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Home > People > Awards and appointments: August 2005

Awards and appointments: August 2005

By Gayla Marty

Lin Nelson-Mayson.
Lin Nelson-Mayson will become the director of the Goldstein Museum of Design September 1. See "U appointments," below.


  • U awards to faculty and staff
  • External awards to U faculty, staff, and students
  • U appointments
  • Departures
  • External appointments
  • U student and alumni honors
  • In memoriam
  • Some items have appeared earlier in Brief as indicated. More recent items appear on the Faculty & Staff "People" page as they are received. See submission information, below. U AWARDS TO FACULTY AND STAFF

The University named five McKnight Presidential Fellows August 23: Claudia Schmidt-Dannert, biology, molecular biology, and biophysics; Michael Goldman, sociology; Fernando Porte-Agel, civil engineering; Krishnan Mahesh, aerospace engineering and mechanics; and Theodore Schoen, music, Duluth. The award is made each year to the most promising faculty members who were granted tenure and promoted to associate professor. It includes research-related financial support. For more information, see the story in UMNnews . (Brief, August 31.) EXTERNAL AWARDS TO U FACULTY, STAFF, AND STUDENTS

The University of Minnesota took two of twelve Awards for Exemplary Online Learning Resources at the international conference of the Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching last month. In the Teaching and Technology category, Paul Baepler and Bill Rozaitis, staff members at the Center for Teaching and Learning Services, were recognized for their module, "Active Learning With PowerPoint," which won the 2005 Classics Award. George Host with UMD's Natural Resources Research Institute (NRRI), accepted an award for Water on the Web in the Biology category on behalf of a team including Cindy Hagley, Bruce Munson, and Carl Richards of the Minnesota Sea Grant Program at UMD; Rich Axler, Elaine Ruzycki, and Norm Will of the NRRI; and Glenn Merrick with Lake Superior College. For more information, see MERLOT.

Doctors Carl Osborne and Will Hueston, College of Veterinary Medicine, were honored at the American Veterinary Medical Association convention in Minneapolis July 16-20. Osborne received the first Robert R. Shomer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Veterinary Medical Ethics for the integral role of the welfare and humane treatment of animals in his teaching and research. Hueston, director of the Center for Animal Health and Food Safety, received the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Head Cane Award to recognize his achievements in advancing human health through veterinary epidemiology and public health. For more information, see the news releases about Osborne and Hueston.


The new chancellor of the University of Minnesota, Crookston, will be Charles Casey, current dean, Extension Service. Casey, a former regent and a resident of northwest Minnesota, has led Extension for more than six years during a period of major strategic change. Beverly Durgan Beverly Durgan (left), associate dean for research and outreach in the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences (COAFES), will become the new dean and director for the Extension Service. Both changes will be effective September 12, pending approval by the Board of Regents. For more information, see the news release. (Brief, August 31.)

The new statewide director for Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships (RSDP) is Kathryn Draeger. The RSDP works to sustain Minnesota's natural resource-based communities and industries by addressing community-identified agriculture, natural resources, and tourism issues in partnership with the U; it is a joint effort of the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, the College of Natural Resources, and the U of M Extension Service. Draeger holds a Ph.D. in water resource sciences, an M.S. in soil science, and a B.S. in rhetoric and life sciences from the U. For more information about the partnerships, see the RSDP Web site.

Jeff Gunderson has been named acting director of Minnesota Sea Grant, now celebrating its 30th year. Gunderson has been with the program at UMD since 1979 and follows former director Carl Richards, who is now directing the Midcontinent Ecology Division of the Environmental Protection Agency in Duluth. A national search for Minnesota Sea Grant's permanent director is beginning. For more information about Gunderson's work, see his staff profile.

Jasjit Singh Ahluwalia, professor of preventive medicine and public health at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, will become the Academic Health Center's first director of clinical sciences this fall. He will also become associate dean for clinical research in the Medical School and a professor in the Department of Medicine. His role will be to help develop collaborative, interdisciplinary research programs and new clinical research initiatives. Ahluwalia's research interests center on smoking cessation and health care disparities among minority populations. For more information, see the news release.

Julie Ross, professor and epidemiologist, has been named associate director for population sciences for the Cancer Center. Ross currently leads more than 12 research projects that focus on childhood cancers. For more information, see the news release.

The new director of communications for the University of Minnesota, Morris, is Christine Mahoney, former director of advertising at the Grand Casino, Hinckley, in east central Minnesota. Mahoney joins the external relations team and brings a broad range of experience to aid efforts from admissions to fundraising. For more information, see the news release.

The Goldstein Museum of Design announced the appointment of its new director, Lin Nelson-Mayson, effective September 1. Nelson-Mayson comes from leadership positions including director of ExhibitsUSA in Kansas City, the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, and deputy director for curatorial services in Columbia, South Carolina. For more information about the museum, see Goldstein Museum of Design.

Lisa Loegering, Crookston campus assistant director for service learning, will lead the UMC Mentoring and Caring Program, which just received a $65,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Foundation. Leogering developed a program in which 18 UMC students mentored youth ages 4-17 over the past year. For more information, see her staff profile.

DEPARTURES Sam Schuman Morris campus chancellor Sam Schuman (left) announced August 16 that he will retire June 30, 2006. He has served for 11 years in which UMM has achieved national historic district status as well as high national rank, NCAA Division III status, and national leadership in innovative energy use. He will spend the coming year engaged in the strategic positioning process. For more information, see the news release.

Joanne Eicher Regents Professor Joanne Eicher (right), who will retire from the College of Human Ecology this year, will be honored at a celebration dinner September 17--part of a two-day symposium, "The Senses and Sentiment of Dress." Eicher joined the University faculty in 1977; in the Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel, her teaching and research have focused on dress, culture, and society. She plans to continue her research and serve as editor in chief for the ten-volume World Encylopedia of Dress and Adornment and as the dress, body, and culture editor for Berg Publishers. For more information, see the symposium Web site.

Mario Prada, assistant professor and director of multicultural and international programs at Crookston campus, is leaving UMC to enter the seminary. Prada joined the Crookston faculty and staff in 1988 and made a strong impact on the campus community because of his commitment to diversity and to making international students comfortable on campus. For more information, see his faculty profile.

EXTERNAL APPOINTMENTS Daniel Erkkila, head of the U's North Central Research and Outreach Center (NCROC) in Grand Rapids, was elected president of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA), announced at its annual conference this summer. Erkkila is a professor and tourism specialist who has been with the University since 1991. The TTRA is an international network of more than 800 travel and tourism research and marketing professionals worldwide established in 1970. For more information, see TTRA and NCROC.

Louis Ling, professor and associate dean for graduate medical education in the Medical School, has been named president of the American Board of Emergency Medicine (ABEM) for 2005-06. The board sets credential requirements and exams to evaluate physicians who seek emergency medicine certification. Ling has practiced emergency medicine at Hennepin County Medical Center for more than 20 years. For more information, see the ABEM news release.

Marc Swiontkowski, professor and head of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, was named the 118th president of the American Orthopaedic Association (AOA) at its annual meeting in June. The AOA seeks to identify, develop, and engage leaders in the field and to promote the specialty. Swiontkowski joined the U faculty in 1997. For more information, see the AOA news release (PDF).

U STUDENT AND ALUMNI HONORS Celi Dean, a junior in the College of Human Ecology, Twin Cities campus, was crowned Miss Black USA in Washington, D.C., August 7. She is an honor student majoring in family social science after two years in General College. The pageant was founded in 1986 to develop leadership among African American women; its emphasis this year was fitness and health. For more information, see "U student wins Miss Black USA crown."


Professor and world-renowned physicist Anatony Larkin died unexpectedly August 4 in Aspen, Colorado, where he was attending a workshop. He was 72. Larkin was a major contributor to the fundamental understanding of superconductivity and the theory of phase transitions. He was born in Moscow and became a leading physicist in the former Soviet Union, a founder of the famous Russian school of theoretical physics. He joined the University physics faculty in 1995 as the William I. and Bianca M. Fine Professor at the William I. Fine Physics Institute. He is survived by his wife and two sons, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. For more information, see the news release.

Professor emeritus William Fenster, longtime leader in international agricultural programs, died from complications due to cancer August 21 in Dothan, Alabama, at the age of 70. Fenster was a soil scientist and member of the U's Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, a member of the faculty from 1967 to 1997. He beginning in extension, he went on to coordinate large teams of multidisciplinary faculty and students in international efforts in countries including Nigeria, Mauritania, Colombia, Morocco, and Uganda. He is survived by his wife and son. For more information, see the news release.

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, in the last issue of each month. Submit items to Gayla Marty at

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