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Awards and appointments, April 2007

By Gayla Marty

Group of 12 distinguished teaching award recipients for 2007
Twelve distinguished teaching award-winning faculty members were honored in a ceremony at the McNamara Alumni Center April 23. Read more about the recipients.

April 30

The cohort of 25 President's Emerging Leaders (PEL) for 2007-08 is Maggie Aftahi, Jessica Beyer, Sherri Boone, Kimberly Carlisle, Mark Decker, Sandra Ecklein, Bruce Erickson, Catherine Fejes, Steve Gillard, Elizabeth Grossman, Peter Haeg, Rachel Hartreeve, Jacqueline Hoffsten, Andy Howe, Claire Kari, Charleen Klarquist, Victoria Larson, Matthew Nuttall, Bryan Rumple, Tricia Sanders, Virajita Singh, Anne Sumangil, Peggy Talbot, Julie VanSteenbergen, and Jodie Walz. The PEL program provides a structured but flexible leadership development opportunity for high potential academic professional and administrative, civil service, and bargaining unit staff across the U. Read more at 2007-08 PEL.

UMD's award-winning faculty members will be honored at a campus reception today. Jean G. Blehart Distinguished Teaching Award: Carmen Latterell, mathematics and statistics. Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award: Colleen Belk, biology; Linda Rochford, marketing; Robyn Roslak, art and design; Jean Stevenson, education; and Janelle Wilson, sociology/anthropology. Albert Tezla Teacher/Scholar Award: James Klueg, art and design. UMD recipients of U-wide awards--marketing faculty member Praveen Aggarwal for teaching and Career Services director Julie Westlund for advising--will also be honored. See the news release.

UMD's new head coach of the Bulldog women's basketball team is Tanya Nash. She has been a NCAA Division I assistant for seven years, top assistant at Santa Clara U for four years, and at Drake U three years. Read more in Bulldog news.

April 25

Five recipients of the University's Outstanding Community Service Award were honored at an awards dinner as part of Public Engagement Day, April 11. They are Ernest Davenport, Jr., associate professor, educational psychology, Twin Cities; Barbara Elliott, professor, family medicine, UMD; Brenda Reeves, information technology professional, applications development and maintenance, Twin Cities; James Rothenberger III, instructor, epidemiology, Twin Cities; and Travis Thompson, professor, pediatrics, Twin Cities. Outstanding Community Service Award winner plaques are on display at the Campus Club in Coffman Union on the Twin Cities campus. Read more about the recipients and their contributions in a feature story, "Energy givers."

Steve Sviggum
Longtime Minnesota Rep. Steve Sviggum has been named a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance. Photo courtesy of the Humphrey Institute.

April 24

The Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs has named Rep. Steve Sviggum (right) of Kenyon, Minnesota, as a senior fellow in the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance beginning June 1. He will teach and conduct research on legislative leadership, political ethics, and other topics. Sviggum was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1978 and has served as minority leader and speaker. He and his family maintain a family farm in Kenyon. See the news release.

Carlson School of Management junior Erick Boustead is the first U of M student to be named a Udall Scholar. The scholarships support and encourage students in pursuing careers related to the environment or to Native American health and tribal affairs. Boustead is a musician, activist, and entrepreneurial management student interested in a career that will help the music industry adopt sustainable environmental practices. See the news release.

John Archer
John Archer's book on single-family suburban homes has won an architectural historians' award. Photo courtesy of CLA.

Twin Cities campus College of Liberal Arts professor John Archer (left) has received the 2007 Alice Davis Hitchcock Award from the Society of Architectural Historians for his book, Architecture and Suburbia: From English Villa to American Dream House. The award, established in 1949, recognized Archer's exploration of contemporary attitudes toward the single-family suburban house. Archer is a professor of cultural studies and comparative literature, art history, and adjunct American studies. See the news release.

Medical School professor Eli Coleman received the 2007 Gold Medal Award 2007 at the XVIII World Congress of the World Association for Sexual Health in Sydney, Australia, last week. Coleman directs the U's Program in Human Sexuality and is a psychologist at the Center for Human Sexuality. See the news release.

STAR program director Chuck Rassbach, Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, Phil Kragnes holding his award, and commissioner Dana Badgerow in the Capitol.
Office of Disability Services staff member Phil Kragnes (center) at the Capitol April 11 with (left to right) Minnesota STAR Program director Chuck Rassbach, Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, and Department of Administration Commissioner Dana Badgerow.

April 17

Twin Cities campus staff member Philip Kragnes (right) received the Minnesota STAR Program's award for excellence in assistive technology April 11 in a ceremony at the Capitol. Kragnes is director of the computer accommodations program in the Office of Disability Services. Assistive technology (AT) is any device--from a pencil grip to a speech generating device--that aids a person with a disability. The award honors AT champions statewide. For more information, see the U news release, the state news release (PDF), and the Minnesota STAR Program.

Carlson School of Management professor Srilata Zaheer (below), chair, Department of Strategic Management and Organization, has been elected one of 60 fellows in the Academy of International Business (AIB). The fellowship recognizes outstanding contribution to the scholarship and practice of international business. Zaheer's research focuses on the influence of technology on global organization and the legitimacy of multinational corporations. She will be inducted at the annual AIB meeting in June. See the news release.

Srilata Zaheer
Srilata Zaheer is a fellow of the Academy of International Business. Photo courtesy of the Carlson School of Management.

Crookston campus's new admissions director, beginning April 23, is Amber Evans-Dailey. She will be responsible for strategic student recruitment and integrated marketing for UMC to increase its visibility and prominence. Evans-Dailey most recently served as assistant director of admissions at Winona State University and is a doctoral candidate in higher education and policy analysis at the U of M-Twin Cities. See the news release.

Aerospace engineering and mechanics alumnus Eugene Covert will receive an Outstanding Achievement Award from the U on May 4. The award honors alumni who have attained unusual distinction and demonstrated outstanding achievement and leadership in their respective field and community. Covert, a world-renowned aeronautical engineer, has served as chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, worked at NASA on the space shuttle's main engine, and was a member of the commission that examined the Challenger accident. His research has also led to the development of the world's first practical wind tunnel magnetic suspension system. See the AEM announcement.

Former Humphrey Institute dean and ambassador to NATO Harlan Cleveland and civil rights leader and former U regent Josie Johnson are two of four who will be honored with the 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Public Leadership Awards. The others are former Missouri senator and ambassador to the United Nations John Danforth and Sit Investment Associates chair and Minnesotans' Military Appreciation Fund cofounder Eugene Sit. The awards dinner and program will be May 16. For more information, including a link to the recipients' bios, see Humphrey Institute headlines.

Crookston campus will bid farewell to Pamela Holsinger-Fuchs, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment management, after 11 years of leadership. Holsinger-Fuchs will depart to join her husband, who recently accepted a position in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. A farewell gathering will be held April 26. See the news release.

April 16

Five UMD faculty members and five graduate students were featured presenters at the First China International Conference on Speech Therapy, held in Beijing, China, April 7-9. Faculty members included Paul Deputy, Mark Mizuno, Lynette Carlson, Jolene Hyppa-Martin, and Lynne Bye. See the news release.

Associate professor William Conway, College of Design, also a principal in Conway+Schulte Architects of Minneapolis, participated in an award-winning project while a visiting professor at the U of Arkansas. The collaborative teaching project, "Visioning Rail Transit in Northwest Arkansas: Lifestyles and Ecologies," is one of three recipients of a 2007 Education Honor Award for Excellence from the American Institute of Architects. He led one of the project's three studios, which explored transit-oriented development and sustainability issues in a rapidly growing region. For more information, see the AIA award announcement and his faculty bio.

The Twin Cities campus "Celebrating University Women" awards event on April 25 will honor recipients of five awards.

  • Distinguished Women Scholars Award: in the arts, social sciences, and humanities, Rosalie Kane, professor, health policy and management, and, in the sciences and engineering, Ellen Longmire
  • Mullen, Spector, Truax Women's Leadership Award: Shirley Nelson Garner, professor of English and associate dean of the Graduate School
  • Civil Service and Bargaining Unit Award: Martha Feda, principal accountant, School of Public Health; Mary Ellen Berman, nurse manager, Medicine Cardiology Office; and Michelle Wittcoff Kuhl, program associate, Office for Public Engagement
  • Sharon Doherty Women Student Leadership Award: Tatiana Ormaza, bachelor of arts student in sociology, law, criminology, and deviance ('08)
The program will open with remarks on honoring the stories and strengths of women by Rusty Barceló, vice president and vice president for equity and diversity. A reception will follow. Free but registration is requested. See "Celebrating University Women."

Five longtime Morris campus staff and faculty members marking their retirement will be honored during UMM's annual faculty and staff recognition dinner April 26: Llea Anderson, vending supervisor; Gordon Harstad, building and groundsworker; Jooinn Lee, professor and chair, Division of the Social Sciences; Joan Reicosky, instructor of accounting; and Dennis Templeman, associate professor of anthropology. Others who will be honored include U-wide distinguished teaching award winner Paula O'Laughlin, associate professor of political science; UMM Alumni Association Teaching Award winner Sarah Buchanan, associate professor of French; UMM Faculty Distinguished Research Award winner Dave Roberts, associate professor of mathematics; Outstanding Staff Award winners Carol Backman, financial aid, and James Anderson, plant services; Morris Academic Staff Award winner Bryan Herrmann, admissions; and Mary Martell Memorial Award winners Jane Kill, student counseling staff, and Kristen Strissel, student staff member. See the news release.

April 9

Four Twin Cities campus faculty members have received the prestigious Guggenheim fellowship for 2007, three from the College of Liberal Arts and one from the Institute of Technology. The U.S. and Canadian competition recognizes distinguished achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment. The recipients are Daphne Berdahl, anthropology; Hisham Bizri, cultural studies and comparative literature; David Treuer, English; and Peter McMurry, mechanical engineering. This year's fellowship winners include 189 artists, scholars, and scientists selected from nearly 2,800 applicants for awards totaling $7.6 million. See the news release.

Charles Baxter, Edelstein-Keller Visiting Professor in the Creative Writing Program, Department of English, Twin Cities, has received the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Award of Merit for the Short Story, which grants $10,000 and a medal to an outstanding short story writer. Baxter, also the author of novels including Saul and Patsy and The Feast of Love, will be honored at the academy's annual ceremonial in New York in May. See the AAAL news release (PDF) and his faculty bio.

A team of students from the Department of Asian languages and literatures, Twin Cities campus, won six gold medals and one silver at the College Student Chinese Speech Contest in the Midwest at Northwestern University March 31. They are Alaya Lee, Molly Tolzmann, and Ryan Loomis (first-year); Casey Kerian and Andrew Kruse (second-year); and Andrew Ramdular (third-year). Faculty member Ling Wang is lead teacher for the U's Chinese program, which has grown from 109 in fall 2001 to 262 in fall 2006. The event is sponsored by the China Consulate General's Education Section and cosponsored by Northwestern University. The competition included 65 participants from 21 colleges and universities. See the news release .

April 6

Winner of the 2007 U of M-Morris Faculty Distinguished Research Award is David Roberts, associate professor of mathematics. Roberts has taught at UMM since 1999 and is recognized for his research in number theory, including connections to fractals and studying Nash Equilibria in game theory. The award, established in 2000, recognizes sustained research and/or artistic productivity of a UMM faculty member over the course of a career. See the news release.

Morris's Outstanding Support Staff Award winners this year are Carol Backman, admissions and financial aid, and James Anderson, heating plant, representing AFSCME and Teamsters. They will be recognized at the UMM Faculty/Staff Recognition dinner, April 26.

April 5

Winners of the School of Public Health annual filmmaking competition--this year under the theme "It's Global"--encouraged organ donations, addressed youth violence and teen suicide, and encouraged ways to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS...each in messages of 30 seconds or less. Filmmakers included the Kangaroo Project, Gabriel Cheifetz of 612 Authentic Media, and high school students Kelsey Linden and Chris Nelson of Delano. The contest was a part of the National Public Health Week Film Festival held in Minneapolis April 2-6. See the news release.

The U of M-Crookston (UMC) Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team won the SIFE regional championship for the eighth straight year at the annual conference in Minneapolis. The award recognizes outstanding efforts to improve the quality of life for the community--in UMC's case, Crookston and the northwest region of Minnesota. See the news release.

April 4

College of Veterinary Medicine dean Jeffrey Klausner will step down this summer to become the new president of the Animal Medical Center in New York, the city's largest animal care, education, and research facility. Klauser joined the U of M faculty in 1977 and has served as dean since 1998. See the CVM announcement.

UMD's new vice chancellor for academic support and student life is Randy Hyman. He comes from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where he served as associate dean for student affairs and director of the graduate program for student affairs administration in higher education. He succeeds Bruce Gildseth, who is retiring after 30 years as vice chancellor but will continue leading the UMD Campus Retention Initiative in the chancellor's office through 2007-08. See the news release.

Jonathan Slack
The new director of the Stem Cell Institute is Jonathan Slack. Photo courtesy of the Academic Health Center.

April 3

The Medical School has appointed Jonathan Slack (left) as the new director of the Stem Cell Institute. Slack comes to Minnesota from the University of Bath, U.K., where he led the biology and biochemistry department and served as director of the Centre of Regenerative Medicine. The U's Stem Cell Institute, the first to be established, examines the potential of stem cells to improve human and animal health. Slack succeeds Catherine Verfaillie, who retains a ten-percent appointment and now leads a stem cell institute in Belgium. See the news release.

The executive director of the new Office for Technology Commercialization (OTC) is Jay Schrankler, an Institute of Technology alumnus who formerly served more than 25 years at Honeywell, most recently leading the technology transfer operation. He will assume his duties April 16. OTC oversees all aspects of technology commercialization at the U through the Licensing Center and the Venture Center. Both functions have been consolidated at their new location in University Enterprise Laboratories, Inc., in St. Paul. See also the news release.

April 2

Helen Kivnick
Professor of social work Helen Kivnick will receive the University's Josie R. Johnson Award for Human Rights and Social Justice. Photo courtesy of the SSW.

Professor of social work Helen Kivnick (right) is the recipient of the 2007 Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice Award from the U's Office of Equity and Diversity. The award honors one faculty member each year whose work creates respectful and inclusive living, learning, and working environments. Kivnick has taught at the U since 1990, is a community activist around issues impacting at-risk populations, and is the founder of CitySongs, an urban youth choir based in St. Paul. She will be honored at the University's first Public Engagement Day, April 11. See the news release.

U of M-Morris junior Eagan Heath is one of 65 students across the nation to be named a Truman Scholar. He will receive a scholarship of $30,000 for graduate or professional school to prepare for a career in public service. Health is a history major and editor in chief of the UMM campus newspaper. See the news release.

Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs dean J. Brian Atwood has accepted an invitation from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to serve a two-year term on the Advisory Committee on Democracy Promotion. The bipartisan committee advises Secretary Rice on forming and carrying out U.S. foreign policy. It consists of 15 to 20 members drawn from a variety of sectors outside of government. See also Atwood's faculty bio. Three honor students have been selected for the University's Katherine E. Sullivan Scholarship for Study Abroad for 2007-08. The scholarship provides funding for outstanding seniors from any U of M campus to enrich their academic experience with a fifth year of undergraduate study in another country. This year's recipients are:

  • Harlan Chambers, theater, is in the acting BFA program, Twin Cities campus. He will divide his time between two internationally renowned theatre schools in France: the Ecole Philippe Gaulier, Paris, and the Centre Artistique International Roy Hart, Malerargues. He will focus on experimental physical and vocal acting techniques taught by these schools and is interested in combining these techniques to develop performance styles that speak to audiences on a "visceral level...[and] communicate with urgency and accessibility."
  • Lisa Kissing, environmental science, minor in Spanish studies, Twin Cities, will study organic agriculture at the Center for the Study of Sustainable Agriculture, Agrarian University of Havana, Cuba. She is interested in learning from the Cuban experience in order to develop methods to help Latin American farmers "build sustainable agriculture systems that protect their natural resources and strengthen community food security."
  • Emily Stout, Spanish, English, and international social development, Morris, will participate in the Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID) program in Ecuador. She will focus on social justice and sustainability issues relating to international development. Emily's long-term goals include earning a law degree with a focus on international law and social justice and pursuing a career as a human rights advocate.
For more information, see the news release and the Sullivan Scholarship.

R. Michael Paige, associate professor of educational policy and administration in College of Education and Human Development, has received the Peter A. Wollitzer Advocacy Award from the Forum on Education Abroad. The award honors a member who has been remarkably effective in influencing educational institutions to understand and support education abroad through the dissemination of forum goals. See his faculty bio and the Forum on Education Abroad.

Justin Ware joined the news service staff in University Relations, Twin Cities, March 28. He's a U of M journalism alumnus ('02) with experience as a reporter, anchor, and producer in Wisconsin, Montana, and St. Paul. At the U, his responsibilities will include Crookston, Duluth, Morris, Rochester campuses, U of M Extension, and more. For more information, see the University News Service.

Carlson School of Management chief development officer Chris Mayr has been promoted to senior director of development, principal gifts officer, with CSOM and the University of Minnesota Foundation. Mayr, '81, joined CSOM in 1993 and has played a leading role in the school building campaigns as well as the Minnesota Campaign. See the news release.

Crookston campus has hired three new coaches for the Golden Eagle football program, which is part of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC): David Hennings and Justin Schreiber, full-time, and UMC Athletic Hall of Fame member Jim LeClair, part-time. Hennings has served as assistant coach part-time for seven seasons. Schreiber was a quarterback at UMC 1999-2002 and has coached Division II college and high school football. LeClair played at UMC in 1968-69 and later played 12 seasons for the Cincinnati Bengals. See the campus announcement.

Crookston sophomore Danika Kent placed first in the Intercollegiate Horse Showing Association (IHSA) western horsemanship semifinals and will compete in the nationals in Massachusetts May 3-5. Kent is a double major in equine science and animal science. Sophomore Lindy Hausauer placed seventh. Kent and Hausauer competed against 13 others semifinalists from across the country. With the recent decision for the U of M-Crookston to stay in Division II, the success of the IHSA athletic team and individual riders demonstrates that UMC's student athletes in equestrian sports can successfully compete and excel at the national level. For more information about IHSA and the equine science program at UMC, see news release.

U of M-Morris student-athlete Adam Turgeon has received the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Postgraduate Scholarship. Annually awarded to only 87 men and 87 women of the NCAA's 380,000 athletes, the scholarship honors students who excel athletically and academically and demonstrate outstanding citizenship and service to others. See the news release.

Nursing undergraduate Elizabeth Rodgers and graduate student Anna Toth won first prize in the Undergraduate and Graduate Student Poster Competition at the 2007 Midwest Nursing Research Society (MNRS) conference, held March 23-26 in Omaha. MNRS advances the scientific basis of nursing practice and promotes development of nurse scientists. See the MNRS.

Awards, appointments, and other items of note about faculty, staff, and outstanding students and alumni of the University of Minnesota campuses are published here as reported and summarized in Brief, the internal news digest of the U. Submit items for this page to

See also U Awards & Honors. Most awards listed on this page post names of recipients.