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Home > People > Awards and appointments, August 2008

Awards and appointments, August 2008

By Adam Overland

Vernon Ruttan
Longtime Regents Professor Vernon Ruttan died August 18.

August 27

John Brandl, former professor and dean of the Humphrey Institute, died August 18. Brandl served as dean of the Humphrey Institute from 1997 to 2002 and was an outstanding member of the community. Brandl was a dedicated member of the University of Minnesota faculty since 1968. He served as associate professor and director of the School of Public Affairs from 1969 to 1976. When the college transitioned to the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, he remained on the faculty and later served as dean. For more information, see the news release, or view a video from a June 2008 dinner honoring him.

Longtime Regents Professor Vernon Ruttan died Aug. 18. His genius lay in bringing to light the connections between technological and social change, as well as the hidden effects of government policies and practices. Ruttan also had an appointment in the Department of Economics, and was a friend and colleague of fellow retired Regents Professor Leonid Hurwicz, the 2007 Nobel laureate in economics who died June 24. For more information, see "An economist for the ages."

Steven Goldstein has been named the new president and CEO of the U foundation, replacing Gerald Fischer, who spent 18 years in the position. Goldstein has been a trustee of the University of Minnesota Foundation since 2000 and vice president of strategic initiatives since 2005, focusing on developing new revenue streams to support the University of Minnesota's goal to become one of the top three public research universities in the world. Goldstein graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1973 with a degree in history and began a 13-year career with Carmichael-Lynch Advertising, where he eventually became senior vice president. He then served as vice president and general manager of WCCO Radio in Minneapolis, until 1992. Goldstein also has extensive volunteer nonprofit experience, including serving as president of the University of Minnesota Alumni Association in 1989-1990. He was on the boards of the Walker Art Center, Blake School, the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Minneapolis Foundation and other organizations. He is currently a trustee of the Bush Foundation. For more information, see the foundation.

New postdoctoral fellows for 2008-09 are Robyn Autry, Departments of Sociology and History, and LaRose Davis, Department of English with affiliations in the Department of African American and African Studies and the Institute for Advanced Study. Patina Mendez will continue for a second postdoctoral year in the Department of Entomology. The Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was established last year in the Graduate School to develop a faculty more diverse, interdisciplinary, and engaged in the community. For more information, read postdoctoral fellows.

Richard Beach (Department of Curriculum and Instruction) was recently appointed to serve as a member of the Commission on Media for the National Council of Teachers of English. His term will begin after the 2008 Annual Convention, scheduled for November 20-25 in San Antonio. The goal of this commission is to help teachers understand the value, possibilities, and constraints of multi-modal literacy and to support advocacy work with schools and educational policymakers. For more information, see Richard Beach.

Dante Cicchetti (Institute of Child Development) received the American Psychological Association (APA) Division 7 2008 Mentorship Award August 16, at the APA convention in Boston. The Developmental Psychology Mentorship Award honors individuals who have contributed to developmental psychology through the education and training of the next generation of research leaders in developmental psychology. For more information, see Dante Cicchetti.

Louis Mendoza has joined the University's Office for Equity and Diversity as associate vice provost for equity and diversity.
Louis Mendoza has joined the University's Office for Equity and Diversity as associate vice provost for equity and diversity.

Louis Mendoza, associate professor of Chicano Studies in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, has joined the University's Office for Equity and Diversity (OED) as associate vice provost for equity and diversity. As associate vice provost, Mendoza will be working collaboratively with colleges and other academic officers to support and enhance faculty diversity as well as to promote interdisciplinary faculty and graduate research on issues related to equity, diversity and social justice. Mendoza's position in OED began August 18. For more information, see the news release.

Jackie Millslagle has been appointed associate vice chancellor for academic administration and director of assessment at UMD. She began her new duties July 28. Millslagle was formerly Associate Dean in the College of Education and Human Service Professions.

Sonnia Peters has been elected chair of the Civil Service and Bargaining Unit (CSBU) Women's Action Network at the University of Minnesota beginning in August. Peters joined the University in 2004 as a Business Systems Analyst with the HRMS team. Peters will serve a two year term. For more information on CSBU, visit the Women's Center.

Scott Sorenson has been named the new assistant men's basketball coach and assistant women's softball coach at UMC. He comes to the Golden Eagles after a two-year stint as assistant men's basketball coach and head women's tennis coach at Bemidji State University. For more information, see the news release.

August 13

Cheryl Contant has begun her appointment as vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean at UMM. Since 1999, Contant had been professor and director of the City and Regional Planning Program in the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. She holds a master of environmental engineering and a doctorate in civil engineering, both from Stanford University. For more information, see the news release.

Alison Davis-Blake, dean of the Carlson School of Management, was recently appointed to a three-year term on the board of directors for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). AACSB is considered one of the world's most prestigious accrediting bodies for business schools and the largest advocacy association for management education. Davis-Blake is the 11th dean of the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management and one of four women currently serving as dean of America's top business schools. Previously, Davis-Blake was the senior associate dean for academic affairs at the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She has taught at all levels of higher education, and she co-founded and co-directed an executive master's degree program in human resource development leadership. For more information, see the news release.

Scott McConnell was named the 2008-09 Fesler-Lampert Chair in Urban and Regional Affairs. McConnell is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and director of community engagement at the Center for Early Education and Development. The resources provided by McConnell's appointment will allow his research team at CEED to pursue two projects related to the Five Hundred under 5 initiative, a collaborative to promote school readiness for young children in North Minneapolis. McConnell has taught at the University since 1986. Most recently, his research has focused on the design and evaluation of assessment and intervention programs that promote school readiness, language and early literacy development, and overall well-being for young children who live in poverty, speak languages other than English, have disabilities, or otherwise are at risk for later learning and behavior problems. More information about McConnell's appointment and his research plans are available at the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs.

Jim Rowan has been named assistant director in the Graduate School admissions office.
Jim Rowan has been named assistant director in the Graduate School admissions office.

Jim Rowan has been named assistant director in the Graduate School admissions office beginning Aug. 18. He brings more than 20 years of experience in the Twin Cities campus Office of Undergraduate Admissions, most recently as senior assistant director. In his new role, Rowan will be engaged in domestic and international student recruitment, transcript and credential evaluation, international student visa processing, and external relations. He will also play a critical role in the Graduate School's transition to a more paperless workflow using digital imaging. The Graduate School receives more than 13,000 applications per year and admits about 4,000 students to 135 graduate programs across the Duluth, Rochester, and Twin Cities campuses. For more information, read the news release.

Mark Rutherford, associate professor in the Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences department, has been named associate dean of graduate programs. A five-year member of the molecular veterinary biosciences graduate program and senior member of the toxicology and veterinary medicine graduate programs, Rutherford received first prize for innovative ideas in graduate education from the University of Minnesota Graduate School in 2006.

Also in the College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM), Dean Trevor Ames has reappointed James Collins as director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (VDL). Collins has been director of the VDL since 1998. Scott Dee, professor in the Veterinary Population Medicine department and director of the Swine Disease Eradication Center, was selected by the Office International des Epizooties (OIE), the World Organization for Animal Health, to represent North America on an ad-hoc meeting on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome at OIE headquarters in Paris, France, in June. The OIE consists of more than 170 member countries and territories. Peggy Root, associate professor and vice chair, Veterinary Clinical Sciences Department, has been appointed to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education, the accrediting body for the AVMA. Margaret Duxbury, assistant clinical professor, was elected to the board of regents of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists at the group's annual meeting, which was held in New Orleans in conjunction with the AVMA convention July 19-22. Jan Swanson, director of continuing education, was re-elected to the executive board of the Association of Veterinary Advancement Professionals. More information is available from the CVM Home.