society, UGA’s oldest service organization, and he sits on the Athens Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees.

    “In his more than 30-year career at the University of Georgia, Dr. Johnson has had an extraordinary impact on generations of students and at the same time has been a prolific writer and researcher in the areas of national security and U.S. intelligence operations,” said Dr. Michael F. Adams, President of the University of Georgia. “We are pleased that these achievements are being recognized by the Southeastern Conference through its new Professor of the Year Award.”

    The SEC Professor of the Year Award honors one SEC faculty member whose record in research, scholarship and service places him or her among the elite in higher education. This individual must first win the university’s SEC Faculty Achievement Award to be eligible for the top award.

    “The Southeastern Conference has a culture of excellence, and we are pleased to recognize Dr. Johnson’s outstanding achievements, both in and out of the classroom,” said Dr. Bernie Machen, President of the Southeastern Conference and President of the University of Florida. “He has made incredible contributions to his field and university and the SEC is proud of his accomplishments.”

    In presenting this award, the SEC becomes the only Division I conference within the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) currently recognizing university faculty for their achievements, unrelated to athletics or student-athletes. The SEC will provide the Professor of the Year with a $20,000 honorarium and formal acknowledgement during its Spring Awards Banquet.

    SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said, “Dr. Johnson's dedication and commitment is inspirational, and the SEC is pleased to celebrate his accomplishments with the inaugural SEC Professor of the Year Award.”

    Selected by the SEC Provosts, the SEC Faculty Achievement Awards and the SEC Professor of the Year Award are part of several academic initiatives the Southeastern Conference has undertaken through its SEC Academic Consortium to encourage academic leadership and collaboration within the SEC membership.