LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

Have an honor you'd like to share with the Office of the Dean? Email us.

September 2023

  • Robert Morrissey

    History professor Robert Morrissey has won 2023 Hal K. Rothman Book Prize from the Western History Association for his recent book, "People of the Ecotone." This award is given annually for the best book in western environmental history defined in its broadest sense.

August 2023

  • Jane Desmond

    Jane Desmond, professor of anthropology and affiliate faculty with the College of Veterinary Medicine, has been selected for a 2023-2024 Fellowship in Bioethics at Harvard Medical School, a program designed for a dozen thought leaders selected from among applicants from around the world who wish to deepen their work in bioethics. Fellows are chosen on the basis of their previous academic achievements and the contributions they will likely make to the field of bioethics. Desmond will also hold a semester-long international Visiting Fellow research award from the British Academy for fall 2023. During this time she will be in residence at the Institute for Science and Society at the University of Nottingham in the U.K.

July 2023

  • Prashant Jain

    The Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences have announced three 2023 laureates of the Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists and the finalists for the award, which include Illinois chemistry professor Prashant Jain.

  • Alejandro Lleras

    Aaron Benjamin and Alejandro Lleras (pictured), both faculty members within the Department of Psychology, have received the 2023 Mid-Career Award from the Psychonomic Society. The purpose of the Mid-Career Award is to raise the visibility of psychology and of mid-career scientists who are making excellent scientific contributions to the field.

June 2023

  • Xiao Su

    Chemical & biomolecular engineering professor Xiao Su has been awarded the 2023 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Separations division FRI/John G. Kunesh Award. The recipient of the award is chosen on the basis of their significant discoveries, important research, development of new products and processes, their introduction of new educational concepts, service to the separation division and community.

  • University Scholars June 23

    Merle Bowen (pictured), professor of African American studies, and Ying Diao, professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering, have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. The award is presented by the University of Illinois System to faculty members from the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana universities.

May 2023

  • Scott Althaus

    Scott Althaus, professor of political science and communication and director of the Cline Center, has received the 2023 IJPP Gaudet-Erskine Best Book Award for "Building Theory in Political Communication."

April 2023

  • Charles Schroeder

    The Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology has honored Charles Schroeder, professor of chemical & biomolecular engineering, with its 2023 Beckman Institute Vision and Spirit Award. The award honors Beckman Institute Founder Arnold Beckman by recognizing a faculty member who has fostered collaboration in their research and exemplifies his vision.

  • John Levi Barnard

    John Levi Barnard (pictured) and Julie Gaillard, faculty members from the School of Literatures, Cultures & Linguistics, have received a Prize for Research in the Humanities from the Humanities Research Institute. These prizes recognize outstanding humanities research at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

  • Yuridia Ramírez

    History professor Yuridia Ramírez (pictured) and Latina/Latino studies professor José de la Garza Valenzuela have been awarded 2023 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships.

  • Bo Li

    Bo Li, a professor of statistics, has been awarded the ASA Section on Statistics and Environment (ENVR) Distinguished Achievement Award for 2022. 

March 2023

  • Carol Symes 

    Carol Symes (pictured), professor of history, and Prashant Jain, professor of chemistry, have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service. The award is presented by the University of Illinois System to faculty members from the Chicago, Springfield, and Urbana universities.

February 2023

  • Kara Federmeier

    Psychology professor Kara Federmeier, atmospheric sciences professor Atul Jain, and chemistry professor Liviu Mirica will be awarded the distinction of 2022 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Fellows are chosen by their peers for outstanding contributions to the field.

January 2023

  • Antoinette Burton

    Humanities Research Institute director and history professor 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.

  • Koshy

    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

    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.

November 2022

  • Brett Ashley Kaplan

    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.

October 2022

  • Chadly Daniel Stern

    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.

  • Marty Burke

    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

    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. 

September 2022

  • Jeff Trapp

    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. 

  • Govindjee

    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.

  • Venetria Patton

    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.

August 2022

  • Erik McDuffie

    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

    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

    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."

June 2022

  • Lisa Olshansky

    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.

April 2022

  • Maria Todorova

    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. 

  • So Hirata

    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.

March 2022

  • Alison Bell

    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

    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

    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

    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.

February 2022

  • Faye Harrison

    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.

  • William Hammack

    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. 

  • Nicholas Wu

    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. 

January 2022

  • Esther Ngumbi

    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

    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.

  • Wendy Heller

    Professor in the Department of PsychologyWendy 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. 

  • Donald J. Wuebbles

    The Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI) has selected Donald J. Wuebbles's (atmospheric sciencesbook, "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."

November 2021

  • Shaowen Wang

    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

    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

    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.

October 2021

  • Ashish Sharma

    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.

  • Ghassan Moussawi

    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

    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.

September 2021

  • Esther Ngumbi

    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."

  • Ripan Singh Malhi

    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."

  • Antony Augoustakis

    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."

  • Monica Fabiani

    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)."