Professor Laureates Kim Hoke and Rachel Pries

Two women smile and pose above the CSU Kindness Lounge, Kim Hoke on the left wearing a black t-shirt and maroon skirt, and Rachel Pries on the right wearing maroon pants and a blazer.
Kim Hoke, professor of biology (left) and Rachel Pries, professor of mathematics. Photo by Allie Ruckman

Kim Hoke and Rachel Pries have both been named 2023 College of Natural Sciences Professor Laureates, the college’s highest academic honor reserved for dedicated faculty with outstanding contributions to the missions of research, teaching, mentoring, and outreach.

Kim Hoke

Biology Professor Kim Hoke joined the Department of Biology at Colorado State University in 2009, where she spearheaded innovative research as the director of the Hoke Lab. Hoke completed her doctorate at Stanford University, then went on to become a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Her studies encompass a wide array of topics, focusing on frogs and guppies, where she delves into the mechanisms that drive the evolution of complex behaviors, such as communication, mate choice, reproduction, competition, and anti-predator strategies. Her collaborative efforts explore how genetic variations and life experiences influence brain function, illuminating the intricate interplay between biology and behavior.

In 2017, Hoke was recognized as a Monfort Professor, which is one of CSU’s highest faculty honors. Through this award, Hoke earned unrestricted grant funding for two years to support her research.

Additionally, in 2020 Hoke assumed the role of director of the LIFE Core Curriculum, leading a transformative overhaul of the labs and lecture curricula for pivotal science courses, LIFE 102 (Attributes of Living Systems) and LIFE 103 (Biology of Organisms-Animals and Plants). Her dedication to student success and exceptional leadership has been instrumental in creating a LIFE support team made up of graduate teaching assistants, lab coordinators, and instructors each semester.

As a Professor Laureate, Hoke’s title is held for three years and includes an honorarium along with two years of research funding. Her remarkable achievements have set her apart as an exceptional role model and scholar, and her dedication continues to shape the scientific community at CSU.

Rachel Pries

Mathematics Professor Rachel Pries was named a 2023 College of Natural Sciences Professor Laureate for her groundbreaking research in arithmetic geometry, specifically in moduli spaces of curves and Galois theory.

Pries earned her doctoral degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania and completed a postdoctorate at Columbia University. She joined CSU as an assistant professor in mathematics in 2003, then achieved promotion to associate professor with tenure in 2008 and full professor in 2014.

 Pries’s research investigates topics on the interface of number theory, geometry, and algebra, such as the stratification of the moduli space of curves by invariants such as the Newton polygon. She also enjoys teaching abstract algebra, number theory, and cryptography.

In addition to her work at CSU, Pries is known for her active involvement in fostering a supportive mathematical community. She is a founding member of the Women in Number Theory Network and is a primary organizer of the VaNTAGe seminar, a virtual math seminar on open conjectures in number theory and arithmetic geometry, which encourages collaboration and open conjectures. Pries has led numerous research initiatives for graduate students at CSU and at national and international math institutes.

Pries was honored as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society in 2018 for her work in arithmetic geometry. In 2023, she also received the title of Fellow of the Association for Women in Math, solidifying her status as a role model for aspiring mathematicians, particularly women pursuing careers in the field.

As a Professor Laureate, Pries’s title is held for three years. Through this, she earned an honorarium along with two years of research funding. Her dedication has set her apart as a mentor and scholar, and her legacy continues to shape the mathematics community at CSU.

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