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Awards and appointments February 2006

By Gayla Marty

Regent Cynthia Lesher.
University regent Cynthia Lesher was sworn in February 10. See February 9, below.

February 28

The Minnesota Veterinary Medical Association honored Gary Goldstein with the Outstanding Faculty Award at its annual meeting in Duluth Feb. 2-4. Goldstein is an associate clinical professor and director of the Dental Service, Veterinary Medical Center. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the U in 1984. For more information, see College of Veterinary Medicine Award Winners.

February 21

Gunda Georg

A world leader in medicinal chemistry, Gunda Georg (left), will join the College of Pharmacy next fall. Georg, currently at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, has done research on discovering and developing potential drugs to treat cancer. She will head the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and help to establish drug discovery and development as a major focus at the U. For more information, see the news release.

Gediminas Adomavicius, assistant professor of information and decision sciences at the Carlson School of Management, has received a $450,000 Career Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research personalization technologies and help to develop effective ways to deal with information overload and promote access to relevant information. For more information, see the news release and his faculty profile.

February 20

Professor of neurology and neuroscience Karen Hsaio Ashe received the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer's Disease February 14 in Washington, D.C. Ashe has shown that recovery of memory in laboratory animals with Alzheimer's disease is possible. This is her second award from MetLife, which has recognized significant research to understand and treat Alzheimer's disease since 1986. For more information, see the news release.

Professor of music Doc Carlson, Morris campus, received the Minnesota Music Educators Association's highest honor February 17 when he was inducted into the MMEA Hall of Fame. Carlson began his career at Morris in 1978 and established the annual Jazz Fest the next year. Since then he has developed opportunities in music locally and around the world for student musicians at Morris. For more information, see "Doc Carlson inducted into Hall of Fame."

February 13

U alumnus and Nobel laureate Norman Borlaug was awarded the National Medal of Science at the White House today. The medal was established by Congress in 1959 for individuals deserving of special recognition for outstanding contributions to knowledge in science. Borlaug, 92, may well be the U's most famous graduate, having won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for his contributions to the Green Revolution as a wheat breeder. See the story in UMNnews .

The new director of UMD's Alworth Institute for International Studies is William Henderson, who has directed the University of Birmingham's Centre for Lifelong Learning. Henderson holds a doctorate in African studies and has lived and worked in Botswana, Ghana, and Zimbabwe. The Alworth Institute provides lectures, forums, and conferences to promote knowledge and understanding of international issues. For more information, see the news release.

February 10

Humphrey Institute dean Brian Atwood
Photo courtesy of the Humphrey Institute

Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs dean Brian Atwood (left) has been elected chair of AFS International's board of trustees. AFS Intercultural Programs involve more than 11,000 people a year in more than 50 countries, from high school students to teachers. Atwood is one of the world?s foremost development experts and dean of the U?s Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs. He participated in an exchange student to Luxembourg through AFS (American Field Service International) as a teenager in 1959. For more information, see the AFS news release.

Crookston campus has appointed Sara Kaiser as coordinator for new-student experience and parent programs. Kaiser is currently serving as an admissions counselor and will assume her new duties March 6. She holds a degree in communication from the University of Indianapolis. For more information, see the news release.

The new student recruiter for the U of M, Rochester, is Jade Rowland, a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College who brings experience at Viterbo University in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, and Rochester Community and Technical College. For more information about UMR, see the Prospective Students page.

Morris campus communications coordinator Judy Riley, University Relations, will chair the Communications and Marketing Committee of the Morris Area Chamber of Commerce. Other UMMers who will serve with Morris community volunteers on the committee are UMM director of communications Christine Mahoney and Center for Small Towns director Ben Winchester. For more information, see Morris's External Relations personnel and the Morris, Minnesota, Chamber of Commerce.

February 9

Governor Tim Pawlenty has appointed Cynthia Lesher (see top photo) to the University's Board of Regents for a term ending in February 2007. Lesher is president and CEO of Xcel Energy in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota and is a member of the Women's Economic Roundtable, which is made up of the top 100 women leaders in Minnesota. She holds degrees from Drake and St. Cloud State U and completed the U Carlson School of Management Master's of Excellence program. Lesher resides in the fourth congressional district. She will be sworn in at this month's board meeting, February 10. Lesher will complete the term of Richard McNamara, who resigned in December. For more information, see the story in UMNnews and the governor's news release.

February 7

UMC communications director Krista Lemos
Photo courtesy of UMC

The new communications director for the University of Minnesota, Crookston, is Krista Lemos (right) from Monterey, California, where she currently serves as coordinator for community education and outreach. Lemos brings 15 years of a broad range of communications experience. She will join UMC in late March. For more information, see the news release.

February 2

Beverly Durgan
Photo courtesy of U of M Extension Service

The dean and director of the U of M Extension Service, Beverly Durgan (left), has been appointed to also head the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. Durgan has served in several roles at the University and continues on the state extension faculty in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. In any given year, MAES funding supports about 400 research projects by more than 300 faculty members; projects employ more than 600 field research and laboratory assistants, technicians, and postdoctoral research associates in five colleges and ten centers statewide. For more information, see the news release.

Morris campus chancellor for academic affairs and dean John Schwaller has been named president of the State University of New York at Potsdam beginning July 1. Division of Education chair Judith Kuechle will serve as interim vice chancellor and dean beginning March 4 through fall semester; associate professor of psychology Leslie Meek will serve as assistant academic dean. For more information, see the news release.

February 1

UMM's Tom McRoberts
Photo courtesy of UMM

The interim director of Continuing Education and Regional Programs (CERP) at the Morris campus, Tom McRoberts (left), has been named permanent director. As interim, he has overseen CERP's reorganization and the reduction of its base budget as mandated by the Budget Task Force. McRoberts also directs Morris's Center for International Programs (CIP), a position he will maintain through the end of this academic year. He is a recipient of the University's Tate Award for Excellence in Advising. For more information about CERP, see "McRoberts takes CERP helm."

Deans of two Twin Cities campus colleges will conclude their terms June 30, the administration announced. The College of Natural Resources, currently headed by Susan Stafford, and the College of Agricultural, Food, and Environmental Sciences, headed by Charles Muscoplat, will form one new college along with the Department of Food Science and Nutrition from the College of Human Ecology. A national search for a dean of the new college will be launched soon. Muscoplat will continue in his role as vice president for agricultural policy with increased responsibilities in enhancing regional and statewide economic development. 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