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Home > People > Awards and appointments April 2006

Awards and appointments April 2006

By Gayla Marty

Nancy (Rusty) Barcelo
Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo will join the University as vice president in May, pending approval by the regents. See April 5, below.

April 26

Morris associate professor of biology Paul Myers has received the 2005 Koufax Award for best expert blog for his personal blog, Pharyngula, which is about evolution and biology. For more information, see the news release.

April 25

A computer science and French major at Morris, Emily Christianson, is one of 28 finalists for Google's Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship, which encourages women to excel in computing and technology. The finalists received $1,000 and visited Google headquarters in California for a retreat. For more information, see the news release.

Ann Markusen
Humphrey Institute for Public Affairs professor Ann Markusen.

April 21

Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs professor Ann Markusen (left) has been awarded the William Alonso Memorial Prize for Innovative Work in Regional Science for 2005-06. Markusen joined the University in 1999 and directs the institute's Project on Regional and Industrial Economics. Her current research focuses on occupational approaches to regional development and on the arts, high technology, and defense activities as regional economic stimulants. The Alonso Prize seeks to support innovative work in regional science. For more information, see the Regional Science Association International awards and competitions and Markusen's faculty bio.

April 20

An honors student in the College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities, Sarah Hampton, has won the 2006 Beinecke Scholarship. She is the first University of Minnesota student to do so. The Beinecke Scholarship encourages students to make courageous selections of graduate programs in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Hampton is a junior majoring in anthropology who is interested in identifying species from fragmented fossils. Each recipient receives $2,000 before entering graduate school and $30,000 while attending. For more information, see the news release.

April 19

Law School dean Alex Johnson, Jr., announced today that he will step down May 31. He has served as dean since 2002 during a period of ambitious faculty hiring and recruitment of high performing students. An interim dean will be named and a national search initiated. For more information, see the news release.

Carlson School of Management alumnus Donald Anderson, chair emeritus of the Santa Barbara Bank and Trust, received a University of Minnesota Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his distinction in the profession and public service. Anderson came from a banking family in Madison, Minnesota, and excelled in community banking. He has taught at the university level and served such organizations as the Santa Barbara United Way and YMCA. For more information, see the news release.

Al and Ingrid Lenz Harrison received the U of M Regents Award this month for their contributions to the building and development of the Carlson School of Management. They are also advocates and benefactors for the arts, medicine, lifelong education, and human rights and have supported the Weisman Art Museum, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, scholarships, and other University programs. For more information, see the news release.

April 18

Seven recipients of five awards for accomplishments by University women at the Twin Cities campus will be honored at a celebration April 26. Winners of the 2006 Distinguished Women Scholars Award are Karen Hsiao Ashe, professor of neurology, for sciences and engineering, and Elaine Tyler May, professor of American studies, for arts, humanities, and social sciences. The Mullen, Spector, Truax Women's Leadership Award will go to Jean Quam, professor of social work. Civil Service and Bargaining Unit Awards will go to Debra Haessly, administrative director, School of Kinesiology; Cathleen Marquardt, scientist, Office of Regulatory Affairs; and JoAn Russell, operations supervisor, Facilities Management. The winner of the Sharon Doherty Women Student Leadership Award is Ann McNally, a doctoral candidate in chemistry and member of Women in Science and Engineering. Space is still available to attend the celebration, April 26, 2:30-4:30 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. Please register by contacting the Office of University Women, or 612-625-9837. For more information about the awards, see OUW Awards and Grants.

Michele Norris
National correspondent Michele Norris received the U's Outstanding Achievement Award. Photo by Tim Rummelhoff

Michele Norris (left), award-winning journalist and 1985 alumna of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC), College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities, received the University's Outstanding Achievement Award April 17. Regent Cynthia Lesher presented the award to Norris at Eastcliff during an event hosted by SJMC before Norris delivered the Frank Premack Lecture on campus. Norris currently cohosts "All Things Considered" on National Public Radio and is a four-time Pulitzer Prize nominee. For more information, see the news release (PDF) and Outstanding Achievement Award.

April 14

Winners of the 2006 Cesar E. Chavez Award at the University of Minnesota, Morris, are Viridiana Zuniga, student and president of United Latinos, and Pareena Lawrence, associate professor of economics and management. Morris's student organization of United Latinos presents the award each year to recognize a student and a faculty member for their contributions to the Latino community and communities of color and for support of workers' rights while personifying the values embodied by the late labor and civil rights leader, Cesar Chavez. For more information, see the news release.

For the second year, a School of Nursing graduate got the highest score on the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board's national exam. Wendy Clagett Kochevar completed the pediatric nurse practitioner program in December 2004 and took the exam in 2005. The top scorer the previous year was Alexis Maciej. For more information, see the news release.

April 10

The 2006 winners of the Josie R. Johnson Human Rights and Social Justice award are staff member Grant Anderson, coordinator of residential life, and student Ora Hokes, a member of the Black Graduate and Professional Student Association who is pursuing parent-education licensure. The award recognizes individuals who make substantial and enduring contributions to the U. Anderson came to the U three years ago and developed social justice leadership retreats, in which more than 150 students have participated and more than 25 staff and faculty members have acted as facilitators. Hokes has devoted her energies to creating opportunities for immigrants, health and wellness programs to ensure school readiness, and the creation of Friendship Academy of Fine Arts charter school in downtown Minneapolis. For more information, see the news release.

Gordon Marten, professor emeritus in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, has been awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University for his service as a distinguished USDA-Agricultural Research Service (ARS) forage scientist and visionary researcher. For more information, see the news release.

Jean Wyman, professor, School of Nursing, will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Gerontological Nursing Association Board of Directors. The award recognizes excellence in and contributions to gerontological nursing. Wyman holds the Cora Meidl Siehl Endowed Chair in Nursing Research and is also a professor of community health and family practice, School of Medicine. For more information see her faculty bio and the NGNA.

April 5

The University's first vice president for access, equity, and multicultural affairs and vice provost will be Nancy "Rusty" Barcelo (top photo), effective May 15, pending approval by the Board of Regents. She will be responsible for developing and implementing systemwide efforts toward an inclusive and vibrant academic community within the framework of strategic positioning. Barcelo has more than 20 years of experience promoting diversity and multiculturalism in higher education. She currently serves as vice president and vice provost at the University of Washington and served as associate vice president at the University of Minnesota from 1996 to 2001. For more information, see the news release.

Claudia Neuhauser, a professor in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS), has been awarded $1 million from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to increase math proficiency of CBS undergraduates, especially in their ability to use statistics to solve biological and environmental problems. Neuhauser was one of 20 scientists selected for innovative teaching as well as research. For more information, see the news release.

April 3

Two Twin Cities campus honor students, Rebecca Mitchell and Joseph Walla, College of Liberal Arts, were named 2006 Harry S. Truman Scholars March 29. Mitchell is majoring in biology, society, and environment, and Walla--majoring in political science--was recently awarded a Luce Foundation Scholarship. Truman Scholars receive $30,000 for graduate or professional school and they commit to a period of public service; about 75 college juniors receive the award each year. For more information, see the news release.

Hong Yang
China Center director Hong Yang. Photo courtesy of the China Center.

China Center director Hong Yang (left) will receive the International Immigrant Achievement Award at the 2006 Twin Cities International Citizen Award ceremony April 26. The award, sponsored by the International Leadership Institute, honors Twin Citians whose work has contributed significantly to international understanding, cooperation, friendship, and development. Yang, who grew up in Leshan, Sichuan province, China, holds a doctorate in theoretical chemistry and joined the University in 2000. As director of the China Center, he works with all the U campuses and statewide to develop Minnesota-China relations. For more information, see the news release.

Professor Timothy Brennan and assistant professor Shaden Tageldin, both in the Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities, have been awarded summer stipends from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Brennan's project is "Borrowed Light: The Colonial Imagination in Modern European Thought, 1900-1968" and Tageldin's is "Disarming Words: European Empires, Native Intellectuals, and the Seductions of Translation in Egypt, 1798-1952." Summer stipend grants allow individuals to pursue full-time research and writing in the humanities for two months. Both faculty members were nominated by the Graduate School, which will match the stipends. For more information, see the Graduate School and faculty bios for Brennan and Tageldin.

Miranda Edel
Fine arts faculty member Miranda Edel. Photo courtesy of UMR.

Miranda Edel (right), a new assistant professor in the UMD School of Fine Arts, will teach fine arts at the University's Rochester center beginning this fall. Edel received a bachelor of fine arts in photography and a master of fine arts with an emphasis in graphic design, both at UMD. She also brings seven years of experience in Web and graphic design and four years of teaching experience. UMR has recently added BFA degrees in art and technology and in graphic design through UMD. For more information, see UMR Baccalaureate Degrees and Edel's UMD staff bio.

Four faculty members in the Twin Cities campus dance program have been selected to present their original choreography at the prestigious American College Dance Festival Association's (ACDFA) National College Dance Festival Gala at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., May 16-18. They are dance program director Carl Flink, affiliate Mathew Janczewski, and associate professor Joanie Smith with her partner, affiliate Danial Shapiro. For more information, see the news release.

The 2006 Impact Award for Distinguished Teaching, given by the University's College of Education and Human Development, will go to an alumna, Ann Hebble, who teaches English as a second language at Murray Junior High School in St. Paul. The award was created in 2003 to recognize educators who have exerted a profound influence on students' lives through teaching. Hebble has taught for 12 years and founded the first Hmong parent-teacher organization in St. Paul Public Schools. For more information, see the news release.

Brian Curtis, director of sports information at the Morris campus since 2000, has been named as director of sports information for the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference, as well. For more information, see the news release.

James Swift, professor and director, Division of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Department of Developmental and Surgical Sciences, School of Dentistry, was elected last month as president-elect of the American Dental Education Association, the leading national organization for dental education. For more information, see the news release, which includes a link to his faculty bio.

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

See also U Awards & Honors. Most awards listed on this page post names of recipients.