CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Yuji Hiratsuka and David Williams as its 2020 Distinguished Professor recipients, the highest academic honor the university can bestow on a faculty member.

“Professors Hiratsuka and Williams are outstanding examples of the highest academic honor that Oregon State University bestows on its faculty,” said Edward Feser, OSU’s provost and executive vice president. “Each makes unique and extraordinary contributions to our university, our state and the world through their scholarship, creative work, teaching and mentoring of undergraduate and graduate students.”

Hiratsuka and Williams will give lectures as a part of Recognizing Excellence events planned for May 4 in the Memorial Union Horizon room.

Hiratsuka has taught printmaking and drawing in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts since 1992. He is a nationally and internationally known artist and printmaker with 53 solo and 150 multi-artist exhibitions.

Hiratsuka has received many awards and honors for his unique artistic style and technique, attesting to his virtuosity and the impact of his work. He also works with high school students in OSU’s JumpstART program, undergraduates in his printmaking classes and many others in summer programs held nationally.

Williams is the Linus Pauling Institute Helen P. Rumbel Professor for Cancer Prevention in the College of Agricultural Sciences. He is an internationally recognized expert in the field of toxicology and is known for advancing research involving the detoxification of foreign chemicals. Over the past 30 years, he has secured more than $40 million in research funding from the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. A major focus of Williams’ current research is the connection between diet and cancer.

Williams is also a respected teacher and mentor, having developed and taught undergraduate courses and engaged deeply in graduate and postdoctoral training.

The university has presented the Distinguished Professor award annually since 1988 to current OSU faculty members who have achieved extraordinary national and/or international stature for their contributions in research and creative work, education, outreach and engagement, and service.

General OSU

About Oregon State University: As one of only three land, sea, space and sun grant universities in the nation, Oregon State serves Oregon and the world by working on today’s most pressing issues. Our more than 36,000 students come from across the globe, and our programs operate in every Oregon county. Oregon State receives more research funding than all of the state’s comprehensive public universities combined. At our campuses in Corvallis and Bend, marine research center in Newport, OSU Portland Center and award-winning Ecampus, we excel at shaping today’s students into tomorrow’s leaders.

Story By: 

Sean Nealon, 541-737-0787, [email protected]


Steve Clark, 541-737-3808, [email protected]


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