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Home > People > Awards and appointments, March 2010

Awards and appointments, March 2010

By Adam Overland

Patricia Frazier 165
Patricia Frazier, one of this year's Distinguished McKnight University Professors.

March 31

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

Distinguished McKnight University Professors for 2010 have been named. This award recognizes and rewards the University’s most outstanding mid-career faculty. Recipients for 2010 and their areas of research include: Patricia A. Frazier (psychology), Coping with traumatic life events; Marc A. Hillmyer (chemistry), Nanostructured polymers for the environment; John Watkins (English), Early modern literature and the transformation of monarchy; Donna L. Whitney (geology and geophysics), Geo-materials research and applications to continental tectonics. Profiles of the new recipients, along with a list of prior winners, can be found on the OVPR website.

Marc A. Hillmyer, chemistry
Nanostructured polymers for the environment

Professor Hillmyer is a world leader in the design, synthesis, and property optimization of nanostructured polymeric materials. He is especially known for his development of advanced renewable resource polymers, whereby the desirable properties of everyday plastics can be obtained from non-petroleum based feedstocks, and for the use of block polymers to prepare nanoporous materials for applications in water purification, advanced lithography, and solar energy conversion. Hillmyer was the recipient of a Packard Fellowship, an NSF CAREER Award, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, and the Arthur Doolittle Award from the American Chemical Society. He has also received a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship, the George Taylor Career Development Award, the George Taylor Research Award, and he was recently elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Patricia A. Frazier, psychology
Coping with traumatic life events

An internationally-renowned leader in research on the effects of traumatic life events, Professor Frazier has published groundbreaking research investigating why some people experience a lifetime of suffering whereas others’ lives are transformed in positive ways. Her work is recognized for its innovation, rigor, and wide-ranging impact on psychology, other disciplines, and various stakeholders outside of academia. She has received several awards for her research, including a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and an Early Career Scientist-Practitioner Award. She is a fellow of the Society for Counseling Psychology and of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues.

Donna L. Whitney, geology and geophysics
Geo-materials research and applications to continental tectonics

Professor Whitney is known internationally for her research on the construction and collapse of mountains and their partial melting at depth. Her discoveries relate to the physical and chemical transformations that occur in rocks and minerals of the continental and oceanic crust along tectonic plate boundaries. Research topics range from the grain scale (polycrystalline structures in garnet) to the lithosphere scale (the Anatolian tectonic plate; the North American Cordillera). Her awards include a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship and a National Science Foundation CAREER grant, and she is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America and the Geological Society of America.

John Watkins, English
Early modern literature and the transformation of monarchy

Professor Watkins is an internationally recognized scholar whose work has transformed the study of early modern literature and culture. His interests in literature, law, state formation, and the balance between monarchy and empire have led to books and articles positing a new paradigm for the cultural history of European diplomacy. In recently published books on Shakespeare and in a new project on marriage diplomacy, Watkins explores how a revolutionary view of state sovereignty emerged from shifts in the early modern understandings of gender, marriage, and the family. He has published four books and numerous scholarly articles in premier journals. He received the 2007 American Philosophical Society Fellowship, and was a recipient of the University’s McKnight Land-Grant Professorship.

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has hired Edward Schneider as its new director. Schneider is currently president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden in California. Schneider will join the Arboretum this summer as its fourth director since it was founded nearly 52 years ago. Schneider will also serve as a professor in the Horticulture Department at the University.

Since 1992, Schneider has headed the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, located on 65 acres in historic Mission Canyon, and featuring over 1000 species of rare and indigenous plants. He has also served as adjunct professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Prior to that, Schneider held faculty appointments at Texas State University, most recently as dean of the College of Science for more than eight years.

After an extensive national search and series of interviews with several candidates, a search committee recommended the hiring of Schneider to Emily Hoover, professor and head of the department of Horticultural Science in CFANS, with negotiations with Schneider completed just this week. Arboretum Director Emeritus Peter Olin stepped down in June 2008 after serving the Arboretum for 24 years. The Peter J. Olin Directorship Endowment was established in his honor to endow the director’s position. Professor Mary Meyer has served as Interim Director for the past two years. For more information, see the news release.

Professor of English Edward Griffin is retiring this spring after 44 years at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. A beloved teacher of both graduate and undergraduate students, Professor Griffin has won the University of Minnesota Award for Distinguished Contributions to Post-Baccalaureate Graduate and Professional Education, the CLA Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award, and the Ruth Christie Distinguished Teaching Award in English.

Professor Griffin was born in Homestead, Pennsylvania, and moved at age 11 to San Francisco, where he attended Riordan High School. He studied at the University of San Francisco, where he scrimmaged as a freshman against basketball great Bill Russell and competed with the track and field teams. After graduating, he entered the Army and served in Germany as a lieutenant of field artillery. He then earned a PhD in English and American literature as a Danforth Fellow at Stanford University. In 1966 he came to the University of Minnesota as an assistant professor, eventually advancing to professor.

Professor Griffin specializes in the literature of British North America during the colonial period and American literature in the early national period. He is the author of Old Brick: Charles Chauncy of Boston, 1705-1787 (University of Minnesota Press) and the co-editor of The Telling Image: Explorations in the Emblem (AMS Press). He served as chair for the Department of American Studies for several years during the 1980s. He was also a visiting professor at Stanford, the University of San Francisco, the University of Salzburg (as a Fulbright Fellow), and the University of Amsterdam. Beyond his teaching awards at the University of Minnesota, he received the Mid-America American Studies Association's Elizabeth Kolmer Award, given annually to honor teaching and mentoring in the field of American Studies and service to MAASA.

The Department of English will celebrate Ed's years of service April 9, 4 p.m., Upson Room, Walter Library.

Nicholas Shank, Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery, died March 26. A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m., March 31, Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert, MN. Visitation will be for one hour prior to the service at the funeral home. Burial will be at Lakeside Cemetery in Biwabik. Because of Nick's devotion to the arts and his work, the family prefers memorials to the Katherine E. Nash Gallery. Shank was born February 8, 1941 to Nicholas Bowers and Ann (Babich) Shank in Biwabik, MN. He grew up in Biwabik where he graduated from Horace Mann High School and went on to college and post-graduate studies at UMD and the U of M. His professional career centered around education, theater, film, and studio arts and included positions at Cathedral High School, the College of St. Scholastica, Minnesota State Corrections, the U of M Film Society, and most recently as Director of the Katherine E. Nash Gallery located in the Regis Center for the Arts on the U of M campus. For more information, see the Star Tribune.

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

No snow in March? Metro ready for fun in the sun
With 3 days left in March, folks in the metro were ready to write this month into the record books. And they had good reason. With a mild forecast on the horizon, the Twin Cities was banking on a snowless March…Do you remember the last time we went through this particular month on the calendar year without a drop of snow. "According to the record books, you have to go back to 1878," University of Minnesota Meteorologist/Climatologist Mark Seeley said. KARE – TV.

Ancient Cave Formations Reveal History of Abrupt Climate Changes
Ancient rock spires found in caves in the southwestern United States are providing strong evidence that the region is headed for longer droughts as the global climate warms, according to two new studies…“Cave records have been really important because they’ve allowed us to cover huge portions of the Earth that we haven’t been able to access in anywhere near the same way in the past,” said Larry Edwards of the University of Minnesota, who studied some of the most well known speleothem records in Hulu Cave near Shanghai, China. Science Line.

Ruling stymies child sex-abuse case
On March 22, Sarah Dingmann marked her son Jack's 4th birthday with a shocking allegation on Facebook: that her child had been molested, and the perpetrator would probably get away with it... Stephen Cribari, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, praised the ruling. He said the court is supposed to protect citizens from "unreasonable government power" and "for the government to put people in jail and not confront them with their accusers is unacceptable in our society." The Star Tribune.

Why Nanotech Hasn't (Yet) Triggered 'the Yuck Factor'

The term nanotechnology means different things to different people… "Public-perception research makes it clear that people are less concerned with nanotechnology than they were with genetically modified foods," says professor Jennifer Kuzma of the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. "They don't see nano as having quite the same yuck factor." AOL News.

All in a Day's Work: Clare Faulhaber, Nursing Assistant
Clare Faulhaber, a Nursing Assistant at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital in Minneapolis, talks about her job. Star Tribune.

The excerpts above are taken from Today's News, a service of the University of Minnesota News Service.

March 24

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

Rusty 165Nancy "Rusty" Barceló.Nancy "Rusty" Barceló, Vice President and Vice Provost Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota since 2006, will be leaving the University of Minnesota to become the new president of Northern New Mexico College in Española, New Mexico.

In a unanimous vote, the NNMC Board of Regents selected Vice President Barceló following a nationwide search for a new president to lead the continuing expansion of the college’s mission. NNMC, which is considered a "Hispanic-serving" institution, also has a campus in El Rito.

"I will, in a way, be returning home, to my roots in the Southwestern part of the United States," said Barceló. "I will be reconnecting with the Latino and Indigenous communities that are so important to me, both personally and professionally, and so integral to my identity. But in leaving Minnesota and the Midwest, where I have spent more than half of my life, I will also be leaving home. I will leave behind many wonderful friends and a great university whose own transformation has been a labor of love for me."

Barceló began her career as an educator, administrator, and diversity advocate at the University of Iowa, where she received her Ph.D. in higher education administration. She first came to the University in 1996 as the Associate Vice President for Multicultural Affairs. In 2001, she left for a position at the University of Washington as Vice President and Vice Provost for Minority Affairs and Diversity. In 2006, she was invited back to the University, where, as vice president and vice provost, she has continued her work as an educator, advocate, and spokesperson for equity and diversity in higher education. Barceló will assume her new position in July.

Regents Professor Ronald Phillips has been selected as one of this year's recipients of the prestigious Siehl Prize For Excellence in Agriculture.

Phillips is one of the University of Minnesota's most distinguished faculty, known for his groundbreaking discoveries in plant genetics and genomics. His was the first laboratory to regenerate corn plants from cells in tissue culture, a contribution that allowed for development of genetic engineering in cereal crops.

The Siehl Prize is awarded annually by the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. Recipients are chosen in three categories: knowledge (teaching, research, and outreach); production agriculture, and agribusiness. The Siehl Prize was created in the early 1990s by a generous gift from New Ulm-area livestock breeder and businessman Eldon Siehl, a dedicated philanthropist who had a lifelong interest in agricultural systems. Siehl was concerned that people were losing touch with their agrarian roots and wanted his gift to ensure that achievements in agriculture would be recognized and celebrated. Recipients receive a $50,000 award as well as a sculpture and lapel pin designed by Minnesota artist Thomas Rose especially for the Siehl Prize. For more information, see the news release.

Distinguished McKnight University Professor Judith Berman was awarded $422,792 from the National Institutes of Health to study the mechanisms that the fungus Candida albicans uses to generate genetic and genomic diversity, and to survive antifungal assault. Candida albicans is the most prevalent fungal pathogen of humans and a serious problem in immunocompromised patients. Resistance to antifungal drugs is of particular concern given the limited number of clinically useful antifungals. The proposed work will address basic questions about how resistance arises in response to a range of antifungal drugs with the goal of identifying potential targets for companion drugs that would extend the lifespan of the limited arsenal of available antifungals. 

Sharon Banks has been selected as the Small Business Administration’s Minority Champion of the Year for the state of Minnesota. The award is presented each year to an outstanding person for their personal achievements and contributions to the support of the small business community. The awardees are recognized in each state and then eligible for consideration for the National Small Business Person of the Year Award and will be invited to attend Small Business Week activities in Washington, D.C. The award ceremony will take place June 2, Olympic Hills Golf Club, 3-6:30 p.m.

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

Obey says health care bill was a long time coming
Over four decades in Congress, Dave Obey saw Presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton both try - and fail - to bring about universal health care for the country... "It was George Bush who made one of the largest expansions of Medicare," said Lawrence Jacobs, director of the University of Minnesota's politics and governance center. "That gives you a little bit of perspective." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

New Twins stadium, more big-money players
Twins officials are stepping up to the plate to stop a trend of losing players to big money deals, starting with Joe Mauer. Eric Brownlee, sports management professor from the University of Minnesota, said, "The biggest thing is they got the hometown hero and that's really good for marketing." KSTP – TV.

The Best Refrigerator Magnet Ever?
There are limits to just how magnetic a material can be. Or so researchers thought…however, Jian-Ping Wang, a materials physicist at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and colleagues say that a compound of eight parts iron and one part nitrogen, Fe16N2, exceeds this limit by roughly 18%. Science.

The excerpts above are taken from Today's News, a service of the University of Minnesota News Service.

March 17

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

John Tate Award recipients for excellence in undergraduate advising are Shuji Asai, CEHD student services, James Leger, electrical James Leger 165James Leger is one of this year's John Tate Award recipients. and computer engineering; Jan O’Brien, CSOM undergraduate programs; and Paul Timmins, CLA Career and Community Learning Center. An awards ceremony will take place April 30, Radisson University Hotel.

Joachim Savelsberg, Sociology, received a research grant from the National Science Foundation to study "Collective Representations and Memories of Atrocities after Judicial Interventions: The Case of Darfur in International Comparison." He was also offered a Residential Fellowship at the Rockefeller Bellagio Center for the summer of 2010, where he will work with John Hagan (Northwestern) and Jens Meierhenrich (Harvard) on the issue of "Collective Criminality and Human Rights: Violence, Memory, Liability."

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

Creating 'Mayhem' for a good cause
A University of Minnesota disability specialist has turned a car-trip game into an iPod app and a live version for bars -- all to benefit brain research... When Bill Solboe originally envisioned Music Mayhem, it was as a board game in the late '90s -- the result of a long car ride with college buddies, during which they passed the time by guessing the title and artist of songs playing on the radio. Star Tribune.

Limbaugh Embraces Costa Rica Socialized Medicine
Talk-radio king Rush Limbaugh’s model health-care system may be one of Latin America’s longest- standing state-run programs, where 98 percent of the population is covered and private insurance is rare... Still, the comments showcased the country’s state-run system, said Lawrence Jacobs, political science director at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. BusinessWeek.

Toughest college test: No cell phone, no Facebook
Heather LaMarre calls her students "the wired generation." The University of Minnesota professor sees that they don't listen to an iPod, talk on a cell phone or surf on a laptop -- they do all three at once… Last week's class assignment: Five days without media or gadgets that didn't exist before 1984. Star Tribune.

Dead Sea Scrolls: In a world of hype, the real deal
In a culture that has grown numb to exaggeration, experts reach for ways to drive home the exhibit's significance...It's impossible to overstate their importance, said Alex Jassen, a professor of early Judaism at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

Black Bear Research May Revolutionize Medicine
In a University of Minnesota research laboratory, the thumping sounds of a beating heart can be heard throughout the room…"We're studying the functions of a heart that's been excised and re-animated," explains Dr. Paul Iaizzo. Iaizzo is a professor of surgery and the lead investigator at the University of Minnesota Visible Heart Laboratory. WCCO – TV.

New study finds Minnesota has a lower educational 'wealth gap' than most states
Throughout the United States, 1.7 million children attend public schools that, in terms of wealth, are as exclusive — or more so--than their private brethren, according to a new national report…According to Baris Gumus-Dawes, a research fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School's Institute on Race and Poverty, however, open enrollment isn't the main reason. MinnPost.

Warm winter keeps Lake Superior nearly ice-free
If you like to ice fish for lake trout off the North Shore of Lake Superior or trek to the sea caves at Apostle Islands, this wasn’t your winter…Jay Austin, researcher at the University of Minnesota Duluth’s Large Lakes Observatory, has found that Lake Superior’s water temperatures have seen a long-term rise that is greater than regional and global air temperature increases. Duluth News Tribune.

Guide to pruning
The coldest part of winter has passed, but we have a while before the buds on most trees and shrubs start popping…Jeff Gillman is an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota. Star Tribune.

The excerpts above are taken from Today's News, a service of the University of Minnesota News Service. 

March 10

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

br_081008_JulieSchumacher.jpgJulie Schumacher is one of this year's Morse-Alumni Award winners, celebrating outstanding contributions to undergraduate education.MORSE-ALUMNI AWARD recipients for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education are Scott Abernathy, political science; David Blank, chemistry; Kent Kirkby, geology & geophysics; Gwen Rudney, education (UMM); Julie Schumacher, English; Paul Siliciano, biochemistry, molecular biology & biophysics. Award ceremony will be April 26, McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see Morse-Alumni Award.

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTIONS to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education Award recipients are Linda Bearinger, center for adolescent nursing; Alvin Beitz veterinary & biomedical sciences; Kang Ling James, mathematics & statistics (UMD); Ruth Mazo Karras, history; Joseph Konstan, computer science & engineering; Rory Remmel, medicinal chemistry; J. Ilja Siepmann, chemistry; Robert Sorenson, genetics, cell biology & development. Award ceremony will be April 26, McNamara Alumni Center. For more information, see outstanding contributions.

Senior Vice President Robert J. Jones has announced an interim leadership team, effective March 1, that will work with him to build the next critical phase of development of the Urban Research and Outreach/Engagement Center (UROC).

UROC Interim Leadership Team members are:

Heidi Barajas, associate dean for engagement and faculty development, College of Education and Human Development, and associate professor, Department of Postsecondary Teaching and Learning.

Rose Brewer, professor and past chairperson of the African-American and African Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts, and University Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor.

Geoff Maruyama, professor of educational psychology, College of Education and Human Development, and special assistant to the senior vice president for System Academic Administration.

Associate vice president Irma McClaurin, UROC’s founding executive director over the past two years, will assume new community-engaged administrative, teaching, and research responsibilities, including documenting the work on the UROC initiative to date and co-directing the federally funded Broadband Access Program to improve computer labs and provide computer training to residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Senior vice president for health sciences and the dean of the Medical School Frank Cerra plans to retire from his position effective Dec. 31. Cerra will continue as senior vice president and dean throughout this calendar year, working closely with other leaders to ensure a smooth transition in this key leadership position and maintaining the excellence in health sciences that he has devoted his career to achieve.

Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair Ronald Phillips will retire at the end of May, after 42 years on the faculty of the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. As stated at his induction into the National Academy of Sciences, "Dr. Phillips has coupled the techniques of plant genetics and molecular biology to enhance our understanding of basic biology of cereal crops and to improve these species by innovative methods." A celebration of Phillips will take place May 24, with a symposium from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (with a pizza lunch), in the Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute, Cargill Building, followed by an evening dinner from 6 p.m.-10 p.m., McNamara Alumni Center. The symposium will feature several of Phillips' previous 55 graduate students and some of the 20 postdoctoral scientists talking about their recent research. For more information, see Ronald Phillips.

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

Good Question: Do Lefties Have An Advantage?
Only 10 percent of people are left-handed, but three of our last four presidents were lefties...Dr. Andy Barnes, a pediatrician and University of Minnesota professor in child development, gives a nod to lefties. It's important to note, Barnes also happens to be a left-handed. WCCO – TV.

Quakes are the price of living on an active Earth
Nearly two centuries ago, northeast Arkansas and southern Missouri were rocked by four earthquakes of magnitude 7 or greater…by Justin Revenaugh. Earthquakes are quick, their devastation enormous, the loss of life all too often overwhelming. When they strike back to back it is natural to wonder whether they are related. Minnesota Public Radio NewsQ.

Minnesota's creative-writing MFA programs thrive despite the economy
Even in a recession, practical doesn’t always win out: The University of Minnesota is reporting that it is sifting through a record crop of applications to its MFA-in-creative-writing program: 443 applications for a mere 13 seats. MinnPost.

The excerpts above are taken from Today's News, a service of the University of Minnesota News Service.

March 3

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

Antony Duff 165Antony Duff will join the University of Minnesota Law School.The University of Minnesota Law School announced that Antony Duff, a prominent theorist in criminal law and punishment, will join the faculty as a tenured professor beginning in the fall of 2010. Duff comes to Minnesota from the department of philosophy, University of Stirling, Scotland. 

Duff is widely recognized as one of the most influential authorities in criminal law theory, and his writings have brought renewed interest to the field.He is also a leading scholar in punishment theory and philosophy.

In September 2009, Duff presented the Law School’s annual Dewey Lecture on the Philosophy of Law, entitled “In Search of a Theory of Criminal Law.”

In Britain, Duff recently organized and led a three-year interdisciplinary project examining the nature, function and normative underpinnings of the criminal trial, funded by the United Kingdom’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). The project produced the three-volume book series "The Trial on Trial." The AHRC has also funded a four-year follow-up project on criminalization that began in 2008.

Duff is founding co-editor of the journal Criminal Law and Philosophy and of the Oxford University Press book series Studies in Penal Theory and Philosophy. He is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and he chaired the philosophy sub-panel of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise of the Higher Education Funding Councils, which fund British universities. For more information, see the news release.

Faculty and program expansion at the Law School is backed by the Robina Foundation, which provided a $6.1 million grant to support the new program on Law, Public Policy and Society. The program is committed to innovative public policy research, transformation of the curriculum and teaching mission and training that generates visionary problem-solving skills.

Regents Professor Eric Sheppard will serve as co-director, with Karen Brown, of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) effective June 2010, following an internal search process. Regents Professor Sheppard and Dr. Brown, as co-directors, will replace Regents Professor Allen Isaacman, who is stepping down in June as ICGC director after 20 years of distinguished leadership to ICGC and to the University’s international mission. This ICGC co-director model eliminates one ICGC leadership position.

Sheppard earned a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Toronto, and has been on the University of Minnesota faculty since 1976. He has co-authored seven books and published more than 100 articles. He has won numerous national and international awards and is a past chair of the Department of Geography. He has conducted research in North and South America; East, Southeast and South Asia; and sub-Saharan Africa and has been a visiting professor at universities in Australia, Austria, England, and Indonesia. Professor Sheppard has organized 14 major international conferences and has been the recipient of more than 20 research grants.

Professor Sheppard has been involved with ICGC for many years, serving as associate director and chairing or serving on ICGC and other international committees.

Karen Brown brings thirteen years of experience at ICGC, serving as associate director, teaching in the Development Studies and Social Change graduate minor program, and directing various ICGC and collaborative initiatives. She has worked in many facets of international education and research at the University as Special Assistant for International Scholarship in the Office of International Programs, and chairing or serving on the International Scholarship Advisory Committee, International Programs Council, Strategic Positioning Task Force on Forging an International University, ICGC executive committee and many fellowship selection and admissions committees. She is co-investigator on several major institutional grants in international education and has worked to develop international partnerships in South Africa and Turkey. Dr. Brown earned an M.A. in East Asian Studies and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. For more information, see ICGC.

Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and the Dean of the Medical School Frank Cerra plans to retire from his position effective December 31. Cerra will continue as senior vice president and dean throughout this calendar year, working closely with other leaders to ensure a smooth transition in this key leadership position and maintaining the excellence in health sciences that he has devoted his career to achieve. The University's Medical School and the other health sciences schools together drive a significant portion of the U's teaching, research, and public engagement mission, and will continue to play a vital role in shaping health care policy and delivery for the state of Minnesota and the surrounding region.

Peggy Johnson, associate university librarian for access services at the University of Minnesota libraries, is the recipient of the 2010 Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is sponsored by EBSCO Information Services and honors the recipient with $3,000 and a citation. Johnson will receive her award at the ALCTS Awards Ceremony, June 27, during the ALA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C.

The Ross Atkinson Lifetime Achievement Award honors the memory of Ross Atkinson, a distinguished library leader, author and scholar whose extraordinary service to the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) and the library community-at-large serves as a model for those in the field.

The Association for Library Collections & Technical Services (ALCTS) is the national association for information providers who work in collections and technical services, such as acquisitions, cataloging, collection development, preservation and continuing resources in digital and print formats.

PFund, the Minnesota foundation dedicated exclusively to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, today announced its 2010 Power of One Award will be given to Max Gries, a pioneering Twin Cities transgender activist and leader. Gries will receive the award on May 8, at the annual PFund Cabaret at Guthrie Theatre in downtown Minneapolis.

Gries, of Minneapolis, is a private piano teacher and a house manager at the University of Minnesota's Ted Mann Concert Hall. As a genderqueer person, Gries is especially dedicated to reaching underserved people within LGBT and queer communities. As a founding co-chair of the Transgender Commission at the University of Minnesota, Gries’ efforts have focused on creating institutional partnerships with a range of key departments and communities while drawing national attention to campus gender diversity and equity work.

In July 2009, the University of Minnesota amended its Equal Opportunity Statement to include gender identity and gender expression, due in part to Gries’ years of efforts to change policy and climate within the university system. For more information, see PFund.

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

Losing life’s variety
No silly hats or shouted countdowns…Drought inspired the longest-running of the post-treaty wave of biodiversity experiments, says David Tilman of the University of Minnesota in St. Paul. Science News.

U of M Geology professor speaks on Chile quake
The earthquake that hit Chile earlier today was 500 times stronger than the one that hit Haiti but the Chile earthquake was 22 miles deeper meaning its effect was weaker...a concept that may be difficult to comprehend. KSTP anchor Brad Sattin was joined by Justin Revenaugh, a geology and geo-physics professor at the University of Minnesota, to help sort out the scientific aspects of the earthquake. KSTP – TV.

'Cool' power: El Paso native's poems take twists, beckon with humor
Ray Gonzalez's newest book, "Cool Auditor: Poems" (BOA Editions, $16 paperback), is a collection of prose poems that reveals this prolific writer at the height of his powers. Gonzalez, an El Paso native and a professor of creative writing at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, has published 10 previous books of poetry, as well as three collections of essays and two short-story collections. El Paso Times.

Lawsuit argues lives would be saved if bone marrow donors were paid
Should people be paid to donate bone marrow?…Last summer alone, patients and families from Florida and Utah moved to Minnesota for transplants that fell through at the last minute because the donors backed out, says plaintiff John Wagner, director of bone marrow transplantation at the University of Minnesota. USA Today.

Performer and activist Rambo making up for lost time
There’s an old adage that T. Mychael Rambo aims to follow, one that generations of his family have kept close: “Service is the rent due for living on this planet.” Rambo has worked for years at the University of Minnesota, where he is an adjunct theater professor. Politics In Minnesota.

The excerpts above are taken from Today's News, a service of the University of Minnesota News Service.