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.
Six LAS faculty have received Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, including Brian Allan (entomology), Manisha Basu (English), Philipp Hieronymi (mathematics), Sandra Ruiz (Latina/Latino studies and English), Isaac DiIanni (economics), and Karle Flanagan (statistics). Additionally, Anna Maria Escobar (Spanish and Portuguese) received the Campus Award for Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring, and Mei Shen (chemistry) received the Campus Award for Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research.
History professor Marsha Barrett has received a 2019 fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. Through this fellowship, which aims to support scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, Barrett will complete a book manuscript on former New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, moderate Republicanism, and racial liberalism during and after the civil rights movement.
Nafissa Thompson-Spires of the Department of English has been awarded a 2019 Whiting Award, the United States' largest literary award for emerging writers. This award is presented annually to ten emerging writers as an indicator of future literary greatness.
Three professors in the Department of Mathematics—Philippe Di Francesco, Rinat Kedem, and Xiaochun Li—have received Simons Fellowships. The Simons Foundation states that this fellowship "extends academic leaves, enabling recipients to focus solely on research for the long periods often necessary for significant advances."
Several College of LAS faculty have received fellowships from the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. They include Jessica Birkenholtz (religion), Claudia Brosseder (history), Andrew Gaedtke (English), Eduardo Ledesma (Spanish & Portuguese), Ghassan Moussawi (gender & women’s studies and sociology), Ramón Soto-Crespo (English), and Dustin Tahmahkera (American Indian studies). Additionally, Tamara Chaplin (history), pictured, has been awarded an IPRH New Horizons Summer Faculty Research Fellowship.
Department of Geology and Department of Plant Biology professor Jessica Conroy has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for "Ocean-atmosphere interactions through the lens of stable water isotopologues.” Thanks to this award, Conroy will advance understanding of the water cycle in the tropical Pacific, including addressing uncertainties in patterns of precipitation and evaporation.
John Karam of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese has received a Fulbright Scholar award to conduct research in Brazil for two summers. As a Fulbright recipient, Karam will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with international partners in educational, political, cultural, economic, and scientific fields.
Chemical & biomolecular engineering professor Diwakar Shukla is a recipient of a Sloan Research Fellowship from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. This award "honors early career scholars whose achievements mark them as among the most promising researchers in their fields," according to the foundation. He received the award for his work using physics-based models and techniques to understand complex biological processes.
Professor Hans Hock of the Department of Linguistics has received an Honorary Life Membership from the Societas Linguistica Europaea for his service to the society. He also received an Honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) award from the Deccan College Post-Graduate and Research Institute, Pune, India. This honor was bestowed for his work in historical linguistics and Sanskrit.
William Guenthner, assistant professor in the Department of Geology, was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to analyze the thermal histories of rocks in the upper 10 kilometers of Earth’s crust. Thanks to this award, Guenthner will be able to conduct research to better understand erosion and uplift.
Mara Wade of Germanic languages and literatures has received the Reimar Luest Prize for International Research Cultural Exchange, a Humboldt Foundation research prize. Wade will use the prize to continue her research on how emblems have been used as forms of communication.
Plant biology and crop sciences professor Elizabeth Ainsworth has received the 2019 National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences. She is honored for researching how climate change will affect crops.
Jenny Davis, professor of anthropology, American Indian studies, and gender and women's studies, has been appointed as a Chancellor's Fellow of Indigenous Research and Ethics. The two-year fellowship is a newly created position to ensure that Illinois is knowledgeable and complying with U.S. and tribal government policies and protocols.
Monica McDermott, a professor of sociology, has been recognized as a Russell Sage Foundation visiting scholar. While in residence, the scholars will pursue research and writing projects that reflect the foundation’s commitment to strengthening the social sciences and conducting research to “improve social and living conditions in the United States.” McDermott will study the attitudes and beliefs of white working-class individuals toward racial minorities and the changing demographics of the U.S.
Daniel Leon, a professor in the Department of Classics, was awarded the Arnold O. Beckman Research Award for his project "Disability and Monarchy in Ancient Macedonia." This Campus Research Board award comes with a substantial budget to conduct field work and research in Greece for this book project.
Eric Calderwood of Comparative & World Literature received honorable mention for the MLA’s William Riley Parker Prize for an outstanding article published in PMLA, the journal of the Modern Language Association of America. He is being recognized for, “Franco’s Hajj: Moroccan Pilgrims, Spanish Fascism, and the Unexpected Journeys of Modern Arabic Literature,” which appeared in the October 2017 issue.
Six faculty members in the College of LAS have been named to the 2018 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list. They include crop sciences and plant biology professor Lisa Ainsworth (highly cited in plant and animal science; pictured), chemistry professor Prashant Jain (cross-field), crop sciences and plant biology professor Stephen P. Long (plant and animal science), chemistry professor Catherine Murphy (cross-field), chemistry professor Yi Lu, and plant biology professor Donald Ort (plant and animal science).
Professor Marshall Scott Poole of communication received the Ernest Bormann Research Award for the Best Book of 2018 from the Group Communication Division of the National Communication Association. The award was for the book, "Group Processes: Data-Driven Computational Approaches." Poole won the award with Illinois PhD alumnus Andy Pilny.
Professors Andrew Leakey and Ray Ming of plant biology have been elected a AAAS Fellows. The distinction recognizes "efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished."
Mara Wade of Germanic languages and literatures has received the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation's Reimar Lüst-Preis für internationale Wissenschafts- und Kulturvermittlung. It translates to the Reimar Lüst Prize for International Research Cultural Exchange. The award recognizes scholars' excellence in international research and ability to foster research relations between their home country and Germany.
Diwakar Shukla, a Blue Waters Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has won a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. It's titled, "Reinforcement Learning of the Free Energy Landscapes of Proteins."
In addition, Shukla recently won the CoMSEF Young Investigator Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, as well as theOpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry from the COMP Division of the American Chemical Society.
Don Wuebbles, the Harry E. Preble Endowed Professor of atmospheric sciences, has received the 2018 Bert Bolin Global Environmental Change Award and was selected as the lecturer of the AGU Global Environmental Change section. This honor, given by the American Geophysical Union, was given for, "groundbreaking research and/or leadership in global environmental change through cross-disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary research in the past 10 years.”
May Berenbaum, the Swanlund Chair of Entomology has been appointed editor-in-chief of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. PNAS is among the most influential scientific journals in the world. It publishes original research reports, commentaries, perspectives, colloquium papers, and actions of the academy.
M. Christina White of chemistry is the 2019 winner of the ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, one of the American Chemical Society's highest national awards. The award recognizes White for her pioneering studies on selective functionalization of aliphatic and allylic C-H bonds to form C-O, C-N and C-C bonds.
Mei-Po Kwan of geography and geographic information science has been named a fellow of United Kingdom's Academy of Social Sciences. The academy's mission is to promote social science in the United Kingdom for the public benefit.
Renske van der Veen of chemistry has received a Science and Engineering Fellowship from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The fellowship provides funding over five years for an early-career faculty member to pursue research.
Gene Robinson, the Swanlund Chair of Entomology has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine. Election to the Academy is considered one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine and recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and commitment to service.
Prashant Jain of chemistry has been admitted by the Council to the Royal Society of Chemistry as a fellow. Fellowships are the highest level of membership one can attain with the society, and require a high professional standing and a significant impact in the chemical sciences.
Zaida "Zan" Luthey-Schulten of chemistry has been selected as a fellow of the Biophysical Society. The honor is for those who have demonstrated excellence in science, contributed to the expansion of the field of biophysics, and supported the Biophysical Society throughout their careers
Rebecca Sandefur of sociology has been awarded a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship, commonly known as a genius grant, from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Sandefur will use the award "to help bring new attention and new energy to solving what has been so far an intractable problem, the critical issue of access to civil justice."
Joaquín Rodríguez-López of chemistry has been named to Science News magazine's SN 10: Scientists to Watch list, a distinction spotlighting early- and mid-career scientists for tackling major challenges facing science and society. He won for his efforts to expand affordable, renewable energy by designing materials to better store electric charge.
Wilfred van der Donk, the Richard E. Heckert Chair of Chemistry, has had his appointment as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator renewed until 2025. He was first appointed to the prestigious position in 2008.
Leanne Knobloch of communication was recognized with the National Communication Association's Charles H. Woolbert Award for Research. She won for co-authoring "A model of relational turbulence," published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2004. The Woolbert award is given to recognize an article published between 10 and 15 years ago that "has stood the test of time."
Jeffrey S. Moore, the Stanley O. Ikenberry Endowed Chair in chemistry, was recognized with the U.S. Secretary of Energy's Achievement Award for his work as a member of the Scientific and Operational Leadership team for the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research project.
Marianne Kalinke, the Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies, emerita, and professor emerita of Germanic languages and literatures, was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of the Falcon. It's the highest honor the Icelandic state can bestow on individuals. Kalinke was honored for her research, scholarship, and teaching of medieval Icelandic literature.
Jòzsef Balogh of mathematics was invited as a speaker at the 2018 International Congress of Mathematicians, an honor that means he's highly respected by his peers. With mathematician Robert Morris, he spoke about recently-developed technique for bounding the number and controlling the typical structure of finite objects with forbidden structures.
Stephanie Hilger of Germanic languages & literatures, Susan Martinis of biochemistry, Andrew Suarez of animal biology have been named 2018-19 President's Executive Leadership Program (PELP) Fellows. The program is 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.
Clara Bosak-Schroeder of classics, David Wilson of geography and geographic information science, Lila Adib Sharif of Asian American Studies, and Anustup Basu of English have received 2018-20 Unit for Criticism Faculty Fellowship Awards. The fellowship program in recognition of the Unit for Criticism's central role in fostering theoretical inquiry and interdisciplinary scholarship across the humanities, social sciences, and performing arts.
Murugesu Sivapalan of geography and geographic information science has been awarded the eighth biennial Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz International Prize for Water, a renowned global scientific award that recognizes scientists, researchers, and inventors for their creative and effective methods of addressing water scarcity.
Jonathan Sweedler, the James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair in chemistry was awarded the Torben Bergman Medal in Lund, Sweden, for his research in analytical chemistry and neuroscience.
Several College of LAS faculty members have been recognized with the Provost's Campus Distinguished Promotion Award. They include Eric Pritchard, English; Eduardo Ledesma, Spanish and Portuguese; Rebecca C. Fuller, animal biology; Brendan Andrew Harley, chemical and biomolecular engineering; Douglas A. Mitchell, chemistry; Alison M. Bell, animal biology; and Nathan Dunfield, mathematics.
Jefferson Chan of chemistry has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. His project is called, "CAREER: Photoacoustic Imaging Probes to Study the Biology of Metal Ions."
Patricia Gregg of geology has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for investigating the unrest and eruption potential of caldera-forming volcanoes in the Aleutians.
Colleen Murphy of philosophy has been selected as the Award Winner for 2017 by the North American Society for Social Philosophy (NASSP). The award is for the best book in social philosophy at the society's annual conference.
Dan Hyde of psychology has won the International Congress of Infant Studies (ICIS) 2018 Distinguished Early Career Award. ICIS stated, "Dr. Hyde's groundbreaking theoretical and empirical work on number development and theory of mind, were particularly impressive and meritorious."
Jeffrey Moore of chemistry has been named 2018 Stephanie L Kwolek Award Winner for his self-healing polymer and mechanophore research. The award is to recognize exceptional contributions to the area of materials chemistry from a scientist working outside the United Kingdom.
Ted Underwood of English has been named a fellow with the National Humanities Center for his research on "A Perspectival History of Fiction in English, 1800-2008." This year, the National Humanities Center awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants to 39 fellows who will pursue their research at the center.
Tom Johnson of geology has been named a fellow of the Geological Society of America, in recognition of his work in hydrology and heavy-element isotope geochemistry, his teaching, and his administrative service.