Michael Ward Named Levenick Chair

Michael Ward Named Levenick Chair

Professor Michael Ward has been appointed as the Stuart L. and Nancy J. Levenick Chair in Sustainability with the Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE) at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

This named chair is within his home department, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES), part of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). Ward succeeds NRES Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Brawn, who had held the department’s first endowed chair since 2020.

“Michael Ward is known as an innovative thinker and highly engaged collaborator with boundless energy,” said ACES Dean Germán Bollero, the Robert A. Easter Chair. “We are thrilled to have him assume this role to champion sustainability science in his lab, our greater campus community, and beyond.”

As the Levenick Chair, Ward will oversee the Levenick Resident Scholars in Sustainability Leadership, a program that brings experts to share fresh perspectives and innovations with the Illinois community. Both the chair and program were established through a generous endowment from ACES alum Stuart Levenick (NRES ’76) and his wife Nancy.

Ward’s lab develops novel approaches to monitor the behavior and migration of birds, aiding conservation efforts among local farmers, the U.S. Army, international governments, and others. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Truman State University and went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate from Illinois.