Professor Emeritus Roger Simmons is the CHHS recipient of the Alumni Association for Outstanding Faculty Contributions. More commonly recognized as the “Monty,” Dr. Simmons was recognized at the annual All-University Convocation on August 22.
Dr. Simmons has long been acknowledged by colleagues and students as one of the School’s best instructors. Students offer high praise of his teaching in which he is able to engage students in discussions, even in classes of 150 students. Typical comments are that Dr. Simmons is “one of the best professors I’ve had. Really engages the class and keeps our attention.” and “He was funny, encouraged discussion, and made the class more interesting and dynamic for learning.”
But, as accomplished Dr. Simmons is in the classroom, he has been equally successful in the lab with significant contributions to the field of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. In the past 17 years, his research has focused on children with prenatal exposure to alcohol and the effects of alcohol exposure on their motor control. Dr. Edward P. Riley, Director of the Center for Behavioral Teratology (CBT) at San Diego State University, a center working to fully understand Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, commented that Dr. Simmons “has brought an entirely new line of research into our work on cognitive and behavioral changes in children exposed to alcohol prenatally. His work on motor control is somewhat unique in the FASD field and has had a major impact on assessing the disorder. His work has far surpassed what was previously done in the field, so much so, that motor issues were added to the criteria for a diagnosis of “Neurobehavioral disorder – alcohol exposed” that has been proposed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of the American Psychiatric Association.”
During his career, Dr. Simmons has published 54 articles in peer-reviewed, research journals. His work has been supported by two NIH grants of $823,000. Furthermore, even though retired, Dr. Simmons continues his research and to seek additional grants.
Dr. Simmons exemplifies the type of faculty that San Diego State University encourages – an effective instructor who is respected by students and a researcher making meaningful discoveries on the motor control effects from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. He joins other past ENS faculty who have been recognized with a Monty including Drs. Thom McKenzie, Jeanne Nichols, and Pete Aufsesser