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Home > People > Awards and appointments, November 2010

Awards and appointments, November 2010

By Adam Overland

Fitz 165
U of M chief financial officer Richard "Fitz" Pfutzenreuter was named CFO of the Year in the large nonprofit category by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

November 24

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


CFO of the Year
U of M chief financial officer Richard "Fitz" Pfutzenreuter was named CFO of the Year in the large nonprofit category by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

Pfutzenreuter was appointed vice president of the University in March 2004, chief financial officer in July 1998, and treasurer in February 2000. He served as associate vice president for Budget and Finance from 1992 to 2004. Prior to coming to the U of M he held several positions with the State of Minnesota, including fiscal staff director of the Minnesota House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee from 1986 to 1992; fiscal analyst for the Minnesota House of Representatives DFL Caucus from 1981 to 1984; and transportation planner/budget analyst and management analyst in the Minnesota Department of Transportation from 1975 to 1981. Pfutzenreuter received his bachelor of arts degree from Hamline University in 1974. For more information, see the news release.

Two Rhodes Scholars
Prerna Nadathur, a graduate student in the College of Science and Engineering's School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has been named a 2011 Rhodes Scholar. Nadathur, a graduate of Roseville Area High School in Roseville, Minn., received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago in the spring of 2010 where she majored in mathematics and minored in linguistics and philosophy. Her application for the Rhodes Scholarship was endorsed by the University of Chicago.

Nadathur is currently a first-year graduate student pursuing a masters degree in mathematics with an emphasis in mathematics education. Nadathur's parents are both faculty members at the University of Minnesota—her father, Gopalan Nadathur is a professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and her mother is Ameeta Kelekar, an assistant professor in the Department of Lab Medicine and Pathology.

While at the University of Chicago, Nadathur played violin in the chamber orchestra, was a leader in student government and in social justice activities and founded a chapter of Students for a Democratic Society. She has done independent research on social choice theorems and set theory. Nadathur also writes poetry and fiction, pursues classical Indian dance and has won prizes for her piano performances.

While attending Roseville High School, Nadathur participated in the University of Minnesota's Talented Youth Mathematics Program through the School of Mathematics Center for Educational Programs (UMTYMP). This educational outreach program provides a challenging alternative for Minnesota’s talented mathematics students in grades 6-12. Nadathur was so successful in her UMTYMP courses that she was later hired as a teaching assistant in the program before leaving to attend the University of Chicago. As a junior and senior in high school, Nadathur was also a Post-Secondary Education Option (PSEO) student at the U of M.

At Oxford, Nadathur plans to pursue a masters of philosophy (M.Phil.) degree in general linguistics and comparative philology. After Oxford, she plans to pursue a doctorate degree in linguistics and eventually a career in the field. For more information, see the news release.

Priya Sury, a first-year medical student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, has been named a 2011 Rhodes Scholar. Sury is a 2010 summa cum laude graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., where she majored in anthropology and spanish. Her application for the Rhodes Scholarship was endorsed by Washington University. Sury grew up in grew up in Roseville, Minn. and attended Roseville Area High School. Her parents are Raj and Shanti Suryanarayanan.

Sury intends to pursue a career as a physician and a medical anthropologist. In her application for the Rhodes Scholarship, Sury writes that, as a high school student, she found medicine to be overly sterile, and opted instead to study anthropology. In college, however, she discovered that her anthropological interest in health care practices was leading her toward medicine after all. Several community service projects gradually convinced her, she says, that in order for medicine to be effective, it must be sensitive to cultural and social needs.

As an undergraduate, Sury secured a grant from the Kathryn Wasserman Davis Foundation to develop and implement an HIV/AIDS prevention education seminar in the Dominican Republic. The seminar was offered to pregnant women who visited a clinic and volunteered to be tested for HIV. Sury was impressed by the women’s strong motivation to learn how to protect themselves and their babies from infection. She founded Art for AIDS Photography, which raises funds for AIDS prevention education by selling original artwork.

Sury also created an interactive multimedia science curriculum in collaboration with Mayo Clinic and Washington University, which she used in science classes in inner-city St. Louis. While studying abroad in Santiago, Chile during her junior year at Washington University, Sury became intrigued by the popularity of yoga in Chile and conducted an ethnographic study of yoga practice in Santiago and the United States. This research formed the basis for her summa cum laude thesis, “Yoga, Modernity, and Paradoxes of Upper Class Discontent.”

Sury plans to earn a Masters of Science in medical anthropology at Oxford, and will then return to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to complete her medical degree. For more information, see the news release.

Nursing awards
Linda Olson Keller, clinical associate at the School of Nursing, was named Distinguished Nurse of the Year in Minnesota by the March of Dimes. Olson Keller was honored for her leadership, compassion, and advocacy for patients and fellow nurses. Susan O'Conner-Von, associate professor at the School of Nursing, was named the Hospice, Palliative Care and Home Health Nurse of the Year by the March of Dimes for her contributions to nursing. For more information, see nursing awards.


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

Money can't buy you love – or social skills
Money can't buy you happiness — or social skills, apparently. A new study finds those who are poor are better at empathy than the wealthy… "This is fascinating," Vladas Griskevicius, a University of Minnesota psychologist who was not involved in the study, told Livescience. The Christian Science Monitor.

The new renters don't have to
Andy Doran and Meghan Seawell, married last year, are getting some well-meaning pressure to buy a house… The house has long been the symbol of the American dream, said John Archer, cultural studies chairman at the University of Minnesota and author of "Architecture and Suburbia." Star Tribune.

Lawsuit: Mpls. inflates housing values
The city of Minneapolis is systemically and illegally inflating the assessments of homes, some property owners and their advocates allege in a new lawsuit seeking class-action status… "That makes us suspect that there's a pattern of ripping people off here that's not acceptable," said John Braun, a University of Minnesota law student. Star Tribune.

University lists calories in popular Thanksgiving foods
The University of Minnesota School of Public Health Nutrition Coordinating Center has created a database that catalogues the nutrients of more than 18,000 foods. St. Louis Today.

Experts on aging: Stay fit after 65 to live longer, better
Baby Boomers better think again if they're longing for a sedentary old age… But no one has to run a marathon to regain strength. Walking down a hospital wing can jump-start improvement, according to LaDora Thompson of the University of Minnesota's department of physical medicine and rehabilitation. USA Today.


November 17

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


NSF awards
Adrian-Hegeman 165Adrian Hegeman is one of three recipients of research awards from the NSF that will help advance the world’s understanding of plants and their genes.Three University of Minnesota researchers have won new research awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will help advance the world’s understanding of plants and their genes.

The U of M projects are among 28 new NSF Plant Research Program (PGRP) projects that have been awarded a total of $101.9 million to improve the nation’s ability to enhance agricultural productivity, grow nutritious foods and diminish the effects of devastating plant parasites.

The recipients are: Assistant Professor Adrian Hegeman and Gordon and Margaret Bailey Professor Jerry Cohen, Department of Horticultural Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, and Associate Professor Nathan Springer, Department of Plant Biology, College of Biological Sciences. Hegeman also holds an appointment in the Department of Plant Biology. All three faculty are also in the Microbial and Plant Genomics Institute at the University of Minnesota. For more information, see the news release.

Teaching award
University of Minnesota Communication Studies Professor Karlyn Kohrs Campbell has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the Donald H. Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education by the National Communication Association (NCA).

Campbell is a nationally recognized scholar of feminist and presidential rhetoric. She has won every major NCA research award there is—some of them more than once. Her excellence as a scholar-teacher has been recognized many times over, making this particular award the logical summation of a storied career as an educator. The Ecroyd Award for Outstanding Teaching in Higher Education is given to honor an NCA member who exemplifies superlative teaching in higher education.

NCA is the oldest and largest communication association in the United States.

Pediatrics chair
Joseph Neglia has been named chair elect of the University of Minnesota’s Department of Pediatrics. Neglia begins this role half-time immediately, and will begin the full-time, 3-year appointment January 3, 2011.


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

U of M School of Music professor of composition, James Dillon, was featured in Ivan Hewitt's article "James Dillon: Many rivers to cross..." in The Telegraph. Dillon's orchestral epic Nine Rivers will receive its world premiere by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Glasgow City Halls and Fruit Market on Sunday, November 14 and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 next year. Dillon's premiere was also featured in The Guardian, where he was called "Scotland's greatest living composer." 

The Importance of Telling Our Stories
From a legacy perspective, we tell our stories for ourselves and as a gift to future generations… written by Rachael Freed, A Senior Fellow at the University of Minnesota's Center for Spirituality and Healing. Huffington Post.

Passive, super-sealed home resists subzero temps
In December, Nancy Schultz's lake home in Isabella, Minn., lost heat for 10 cloudy days when outside temperatures dipped well below zero. How bad did it get inside? The thermostat held at 51 degrees Fahrenheit… "It's part of our values system," says Schultz, who runs her sustainability management firm largely from their new home. Eckfeldt, a pathologist at the University of Minnesota, spends part of his time teaching in the Twin Cities, about 220 miles to the south. USA Today.

For Some, Care May Be Withdrawn Too Soon After Cardiac Arrest
For people stricken with sudden cardiac arrest, doctors often resort to a brain-protecting "cooling" of the body, a procedure called therapeutic hypothermia… And in the final study, Dr. Keith Lurie, a professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues found that withdrawing life support 72 hours after re-warming "may prematurely terminate life in at least 10 percent of all potentially neurologically intact survivors" of cardiac arrest treated with hypothermia. Bloomberg Businessweek.

Climate change: science’s fresh fight to win over the sceptics. Apology from Peabody?
Here is an interesting article on the role of big energy interests in exploiting the illegal hacking of e-mails from vindicated scientists such as Phil Jones… “By any measure, the leaking of those emails had a tremendous impact not only on Copenhagen but on all the international discussions that followed that meeting,” said John Abraham, a University of Minnesota researcher who last week launched a new US campaign to fight those who deny humans’ influence on climate. Climate Shifts.

A storm for the ages
There have been storms with more snow… A classic November storm like the Armistice Day blizzard could still develop, said University of Minnesota Extension meteorologist Mark Seeley. The Star Tribune.


November 10

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


Momentum magazine 165During the 14th-annual Minnesota Publishing Excellence Awards, the IonE's Momentum magazine received awards in seven categories, including: Gold, Best Overall Design; Gold, Best Feature Story (for the winter 2010 cover story); Gold, Technical Article (for the winter 2010 article “Nanotech: A History Lesson”); Gold, Best Publisher's Letter (for the winter 2010 Director's Note); Silver, Best Feature Story (for the fall 2009 cover story); Silver, Best Single Topic Issue (for the fall 2009 Land Issue);and Bronze, Best Overall Publication. Momentum was judged as part of the "Special Interest, Under 60,000 Circulation" category, competing against a number of prominent regional magazines. The Minnesota Publishing Excellence Awards recognize and foster outstanding publishing achievements from across the state; the competition includes nearly 100 categories in the areas of editorial, design, circulation, general and overall excellence.


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

Antarctica is UMD professor's office
Summer in Antarctica is much like winter in Duluth, except for the 24-hour-a-day sunlight... That’s the take from University of Minnesota Duluth geological sciences professor John Goodge, who is set to embark on his 11th trip to the frozen continent this month. The Duluth News Tribune.

Q&A: Marla Spivak
Last month, Marla Spivak became the fourth KU alumni to win the Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s Fellows Program… Spivak got her Ph.D. from the University in 1989, and is now a Distinguished McKnight Professor in the department of entomology at the University of Minnesota. Kansan.

Expanding Croplands Reduce Carbon Storage, IonE-Linked Research Team Finds
Nature’s capacity to store carbon – the element at the heart of global climate change – is eroding as croplands expand at the expense of forests and other native ecosystems, according to a new study co-authored by Institute on the Environment director Jonathan Foley in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). The finding underscores the value of intensifying agriculture on already-converted land instead of putting new land into production. News release

The Expectations Trap
Six years, ten months, and eight days into their marriage, Sam and Melissa blew apart… People work themselves up over "the ordinary problems of marriage, for which, by the way, they usually fail to see their own contributions," says William Doherty, professor of family sciences at the University of Minnesota. Psychology Today.

Music Therapists Tune in to Patients' Needs
Music therapists combine music and psychology to help patients and families in settings from nursery to hospice… Most music therapists are employed by facilities, but about a quarter are in private practice, according to Michael J. Silverman, director of Music Therapy at the University of Minnesota School of Music. Star Tribune.

The pounds they use become a gain for those with little
Annie Retter was so shaken by the hunger she witnessed on a recent trip to Africa that she slashed her food budget — and consumption — to send her savings there… Simone French, a University of Minnesota public health professor, said she hasn't seen any such studies, but the personal stories sound "inspiring." The Republic.


November 3

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


Ronald Hadsall and Rodney Johnson (College of Pharmacy) have been named Distinguished Professors under the Pharmacy Scholars program.

Ronald Hadsall 160Ronald Hadsall Ronald Hadsall joined the College of Pharmacy faculty in 1983. He has been instrumental in advancing pharmacy education internationally through his commitment to and involvement in the U.S.-Thai Consortium for Pharmacy Education, which is a collaboration between all Thailand schools of pharmacy and eight U.S. schools of pharmacy. Through his involvement in the consortium, pharmacy education and practice has changed national policy in Thailand. He helped establish an international Ph.D. program in pharmacy administration and he has influenced guidelines for the implementation of the Thai National Drug Administration.

He has also helped advance the discipline of social and administrative pharmacy as a component of pharmacy education on the national and local level. He served as director of graduate studies for Social and Administrative Pharmacy (SAPh) from 1990-99. During this time, his leadership and innovation greatly strengthened the program. He has advised or co-advised 23 students, many of whom went on to excel in areas of professional service to their communities.

His leadership roles in the college have included department head and senior associate dean for professional education. He was elected a Fellow of the American Pharmaceutical Association in 2003.

Rodney Johnson 160Rodney Johnson Rodney Johnson joined the faculty in 1979 and initiated a research program focusing on the design of peptidomimetics. His work has had a significant impact on understanding the fundamental science in regulating dopamine receptors, and has resulted in compounds that have shown potent activities against Parkinson's disease and schizophrenia. His research has received wide recognition and has been funded by the NIH for 30 years, totaling approximately $15 million. Today he is considered one of the foremost experts in the field of peptidomimetic research.

In addition to his research, Dr. Johnson has had a major impact on education in both the college's professional program and Graduate Program in Medicinal Chemistry. He has served as a course director in the professional program for many years, and he has played a lead role in course planning and prioritization of topics. He is a committed and successful mentor, having trained 17 Ph.D. students, two M.S. students, 15 postdoctorals and visiting scientists, and several undergraduate research students.

He received an NIH Research Career Development Award in 1981, and he is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Esam El-Fakahany, an expert in neurotransmitter receptors in the central nervous system, will join the College of Pharmacy on March 1, 2011, as the associate dean for research and graduate studies. For more information, see Pharmacy


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

Good Question: Does Candy Really Rot Your Teeth?
If you have kids, you almost certainly have giant buckets of Halloween candy in your house… "Candy's bad—potentially bad—for your teeth, but it depends how you consume it," said Gary Hildebrandt, professor and researcher at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry. WCCO-TV.

Thrills, chills and the tricks behind them
Every year, a few people bail out at the entryway to the "Haunted Basement" in southeast Minneapolis… "Everyone has their threshold for stimulation and titillation," said Marc Mooney, an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. "Some people are kind of predisposed to be scared." Star Tribune.

Rooted in tradition, the face of Halloween continues to change
As Halloween approaches and people begin loading up on candy supplies and selecting costumes, it's almost as traditional for older people to begin complaining that Halloween isn't what it used to be... Niemi said there are similar traditions in many cultures, including the Day of the Dead celebrations. In fact, according to Jeanne Kilde, the director of the Religious Studies program at the University of Minnesota, it's actually quite hard to nail down a single root of Halloween. Minnesota Public Radio.

Lori Sturdevant: Dean Atwood brought energy to U
When a friend gets a deserved plum promotion, applause is in order, even through the sadness of knowing that the friend must depart to accept it… That's how many Minnesota public policy wonks are receiving news that J. Brian Atwood, dean of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute, has been elected chairman of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's Development Assistance Committee. Star Tribune.

Study: Small area of brain could be key to PTSD
A new study suggests that a small area of the brain, just above the right ear, could be the key to understanding how post traumatic stress disorder works… V.A. and University of Minnesota psychologist Brian Engdahl says when he looked at the scans, the cell communication problems were evident in the right temporal lobe of all of the PTSD patients, even though the study participants weren't actively engaging their brains. Minnesota Public Radio.

Proof Positive: Can Heaven Help Us? The Nun Study Afterlife
Can you imagine being asked to be part of a study where the researcher asks if you not only would be willing to take part, but would mind terribly donating your brain to be dissected after you’re gone?… In an unprecedented move, to advance the study of this phenomenon the University of Minnesota has agreed to digitally scan the images of these brains so that researchers around the world can have access to the data. PsychCentral.