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Home > People > Awards and appointments, February 2008

Awards and appointments, February 2008

By Pauline Oo

Jack Geller
Jack Geller will head up UMC's Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Department April 1.

Feb. 27

Lindsey Henson is the Medical School's first vice dean for education, beginning April 1. The position is designed to accelerate MED 2010, the school's transformation of medical education. Henson has been involved in two other significant transformations of undergraduate medical education--one at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry and another at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs dean J. Brian Atwood received the Dr. Jean Mayer Award for Global Leadership from the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University. The award was established in 1993 to honor the former Tufts president by bringing to campus distinguished practitioners to challenge and inspire Tufts students. Atwood will deliver a lecture about foreign aid and assistance on February 22 and participate in the university's 2008 Norris and Margery Bendetson EPIIC International Symposium on "Global Poverty and Inequality."

The College of Veterinary Medicine has named Jody Lulich the Osborne/Hill's Chair in Nephrology/Urology and Jaime Modiano, the Al and June Perlman Endowed Oncology Chair. Both are professors of veterinary clinical sciences.

John Bryson, adjunct professor in the Humphrey Institute, has been selected to receive the Charles H. Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration. Given jointly by the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs, the award recognizes a public administration faculty member who demonstrates excellence in teaching, research, and service. Bryson will be honored at ASPA's annual conference in April. He is the first faculty member from the Humphrey Institute to receive this award.

Jack Geller is the new head of the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences Department on the Crookston campus. He begins his duties on April 1, taking over from interim head and math professor William "Bill" Peterson, who will resume his faculty role. As department head, Geller will provide academic and administrative leadership, foster research efforts in the department and promote and maintain an exceptional learning environment for students.

The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association honored several College of Veterinary Medicine faculty members and staff at its annual meeting in Minneapolis on Feb. 8: Carl Osborne (Veterinarian of the Year Award), Pat Redig (Outstanding Faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine), Joni Scheftel (Distinguished Service Award), and Lisa Berg (President's Award).

Matt Rossi, UMD catering manager, placed fifth in the 25th Anniversary John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth. Rossi and his wife, Paula, own Bark River Racing and have been racing for nine years.

Feb. 20

Marco Yzer, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been awarded an $82,000 grant from the Transdisciplinary Research on Energetics and Cancer (TREC), a National Cancer Institute-funded program. The research project titled, "The Effects of Information in the Media on Antecedents of Weight Control," is a cross-site project, which includes researchers from Case Western. Yzer will serve as principal investigator.

Carlson School of Management assistant professor Kathleen Vohs was named one of the five 2008 SAGE Young Scholars. The award--new this year--is granted by the Foundation for Social and Personality Psychology and SAGE Publications to recognize outstanding early career researchers in personality and social psychology. Vohs was recognized for "exceptional individual achievements in social or personality psychology." Vohs' research on self-control and self-esteem has been widely published, in magazines such as Science and Scientific American Mind.

Sociology professor Doug Hartmann and Chris Uggen will coedit Contexts, the award-winning journal of the American Sociological Association. The U's Department of Sociology won the bid for editorial leadership last year and is unveiling its inaugural issue of the seven-year-old magazine this month. The editors aim to dramatically increase the magazine's circulation among the general public, as well as its reach to high schools and colleges with its "Contexts in the Classroom" program, which provides discounted subscriptions and teaching resources to instructors. Contexts is sold at U Bookstores and select Barnes & Noble bookstores in the Twin Cities area.

Ryan Mathre has joined University News Service as public relations representative. He comes to the U from C.E.L. Public Relations, a small firm in Plymouth, where he handled a range of clients from technology firms to publishers. Mathre's client-service beats are Carlson School, Extension, Humphrey Institute, Law School, U Libraries, and coordinate campuses.

Dana Bacon is the new grassroots manager in Government and Community Relations. Dana comes to the U from the American Academy of Neurology, where he worked as a policy analyst and web advocacy organizer.

Tim Norton was recently hired as the new facilities manager at UMC; he will begin March 3. Norton brings hands-on experience and leadership skills honed both in university and county government settings. Norton, a certified facilities manager, will be responsible for managing the boiler plant, facilities, maintenance, custodial operations, and environmental health and safety, as well as overseeing the maintenance and improvement of campus buildings, grounds, and other campus facilities.

Cancer Center researcher Shana Sturla and Kirill Martemyanov, assistant professor of pharmacology, were named McKnight Land-Grant Professors for 2008-10. The Office of the Provost and the Graduate School cosponsor this program to advance the careers of promising junior faculty.

Robert Kratzke, cancer researcher and medical doctor, was awarded the Christopher Stoeckler Memorial Grant from the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. His research project, "Targeting Cap-Mediated Translation for Mesothelioma Therapy," will test the capability of a new class of chemotherapy drugs.

Feb. 12

Elaine Tarone will begin as full-time director of the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) on Aug. 1, after an extensive international search. Tarone joined the University of Minnesota in 1979 as an assistant professor in the linguistics department and became a professor in 1990. She now serves as a faculty member in the English as a Second Language program. She was founding director of CARLA in 1992-93 and has been director since 1996. CARLA is one of 15 national Language Resource Centers, whose role is to improve the nation's capacity to teach and learn foreign languages effectively.

Lawrencina Oramalu and Cyrenthia Jordan
Lawrencina Oramalu and Cyrenthia Jordan

The University of Minnesota Office of Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action (EOAA) recently announced the addition of two new consultants: Lawrencina Oramalu and Cyrenthia Jordan. Prior to joining the EOAA Office in July as a temporary employee, Oramalu was the associate director of the Roy Wilkins Center for Human Relations and Social Justice at the Humphrey Institute (2005-07) and a program administrator in the Race, Gender and Public Policy Post-Doctorate Initiative also at the Humphrey (2006-07). Jordan came to EOAA from the law firm of Mansfield, Tanick and Cohen, where she was an associate practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, employment law, and housing litigation. Jordan was named a Minnesota Rising Star in 2005 and 2006 by Minnesota Law and Politics.

School of Journalism and Mass Communication lecturer Gayle "GG" Golden received a 2007 Minnesota Magazine and Publications Association Best Feature Story Silver Award for her story, The Short Life and Sudden Death of Germain Vigeant. The story was about the death of U student Germain Vigeant in the Bunge grain elevators near the Twin Cities campus, and it was published in Mpls.-St.Paul magazine in October 2006.

Assistant professor Jisu Huh has been awarded a $2,500 American Academy of Advertising Research Fellowship grant. Awards are based on a competitive review of research proposals. Jisu Huh research proposal was coauthored with Denise DeLorme (University of Central Florida) and Leonard Reid (University of Georgia). The grant will fund data collection for her research on Asian-targeted direct-to-consumer advertising campaigns.

U professor of music and collaborative arts Guerino Mazzola has been elected president of the Society for Mathematics and Computation in Music. The society founded in 2006, serves as an international forum for researchers and musicians working in the transdisciplinary field between music, mathematics, and computation. Louis Janus, coordinator of the Less Commonly Taught Languages Project in the U's Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, was reelected to serve another three-year term as president of the Norwegian Researchers and Teachers Association of North America.

Feb. 5

Food Alliance Midwest will honor University Dining Services' Executive Chef Ray Thering with its annual "Keeper of the Vision for a Sustainable Future" award Feb. 6. Each year, the nonprofit organization that promotes sustainable agriculture recognizes one farmer and one market partner (retail grocery store, institution, or distributor) for their leadership in helping to develop both the food and the demand for sustainably grown foods. Thering has been a pioneer in bringing local and sustainably grown foods to the U's Twin Cities campus.

Bonnie Bata-Jones, clinical associate professor, retired from the U.S. Army as a Lieutenant Colonel. At a ceremony and reception at the Fort Snelling Officer's Club she was presented with three achievement awards: the United States of America Meritorious Service Medal, the Department of the Army Certificate of Achievement, and the Army Commendation Medal. She served 24 years in the Army Reserves in various positions, most recently as a nurse advisor for the Surgeon's Office at the 88th Regional Reserve Command at Fort Snelling. She served in Operation Desert Storm in the Persian Gulf, Germany, Korea, and El Salvador.

Charles Baxter
Charles Baxter

English faculty Charles Baxter and Patricia Hampl are finalists for 2008 Minnesota Book Awards: Baxter in the General Nonfiction category for The Art of Subtext: Beyond Plot (Graywolf) and Hampl in Memoir and Creative Nonfiction for The Florist's Daughter (Harcourt). Other finalists include Eireann Lorsung (MFA '07) for Music for Landing Planes By (Poetry), William Reichard (PhD '97) for This Brightness (Poetry), and Joni Tevis (Edelstein-Keller Discovery Fellow 2003-05) for The Wet Collection (Memoir and Creative Nonfiction). Winners will be announced April 12.

English professor and chair Paula Rabinowitz will be honored Feb. 13 as the 2008 CLA Dean's Medalist. Rabinowitz will present the address "Chairs: Frida's Hair/Vincent's Ears" at the event, which begins at 3 p.m. in Cowles Auditorium on the Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis. The award was created by an anonymous donor to reward a faculty member's excellence in scholarship or creative activity. Rabinowitz is the U's Samuel Russell Chair in the Humanities.

Helen Hansen, associate professor, was elected to a three-year term to the Fairview Southdale Hospital and Clinics Board.

Duane Nelson, principal accountant in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics, has been appointed chair of the member relations and communications committee of the Central Association of College and University Business Officers. The association represents chief business officers at more than 700 institutions throughout the north central region of the United States.

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 the Scholars Walk and U Awards & Honors.