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Home > People > Awards and appointments, June 2010

Awards and appointments, June 2010

By Adam Overland

Regents Professors 2010 165
New Regents Professors for 2010 are William Iacono (left), Horace Loh (middle) and Karen Seashore (right).

June 23

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


New Regents Professors
Three University of Minnesota professors have been named Regents Professors by the University's Board of Regents. The designation is the highest level of recognition given to faculty by the university.

They are William Iacono, Distinguished McKnight Professor, professor of psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and law, and adjunct professor of child development; Horace Loh, Frederick and Alice Start Professor and head of the department of pharmacology, Medical School; and Karen Seashore, Robert H. Beck Professor of Ideas in Education, professor in the department of organizational leadership, policy and development in the College of Education and Human Development. The addition of the new Regents Professors increases the total number of current Regents Professorships to 30.

William Iacono (Department of Psychology, College of Liberal Arts)
Iacono is a pioneer in the neurobiological approach to the study of mental disorders and one of the world’s leading clinical psychologists/experimental psychopathologists. He has made seminal contributions to adolescent and adult developmental psychopathology, substance abuse, psychiatric epidemiology, behavior genetics, and lie detection and he is considered to be one of the world’s foremost research scientists in these areas. He is best known for the Minnesota Twin Family Study, a benchmark longitudinal investigation of approximately 2000 adolescent twin pairs and their parents. He has published over 350 papers and he ranks among North America’s most cited and productive clinical psychologists.

Iacono has contributed extensively in leadership and service activities at the departmental, university, national, and international level. His scholarly appointments include president of the Society for Psychophysiological Research; chair of the Society’s Publication Board; and associate editor of the journal Psychophysiology. He has received lifetime scientific achievement awards from the Society for Psychophysiological Research and the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, and he currently holds a MERIT award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has also served as chair or member of numerous NIH study sections, and he has been a consultant on lie detection to a wide variety of government agencies. He currently serves as the director of the university’s Clinical Psychology Training Program and for over 20 years he has directed the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research. He has served as the primary advisor for over 40 doctoral and postdoctoral students as well as many young faculty members and successful academicians.

Horace Loh (Department of Pharmacology, Medical School)
Loh is regarded as an outstanding scholar who has attained national and international prominence for his pharmacology research on addictions to morphine and related substances and the scientific basis for the treatment of opiate addiction. For more than 30 years his research has had a major impact on the understanding of how opioid drugs work on a cellular and molecular level. He has published over 580-refereed manuscripts, which have been cited over 15,000 times. He has mentored more than 30 Ph.D. students and over 100 post-doctoral fellows, many who have gone on to successful careers as directors of national institutes, heads of departments, professors, deans, founders of biotechnology firms, leaders in the pharmaceutical industry and scientists.

He was one of three scientists to receive the first MERIT, or Method to Extend Research in Time, Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He received the Senior Scientist Award from the NIH numerous times. Loh was also among the first four inductees in the Academic Health Center’s Academy for Excellence in Health Research at the University of Minnesota and received the first Senior Investigator Award from the Medical School.

Karen Seashore (Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, College of Education and Human Development)
Seashore is an internationally acclaimed scholar whose research is grounded in social science theory and who is considered to be the most important methodologist in the field of school improvement and school leadership in the last quarter century. Her work on entrepreneurial science is said to have changed the understanding of science and research and is considered to be the gold standard of early work on entrepreneurial science. She has published 13 books, 17 major monographs, 73 peer-reviewed articles and 52 chapters.

She has served on many editorial boards and review panels including the National Science Foundation’s sections on Sociology and on Ethics and Values in Science and Technology, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Spencer Foundation. In addition to serving on numerous university-level committees such as the Faculty Consultative Committee, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, the Senate Committee on Finance and Planning, and as vice chair of the University Senate, she has served as associate dean for Academic Affairs in the College of Education, as director of the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Administration and as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development.

The Regents Professor position was established in 1965 by the Board of Regents to recognize the national and international prominence of faculty members. It serves as the highest recognition for faculty who have made unique contributions to the quality of the University of Minnesota through exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and scholarship or creative work and contributions to the public good.

For more information, see the news release.

New director of Food Industry Center
Distinguished economist Robert King will become director of The Food Industry Center at the University of Minnesota next month. King, a professor and former head of the university's Department of Applied Economics, replaces the center's founding director, Jean Kinsey, who is retiring.

King's research focuses on local food systems, organic agriculture, and on management issues facing food retailers, farmer cooperatives and farmers. He teaches courses on managerial economics and cooperatives and helps advise Cornercopia, the university's student organic farm. He has been involved with numerous projects at the center since its founding in 1995 and has been a faculty member in the applied economics department since 1983. 

The department and center also have hired a new associate director/associate professor, Timothy Beatty, who is internationally known for his work in consumer economics and consumer behavior, particularly as they relate to food and health. He currently teaches and does research at the University of York and for Statistics Norway.

Kinsey, who joined the applied economics department in 1976, has been widely honored for her consumer behavior research and teaching and has been a member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as well as president of the American Agricultural Economics Association. For more information, see the news release.

Minnesota named best college alumni magazine
Minnesota magazine has been named best college alumni magazine of its size by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).

Published four times a year, Minnesota this month won the prestigious international 2010 Circle of Excellence Gold Award for “Best College and University General Interest Magazine” with a circulation of 30,000 to 75,000.

Minnesota was honored for “strong and varied story selection and willingness to engage with major issues” “Minnesota took the top award on the basis of its well-thought out and substantive editorial content, especially its strong and varied story selection and willingness to engage with major issues in a way that relates to the institution,” according to judges’ comments.

Judges pointed in particular to three Minnesota articles: a story about a University of Minnesota-led investigation into deaths from lung disease among taconite miners in the state; an interview with former professor Gary Schwitzer, whose research focuses on weaknesses in reporting about health care; and an article focusing on University horticulturalist Jeff Gillman, whose work counters frequently dangerous and ridiculous gardening myths.

Published continuously since 1901 and produced under the leadership of editor Shelly Fling and managing editor Cynthia Scott, Minnesota magazine explores the discoveries, accomplishments, and work of University of Minnesota faculty, staff, students, and alumni through articles about campus life, higher education, and University events. It is sent to the approximately 60,000 members of the Alumni Association. For more information, see the news release.

Community Fund Drive award
Bonnie Marten
has won a Community Health Charities Minnesota campaign award. Marten won in the category of Best Campaign Coordinator for her work on the University of Minnesota's 2009 Community Fund Drive. The University of Minnesota also won the award for Largest Local Campaign, selected from among nearly 200 partnering organizations, for having raised $142,720 for Community Health Charities.

GIS Educator of the Year
Robert McMaster, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education and Professor of Geography, has been named GIS Educator of the Year by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). The award is presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to GIScience education.

Advocate of Year award
Craig Taylor, director of the Office of Business and Community Economic Development (BCED), will receive the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal/Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council Advocate of the Year award at the 2010 Minority Business Awards reception and awards ceremony Thursday, June 24, at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley. Sharon Banks, construction project manager for BCED, is also being recognized at the event as one of 10 Minority Business Awards Corporate Executives. BCED is part of the Office of System Academic Administration. For more information, see advocate award.

2010 Synergy Award
The International Collegiate Licensing Association (ICLA) has named the University of Minnesota recipient of its 2010 Synergy Award: Program of the Year.

Program director David Lindquist will receive the award June 23. Lindquist has been at the University for 17 years, came to Minneapolis as a buyer for Gold Country/Goldy's Locker Room. The experience he gained working for Minnesota's top retailer, athletics department concessionaire and team store operator proved invaluable, as his knowledge propelled him to the director position, and the U of M brand has flourished as a result ever since. For more information, see Synergy Award.

Short profiles of the 2009-10 Distinguished Teaching Award Recipients (recipients for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, and recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education) are now available online.

Morse-Alumni Award recipients for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education are Scott Abernathy, David Blank, Kent Kirkby, Gwen Rudney (UMM), Julie Schumacher, and Paul Siliciano; recipients of the Award for Outstanding Contributions to Postbaccalaureate, Graduate, and Professional Education are Linda Bearinger, Alvin Beitz, Kang Ling James (UMD), Ruth Mazo Karras, Joseph Konstan, Rory Remmel, J. Ilja Siepmann, and Robert Sorenson.


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

What's for dinner? You don't want to know
Seen a fly in your soup lately? Well, that's nothing compared with what you don't see in your strawberry yogurt or the sprinkles on your doughnut… "They're harvested in Mexico, processed in large plants. I've seen them," said Gary Reineccius, professor of food science at the University of Minnesota. The Star Tribune.

Editorial: U of M cuts signal more trouble ahead
It's easy to think of the University of Minnesota as another big, bureaucratic public institution that deserves a financial haircut during a recession. That may be how many Minnesotans received last week's news of another round of tuition increases, salary reductions and faculty and staff cuts to erase $152 million in red ink from the 2010-11 budget.The Star Tribune.

'iCollege' at $199 a class? Idea may appeal, but Pawlenty knows e-learning is neither cheap nor easy
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's "iCollege" comments on "The Daily Show" last week may appeal to young voters he needs to woo if he runs for president… In fact, both the MnSCU system and the University of Minnesota are gravitating toward a blend of online and classroom learning — not simply tossing out the old in favor of the new. MinnPost.


June 9

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


Best dissertation award winners
Each year the Graduate School recognizes the University's top recent Ph.D. graduates by presenting 'best dissertation' awards. 

The award is given in each of four broad disciplinary areas:

  • Arts & Humanities (including history and philosophy)
  • Biological & Medical Sciences
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences & Education

This year's best dissertation award winners for 2010: 

Arts and humanities: Elizabeth Weixel, English (adviser: John Watkins). 

Biological and medical sciences: Steve Davidson, neuroscience (adviser: Glen Giesler, Jr.). 

Physical sciences and engineering: Zhongming Liu, biomedical engineering (adviser: Bin He). 

Social and behavioral sciences and education: Michael Vuolo, sociology (adviser: Christopher Uggen). 

For more information, see best dissertation.

Industry Leader

Bobbi Daniels 165Bobbi Daniels, CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians, was named an industry leader by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.Bobbi Daniels, CEO of University of Minnesota Physicians, was named an industry leader by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

The Journal writes, "At a time when health care is sparking furious national debate, Daniels is quietly making substantive, crucial improvements to a local organization that’s likely to act as a model to follow. 

As the newest CEO at University of Minnesota Physicians (UMP) — and the first woman in the role — Daniels aims to transform the organization, allowing it to be more nimble and flexible." For more information, see Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

VFW Endowed Chair
Ling Li, an expert in atherosclerosis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease, will join the College of Pharmacy on July 26 as the VFW Endowed Chair - Pharmacotherapy for the Elderly. The VFW Endowed Chair was established to direct research that addresses treatment of neuro-behavioral conditions in the elderly. 

Li's research focuses on the genetic and pathophysiological connections between atherosclerosis, diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. Specifically, she is studying how Alzheimer's may be affected by cholesterol-lowering drugs, a cardio-protective protein, and insulin-sensitizing hormones called incretins. She is also investigating ways to reverse atherosclerosis, as well as studying the connections between cardiovascular disease and Alzheimer's disease. 

Currently an associate professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Li has received numerous awards from the Alzheimer's Association and the National Institutes of Health. She received her bachelor's degree in veterinary medicine and master's degree in experimental pathology from Yangzhou University, China, and her Ph.D. in molecular, cellular, developmental biology from Iowa State University. She completed postdoctoral training in lipoprotein metabolism/atherosclerosis at Rockefeller University and in neurobiology of Alzheimer's disease at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Outstanding Unit Award
The Council of Academic Professionals and Administrators (CAPA) recognized the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance with the 2010 Outstanding Unit Award. The award honors units of the University of Minnesota that are judged to be exemplary in their support of P&A staff and the critical role P&A employees fulfill in supporting the University's mission. 

There were eight nominations for the 2010 Outstanding Unit Award. 

Honorable Mentions are

Office of Measurement Services 

The Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sports 

For more information, see CAPA Outstanding Unit Award.


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

For Innovation to Occur, Colleges Need a Big Push, Scholars Say
A diverse array of scholars gathered here on Thursday at the American Enterprise Institute for a conference on "Reinventing the American University: The Promise of Innovation in Higher Education.".. Mr. Massy singled out for praise the new health-sciences program at the University of Minnesota at Rochester. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

U of M Research to Turn Farm Trash to Fuel
At a time when the world is looking for new sources of energy, perhaps you need look no further than down on the farm. New technology being developed at the University of Minnesota could turn farm waste into fuel. U of M researcher Roger Ruan is developing a machine that farmers can use to easily turn organic waste into usable biofuels—without even leaving the farm! Fox 9 News.

Human organ start-up gets a $250,000 Ag Board loan
A start-up company using research led by the University of Minnesota's Dr. Doris Taylor has received a $250,000 loan from Minnesota's Agricultural and Economic Development Board. The Minneapolis-based company, Miromatrix Medical Inc., is commercializing techniques to create human replacement organs. The Star Tribune.

Upcoming bike festival says a lot about Minnesota
At the intersection of green tourism, Baby Boomer health consciousness, "complete streets" and national kudos, sits the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival... "Biking is increasing in interest, both functionally and recreationally,'' said Ingrid Schneider, the director of the Tourism Center, and a professor of forest resources at the University of Minnesota. MinnPost.

DeBlog: Is Knuckle Cracking Bad For You?
Welcome to a new series here on Jason Blog called: "Miles the Good Question Intern answers questions too dangerous for television."... Is cracking my knuckles bad for me? Great question. With a great answer. Miles talks to Dr. Christina Ward with University of Minnesota Physicians and HealthPartners. Check out the video to see more from Dr. Ward and Miles! WCCO – TV.

Hazards: Indoor Tanning Is Linked to Skin Cancer
Indoor tanning almost doubles the risk of dangerous melanoma skin cancer, and the more hours spent tanning, the greater the risk, according to a new study… That correlation, called a dose response, “is very important for helping to support that this is a causal influence,” said DeAnn Lazovich, a University of Minnesota epidemiologist who is lead author of the study, published online Wednesday in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The New York Times.

Minnesotans are in denial about their weight, poll finds
Minnesotans are a bit self-delusional when it comes to their weight, a new poll has found…The poll’s findings didn't surprise Lisa Harnack, an associate professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota. “People tend to underestimate their weight and overestimate their height,” she told me in a phone interview. MinnPost.

The Secret Strife of Bees
A truck transporting millions of honey bees from Mississippi to North Dakota to pollinate crops was involved in an accident on I-35 earlier this week. …While the focus by most of the contributors was on honeybees, it’s notable that University of Minnesota’s Marla Spivak, professor of entomology and social insects, reminded readers that it’s not just about the honeybees. “Some native bumblebee species have become nearly impossible to find, and we don’t know how many other native bees are threatened,” she writes, also noting that public concern over the well-being of these essential insects has grown, even as the media tires of the topic: “While bees may have faded from the news, they have not faded from the public eye.” Minneapolis Observer.

Tragedy in Detroit, With Reality TV Crew in Tow
The house where Aiyana Stanley-Jones lived on the East Side here is quiet now, a makeshift memorial of teddy bears and balloons on the porch where the police lobbed a stun grenade through the front window last Sunday. They were looking for a 34-year-old homicide suspect…Laurie Ouellette, an associate professor of media studies at the University of Minnesota who specializes in reality television, says cameras even affect what type of police calls are shown. “There is evidence that they do tend to go into lower-income neighborhoods and are less likely to be shown policing affluent white suburban spaces,” she said. “They want a particular kind of drama. They want the money shot.” The New York Times.

Do U.S. farm programs hurt world’s farmers?
How do U.S. farm programs affect Third World farmers?... Jean Kinsey, director of The Food Industry Center at the University of Minnesota, said it is “well-known” that the U.S. programs lead to problems “with import substitution by other countries — importing corn instead of importing corn (growing) technology. Southeast Farm Press.

Do Fish Really Have a Three-Second Memory?
Modern myth would have you believe that goldfish can’t remember anything that happened more than three seconds ago and, hence, their lives are filled with the constant excitement of never-before-seen sights and sounds... Fish can learn outside of a laboratory setting and remember more complex routes through a natural environment, too. In a recent study from the University of Minnesota, carp were able to learn the location of a food reward within a few days and would consistently leave their home range at night and in turbid conditions to visit the food reward. Mental Floss.