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Home > People > Awards and appointments, July 2008

Awards and appointments, July 2008

By Adam Overland


Irving Gottesman received a top honor for his research productivity in severe mental illness and for effectively training and developing young scientists.

July 30

Michele Chin-Purcell accepted the position of executive director of the Office of Research Integrity and Oversight in the Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR). Chin-Purcell is currently the Director of Global Compliance at Boston Scientific. An alumna of the University, Chin-Purcell will join the OVPR leadership team on September 8.

Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, a McKnight Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, has been appointed the new director of the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Science and Technology Center based at the University of Minnesota. The appointment is effective Aug. 1, 2008. For more information, see Foufoula-Georgiou.

Wayne Gladfelter was named associate dean in the Institute of Technology.
Wayne Gladfelter was named associate dean in the Institute of Technology.

Wayne Gladfelter was named associate dean in the Institute of Technology. Gladfelter has served as interim associate dean for the past year and is a long-time U chemistry professor. Gladfelter has been a chemistry faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1979 and served as the Department of Chemistry chair from 1999 to 2005. For more information, see Gladfelter.

Irving Gottesman, Bernstein Professor in Adult Psychiatry and senior fellow in the Department of Psychology, has received a top honor for his research productivity in severe mental illness and for effectively training and developing young scientists. Gottesman was chosen to receive the 2008 Alexander Gralnick Investigator Prize from the American Psychological Foundation. The award recognizes exceptional individuals who work in the area of serious mental illness, including but not limited to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and paranoia. He'll receive $20,000 for research.

Tom Jones accepted the position of interim director for the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI). A member of the astronomy department, Jones is familiar with MSI and many of its staff members through his use of MSI services in his research in theoretical and computational astrophysics. His appointment was effective July 14. For more information, see supercomputing.

Uwe Kortshagen was named head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective July 1, 2008. Kortshagen, a Distinguished McKnight University Professor, has been a faculty member at the University of Minnesota since 1996. He has also served on the graduate faculty for physics, chemical engineering, and materials science and as director of graduate studies for the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Kortshagen received a degree in plasma physics in 1988 and a Ph.D. in plasma physics in 1991 from the University of Bochum, Germany. He came to the United States in 1995 with an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship and spent a year in the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before coming to the University of Minnesota the next year. For more information, see Kortshagen.

Two new faculty members are joining the math, science and technology department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. Assistant professors Venugopal Mukku in chemistry, and Katy Smith in biology will begin their new roles at UMC in the fall semester. For more information, see the news release.

David Myers has been named director of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota. Myers will become the school?s eleventh director. His appointment becomes effective September 29, 2008. Prior to his appointment at the University of Minnesota, Myers served as professor, founding director of the Center for Educational Partnerships in Music, doctoral program coordinator, and associate director in the School of Music at Georgia State University, where he was awarded both the junior and senior outstanding faculty awards from the College of Arts and Sciences. He holds a Ph.D. degree in music education from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and has more than 30 years of experience as a teacher and administrator.

Dan Philippon, associate professor of English, was recently elected vice president of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, an international scholarly organization with approximately 1,000 members from 23 countries. He will become president in 2009. For more information, see the ASLE web site.

July 16

Claudia Neuhauser was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs at UMR on July 1. For the past 12 years, Neuhauser has been a faculty member at UMTC, serving first as a full professor in the School of Mathematics and most recently as a Distinguished McKnight Professor and Head of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior in the College of Biological Sciences.

Jack Geller and Stephen Cawley were appointed to a high-speed broadband taskforce by Governor Tim Pawlenty. Geller is a professor and head of arts, humanities and social sciences with the University of Minnesota, and is past president of the Center for Rural Policy and Development. Geller is appointed as the representative of rural residential citizens at-large. Stephen Cawley, vice president for information technology and chief information officer with the U, was appointed as the representative for higher education systems. For more information, see the news release.

Ignacio San Martin, currently at the University of Arizona, has joined the College of Design as director of the Metropolitan Design Center. San Martin will also join the School of Architecture as a professor. His work bridges architecture, landscape architecture, and planning, and is highly regarded in the U.S., Latin America, and Europe.

U professor Jean Abraham was appointed to the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA). As one of ten senior staff economists on CEA, Abraham will provide the president and other government departments and agencies with current academic thinking on a wide range of subjects. She will serve as staff economist to CEA for the upcoming academic year, leaving the University of Minnesota on July 21. For more information, see the news release.

Terrill Bradford
Terrill Bradford

Terrill Bradford, instructor of animal science at UMC, received the Graduate Student Teacher Award at the annual conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA). Held at Utah State University in June, the theme for the conference was "Retaining the Best." The purpose of the annual conference is to provide for professional advancement of faculty engaged in classroom teaching. Participants have the opportunity to share teaching methods, philosophies and styles of instruction. For more information, see the news release.

Thomas Williams was named the new director of diversity programs at UMC.
Thomas Williams was named the new director of diversity programs at UMC.

Thomas Williams was named the new director of diversity programs at UMC. Williams' broad experience serving underrepresented student populations prepared him to take on the vital leadership role on the Crookston campus. Williams most recently served as the director of cultural diversity at Minnesota West Community and Technical College in Worthington, Minn. He began his duties at UMC on July 14, 2008. For more information, see the news release.

Richard Lee received the Asian American Pyschological Association's prestigious K. Patrick Okura Award for community service and leadership. The award was created to recognize a leader who demonstrates outstanding community service and/or leadership that benefits the Asian American community. For more information, see Asian American Studies.

Eric Castle recently joined the Natural Resources Department at UMC as an assistant professor in environmental horticulture. Castle, who joined the faculty in January 2008, teaches in the areas of horticulture, landscaping, plant propagation, geographic information systems, and land use planning.

Diane Treat-Jacobson, School of Nursing, was awarded the Jeanne E. Doyle Excellence in Vascular Nursing award from the Society of Vascular Nursing (SVN). The award is the highest given by the SVN. Treat-Jacobson is an associate professor in the School of Nursing and a 10-year member of the SVN. She has been a national leader in educational efforts to increase awareness and early detection of peripheral arterial disease.

July 2

Physics professor Allen Goldman was one of four Regents Professors recently named by the U's Board of Regents.
Physics professor Allen Goldman was one of four Regents Professors recently named by the U's Board of Regents.

Four University of Minnesota professors were recently named Regents Professors by the U's Board of Regents. The designation is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the university. They are physics professor Allen Goldman, history professor Steven Ruggles, geography professor Eric Sheppard and English professor Madelon Sprengnether. The addition of the new Regents Professors increases the total number of current Regents Professorships to 27. For more information and profiles of these Regents Professors, see Allen Goldman, Eric Sheppard.

The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) appointed Interim Dean Trevor Ames dean of the CVM. Ames was previously chair of CVM's Population Medicine Department and joined the faculty in 1981. He served as interim dean since June 2007.

Adel Ali has been named the new head of the Math, Science, and Technology Department at UMC. Ali comes to UMC after serving as director and professor at the School of Computing at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) in Hattiesburg. Prior to his work at USM, Ali was a research engineer at the Institute for Robotics at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. He will begin his new role at UMC in January 2009.

Benjamin Johnson was named director of concerts and lectures at the University of Minnesota. Johnson's appointment begins August 11, 2008. Filling the position held by the late Dale Schatzlein, Johnson's appointment follows a three-month national search. Johnson will work with community partners and university departments to develop innovative programs that will enhance campus and community engagement with the performing arts, scholarly, and civic discussions, and he will ensure the vitality and excellence of Northrop's programs. Johnson, a native of Winona and LeRoy, returns to Minnesota after 14 years as director of education and audience development at the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. For more information, see the news release.

Rudolph Vecoli, historian and director of the Immigration History Research Center (IHRC) from 1967 until his retirement in 2005, died on June 17. The center collects and studies material relating to the cultural, labor, and political experiences of southern and eastern European immigrants. Vecoli was president of the American Italian Historical Association from 1966 to 1970 and of the Immigration and Ethnic History Society from 1982 to 1985. He was a founder of both organizations.

University Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Leo Hurwicz died June 24
Leo Hurwicz

University Professor Emeritus and Nobel Laureate Leo Hurwicz died June 24. In October of 2007, Hurwicz and two others received the Nobel Prize in Economics for his mechanism design theory, a theory that revolutionized the way people think about economics. His work helped his department become one of the best in the country. At 90 years old, he was the oldest person to receive the Nobel. For a video segment issued at the time of his Nobel award, see