LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.
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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.
Xiomara Verenice Cervantes-Gómez, professor in the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, has been named a Career Enhancement Fellow by the Institute for Citizens & Scholars. The Career Enhancement Fellowship seeks to increase the presence of underrepresented junior and other faculty members in the humanities, social sciences, and arts. This year’s Fellows represent unique perspectives within their disciplines and are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion on campus through service and research.
Three College of LAS faculty members have been chosen as University Scholars. Francina Dominguez of atmospheric sciences (pictured), Tania Ionin of lingustics, and Supriya Prasanth of cell & developmental biology received the award for 2021-2022. The University Scholars Program was created to honor and reward outstanding faculty members at the University of Illinois.
Two professors in the College of LAS have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, one of the highest professional honors a scientist can receive. Chemistry professors Ralph Nuzzo (pictured) and Wilfred van der Donk are among 120 newly elected U.S. members and 30 international members in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.
Gillen D’Arcy Wood, a professor of English whose work is in environmental humanities, has been awarded a 2021 Carnegie Fellowship. He will use the fellowship to develop a database of baseline oceanographic information to help investigate the deteriorating state of the world’s oceans and will examine the Victorian origins of marine science.
Bobby Smith II (pictured), a professor of African American studies; Retika Adhikari Desai, a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Asian American Studies; and Juliet Larkin-Gilmore, a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow in American Indian Studies, have been awarded 2021 American Council of Learned Societies Fellowships. The ACLS Fellowship supports scholars for six to 12 months of full-time research and writing, and this year’s fellowships focused on early career scholars.
Chemistry professors Nancy Makri (pictured) and Kenneth Schweizer have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest honor societies in the nation. They are among 252 new members elected to the academy this year, including artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the public, nonprofit, and private sectors.
Gene Robinson, College of LAS Interim Dean and Swanlund Chair in Entomology, has been named as a member of the American Philosophical Society. The American Philosophical Society, founded in 1743 in Philadelphia, is a scholarly organization that promotes knowledge in the sciences and humanities through research, professional meetings, publications, library resources, and community outreach.
For her outstanding contributions to research on crop responses to global climate change, Lisa Ainsworth (School of Integrative Biology) has been named the 2021 Distinguished Senior Research Scientist of the Year by the Agricultural Research Service. According to the ARS, "Her research aimed to find solutions for challenges affecting food production and security. Her work influenced the direction of climate change impact assessment and adaptation for federal, non-governmental organization and philanthropic efforts."
History professor Kevin Mumford has been awarded a 2021 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, which he will use to work on a book project, “The Strange Career of Hate: Bias Crime and the Politics of Diversity.” Mumford is one of 184 artists, writers, scholars and scientists who were awarded fellowships. His research focuses on race, politics and sexuality in America, and how struggles over social difference and belonging have unfolded in cities and institutions.
Psychology professor Susu Zhang has been named one of the 2020 Outstanding Reviewers for the Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics. This award honor individuals who have provided exemplary service towards the peer review process and have provided many high quality reviews of scientific manuscripts.
Four LAS faculty members have been named 2021-2022 Teaching Sustainability Fellows by the University of Illinois Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment (iSEE). These fellows include Ripan Malhi (anthropology, pictured), Eman Saadah (linguistics), Chadly Stern (psychology), and Roderick Wilson (history and East Asian languages and cultures). In the upcoming semesters, these faculty members will teach courses focused on environmental stewardship and sustainability.
Jerry Dávila (pictured) and Marc Hertzman, professors in the departments of History and Spanish & Portuguese, were named co-editors for the Luso-Brazilian Review (LBR), the flagship journal for Brazilian, Lusophone African, and Portuguese studies. They will be responsible for the topics of history and social sciences. These appointments speak to their cutting-edge scholarship and towering leadership in and beyond the field of Brazilian studies.
Cari Vanderpool, professor of microbiology, was recently elected fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology for her records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. Vanderpool studies gene regulatory networks in bacteria, linking mechanisms at the molecular level to impacts on bacterial growth and metabolism.
Krystal Smalls, professor of anthropology and linguistics, has been named an AAA (American Anthropological Association) Star for her work related to the Society for Linguistic Anthropology. Her primary research involves studying Blackness, anti-Blackness, and anti-anti-Blackness in digital discourse, including the use of Black language and images in tweets, memes, and gifs.