Dave Griffith, newly tenured and promoted assistant professor of chemistry, has been named the 2020 recipient of the Renjen Prize for Faculty Excellence. Established through a generous gift from Punit and Heather Renjen, the Renjen Prize provides support for scholarly and creative projects and is awarded annually to a faculty member from the College of Arts and Sciences or the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. The award recognizes the accomplishments of faculty members early in their careers, especially those whose work has been widely disseminated and garnered recognition in the public sphere.
Professor Griffith has been at Willamette since 2014 and is known for the quality of his teaching, in particular his clarity and rigor, and the way he connects his classroom to the real world. Since joining the faculty at Willamette he has published two peer-reviewed papers in "Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts," both of which were featured on the journal’s cover, and one of which was nominated as best paper of the year. The recipient of a prestigious National Science Foundation Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems grant, Griffith is considered a leading authority in identifying and tracking environmental fates of environmental estrogens.
Born and raised in India, Punit Renjen is a 1987 graduate of the Atkinson Graduate School of Management. Renjen is Deloitte Global CEO and, through a career spanning more than 30 years, has held numerous leadership roles within Deloitte. A former member of the Willamette University Board of Trustees, Punit is active on a number of boards and currently serves as Chair of The United Way Worldwide Board of Trustees. He was named among the 100 most influential business leaders who have graduated from schools accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International. He is married to Heather, and they have a son.