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Home > People > Awards and appointments, July 2007

Awards and appointments, July 2007

By Gayla Marty and Christie Vogt

Pamela Webb
Pamela Webb is the new associate vice president for research and director of Sponsored Projects Administration. See July 20, below.

July 26

Former Minnesota trial court judge LaJune Thomas Lange has been named a senior fellow with the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice. See the Humphrey Institute announcement and her institute bio.

July 25

The U of M-Rochester has named its first chancellor: Stephen Lehmkuhle, currently senior vice president for academic affairs at the U of Missouri. His appointment will begin pending approval by the Board of Regents Sept. 7. Read the news release.

The first director of the Healthy Foods, Healthy Lives (HFHL) Institute is Mindy Kurzer, professor of food science and nutrition. The HFHL Institute grew from the HFHL presidential initiative. It will maintain collaboration among the five participating colleges--School of Public Health, Medical School, College of Veterinary Medicine, U of M Extension, and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS); it will be located within CFANS. See the CFANS announcement.

The U of M Crookston announced the promotion and tenure of faculty members Pamela Elf, biology, and Martin Lundell, information technology management, last week. See the news release.

July 20

The new associate vice president for research administration and director of Sponsored Projects Administration is Pamela Webb (top photo), who began her appointment July 9. Webb, who has more than 20 years of experience in research administration, comes to the U from Stanford University where she served as senior director for the Office of Sponsored Research. Webb succeeds Ed Wink, who will retire at the end of the year. See the OVPR news release.

Jaime Modiano has joined the U's College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as the Al and June Perlman Professor of Oncology. He will serve as director of the Veterinary Medical Center's Animal Cancer Center and will lead CVM's comparative cancer research program, which seeks to develop effective strategies for cancer prevention and treatment by integrating knowledge gained from studies of cancer in people and animals. Modiano was previously associate professor of immunology and full member of the Cancer Center at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a senior scientist at the AMC Cancer Center in Denver. See the CVM news release.

July 19

Norman Borlaug accepting his medal, shaking hands with President Bush, Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauding.
Alumnus and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug, shaking hands with President Bush, was applauded by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and others at the Capitol July 17. Photo courtesy of the White House Press Office.

Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and U alumnus Norman Borlaug received the U.S. Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the Capitol rotunda (right) July 17. President Bush and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presented the award, which is the the nation's highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished civilian achievements and contributions. Borlaug, who earned his bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees at the University of Minnesota, is known as the Father of the Green Revolution for his work in reducing world hunger. He was awarded the Nobel in 1970 and remains the only person to receive that honor for work in agriculture. See the CFANS news summary.

The U of M-Morris Alumni Association board has named Lorie Skjerven Gildea, '83, the 2007 UMM Alumni Association Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. The award honors alumni who have made noteworthy contributions in their professional lives, in public service or in service to the U. Gildea is an associate justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, chairs the Supreme Court's Gender Fairness Implementation Committee, and serves on the Council and the Assembly of the Minnesota State Bar Association. The award will be presented during the Alumni Association's annual dinner meeting on Sept. 28 as part of UMM's Homecoming celebration. See the news release.

More than 75 students and mathematics faculty converged at a conference in Duluth July 16-19 to honor UMD faculty member Joseph Gallian. The conference, "Communicating Mathematics," was created by several of Gallian's former students. The conference included lectures delivered by some of the nation's brightest research mathematicians in a wide variety of mathematical fields. Gallian joined the UMD faculty in 1972 and has since won every University teaching award for which he is eligible, was named the 2003 Minnesota Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and has won numerous national awards and honors for his work in mathematics. See the UMD news release.

Charles M. Denny, Jr.
Charles M. Denny, Jr. is the new Louis W Hill, Jr. Fellow in Philanthropy. Photo courtesy of the Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs has selected Charles M. Denny, Jr. (left) as the fifth Louis W. Hill Jr. Fellow in Philanthropy. The one-year fellowship, housed in the Institute's Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center, provides financial and administrative support to an outstanding community leader for the study of important issues in philanthropy. As the 2007-08 Hill Fellow, Denny plans to study philanthropy by looking at corporate citizenship in modern America. Denny is a philanthropist and seasoned corporate citizen, having worked at both Honeywell and ADC Telecommunications, the latter of which he transformed into a billion-dollar global enterprise. See the news release.

Medical School dean and assistant vice president for clinical sciences Deborah Powell was presented with the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC) on July 18. Powell is the first woman to receive the award, which is presented annually to an individual who has made substantial contributions to academic pathology in research, education, or advancing the discipline of pathology in the medical community and to the public. Powell came to the U in 2002 and is a board-certified surgical pathologist and medical educator with more than 30 years of experience in academic medicine. See the AHC news release.

U of M-Crookston has hired Joshua Lunak to head the Golden Eagle women's tennis program. Lunak was the graduate assistant men's and women's tennis coach at South Dakota State University where, during his first year, he took over both Division I programs. See the UMC news release.

Nate Mahlen and Kim Roysland have been hired to two more UMC coaching positions: Mahlen as the head women's golf coach and assistant women's basketball coach, and Roysland as the part-time assistant women's golf coach. Mahlen has been an assistant basketball coach at Fosston High School and last season was a volunteer assistant coach with the Golden Eagle Women's Basketball team. Roysland brings 23 years of varsity girl's golf coaching experience to the Golden Eagle women's golf program. In her tenure at Fosston High School, she was named State Golf Coach of the Year three times, and her teams made nine state tournament appearances and were three-time state champions. See the UMC news release.

School of Nursing graduate student Molly Secor-Turner received the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Fellowship (NRSA Project) for one year of federal funding to complete her dissertation, "Social Messages and Teen Sexual Health: Voices of Urban African American Youth." She will interview young African American women in north Minneapolis about social messages they experienced during adolescence. Secor-Turner's advisers are associate professor Renee Sieving and professor and director of the Center for Adolescent Health Nursing Linda Bearinger.

July 10

The Graduate School has named the first recipients of the Fesler-Lampert Public Humanities awards. Riv-Ellen Prell, professor and chair, American studies, received the chair for her studies on Jewish and American identity. Erika Lee, professor of history, is the professorship recipient for her work on immigration history. Both are one-year awards for 2007-08. Read more in the Graduate School's Spotlight.

July 5

The Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs announced five new members of its Dean's Advisory Council: Jill Buckley, Bill Buzenberg, Jay Cowles, Peggy Lucas, and Hussein Samatar. New members are nominated to serve a three-year term. For more information, see the news release.

July 3

Four alumni of the Northwest School of Agriculture (NWSA)--predecessor to the U's Crookston campus--were named Top Aggies for 2007 and recognized for their exemplary commitment and service to community, church, education, and family as well as their profession. This year's honors go to Minnesotans Arlene Knutson Grage, '42, Fergus Falls; Ray Dusek, '57, Crookston; Patrick McKeever, '62, St. Paul; and Lloyd Petri, '67, Minneapolis. The Top Aggie award is the highest tribute an NWSA alumnus can receive. Read more in the news release.

July 2

Two University leaders have been appointed to Gov. Pawlenty's NextGen Energy Board. College of Biological Sciences (CBS) dean Robert Elde and professor and Department of Applied Economics head Rob King will serve on the new board as part of the Next Generation Energy Initiative to put Minnesota at the forefront of states leading the way toward the nation's energy future. Elde was appointed as a representative of the U, and King was appointed as a representative of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (MISA). The board will provide recommendations to the legislature and governor about how Minnesota can most efficiently achieve energy independence through agriculture and natural resource sustainability. See the news release.

U of M-Twin Cities alumnus Mohamed Bakri, '06, has been awarded a 2007 Jack Kent Cooke Graduate Scholarship. Bakri, who received his B.A. in sociology, won the College of Liberal Arts Turner Award for Best Summa Thesis for 2006, "Failed Societal Community? The Crisis of Democracy in Sudan." With the support of the Cooke Scholarship, he will begin work toward a master's of public affairs this fall at the University's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. A native of Sudan, Bakri earned an undergraduate degree in law from the Khartoum branch of the University of Cairo in 1987 and began a promising career as a journalist. An outspoken advocate for democracy, religious tolerance, and women's rights, Bakri won recognition in journalism, poetry, and drama before leaving Sudan as a political refugee in the late 1990s. He and his family settled in Minnesota, where he began taking classes at Century College before transferring to the University of Minnesota. Bakri's long-term goals include founding a research center dedicated to bringing a Muslim perspective to U.S. and international efforts to support the democratization of developing nations in the Middle East and Africa. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 through the will of Jack Kent Cooke. Bakri is the second U of M-Twin Cities student to win the foundation'scholarship. See the news release.

Professor of mathematics Fadil Santosa has been named the next director of the Institute for Mathematics and Its Applications (IMA), an internationally recognized research center based within the Institute of Technology, Twin Cities campus. His appointment will begin July 1, 2008. Santosa brings more than 25 years of experience in the mathematical sciences and engineering. He currently serves as director of the Minnesota Center for Industrial Mathematics. The IMA's primary mission is to increase the impact of mathematics by fostering interdisciplinary research, linking mathematics of the highest caliber and important scientific and technological problems from other disciplines and industry. He will succeed Doug Arnold, IMA director since 2001, who will remain a professor of mathematics at the U. See the news release.

Ajay Israni
Assistant professor of medicine Ajay Israni has been selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program. Photo courtesy of the Medical School.

Assistant professor of medicine Ajay Israni (left) has been selected for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Physician Faculty Scholars Program. Israni is one of 15 scholars chosen to conduct research as part of the Class of 2010. His project explores whether a follow-up pattern of care and monitoring of kidney function explains the greater rate of renal transplant loss. Read more in the news release.

U regents professor David Tilman (below) was conferred the title of honorary professor of China Agricultural University (CAU), its highest honor, in a ceremony June 25. Tilman was in Bejing serving as adviser and collaborator on a major new research project on sustainable agriculture. See more photos and information in the CAU announcement. See also Tilman's faculty bio.

David Tilman accepting his award, with three Chinese colleagues.
U regents professor David Tilman, second from right, was conferred the title of honorary professor at China Agricultural University June 25. Second from left is CAU president Zhangliang Chen; at right, dean Fusuo Zhang. Photo courtesy of China Agricultural University.

The new head of the UMC Golden Eagle women's volleyball program is Lee Anderson. A native of Ontario, Anderson most recently served as head volleyball coach at Glenville State College in Glenville, West Virginia. He holds a master's in kinesiology from the University of Calgary. See the news release.

The interim director for University Counseling and Consulting Services (UCCS), Twin Cities campus, is Glenn Hirsch, who has been with the office for 18 years. Hirsch served as assistant director in 1996 and was appointed associate director in 2005. Harriett Haynes, UCCS director for 15 years, stepped down June 30 and will remain in her position as senior psychologist, providing ongoing counseling services and focusing her efforts on enhancing support for graduate and professional students and expanding the Stamp Out Stigma campaign she initiated. See also UCCS.

School of Nursing doctoral student Nicole Lynch has been appointed by Gov. Pawlenty to a four-year term on the State Advisory Council on Mental Health as a representative of nursing professionals. The council of 30 advises the governor, legislature, and state agency heads about policy, programs, and services affecting people with mental illness. Lynch is a family psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner at Abbot Northwestern Hospital and holds a master's degree from St. Scholastica, Duluth, and a bachelor's degree in psychology from Augsburg College. See the governor's news release.

Lisa Humphrey, a Graduate School Fellow in the UMD Department of Social Work, has been awarded a $3,000 Consuelo W. Gosnell Memorial Scholarship by the National Association of Social Workers. The scholarship recognizes master's degree candidates in social work who have demonstrated a commitment to working with, or who have a special affinity with, American Indian/Alaska Native and Hispanic/Latino populations, or in public and voluntary nonprofit agency settings. In October 2004, the UMD Department of Social Work was one of only five universities in the country to receive a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Children's Bureau to enhance the preparation of master's of social work students for employment in critical placements such as tribal and public-sector child welfare settings. See the news release.

The U has named 68 Farm Families of the Year, one in each Minnesota county that participates in the program. The 2007 recipients produce a broad range of products, from corn and dairy to wine grapes and handcrafted cheese. They will be recognized Aug. 9 during Farmfest near Redwood Falls. See the news release for a highlights or Farm Families for a comprehensive list of the 2007 honorees.

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.