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Awards and appointments January 2006

By Gayla Marty

Tex Ostvig, UConnects director.
UConnects program director Tex Ostvig is one of "25 on the Rise." See January 17, below.

January 27

2006 McKnight Land-Grant Professors, named by the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School this month, are Demoz Gebre-Egziabher, aerospace engineering and mechanics; Yongdae Kim, computer science and engineering; Efie Kokkoli, chemical engineering and materials science; Ronald Krebs, political science; Angus MacDonald III, psychology; Steven Manson, geography; David Rapp, educational psychology; Stergios Roumeliotis, computer science and engineering; Mark Thomas, neuroscience; and Cynthia Weinig, plant biology. They will be honored by the Board of Regents in March. For more information, see the award Web site.

President's Faculty Multicultural Research Award recipients are Kenneth Bartlett, work and human resource education; Tasoulla Hadjiyanni, design, housing, and apparel; Rashne Jehangir, General College; Michael Rodriguez, educational psychology; Maria Sera, Institute of Child Development; Catherine Solheim, family social science; and Dara Strolovitch, political science. The awards, which support research for up to two years, are sponsored by the Office of the Senior Vice President for System Administration and the Office for Multicultural and Academic Affairs. For more information, see the PFMRA page.

January 20

UMC adjunct business-law faculty member Tamara Yon
Photo courtesy of UMC

Crookston campus adjunct faculty member Tamara Yon was named to Minnesota's Ninth Judicial District Court bench by Governor Tim Pawlenty January 20. She and Jeff Remick, named the same day, are Crookston area attorneys. Yon teaches Legal Environment of Business at UMC. Pawlenty made the announcement while in Crookston broadcasting his weekly radio show. He also celebrated Maroon & Gold Friday with alumni representatives. For more information, see the news release and Yon's faculty bio.

January 18

Public health professor Michael Finch has been reappointed as chair of the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency Board of Directors by Governor Pawlenty. Finch is also a visiting associate professor in the College of Liberal Arts and a lecturer in the Carlson School's Department of Health Care Management. He has held the agency's board chair since 1995 and his new term runs until 2010. The Minnesota Housing Finance Agency provides housing for low and moderate-income persons. For more information, see the MHFA Web site.

UMC program associate Rhonda Miller
Photo courtesy of UMC

Rhonda Miller (right) is a new program associate in the Center for Adult Learning, Crookston campus. Her focus will be online and off-site students. For more information, see the news release.

January 17

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota has named UConnects program coordinator Tex Ostvig to its inaugural "25 on the Rise" list. The list honors Hispanic leaders for their services and contributions to Minnesota's growing Hispanic community. Ostvig is a 1996 U alumnus. UConnects is a Twin Cities campus-community partnership that connects young people and their mentors with the University of Minnesota by providing tickets and access to educational programs and cultural and athletic events. For more information, see the news release.

Harriett Copher Haynes, director of University Counseling and Consulting Services (UCCS), Twin Cities campus, is one of twelve higher education and student affairs professionals inducted into the Diamond Honoree Program of the Educational Leadership Foundation in Washington, D.C. The program recognizes sustained contributions to higher education and student affairs. Haynes will be recognized at the annual convention of the ACPA-College Student Educators International in March. For more information, see the Diamond Honorees Class of 2006 and UCCS.

January 12

A coordinator in the Twin Cities campus Student Activities Office, Chad Ellsworth, was honored by the Association of Fraternity Advisers (AFA) for an anti-hazing article he wrote that was published in Perspectives, the association's national magazine. Ellsworth adapted the article from his thesis. For more information, see "Definitions of Hazing" on the National Hazing Prevention Week resource library site and the AFA site. See also the Student Activities Office.

January 11

UMM alum and Minnesota Supreme Court justice Lorie Gildea
Photo by Dan Davis/The Forum

Governor Tim Pawlenty appointed Lorie Gildea (left), a 1983 alumna of the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a staff member in the U's Office of the General Counsel from 1993 to 2004, to the Minnesota Supreme Court in December. Gildea completed her bachelor's degree in three years at Morris and graduated from law school with honors at Georgetown University Law Center in 1986. She fills the position of Richard Anderson, who was appointed chief justice of the court after the retirement of Kathleen Blatz. For more information, see "UMM alum Gildea named associate justice."

January 10

U marketing director Ann Aronson.
Photo by Patrick O'Leary

The U's new director of marketing is Ann Aronson (right), who joined University Relations December 19. Aronson worked for 12 years in various marketing and community relations capacities at Target and most recently served as senior vice president at Ruder Finn Public Relations. For more information, see Marketing.

Jeff Falk is the new broadcast services manager in the University News Service. He will take the reins in producing "University of Minnesota Moment" for state radio media. Falk brings experience in the Ventura and Pawlenty administrations; he most recently produced the governor's weekly radio show. For more information, see University News Service or contact him directly at 612-626-1720.

January 9

UMC music and theater director George French sitting on the organ bench in Kiehle Auditorium.
Photo by John Zak

Crookston campus director of music and theater George French (left) is being honored this month with the first Good Neighbor of the North award from radio KROX in Crookston. French joined the UMC faculty in 1980. Music played and organized by French has graced community and campus events ever since. For more information, see the KROX award.

The new director of development and alumni relations at the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is Corby Kemmer, beginning January 17. Kemmer comes from Mayville State University, part of the North Dakota University system, where he served as a development associate and director of the athletic club. He directed the annual fund drive for three years and coordinated a campus renovation project. For more information, see the news release.

Mike Vivion is the new chief pilot for Crookston's aviation program. Vivion has flown for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for more than 25 years. Natural resource aviation and law enforcement were added as areas of emphasis in the UMC aviation program three years ago at the urging of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. For more information, see the news release.

Morris campus professor of Spanish Vicente Cabrera has published his fourth novel, Los malditos amantes de Carolina. It was published in Spanish last month by Labresa press in his native Ecuador. Cabrera earned his doctoral degree in Spanish literature at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and joined the Morris faculty in 1987. He has published six books of nonfiction, as well. Readings are planned in April on campus and in Fargo, North Dakota. Cabrera's books are also available in the Twin Cities at the Resource Center of the Americas. For more information, see the news release.

Two new organic coordinators are joining the U's Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton. Jim Riddle and Carmen Fernholz will coordinate and support efforts to expand the U's statewide organics programs in research and outreach. Riddle, from Winona, has been farming organically since 1980 and has served on the National Organic Standards Board since 2001. He's also held an endowed chair in agricultural systems at the U. Fernholz, of Madison, Minnesota, began farming organically in the 1970s, was a senior fellow at the U in 1997-98, and has been active an many groups, including the Organic Growers and Buyers Association. For more information, see the news release.

Joe Massey, senior vice chancellor and dean, Crookston campus, announced his retirement January 4. A Twin Cities campus alumnus ('74, '77), Massey returned to join the faculty in forest products in 1995 and was appointed vice chancellor for academic affairs at Crookston in 2004. He served as the campus's chief executive officer for 10 months in 2004-05. 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. Submit items to Gayla Marty at