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Home > People > Awards and appointments, October 2008

Awards and appointments, October 2008

By Adam Overland


Michael Darger, Extension Program Leader for Community Economics, received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Outstanding Leadership.

October 29

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor .
Michael Darger, Extension Program Leader for Community Economics, received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Outstanding Leadership. The award honors Darger for his leadership style, which enables educators to succeed in planning, implementing and evaluating the measurable outcomes of their community economics programs. Darger's success as a leader has come from his development of a model of empowerment, trust, professional development and leading by example. Darger's leadership has made Extension the "go-to" organization of community economics education. His mastery of skills in leadership and professional development has resulted in his team gaining greater collaboration, education, impact and outreach, a stronger network, and a broader presence for Extension in the field of community development. The Dean's Award was presented during Extension's annual Fall Program Conference, a statewide gathering of the University's Extension faculty and staff, held in Duluth, Minn. For more information, see the news release.

Marla Reicks, Extension nutritionist, was presented with the Dean's Award for Distinguished Campus-based Faculty at the organization's recent Fall Program Conference. The award honors Reicks for her commitment to research and education in the field of health and nutrition, which exemplifies Extension's mission to connect community needs with University resources. Reicks's collaborative work with the Health and Nutrition Extension Educators and the Nutrition Education Program has addressed important nutrition issues that impact audiences throughout the state. Before whole grains nutrition was a popular topic, Reicks helped schools and families understand the importance of whole grains in a healthy diet. She is an integral team member and leader in a number of nutrition education projects, resulting in improved wellness for Minnesota families. For more information, see the news release.

UMM's Assistant Director of the Multi-Ethnic Program Mike Miller received two awards during the 24th Annual Minnesota Indian Education Association (MIEA) Conference in Mahnomen. Erma Vizenor, chair of the White Earth Tribal Council, presented Miller with a plaque in recognition of his "Commitment and Dedication to Educational Excellence of the White Earth Nation." Miller also received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service to Minnesota Indian Students and American Indian Initiatives from the MIEA Board of Directors.

The University of Minnesota ranked 9th on a list of the 100 most-cited universities in the field of management over the last 25 years in a recent Journal of Management article. Andrew Van de Ven, professor and Vernon H. Heath Chair of Organizational Innovation and Change in the Carlson School's Strategic Management and Organization department, ranked 15th on the article's list of the 150 most-cited authors. Another impressive result was that the University of Minnesota was one of 15 universities that consistently ranked in the top quartile for all periods studied, making it one of a handful of institutions continuously impacting the field of management during the past quarter century. Additionally, Carlson School Professors Richard Arvey (Emeritus, Rank 116th) and Roger Schroeder (Rank 129th) were also included on the list of 150 most-cited authors in the field of management during the last 25 years. Other University of Minnesota faculty members on the list of most-cited authors in the field of management include: Joyce Bono (Carlson School), Alison Davis-Blake (Carlson School dean), Deniz Ones (Psychology), Paul Sackett (Psychology), Harry Sapienza (Carlson School), Connie Wanberg (Carlson School), Aks Zaheer (Carlson School), Srilata Zaheer (Carlson School), and Shaker Zahra (Carlson School). The researchers also studied where the most-cited authors received their graduate degrees and where they are faculty members. Fifteen of the most-cited authors had received their graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota; eleven of the most-cited authors were currently affiliated with the University of Minnesota. This means that the University of Minnesota is recognized for both producing students who become highly cited authors and also for having faculty members who have achieved this status. The article appeared in the Journal of Management's August 2008 issue.

October 22

James Parente has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts.
James Parente has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

James Parente has been named dean of the College of Liberal Arts. Parente, the current interim dean, is a professor and former chair of the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch and associate dean for faculty and research. He has been a member of the university's faculty since 1993 and previously served on the faculty at Princeton University and the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned both his Ph.D. and M.A. from Yale University, in German Languages and Literatures. Parente's candidacy received strong and consistent support from faculty, students, staff and alumni. CLA is the university's largest college and is critical to help the university achieve its goal of becoming one of the top three public research universities in the world. For more information, see the news release.

Stephanie Helgeson and W. Daniel Svedarsky will receive UMC's highest recognition, the Torch & Shield Award. They will be honored with a program and banquet on Oct. 29, Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center. The Torch & Shield Award recognizes individuals who have provided leadership and who have aided in the development of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, Northwest Research and Outreach Center and Extension. Joy Johnson, vice president of Planning and Ancillary Services at RiverView Health in Crookston, and Senator Rod Skoe will also receive the award.

Stephanie Helgeson has served as the director of athletics at the Crookston campus since 2003. She began her career at the UMC working as the office specialist in athletics and later became the sports information coordinator. In September of 2000, she was named the assistant director of athletics. Helgeson attended UMC for two years in the early 90s before transferring to the University of North Dakota to complete her bachelor's degree in business administration and where she is currently pursuing a master's degree in educational leadership. Her leadership of Golden Eagle Athletics at the NCAA Division II level and as a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) emphasizes academic excellence and the development of student athletes as leaders. For more information, see the news release.

W. Daniel Svedarsky has been at the UMC since 1969 and is currently head of the Natural Resources Department, which includes the program areas of horticulture, golf and turf management, aviation, and the traditional areas of natural resources. He completed two degrees at the University of Missouri, Columbia and later studied the nesting and brood-rearing ecology of greater prairie chickens in Minnesota while completing a doctorate in wildlife biology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Svedarsky also conducts wildlife research with the Northwest Research and Outreach Center focusing on tallgrass prairie restoration and management using fire and prairie bird management, especially for greater prairie chickens. For more information, see the news release.

October 15

Jane Davidson was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative
Jane Davidson was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative

Jane Davidson was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative. Davidson is a professor of mechanical engineering and the director of the Solar Energy Laboratory, where her areas of research include solar systems for residential buildings, efficiency in building envelopes, and solar thermo-chemical cycles to produce fuels. She currently serves on the National Research Council's America's Energy Future Renewable Electricity Panel. Davidson holds a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Duke University.

Lanny Schmidt was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative. Schmidt is a Regents professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. Applications of his research have included direct conversion of alkanes and renewable fuels into chemicals, the production of hydrogen and syngas, and biomass reforming for fuel cells and for chemicals and fuels production. He has been a professor at the U for more than 43 years, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. Schmidt holds a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago.

Randy Moore, a professor in the University of Minnesota's College of Biological Sciences, has been named winner of the National Association of Biology Teachers Evolution Education Award. Moore will receive the award, given to one K-16 biology teacher annually, at the association's annual meeting on Oct. 17 in Memphis, Tenn. For nearly 30 years, Moore has taught biology based on evolution, incorporating it as the unifying theme of biology as well as his classes. The education award, which is given for innovation classroom teaching and community education efforts to promote the understanding of evolution, is co-sponsored by the American Institute for Biological Sciences and the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study. Moore, who has earned numerous other teaching awards from local and national organizations, holds a doctorate in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles. For more information, see the news release.

Allan Spear, the country's first openly gay male state legislator and a longtime history professor at the University of Minnesota for 36 years, died Saturday night at age 71 after complications following heart surgery. Spear leaves behind a legacy as one of the state's most influential legislators and left an indelible impact on students and colleagues at the university. Spear began teaching in the University of Minnesota's history department in 1964 and retired in 2000 after 36 years of academic scholarship as an associate professor of history. In 2000, the University of Minnesota's Steven J. Schochet Center for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Studies celebrated Allan Spear's life and work by naming a speech in the Schochet Distinguished Lecture Series in his honor, the Spear Lecture in Public Policy. For more information, see the news release.

Srilata Zaheer
Srilata Zaheer

Srilata Zaheer, associate dean of faculty and research and professor of Strategic Management and Organization at the Carlson School of Management, was named the first holder of the Elmer L. Andersen Chair in Global Corporate Social Responsibility. The school-wide chair was created through an agreement with the HB Fuller Foundation, the University of Minnesota Foundation, and the Carlson School. A school-wide committee selected Zaheer for the inaugural appointment based on her excellence in research, teaching, and service contributions, international reputation, and evidence of impact. Her areas of research include the legitimacy of multinational enterprises and how information and communication technology influence the work of global firms. She is particularly interested in how corporate social responsibility and the legitimacy that goes with it spill across national boundaries. In 2007, Zaheer was named a Fellow of the Academy of International Business, the highest academic honor in her field. Zaheer received her doctorate in international management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. For more information, see the news release.

October 8

Donald Fosnacht, center director at the University of Minnesota, Duluth Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), was appointed by Governor Tim Pawlenty in September to the 15-member Clean Energy Technology Collaborative. The goal of the collaborative is to identify the most promising research and development relating to clean energy technology that may be beneficial to Minnesota. As the leader of research for NRRI's new energy-related technologies, Fosnacht is moving a team of researchers toward innovative development in biomass production and pretreatment, gasification, wind energy, alternative biofuels development, efficient ethanol production, energy conservation and material reuse and carbon dioxide conversion and sequestration. He is also leading work on the production of ultra clean coal that can be used in both power generation and metallurgical applications.

UMD has announced the appointment of Mindy Granley to the newly created position of campus sustainability coordinator. She began her work on September 24. Prior to UMD Granley worked as a Coastal Nonpoint Specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' Lake Superior Coastal Program. She also served with the University of Wisconsin-Superior Lake Superior Research Institute as a Research Specialist and the City of Superior Environmental Services as a Researcher. Granley holds a Master's degree in Water Resources Science from the University of Minnesota. For more information, see Granley.

Ben Johnson has been selected to receive a Special Recognition award during Michigan's 23rd Annual Governor's Awards for Arts & Culture, Nov. 13 at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The award celebrates Johnson?s significant contributions to arts education in his former role as Director of Education and Audience Development with the University Musical Society in Ann Arbor, Mich. Johnson left his position with the UMS in June 2007 to serve as the Director of Concerts and Lectures for Northrop Auditorium at the University of Minnesota.

Marie Johnson has been appointed director of the University of Minnesota's new Medical Device Fellows Program, a full immersion educational and product development program for medical device creation.
Marie Johnson has been appointed director of the University of Minnesota's new Medical Device Fellows Program, a full immersion educational and product development program for medical device creation.

Marie Johnson has been appointed director of the University of Minnesota's new Medical Device Fellows Program, a full immersion educational and product development program for medical device creation. Johnson's appointment follows the completion of her most-recent post-doctoral fellowship in the Stanford Biodesign Program. Johnson completed her master's degree and Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She also spent one year at the University of Minnesota, teaching the Senior Mechanical Engineering Design course and a Senior Biomedical Engineering Design and Mechanisms course to approximately 300 students. Johnson has patents and patents pending in the United States, Europe and Taiwan in acetabular joint fixation, cardiac auscultation to analyze and diagnose heart sounds using signal processing methods, a powdered metal-based pressure indicator, noninvasive method to detect coronary artery disease, stroke detection, new fetal monitoring techniques, and noninvasive detection of atrial fibrillation. For more information, see Johnson.

Julie Schumacher has received the first College of Continuing Education Distinguished Educator Award.
Julie Schumacher has received the first College of Continuing Education Distinguished Educator Award.

Department of English professor and creative writing program chair Julie Schumacher has received the first College of Continuing Education Distinguished Educator Award. CCE Dean Mary Nichols cited Schumacher as a firm champion of CCE programs in other parts of the University and noted her extraordinary history of participation with CCE programs Compleat Scholar, U Reads, College in the Schools, and the Split Rock Arts Program. On October 23, Schumacher will be presented with a plaque and a $2000 award at the annual CCE Celebration in Coffman Union. This fall Schumacher also celebrates the publication of Black Box, her fourth novel for young readers. For more information, see Schumacher.

David Tilman, Regents Professor of Ecology at the University of Minnesota, has been named the 2008 recipient of the International Prize for Biology. Tilman will receive a medal, a cash prize and a gift from Emperor Akihito of Japan in a ceremony in Tokyo on Dec. 8. Following the ceremony, he will present the keynote address at a scientific symposium. The award, which is one of the most prestigious honors a scientist can receive, is given to one individual in a different field of biology each year. The last time it was given for ecology was in 1993, when Edward Wilson, the renowned Harvard evolutionary biologist, was the recipient. Other past recipients include scientists from California Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, Duke and other leading research universities around the world. Tilman was selected for research proving that biodiversity makes ecosystems more productive and resistant to drought, disease and pests. More recently, he has applied his discoveries to renewable energy, showing that biofuel created from diverse prairie grasses is more efficient and better for the environment than fuel made from food crops such as corn and soybeans. All of his research was carried out at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, which is operated by the College of Biological Sciences, where Tilman is a faculty member. For more information, see Tilman.

October 1

Kevin Cooper has been hired as a teaching specialist in marketing in the business department at UMC. The business management degree program at UMC provides graduates with experience in marketing, management, communications, and current computer technologies. Cooper most recently served as the director of the University of North Dakota's Research Enterprise and Commercialization Park. He has also worked as an economic development director for the cities of Jamestown and Hazen in North Dakota. Cooper holds a master of business administration degree from the University of North Dakota and bachelor of science in business administration from Mayville State University.

Ki-tae Kim will lead UMC's Coordination of English as a Second Language program
Ki-tae Kim will lead UMC's Coordination of English as a Second Language program

UMC's English as a Second Language (ESL) program will be coordinated by Ki-tae Kim. The ESL program currently has some 30 international students learning English in preparation to enroll in degree programs. Responsible for the coordination of the work of ESL faculty, Kim will also evaluate students, develop courses and provide leadership for the program's day-to-day operation and future progress. Kim earned a doctorate in linguistics with distinction from Georgetown University and a Teaching English Speakers of Other Languages certificate from The American University in Washington, D.C. His masters and bachelors degrees are from Korea University in Seoul. The ESL program became part of the U of M, Crookston curriculum in June 2006 and has grown significantly over the last several years. For more information, see the news release.

Corbin Smyth has been appointed Director of the UMD Kirby Student Center. Smyth replaces Neale Roth who retired after a 40-year career at UMD. Smyth most recently served as assistant director of the Indiana Memorial Union at Indiana University since 2002.

Scott Lanyon has been named head of the U's department of ecology, evolution, and behavior. Lanyon is a former director of the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum of Natural History. As director of the Bell, Lanyon improved collections and strengthened research and outreach programs. He led the museum through planning for a new building and increased private support. In addition, he taught courses in evolution, ornithology, and systematic biology. He is currently studying the evolutionary history of the New World blackbirds. Lanyon is also participating in the Tree of Life project, an international effort to better understand evolutionary relationships among the Earth's species. For more information, see the news release.