LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.
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Humanities Research Institute Director Antoinette Burton has been named to the Illinois Humanities board of directors. Illinois Humanities, the Illinois affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is a statewide nonprofit organization that activates the humanities through free public programs, grants, and educational opportunities that foster reflection, spark conversation, build community, and strengthen civic engagement.
Susan Koshy, professor of English, is guest editor of the latest issue of PMLA (October 2022), the flagship journal in literary studies. The special issue focuses on “Monolingualism and Its Discontents” with essays covering a wide range of historical periods, languages, and geographies.
Amy Marshall-Colon, associate professor plant biology, was selected by the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory from its annual Exploratory Call. Her project seeks to expand our understanding of stem cell types and the metabolic dynamics between them, thus creating a molecular atlas of sorghum stem development and increasing our understanding of grass stem biology.
Brett Ashley Kaplan (pictured) and David Wright Faladé were featured authors at the Texas Book Festival, which took place November 5 and 6 in Austin, TX. The Texas Book Festival is one of the premiere literary gatherings in the nation.
Psychology professor Chadly Daniel Stern has been named the 2022-2023 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Provost Fellow. The Provost Fellows program was created to further develop leadership skills at the university level for some of our most accomplished tenured faculty. Each Provost Fellow focuses on a critical campus strategic initiative to ensure we are living up to our full potential in our scholarly missions.
Martin D. Burke, professor in the Department of Chemistry and in Carle Illinois College of Medicine has been elected to the U.S. National Academy of Medicine. Burke is honored for creating a modular molecular synthesis platform with broad applications in health science and technology, including his pioneering research on molecular prosthetics for cystic fibrosis, and for helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19 with saliva-based testing.
Diwakar Shukla, professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named a Pivot Fellow by the Simons Foundation. The Pivot fellowship program supports researchers who have a strong track record of success and achievement in their current field, as well as a deep interest, curiosity, and drive to make contributions to a new discipline.
Atmospheric sciences department head and professor Jeff Trapp has been awarded the American Geophysical Union’s Gilbert F. White Distinguished Award and Lecture. The AGU Gilbert F. White Distinguished Award and Lecture is given annually to an individual in recognition of outstanding original contributions to the basic knowledge of natural hazards and risks.
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign plant biology professor emeritus Govindjee has been named a recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society of Photosynthesis Research. Govindjee made pivotal discoveries into the mechanisms that drive photosynthesis in plants and algae and has written dozens of books about the process of photosynthesis.
Andrew Leakey, professor of plant biology; Venetria Patton (pictured), Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Eva Pomerantz, professor of psychology have been selected as 2022-23 President’s Executive Leadership Program (PELP) Fellows. PELP is a unique professional development program designed to broaden participants’ understanding of higher education issues and to strengthen their leadership skills related to overseeing a public institution at the university or system level.
Three LAS faculty members have been chosen as Fellows within the OVCRI Faculty Fellows program. Susan Koshy, Erik McDuffie (pictured), and Shaowen Wang will play an important role informing OVCRI thinking and policymaking, developing strategic initiatives, and bringing disciplinary perspectives to OVCRI programs and services.
Tim Dean, James M. Benson Professor in the Department of English, has been chosen to receive the Distinguished Psychoanalytic Educator Award from the International Forum for Psychoanalytic Education. This award is bestowed for "outstanding contributions to psychoanalytic education [...] in clinical and academic settings, representing the broadest possible array of psychoanalytic knowledge."
Sonia Lasher-Trapp, a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences, has been named as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Fellows of the AMS have "made outstanding contributions to the atmospheric or related oceanic or hydrologic sciences or their applications during a substantial period of years."
Chemistry faculty member Lisa Olshansky has been selected to participate in the U.S Department of Energy's Early Career Research Program. This program supports "talented researchers early in their career, [which is] is key to fostering scientific creativity and ingenuity within the national research community," according to DOE Office of Science Director Asmeret Asefaw Berhe.
History professor Maria Todorova has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. Todorova specializes in Eastern Europe, specifically the Balkans in the modern period. Her research focuses on historical demography, nationalism, socialism, and post-communism.
Illinois chemistry professors So Hirata (pictured) and Prashant Jain have received 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships. Hirata and his research team push the limits of quantitative theories and computing technology to interpret and predict the properties of molecules, polymers, solids and liquids. Jain directs a research laboratory on nanoscale light-matter interactions, including using concentrated photons for artificial photosynthesis, inducing emergent chemical reactivity and probing the molecular-level functioning of catalysts.
Alison Bell of the Department of Evolution, Ecology, & Behavior has been selected to receive the 2022 Quest Award for outstanding seminal contribution from the Animal Behavior Society. The Animal Behavior Society is dedicated to promoting and advancing the scientific study of animal behavior; Bell's research is focused on understanding why individual animals behave differently from each other.
Alexandra Harmon-Threatt, a professor of entomology, has been named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar for 2022-2023. Fulbright Scholar Awards are prestigious and competitive fellowships that provide unique opportunities for scholars to teach and conduct research abroad.
Susu Zhang of the Department of Psychology is the receipt of the 2022 Alicia Cascallar Award for Outstanding Paper by an Early Career Scholar from the National Council of Measurement in Education. Zhang received the award for her work on the role and utility of process data in educational measurement.
Adrian Burgos, professor of history and Latina/Latino studies, has been named to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Latino's Scholarly Advisory Committee. This new committee will guide the museum on important matters and provide input on the museum’s comprehensive plan to preserve, document, display/interpret and promote knowledge of U.S. Latino history, art, and culture.
Faye V. Harrison, a professor of African American studies and anthropology, is the recipient of the Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology. recognizing her efforts to understand & serve the needs of world's societies. The Bronislaw Malinowski Award is presented to an outstanding social scientist in recognition of efforts to understand and serve the needs of the world's societies, and who has actively pursued the goal of solving human problems using the concepts and tools of social science during one's entire career.
Chemical & biomolecular engineering professor William Hammack has been elected to National Academy of Engineering "for innovations in multidisciplinary engineering education, outreach and service to the profession through development and communication of internet-delivered content." Hammack is the creator and host of the popular “engineerguy” video series on YouTube and has created more than 200 segments for public radio that describe what engineers do, why they do it and how.
The Michelson Medical Research Foundation and Human Vaccines Project has recognized three outstanding early career researchers, including University of Illinois biochemistry professor Nicholas Wu, with the Michelson Prizes: Next Generation Grants. Each winner will be awarded $150,000 to enable their high-impact ideas to advance human immunology, vaccine discovery, and immunotherapy.
Entomology professor Esther Ngumbi has been named Difference Maker of the Year, the highest accolade of the E&T Innovation Awards. Ngumbi and her parents founded the Dr. Ndumi Faulu Academy, a school for children in Kenya, in 2012. In 2014, she created Oyeska Greens, a startup that teaches smallholder farmers how to use updated technologies and methods in agriculture.
Shaowen Wang, professor and head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science has been named a 2022 Fellow of the American Association of Geographers. He joins 22 other geographers in a variety of practice areas, chosen "for their contributions to geographic research, advancement of practice, and careers devoted to strengthening the field of geography, including teaching and mentoring." The honorary title of AAG Fellow is conferred for life.
Professor in the Department of Psychology, Wendy Heller has been named as a Fellow in the Presidential Fellows Program. The Fellows program is designed to support faculty members from the three University of Illinois System universities whose interests aligns with one or more System-wide strategic initiatives. As her initial project, Wendy will be working closely with the VPAA office to coordinate the Leadership Initiative for Women Faculty. This important initiative is focused on reducing barriers to the advancement of women to positions of academic leadership.
The Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) has selected Donald J. Wuebbles's (atmospheric sciences) book, "Downscaling Techniques for High-Resolution Climate Projections: From Global Change to Local Impacts," to receive The 2021 ASLI CHOICE Award for Best Book in the science end technology category. The ASLI awards are the highest honor I know of for atmospheric science related books.
Jeff Trapp, also of atmospheric sciences, was honored with Runner Up for the book he coauthored, "Oxford Handbook of Non-Synoptic Windstorms."
Shaowen Wang, professor and department head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science, has received 2022 Distinguished Scholarship Honors from the American Association of Geographers (AAG). He was honored for "his leading role in the development of cyber-based geographic information science (cyberGIS) as a transdisciplinary scientific approach that develops and integrates new computational methods, techniques, and instruments with geospatial knowledge, spatial analytics, and their applications in a broad range of research domains."
Florencia Henshaw of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese has received the ACTFL/Cengage/IALLT Postsecondary Award for Excellence in World Language Instruction Using Technology. The selection committee had the following to say about Henshaw: "Her dedication made her the perfect candidate to lead the efforts in maintaining high quality standards of education at her university while managing the quick transition to remote learning during the pandemic. Dr. Henshaw played a pivotal role in the development and implementation of most of the online courses in her department. She has an extensive record of workshops, presentations, publications, and every other imaginable channel for the dissemination of information and providing instructional support at every level from her own department to an international stage."
Atul Jain (atmospheric sciences, pictured), Stephen Long (plant biology), and Donald Ort (plant biology) have been named to the 2021 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. This list recognizes researchers who demonstrated significant influence in their chosen field or fields through the publication of multiple highly cited papers during the last decade. Their names are drawn from the publications that rank in the top 1% by citations for field and publication year in the Web of Science citation index.
Ashish Sharma (pictured) and Donald J. Wuebbles of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences received a 2021 Climate Leadership Award for their work with the Chicago Regional Climate Action Planning Partnership. This partnership "engaged communities and municipal stakeholders in the development of a regional Climate Action Plan, with technical assistance from the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, University of Illinois, Argonne National Laboratory, and US Climate Resilience Toolkit team; supported municipal-level climate mitigation and adaptation planning." This marks the tenth anniversary of the awards, which recognize exemplary corporate, organizational, and individual leadership in reducing carbon pollution and addressing climate change.
Sociology and gender and women’s studies professor Ghassan Moussawi has received the Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize from the National Women's Studies Association (NWSA) for his book "Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalism and Queer Strategies in Beirut." According to the NWSA, this prize includes "recognition for groundbreaking monographs in women's studies that makes significant multicultural feminist contributions to women of color/transnational scholarship."
Nicholas Wu, a professor of biochemistry, has received a National Institutes of Health Director’s New Innovator Award, part of the Common Fund’s High-Risk, High-Reward Research program. Wu is among 64 new innovators recognized for unusually innovative research. His project, "High-throughput identification of antibody features for sequence-based epitope prediction," aims to characterize how human antibodies interact with their targets, focusing first on influenza.
Professors Esther Ngumbi (African American studies and entomology, pictured) and Kathryn Oberdeck (History) have been selected to receive a University of Illinois Campus Excellence in Public Engagement Award. The Office of the Provost, who administers the award, stated about the awardees "We are honored to have you as a part of the Illinois family and so appreciate your contributions not only to the Illinois mission, but also to the broader Illinois and global communities."
The Steering Group of Section H (Anthropology) of the AAAS has selected Ripan Singh Malhi (Department of Anthropology) as the recipient of the 2022 Robert W. Sussman Award for Scientific Contributions to Anthropology. According to the AAAS, this award "recognize[s] meritorious scientific contributions to the field of anthropology," and Malhi was selected for his "remarkable research on human genomics and long-standing commitment to working with indigenous communities."
Professor Antony Augoustakis (Classics) has been awarded a University of Illinois Campus Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award. According to the Office of the Provost, this award "recognizes outstanding academic leadership and vision by an executive officer within a college or campus unit. [The recipient is] an exemplar of effective leadership who has led diverse groups through strategic improvements within his unit."
Professor Monica Fabiani (Psychology) has been awarded a University of Illinois Campus Excellence in Faculty Mentoring Award. According to the Office of the Provost, this award "recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to faculty mentoring by actively assisting pre-tenure and mid-career faculty in developing their career(s)."
Anthropology and American Indian studies professor Korinta Maldonado has been awarded the 2021 Immigrant Leadership Award from the Champaign-Urbana Immigration Forum. She was honored for her leadership of the Pixan Konob’ Q'anjob'al Interpreters and Language Justice Collective, which recently has translated many COVID-19 health messages to Q'anjob'al.
Lisa Olshansky, professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been named as a Vallee Scholars to further her research. Olshansky's research is focused on testing the hypothesis that conformational control represents an efficient way to interconvert different forms of energy. "Through the construction of switchable artificial metalloproteins, she is working to dissect the kinetic and thermodynamic consequences of conformational control and hopes to create an array of switchable systems and catalysts that can be applied to solve challenges in biomedicine."
Sociology and African American studies professor Ruby Mendenhall has received the 2021 Pearl Birnbaum Hurwitz Humanism in Healthcare Award for her work "decreasing health disparities and promoting health equity through innovative programs." This annual award is presented to a woman has advanced the well-being of underserved or at-risk populations in the healthcare arena. She has also received a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation grant to reduce disparities in healthcare. Mendenhall will create programming and wellness tools to foster healing from racial trauma such as police killings, gun violence, and higher rates of COVID-19 deaths.
Chunyuan Diao, a professor in the Department of Geography & Geographic Information Science, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award for her project entitled, "CAREER: Scalable Remote Sensing Computational Framework for Near-real-time Crop Characterization." This highly-competitive award indicates a faculty member's potential to serve as academic role model in research and education.
Three LAS faculty members have received Presidential Medallions for their work on the campus COVID-19 response: Christopher Brooke (pictured), professor of microbiology; Martin D. Burke, May and Ving Lee Professor for Chemical Innovation at UIUC and associate dean for research at the Carle Illinois College of Medicine; and Paul J. Hergenrother, Kenneth L. Rinehart Jr. Endowed Chair in natural products chemistry. In a ceremony attended by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, President Killeen honored these leaders behind the development of the SHIELD test-and-trace system.
Tim Liao, head of the Department of Sociology, has been awarded the Section on Methodology's Paul F. Lazarsfeld Award. This prestigious award, recognizing sociologists who have contributed to the field of sociological methodology, is given by the American Sociological Association and was founded in 1986 in honor of Paul F. Lazarsfeld.
Prashant Jain, professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been named as a finalist of the 2021 Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists. Honoring Jain as a finalist in the chemistry category, the Blavatnik Family Foundation had the following to say about his nomination: "Prashant K. Jain is unlocking more potential functions from some of the most common catalysts, such as iron or platinum, by using gold nanoparticles to harvest energy from light."
Multiple LAS faculty and researchers have received funding under the University of Illinois System’s Presidential Initiative: Expanding the Impact of the Arts and the Humanities. They are as follows: Teresa Barnes (pictured, Center for African Studies, gender and women’s studies, history), Maimouna Barro (Center for African Studies), Mary Gathogo (linguistics), Erik McDuffie (African American Studies), Karen Flynn (gender and women’s studies), and Elena Delgado (Spanish and Portuguese, School of Literatures, Cultures, and Linguistics). The projects include initiatives to develop a joint Africana World studies project on the UIC and UIUC campuses; to assemble a history of the human impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Black communities; and to make the University of Illinois System a hub for intercultural communication and studies.
Jenny L. Davis—professor of anthropology and director of the Program in American Indian Studies—has been named the 2021 Chickasaw Dynamic Woman of the Year. Davis received the award for her leadership and commitment to preserving the Chickasaw culture, including her efforts in leading University of Illinois efforts to comply with the Native American Graves and Repatriation Act.
Donald J. Wuebbles, the Harry E. Preble Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, has joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB advises the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere on strategies for research, education, and the application of science to operations and information services. The advice helps NOAA execute its mission to better understand and predict changes in the Earth’s environment and conserve and manage coastal and marine resources to meet the Nation’s economic, social, and environmental needs.
Professor Ghassan Moussawi (gender and women’s studies and sociology) has received the Sociology of Sexualities Early Career Award from the American Sociological Association's Sexuality Section. This award highlights an exceptional scholar whose contributions to the discipline of sociology and the sociological study of sexualities are evident across a range of contributions. He also received this year's Distinguished Book Award from the Section for his book Disruptive Situations: Fractal Orientalisms and Queer Strategies in Beirut.
Kenneth Suslick, Marvin T. Schmidt Research Professor of Chemistry, has received the Theophilus Redwood Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry. The Research and Innovation Prizes, including the Theophilus Redwood Award, celebrate brilliant individuals across industry and academia. Suslick received his award for the invention and development of the optoelectronic nose and important contributions to artificial olfaction as an analytical technique.
Psychology professor Dolores Albarracín has been named the 2023 President of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. The Society for Personality and Social Psychology promotes scientific research that explores how people think, behave, feel, and interact. With more than 7,500 members, the Society is the largest organization of social and personality psychologists in the world.