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Home > People > Awards and appointments, October 2007

Awards and appointments, October 2007

By Gayla Marty

Andrew Furco
The new associate vice president for public engagement will be Andrew Furco, beginning Jan. 2. See Oct. 2, below.

Oct. 31

The new coordinator of the renewed Writing Center at the U of M-Crookston is Shou-Ching Chao. The center helps students develop writing strategies and skills, including organizing, editing, and revising papers. Chao will direct center activities, coordinate professional and peer tutors, and serve as a liaison between the center and the faculty. He received his master's and Ph.D. in English at UMTC, where he also has taught English literature and composition. See the news release.

Oct. 29

Seven Twin Cities campus professors have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for work deemed scientifically or socially distinguished: Judith Berman, genetics and cell development; Robert Herman, genetics and cell development; David Lilja, electrical and computer engineering; John Lipscomb, biology; Stephen Polasky, applied economics; Jeffrey Roberts, chemistry; and Lanny Schmidt, chemical engineering. The AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society and the publisher of the journal Science. The new fellows will be honored Feb. 16 at the Fellows Forum during the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston. Read more in the news release.

UMC Torch and Shield Award recipients Robert Jones, Ardell Knudsvig, Cindy Bigger, and Jon Evert with Chancellor Casey, NWROC head Larry Smith, and development and alumni relations director Corby Kemmer.
UMC Torch and Shield Award recipients included U of M senior vice president Robert Jones (back row, second from left), and (front row, left to right) UMC staff member Ardell Knudsvig, U of M Extension faculty member Cindy Bigger, and UMC advisory council member Jon Evert; also (not pictured) state senator Keith Langseth. Making the awards were UMC chancellor Charles Casey (back row, left) and (left to right from Robert Jones) NWROC head Larry Smith and UMC development and alumni relations director Corby Kemmer. Photo by John Zak.

The U of M-Crookston's highest honor--the Torch and Shield Award--was presented to five individuals who, through exceptional leadership, have helped to develop the Crookston campus, U of M Extension, and the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC): regional extension educator Cindy Bigger, '79; Clay County commissioner Jon Evert; U senior VP for academic administration Robert Jones; educator Ardell Knudsvig; and state senator Keith Langseth. Langseth received the award earlier this month during Homecoming festivities. The other four recipients (photo, right) were recognized, along with donors to UMC, in a ceremony Oct. 23 in Bede Ballroom of the Student Center. Read the news release.

Crookston campus equine industries management instructor Nicky Overgaard was named Horsewoman of the Year by the Great Midwestern International Horse Show. Overgaard is a founding member of the UMC Golden Eagles equestrian team and has coached many UMC riders to International Horse Show Association zone championships. Read the news release.

Oct. 25

Renowned watercolorist Cheng-Khee Chee, associate professor emeritus at UMD, will showcase his work, give demonstrations, and lecture at the First Invitational Exhibition of Contemporary International Watermedia Masters, Nov. 19-Dec. 2, in Nanjing, China. Alumnus John Salminen is also among the 68 artists whose work is in the exhibition. See the news release.

Juliet Mock
Research nurse Juliet Mock won the regional Nursing Excellence Award in Mentoring.

Juliet Mock (left), a research nurse in the Cardiovascular Clinical Trials Center (CTC) and a graduate student earning a master's degree as an adult health clinical nurse specialist, won the Nursing Spectrum Heartland Region Nursing Excellence Award in Mentoring. Mock was the only Minnesota nurse to earn the award. The award is given annually by NurseWeek magazine, which honors nurses in 13 regions of the country; the Heartland region includes 11 states and six award winners. Read the news release.

Associate professor of nursing Merrie Kaas has received the 2007 Best Practices in the Treatment Schizophrenia award by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA). She has played a key role in a collaborative effort between the School of Nursing and the Minnesota Department of Human Services to implement a new model of evidence-based care, illness management, and recovery in state-operated acute psychiatric hospitals across Minnesota. See her faculty bio and the APNA.

Clinical professor of nursing Joanne Disch, director of the Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership, has been appointed to the board of directors for the National Center for Healthcare Leadership (NCHL), a nonprofit organization that works to improve health system performance and the health status of the entire country through effective healthcare management leadership. See her faculty bio and the NCHL.

UMC sophomore Henry Raymond Pinta, an agronomy and agricultural systems management major from Grafton, N.D., joined assistant professor Paul Aakre presenting at the 2007 American Society of Agricultural Engineers and Canadian Society for Bioengineering North Central Intersectional Conference at Fargo, N.D., this month. See the news release.

Oct. 22

The founding director of the Duluth Medical Research Institute is Mustafa al'Absi, professor of behavioral sciences at UMD, nationally known for his research on links between stress and addiction. His research focuses on neurobiological mechanisms of stress and risk for heart disease, biological and psychosocial predictors of addiction and relapse, and brain functions associated with pain. The new institute will seek to create collaborative relationships among researchers from multiple biomedical and clinical disciplines at the U and in community health agencies. Read the announcement.

Patricia Porter
Patricia Porter is the Minnesota Medical Foundation's new vice president for development.

The new vice president for development at the Minnesota Medical Foundation is Patricia Porter (left), formerly at the U of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was part of a $1.8 billion fund-raising campaign. She previously served at Purdue University. See the news release.

Oct. 19

Professor of family social science William Turner, College of Education and Human Development, Twin Cities campus, has been named a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow for 2007-2008. As a marriage and family therapist, Turner has extensive experience working in health policy on the state and national levels. As part of the fellowship, he and seven other health professionals from around the country will spend the next year in Washington, D.C., helping to shape U.S. health care policy. See the news release.

American studies doctoral student Matthew Martinez, Twin Cities campus, is one of four students in the nation selected by the American Indian College Fund to its Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Faculty Career Enhancement Fellowship Program for 2007-08. Martinez is a member of the Okhay Owingeh tribe in northern New Mexico who currently teaches at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. His dissertation examines the fields of photography, tourism, and Pueblo historiography. The fellowship assists tribal faculty members in the final stages of a doctoral degree. Read the news release.

Crookston campus history professor Sharon Neet gave the 10th annual Gene DeGruson Memorial lecture this month, hosted by the Leonard H. Axe Library at Pittsburgh State University in Kansas. Neet spoke on Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, the controversial Kansas editor and publisher of the largest socialist periodical in the nation as well as 2,300 Little Blue Books--paperback reprints of classical and educational works--during the first half of the 20th century. Read the news release.

Nine visiting Fulbright scholars at the Twin Cities campus this year will be Abdulaziz Al-Emadi, psychology (Qatar); Sarah Leberman, business administration (New Zealand); Maryia Loika, teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL)/applied linguistics (Belarus); Merab Mirtskhulava, environmental sciences (Georgia); Fouad Mounir, computer science (Morocco); Igor Nestrasil, medical sciences (Czech Republic); Matteo Pretelli, American history (Italy); Gunta Rozina, linguistics (Latvia); and Narayan Shrestha, environmental science (Nepal). See the Fulbright directory of visiting (non-U.S.) scholars for 2007-08.

Oct. 17

The Nobel Prize in Economics has been awarded to Leonid Hurwicz, Regents Professor Emeritus of Economics, along with economists Eric Maskin, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Roger Myerson, U of Chicago. The three developed a theory that helps explain situations in which markets work and others in which they don't. Hurwicz received his law degree in Poland in 1938; he joined the U faculty in 1951. The award ceremony will be Dec. 10. Read the story and link to video.

James Boulger has been named interim head of the Department of Behavioral Sciences at the Medical School at Duluth by senior associate dean Gary Davis. Read the announcement.

Oct. 16

Three Twin Cities campus professors were formally inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) Oct. 6--Patricia Hampl, Regents Professor of English; Geoffrey Hellman, professor of philosophy; and John Sullivan, Regents Professor of Political Science and Arleen C. Carlson Chair in American Government. Hellman and Sullivan attended the induction ceremony in Cambridge, Mass., which included symposia, a reception, and a ceremony with speakers from six broad areas of inquiry. Hampl, Hellman, and Sullivan are among 203 new fellows and 24 new foreign honorary members of the academy whose members from 27 states and 13 nations. The AAAS was established in 1780 and honors highly influential thinkers and leaders who address critical social and intellectual issues through studies, publications, meetings, and symposia. The announcement of this year's election was made in May; read more about the U faculty members' work in the story, "In good company." On campus, their names will be added to the Scholars Walk on a recognition monument for AAAS members, located near the end of Harvard Street S.E. (close to the Recreation Center).

Maya Angelou stands as regent Patricia Simmons and College of Nursing dean Connie Delaney place a white academic hood over her shoulders.
Renowned writer Maya Angelou, center, was hooded by Board of Regents chair Patricia Simmons, left, and School of Nursing dean Connie Delaney, right, as Angelou received the University's honorary doctor of humane letters degree Oct. 14 in St. Paul. Photo by Tony Nelson, courtesy of the School of Nursing.

Renowned writer, educator, activist, and historian Maya Angelou (left photo) was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree by the School of Nursing Oct. 14. Angelou, author of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, presidential inauguration poet in 1993, and three-time Grammy Award winner, was the keynote speaker at the School of Nursing's Summit of Sages this week.

Faculty and staff Fulbright winners for 2007-08 from the University of Minnesota are Sally Gregory Kohlstedt, professor and chair, Program in the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, for lecturing and research in New Zealand; Elizabeth Bradford Lightfoot, associate professor, School of Social Work, for lecturing and research in Namibia; and Deanne Silvera, associate counselor, International Student and Scholar Services, for a professional education seminar in Germany. See the Fulbright directory of U.S. scholars for 2007-08.

U of M Extension dean Beverly Durgan announced changes to the administrative team Oct. 15. Long-time faculty member and administrator Michael Schmitt has been named to the new position of senior associate dean for extension and research. Associate dean for community vitality is Dick Senese; chief operating officer is David Werner; director of extension field operations statewide is Lee Raeth; development officer is Matt Musel. Associate dean for government relations Jeanne Markell has been named a 2008 fellow for the National Association of Counties and will serve in Washington, D.C., beginning in January. See the news release.

U of M-Crookston Outstanding Alumni award winners for 2007 are Doug Aretz, '75, and Richard Magnusson, '81, recognized for their exemplary commitment and service to occupational field, community, education, and family. New Athletic Hall of Fame members are Janice (Gubbels) Milliard, '84; Steele Senske, '90; and former chancellor and regent Donald Sargeant. The winners were announced by the UMC Alumni Association and Athletic Department. Read the news release.

UMC athletes Treasure Clemons and Joey Kollar recently attended the NCAA Division II Leadership Academy in Dallas. Read the news release.

Oct. 10

Professor of public health Michael Osterholm has received the 2007 State Excellence in Public Health Award from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO). The award recognizes outstanding service on behalf of the public health community at both the state and national levels. Osterholm was selected for his outstanding leadership in public health over the past 30 years. He directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) and is an international leader on global preparedness for an influenza pandemic. ASTHO is the national nonprofit organization representing state and territorial public health agencies of the United States, U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia. See the news release.

Law School faculty members Fionnuala Ní Aoláin and Oren Gross have been recognized with a Certificate of Merit for their book, Law in Times of Crisis (Cambridge University Press), by the American Society of International Law. See the news release.

Oct. 9

Alumnus and former Gopher basketball player Trent Tucker has been named U-wide community relations and youth development coordinator, joining the Office of System Academic Administration. The former NBA basketball star has worked extensively with community youth development in the Twin Cities and established a foundation and programs to serve at-risk youth and involve children of all ages in positive educational activities. The new position is dedicated to contributing to youth development statewide and helping educators prepare children for college success, one of the U's transformative goals. Tucker will work with U campuses, colleges, departments, partnerships, and consortia to promote and expand youth development and mentorship programs and community outreach. See the announcement.

Kamil Ugurbil
Professor Kamil Ugurbil has been elected to the national Institute of Medicine. Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Medical Foundation.

Professor of neuroscience, radiology, and medicine Kamil Ugurbil (left) has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine, one of 65 new members announced this month. The institute is one of the national academies, unique as both an honorary and advisory organization, currently with 1,538 members. At the U, Ugurbil directs the Center for Magnetic Resonance Research and holds the McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair of Radiology. He is recognized as a pioneer in using ultra-high magnetic fields for magnetic resonance imaging studies of the brain and developing the ability to map functional activity in the brain noninvasively. See the news release.

The University's 2007 Global Engagement Award winners are faculty members John Cogan, professor emeritus in educational policy and administration; Allen Isaacman, Regents Professor of History; and Vernon Weckwerth, professor of public health. The Global Engagement Award honors active or retired faculty and staff members for outstanding contributions to global education and international programs in their field or to the University. Cogan cofounded the U's renowned Comparative and International Development Education program, and his publications are central to the study of citizenship education around the world. Isaacman founded the U's African history program and cofounded the MacArthur Interdisciplinary Program on Global Change, Sustainability, and Justice; he has also played a key role in strengthening institutional capacity in southern Africa. Weckwerth developed a program to train top-level health care executives abroad, the first of its kind, whose graduates have advanced to positions including national policy. The three 2007 recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony Nov. 27. See the news release.

Vice provost and dean for undergraduate education Craig Swan has been honored by the U's Academy of Distinguished Teachers (ADT) for his years of support and dedication to teaching and learning. He was inducted as an honorary member during the academy's retreat last week. The ADT, whose members include winners of the University's awards for outstanding contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, actively promotes excellence in teaching and learning. See the ADT, Undergraduate Education, and Swan's faculty page.

Crookston campus professor Dan Svedarsky was installed as president of the Wildlife Society (TWS) during its annual meeting in Tucson, Ariz. Svedarsky is head of the Natural Resources Department at UMC and a research biologist at the University's Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC). Read the news release.

Oct. 2

The new associate vice president for public engagement will be Andrew Furco (top photo), beginning Jan. 2. Furco has directed the International Center for Research on Civic Engagement and Service-Learning at the University of California at Berkeley for 13 years, with a strong record of national leadership in the field. He holds an Ed.D. from UC-Berkeley, where he also serves on the faculty of the Graduate School of Education. In his new position, he will work with the University-wide community to promote a culture of public engagement that supports the U's strategic goals to become one of the world's preeminent public research universities. The associate vice president is charged with expanding state, national, and international public engagement and enhancing community partnerships. The position was previously held by chemistry professor Victor Bloomfield. Until Furco's arrival, associate vice president Geoff Maruyama will provide interim leadership. Read more in the Office of Public Engagement announcement and see Furco's bio.

Geographic information systems specialist Gerry Sjerven, an information technology professional at the UMD Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), has been appointed to the Governor's Council on Geographic Information for the 2008 fiscal year. He joins 17 other members representing various governmental agencies, higher education, nonprofits, and the private sector. See the council and NRRI.

Professor of chemistry Wayne Gladfelter has been named interim associate dean of academic affairs for the Institute of Technology, Twin Cities campus. See his faculty bio.

Two Law School alumni will represent opposing sides Oct. 31 when they argue before the U.S. Supreme Court. Hennepin County deputy attorney Patrick Diamond ('86) and Minnesota assistant public defender Benjamin Butler ('01) will argue whether federal rules on the use of out-of-court statements apply retroactively. The U.S. Supreme Court hears only about 1 percent of the 8,000 petitions received each year. See the Law School announcement.

Law professor Kevin Washburn has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (ALI), which is limited to 3,000 judges, lawyers, and law teachers. See the Law School announcement.

Works by UMD professor of art and design Gloria DeFilipps Brush were selected to appear in The Art of Digital Show, an exhibition of art from 40 countries, at the Lyceum Theatre Gallery in San Diego, Oct. 6-Nov. 11. Brush specializes in photography. See the news release and her faculty page.

All tenure-track faculty in the Department of Art, Twin Cities campus, have works outside their specialties on display in Out of the Comfort Zone, an exhibition at the Katherine Nash Gallery on West Bank through Oct. 4. Read the story, "Going beyond their comfort zone."

The International Fellows Program (IFP) in the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Twin Cities campus, has a new director this year, Sudha Shetty, and a new professional development coordinator, Casie Mazilly Moen. Shetty previously worked as a diversity consultant for the Seattle office of Dorsey and Whitney, where her work focused on recruitment and retention of women attorneys and lawyers of color. Previously she served as director of the Access to Justice Institute at the Seattle University Law School for five years. She received a bachelor's degree in sociology and a J.D. from the University of Bombay, India. Mazilly Moen comes from the Minnesota Literacy Council in St. Paul, where she organized community outreach programs and coordinated professional development opportunities for volunteer coordinators and practitioners at adult basic education centers. She received a bachelor's degree in English and Latin American studies from Boston College. The IFP houses three fellowship opportunities--the Humphrey International Fellowship, Edmund S. Muskie Fellowship Program, and U.K. Fulbright Fellowship Program for Civil Service--that bring professionals from other nations to the United States for study and research. See the IFP.

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.