myU OneStop


What's Inside

Related Links

Home > People > Awards and appointments, December 2009

Awards and appointments, December 2009

By Adam Overland

Carol Windels 165
Carol Windels was one of three U professors named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

December 23
To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.


Three University of Minnesota professors have been named Fellows to American Association for the Advancement of Science. These professors have been elevated to this rank because of their efforts toward advancing science applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

The university professors named Fellows are:

Marc Hillmyer, a professor in the Department of Chemistry in the Institute of Technology: For outstanding contributions to the field of biorenewable polymers, particularly for using block copolymers to control properties and structure on the nanoscale.

David Norris, a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science in the Institute of Technology: For distinguished contributions to the field of semiconducting nanocrystals and photonic crystals.

Carol Windels, a professor in the Department of Plant Pathology in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences: For definitive research on ecology of soil borne plant pathogens on field crops and integrated control of diseases, and for national professional leadership. Windels works out of the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston.

This year 531 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. For more information, see the news release.

Pam Cosby has been named executive director of the newly established Minnesota Urban Area Health Education Center.

The Minnesota Urban AHEC is the state’s first and only urban AHEC and joins four existing rural AHECs. The center will work in collaboration with the AHC's six health professions schools and in close partnership with Minneapolis urban communities to address health professional workforce needs. Efforts will focus on nurturing an interest in health careers among youth and providing community-based and interprofessional education for health professions students. Pam Cosby will serve as the founding executive director.

Cosby is a long-time resident of North Minneapolis and has a broad range of leadership experience in the area of community health and youth development. Most recently, Cosby served as program coordinator for the National Community Center of Excellence in Women’s Health at NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center of Hennepin County. She has also served Hennepin County as a community liaison staff member for the North Minneapolis Health Advisory Committee and for the Racial Disparity Initiative for the Council on Crime and Justice.

The Minnesota Urban AHEC is located at the University of Minnesota Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC) on the Northside of Minneapolis. The Minnesota Urban AHEC will partner with a number of community and University organizations in its collaborative work with North Minneapolis, Phillips, and other urban neighborhoods. Key partners include NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center, the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC), Broadway Family Medicine Clinic, and the University of Minnesota Program in Health Disparities Research.

Connie Delaney has been appointed as advisor to the Bonnie Wesorick Center for Healthcare Transformation. School of Nursing Dean Connie Delaney is one of three nationally recognized experts in health care transformation recently appointed to serve as an advisor for a center within the Kirkhof College of Nursing at Grand Valley State University that will help address urgent issues in health care. For more information, see the news release.

Department of English professor Ellen Messer-Davidow and English major Joshua Capodarco have each received a Dr. Matthew Stark Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Awards for faculty and students respectively. The College of Liberal Arts awards were created this year based on a generous donation from Dr. Matthew "Matt" Stark, a former professor at the University of Minnesota and former executive director of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union. The awards recognize a CLA student and a CLA professor who have demonstrated "distinguished service, writing, teaching, involvement, or public leadership in one of more of the following areas: civil liberties, civil rights, public education and social justice." The honor is presented annually at the December CLA Commencement Ceremony.

In more than two decades at the University, Professor Messer-Davidow has focused on literary, cultural, and social theory, modern/contemporary American social movements (Civil Rights, New Left, Feminist, and Conservative), and contemporary American public policy and law, always oscillating among empirical research, theory, and practice. Her practice has included organizing women on campus during graduate student days, serving on the MLA Commission on the Status of Women, and chairing the Women’s Caucus for the Modern Languages. Her latest book was the well-received Disciplining Feminism: From Social Activism to Academic Discourse (Duke University Press, 2002); her forthcoming book The Spiders' Web: Courts and the Constru(ct)ing of Racial Discrimination in Higher Education analyzes lawsuits challenging affirmative action measures used to open college and professional schools to previously excluded or "tokenized" racial minorities. Her fall freshman seminar "Probing the Social Text: Founding Ideas and Current Issues," examined three hot areas in civil rights--education, employment, and healthy care. Her students used a variety of materials including government documents such as the House health care bill (which, she comments, can be comprehended by students in an hour and a half, all 1900 pages of it). She also is a professor of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature and teaches within the American Studies and Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies departments.

Matt Stark's career demonstrates his lifelong commitment to civil rights and social justice. As a University of Minnesota assistant professor in the 1960s, Stark traveled with students to Alabama and Georgia in support of the civil rights movement. He served on the Minnesota Advisory Committee of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and on the Minnesota Governor's Human Rights Commission. Stark left the University to serve as executive director of the Minnesota Civil Liberties Union in 1973. He continues to be a board member of the American Civil Liberties Union's National Advisory Committee.


U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

The health care overhaul's effects on one Twin Cities small business
There's a lot of confusion over how the proposed health care overhaul would affect the financial bottom lines of small businesses. To analyze the health care bill's effects, MPR News asked health care economist Jean Abraham to take a look at Wet Paint. Abraham served on the President's Council of Economic Advisors specializing in health care during the last six months of the Bush Administration and the first six months of the Obama Administration. She's also a professor of health policy and management at the University of Minnesota. Minnesota Public Radio.

Evolution of English language isn't always for the better
I so much enjoyed former superintendent of Rochester schools Jerry Williams '"Two Cents Worth" commentary on the decline of the quality of everyday English language... Professor Anatoly Liberman, from the University of Minnesota, has written several books on the English language and the roots of some of its quirky words and spellings. Rochester Post Bulletin.

T. Mychael Rambo knows life is but an unfinished symphony
T. Mychael Rambo, one of the best-known actors and performers in the vibrant Twin Cities theater circuit, has nailed many a juicy role onstage and some onscreen... He's also an associate professor and recruitment coordinator at the University of Minnesota's Department of Theatre Arts & Dance. Pioneer Press.

Are Christmas cards still relevant in a digital world?
Is the holiday card going the way of the horse and buggy, the typewriter and the landline?. "We've been creating videos of our son with the Flip video," said Christine Greenhow, a University of Minnesota researcher who is studying social networking. Pioneer Press.

Gander Mountain: Case study in challenges facing small public companies
Gander Mountain showed a robust earnings turnaround in its recent Q3 results, after posting losses the previous two quarters and a positive year-over-year comparison. University of Minnesota finance professor Ivy Zhang found SOX contributed significantly to wiping $1.4 trillion off the value of the stock market and that investors also were particularly sensitive to the outsized cost impact of SOX compliance on smaller companies. Minnpost.

Stimulus funding a shot in the dark
Insulation, turkey breasts, wind turbines, buses, crime labs, unemployment checks. In the mountain of goods and services being funded by the $4.7 billion-plus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars flowing into Minnesota, one project stands out: $40 million to build a laboratory near the Canadian border to catch ghostly neutrinos fired at Minnesota from Illinois. It could take a lifetime for information from the new laboratory to generate any practical uses, said physicist Marvin Marshak, the University of Minnesota professor heading the project. Star Tribune.

The incredible egg
I've seen some wild contraptions in my day, but the University of Minnesota might have the cutest. It has a "Bod Pod," a giant egg in which you sit to get your body fat measured. Star Tribune.


December 16
To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.


Margaret Carlson 165The University of Minnesota Alumni Association will honor CEO Margaret Sughrue Carlson for her 25 years of serviceSAVE THE DATE: Join the University of Minnesota Alumni Association in honoring CEO Margaret Sughrue Carlson for her 25 years of service. The Retirement Celebration Open House will take place Jan. 26, 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m., Memorial Hall, McNamara Alumni Center. Free and open to the public. RSVP by Jan. 18 at alumni or call 612-624-9658.

The Republic of Austria has awarded Gary Cohen, professor of history and director of the Center for Austrian Studies in CLA since 2001, its Medal of Honor for Science and Art, First Class (Oesterreichische Ehrenkreuz fuer Wissenschaft und Kunst, Erste Klasse). The Ambassador of Austria to the United States, Christian Prosl, awarded Cohen the decoration at a ceremony at the embassy in Washington on November 12.


U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Kudos to University of Minnesota tech transfer
If a university’s tech transfer program drops $95 million in the middle of an urban jungle and no one’s there to see it, does it make a sound?... For the University of Minnesota, the answer is probably no. Politicians, venture capitalists, and entrepreneurs have long criticized the school for inhibiting innovation rather than creating it. But that criticism is getting old, or at least it should be. Under Jay Schrankler and Doug Johnson, the school’s tech transfer program has made enormous strides. Med City News.

Is technology narrowing our experiences?
In a coffee shop, philosophy student Eric Wilcox, 20, turned down his iPod. “Let me assure you, a lot of us are thinking about these issues. It is that important,” said John Riedl, a leading researcher in computer science at the University of Minnesota who, in the 1990s, devised some of the first “recommender software.” Ohio Vindicator.

Minnesota’s Enormous Apples Computer
The University of Minnesota has what you might call a giant apples computer. This system, which will handle tough scientific jobs, was paid for in part by selling licenses to the Honeycrisp apple created more than 40 years ago by University of Minnesota researchers. New York Times: Bit by Bit Blog.

New farming practices in middle of global warming debate
America's vast stretches of farmland are a big resource in the fight against global warming because their soil traps carbon, but not all farmers believe changing their ways to help would be profitable. Deborah Allan, a soil scientist at the University of Minnesota, said her research fails to show that's true. Minnesota Public Radio.

Update: House Democrats Blast Rise In Brand-Name Drug Prices
Reports of prescription-drug price hikes have congressional Democrats complaining about price gouging and questioning whether drug companies are reneging on a pledge to provide billions of savings as part of a U.S. health-care overhaul sought by President Barack Obama. No brand-name drug prices fell in 2009 and the increase last year was higher than any in the last seven years, Stephen Schondelmeyer, a pharmaceutical economics professor at the University of Minnesota, told the House panel. Wall Street Journal.

Earth’s Atmosphere May Have Alien Origin
Isotopic analyses of the gases krypton and xenon suggest that much of Earth’s atmosphere came from outer space, not inner space. “This is an important piece of work, and an extremely interesting contribution to studies of how the atmosphere evolved,” says Robert Pepin, an astrophysicist at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Wired.


December 9
To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.


Jeffrey Gunderson 165Jeffrey Gunderson has been named director of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program located on the UMD campus.Jeffrey Gunderson has been named director of the University of Minnesota Sea Grant program located on the UMD campus. He had been serving as acting director. Minnesota Sea Grant is an office of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Over the past decade, Gunderson has co-led an effort to develop Aquatic Invasive Species-Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (AIS-HACCP), a highly successful program aimed at preventing the spread of aquatic invasive species.

The College of Design at the University of Minnesota has named Brad Hokanson, associate professor of graphic design (Department of Design, Housing, and Apparel) as the new director of the Design Institute, effective Dec. 1.

Hokanson’s scholarship and teaching involve design, creativity, and innovation. He earned a Bachelor's degree in studio arts from Carleton College, a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Minnesota, a Master of Architecture degree in urban design from Harvard University and also a doctorate in instructional systems technology from the U of M. Honors he has received include the outstanding teaching award from the College of Design in 2008.

The Design Institute established a reputation internationally as a think tank for design. Under the leadership of its previous director, Janet Abrams, the Design Institute did innovative work in areas ranging from digital typography to knowledge mapping to design in K-12 education. For more information, see the news release.

Minnesota Senators Sandra Pappas and Claire Robling were named University of Minnesota Alumni Association 2009 Legislators of the Year at the association’s national board meeting on Dec. 5.

Pappas and Robling received this award for their strong, enthusiastic support and commitment to the University of Minnesota and to higher education. They are especially committed to excellent University of Minnesota governance, co-authoring legislation that sets term limits for members of the Regent Candidate Advisory Council (RCAC). The RCAC is a citizen council, appointed by members of the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives, that assists the legislature in determining criteria and identifying and recruiting candidates for the University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

Prior to the legislation authored by Pappas and Robling that sets six-year terms and limits service to two full terms, there had been no limit to the terms of service for members of the RCAC. Term limits now mean that new people be appointed to the RCAC on a periodic basis.

This is an unprecedented third year in a row that Pappas has received the Legislator of the Year award. She was recognized in 2008 for her work on behalf of the Minnesota Biomedical Science Program and strategic investment, and in 2007 she received the award for her unwavering commitment to funding higher education.

Pappas, who represents District 65 in St. Paul, is serving her eighth Senate term. Robling is serving her fourth term, representing District 35 in the southern Twin Cities metropolitan area. Pappas chairs the Higher Education Budget and Policy Division of the legislature’s Finance Committee, and Robling is its ranking minority member.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded a two-year, $908,280 grant to the University of Minnesota and Virginia Tech to finish sequencing the genome of the domesticated turkey. The funding will be used by the Turkey Genome Sequencing Consortium to complete the genome sequencing using next-generation sequencing platforms, assemble the genome sequence, and identify genes and functions in the final genome sequence. The consortium, which includes Kent Reed, (College of Veterinary Medicine), announced the turkey sequencing project nearly a year ago. So far, they have generated about 90 percent of the sequence necessary for the project.

The Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), which represents 25,000 graduate and professional students at the University of Minnesota, was named Organization of the Year at the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students (NAGPS) conference.

GAPSA is the largest graduate governance structure in the nation and has helped shape best practices for other student organizations across the country. Last fall, GAPSA hosted the NAGPS national conference, and has been active in creating Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE), a national coalition with the top research universities in the United States. GAPSA President Kristi Kremers accepted the award at this year’s national conference in Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information on GAPSA, visit their Web site.


U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Don't Let the 'Sex Talk' Come Too Little, Too Late for Your Teen
When Cooper Schwartz was 13, his parents were the last people on Earth he wanted to talk to about sex. Eli Coleman, academic chair of sexual health at the University of Minnesota Medical School, agrees. ABC News.

Good Question: Why Do We Like Celeb Failures?
In sports, in Hollywood, in life: it's a familiar story. Someone like Tiger Woods achieves greatness, and then gets knocked down. "There's a deeper, cultural part of this," said Doug Hartmann, associate professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, and co-editor of the sociology magazine "Contexts." WCCO – TV.

Solar panels pit homeowners against associations
On a cloudy day like today, it might be hard to see the benefit of solar panels. "The more that homeowners begin to demand it, there's going to be more political pressure on the state to get involved," says University of Minnesota law professor Alex Klass. KARE – TV.

How to YouTube with Success
A group of communications students at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM) worked on a fun project as part of orientation week. In a recent HigherEd Experts webinar about the topic, Elizabeth Giorgi, web communications manager for the University of Minnesota News Service, explained that she pitched “The Science of Watchmen” to blogs as soon as it was posted on YouTube. University Business.

Jihad draws young men across globe back to Somalia
They slipped away quietly, not telling family or friends where they were going or why. "In the eyes of true Somalis, Al-Shabaab doesn't have much legitimacy," said Cawo Samatar, a Somali sociology professor at the University of Minnesota who has studied the Somali diaspora. Star Tribune.

Would a cap and trade system burden Minnesota?
John Whaley says he's been a conservationist all his life. University of Minnesota economics professor Steve Polasky said that amount of carbon reduction would require a major restructuring of the economy. Minnesota Public Radio


December 2

To submit U of M staff or faculty for consideration in People, contact the Brief editor.


Chuck Habstritt 165A retirement recognition for associate professor Charles “Chuck” Habstritt will be held at UMC on Dec. 9.A career spanning 40 years will be honored during a retirement reception for Associate Professor Charles Habstritt at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The event honoring Habstritt is slated for Wednesday, December 9, 2009, from 3-5 p.m. in Bede Ballroom in the Sargeant Student Center. The public is invited to attend.

Habstitt began his teaching career in 1969 at the U of M, Crookston where he specialized in agronomy and soils. He was named outstanding educator by students three times and in 1999, he was selected to receive the distinguished teaching award by his colleagues. In 2007-08, Habstritt was honored with the University of Minnesota’s John Tate Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising. In the University of Minnesota system, the Tate Awards recognize and reward high-quality academic advising.

For more than 35 years, Habstritt has served as a coach to the highly successful Collegiate Crops Judging Team on the Crookston campus. He was also responsible for compiling the rules and regulations book that has been used for national contests in both Chicago and Kansas City. He has coached his teams to top-three finishes more than 25 times.

Habstritt has developed and taught 13 courses, advised some 40-50 students a year, trained teaching assistants, published, and solicited funding for scholarships to keep and attract top students for his program. He found time during his career to manage his grain, oil seed, and grass seed farm and was recognized with the Honorary State Farmer Degree. During his career, Habstritt also served as assistant coach for hockey, and in 1986, he received the University of Minnesota Regents Award for Excellence in Coaching.

Jasjit Ahluwalia, Executive Director of the Center for Health has been awarded the 2010 Cullen Award. Ahluwalia, a 14-year member of American Society of Preventive Oncology (ASPO), will give the Cullen Lecture address on March 23, 2010 in Bethesda at the 34th annual ASPO meeting. 

ASPO’s Joseph W. Cullen Memorial Award was conceived a year after Dr. Joseph Cullen’s tragic and untimely death, as a way to memorialize his unparalleled contributions to national Tobacco control. As Program Coordinator for the National Cancer Institutes Smoking Tobacco and Cancer Program from 1982 to 1989, Joe Cullen architected the largest tobacco intervention and control program launched anywhere in the world. The award is to recognize distinguished achievement in continued national tobacco control efforts, through research, through the development of prevention and cessation programs with wide-reaching public health impact, or through public policy and advocacy initiatives. It is also to recognize and honor individuals whose leadership, like Dr. Cullen’s, is exemplified by a commitment to fostering collaboration among the wide network of basic and behavioral scientists, health care professionals, and public health advocates involved in the fight against tobacco and tobacco-related disease.

UMD playwright Tom Isbell's family musical production Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe will appear at the Kennedy Center from Dec. 5-30. The Kennedy Center presents the world premiere family musical production of Teddy Roosevelt and the Ghostly Mistletoe. Playwright Tom Isbell once again teams with the great political satirist, songwriter, and performer Mark Russell for this holiday sequel to the 2006 Family Theater hit Teddy Roosevelt and the Treasure of Ursa Major. The production appears in the Family Theater December 5 – 30, 2009 and is recommended for audiences aged seven and up.

Isbell has written several one-man plays based on the life and times of prominent historical figures including John F. Kennedy and Walt Whitman. He is a professor of theater at the University of Minnesota Duluth, where he is a Horace T. Morse Distinguished Teacher. He is the author of Lessons: The Craft of Acting (Meriwether Publishing) and numerous plays, including Me & JFK, which has been produced in New York, Los Angeles, and Egypt. His first novel, The Fifth Codex, is currently being translated into two languages and will be published this spring. For more information, visit the Center’s Web site


U in the News: A selection of U faculty in the news

Jean K. Quam: American Dream lives on at the U
In her Nov. 22 column, Katherine Kersten suggested that the future of teacher preparation at the University of Minnesota will be a process of ideological indoctrination denouncing "the American Dream." Just the opposite is true. The American Dream lives and thrives in the College of Education and Human Development. Star Tribune.

Lino Lakes resident wins top conservationist award
Resident Mike Kilgore doesn’t embark on regular arctic expeditions to see the effects of climate change firsthand like polar explorer Will Steger. He’s also not an environmentally aware politician like Minnesota Rep. Paul Gardner. He is, however, a professor at the University of Minnesota in the Department of Forest Resources, and what he has in common with the above individuals is a Conservation Minnesota Leadership Award. Quad Community Press.

The science behind overeating during the holidays
It is that time of year again. University of Minnesota College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences dean Allen Levine shares some of the reasons some people tend to overeat and do not always pick the healthiest foods to consume in mass quantities. MinnPost.

What Is the Right Number to Combat Climate Change?
This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to add more hot air to efforts to combat climate change. Climate scientist Jon Foley of the University of Minnesota, who is part of a team of researchers that defined safe limits for 10 planetary systems, including climate, argues for erring on the side of caution. Scientific American.