LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

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September 2021

  • Kora Maldonado

    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.

August 2021

  • Lisa Olshansky

    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."

  • Ruby Mendenhall

    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

    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.

  • Christopher Brooke

    Three LAS faculty members have received Presidential Medallions for their work on the campus COVID-19 response: Christopher Brooke (pictured), professor of microbiologyMartin 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

    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.

July 2021

  • Prashant Jain

    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."

June 2021

  • Teresa Barnes

    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 Studiesgender and women’s studieshistory), 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 PortugueseSchool 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 Davis

    Jenny L. Davisprofessor 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

    Donald J. Wuebblesthe 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.

  • Ghassan Moussawi

    Professor Ghassan Moussawi (gender and women’s studies and sociologyhas 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.

May 2021

  • Kenneth Suslick

    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.

  • Dolores Albarracín

    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

    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.

  • Francina Dominguez

    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.

April 2021

  • Ralph Nuzzo 

    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

    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

    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.

  • Nancy Makri

    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

    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. 

  • Lisa Ainsworth

    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."

  • Kevin Mumford

    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. 

March 2021

  • Susu Zhang

    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. 

  • Ripan Malhi

    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

    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.

February 2021

  • Cari Vanderpool

    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

    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. 

  • Xiao Su

    Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Xiao Su was awarded funding through the inaugural initiative called Scialog: Negative Emissions Science, co-sponsored by the Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Su joins one of eight teams of Scialog Fellows investigating novel approaches to tackle greenhouse gases accumulating in the Earth’s atmosphere.

  • Esther Ngumbi

    Esther Ngumbi, a professor of African American studies and entomology, received the 2021 Mani L. Bhaumik Award for Public Engagement with Science, an annual award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science presented to scientists and engineers in recognition of their contributions to public engagement with science. The AAAS cited her "ambitious priorities," which include "helping the world meet sustainability challenges, diversifying the global community of scientists, and practicing and teaching science communication."

January 2021

December 2020

  • Bobby Smith II

    Professors Bobby Smith II (pictured) and Eduardo Ledesma have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for 2021. The fellowship program supports advanced research in the humanities, and the recipients produce articles, books, digital materials or other scholarly resources. Ledesma is a professor of Spanish and Portuguese and Smith is a professor of African American studies.

  • Harriet Murav

    Harriet Murav, professor in the Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures and the Program in Comparative & World Literature, has received an honorable mention from the MLA (Modern Language Association) Fenia and Yaakov Leviant Memorial Prize in Yiddish Studies for her book "David Bergelson’s Strange New World: Untimeliness and Futurity." The prize is awarded each even-numbered year and is given alternately to an outstanding translation of a Yiddish literary work and to an outstanding scholarly work in English in the field of Yiddish.

November 2020

  • Alison Bell

    Two College of LAS professors have been elected as 2020 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Evolution, ecology, & behavior professor Alison Bell (pictured) and chemistry professor Prashant Jain are among the 489 scientists to be awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow this year.

  • Stephen Long

    Two LAS faculty members have been named to the 2020 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list, which recognizes leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world. The highly cited researchers include plant biology professors Stephen Long (pictured) and Donald Ort.

  • Bruce Berndt 

    Mathematics professor Bruce Berndt was named as one of the world's ten most influential mathematicians by Academic Influence, a team of academics and data scientists that provide objective, influence-based rankings in higher education. Berndt's research is devoted to finding proofs of claims found in the notebooks of Srinivasa Ramanujan (1887-1920), India's greatest mathematician.

  • Dolores Albarracin

    Dolores Albarracin, a professor in the Department of Psychology, has receive the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. This award recognizes a mid-career scholar whose work has added substantially to the body of knowledge to the social psychology field and/or brings together personality psychology and social psychology. 

October 2020

  • Bob Rauber

    Robert Rauber, director of the School of Earth, Society, and Environment and professor of atmospheric scienceshas been selected to receive the 2020 Colorado State University Atmospheric Science Distinguished Alum award. This award is given annually to an alumnus in recognition of outstanding contributions to the field of atmospheric science.

  • Shaowen Wang

    Nicole Allen of psychology and Shaowen Wang (pictured) of geography and geographic information science have been chosen to participate in the Big Ten Academic Alliance Academic Leadership Program. This program identifies faculty with exceptional promise and prepares them for future leadership roles through a program including seminars and individual campus activities.  

  • Janice N. Harrington

    Janice N. Harrington (pictured), Christopher Kempf, and Corey Van Landingham, professors in the Department of English, have had poems included in the "The Best American Poetry 2020" anthology. According to the publisher, "Since 1988, The Best American Poetry anthology series has been 'one of the mainstays of the poetry publication world' (Academy of American Poets). Each volume in the series presents some of the year’s most remarkable poems and poets."

September 2020

  • Brian Fields

    Brian Fields, professor in the Departments of Astronomy and of Physics, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society for his "pioneering contributions to cosmology, nuclear and particle astrophysics, nucleosynthesis, cosmic-ray physics, gamma-ray astronomy, astrobiology, and supernovae." 

  • Marianne Alleyne

    Marianne Alleyne, professor of entomology, has been elected as Vice President-Elect of the Entomological Society of America for 2022-2023. Alleyne's research on the multifunctionality of cicada, beetle, and fly wings has informed engineering of multifunctional materials and robotic systems.

August 2020

  • Sonia Lasher-Trapp

    Two atmospheric sciences faculty have been honored by the American Meteorological Society. Sonia Lasher-Trapp (pictured) has been awarded the American Meteorological Society's Edward N. Lorenz Teaching Excellence Award "for creating active learning and welcoming classroom environments, expanding student experiences, and advocating for women in science." Robert (Jeff) Trapp has been named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society for his outstanding contributions to the field of atmospheric sciencces.

  • Alexandra Harmon-Threatt

    Alexandra Harmon-Threatt, professor of entomology, has been elected as an Ecological Society of America Early Career Fellow. This honor was bestowed for her critical research in native bee ecology and conservation, as well as for excellence in teaching and public outreach.

  • Jeffrey S. Moore

    The Center for Advanced Study has appointed three College of LAS members to its permanent faculty—Jeffrey S. Moore (chemistry), Harriet Murav (Slavic languages and literatures), and Donald R. Ort (plant biology). CAS professors are selected based on their outstanding scholarship, and the appointments are one of the highest forms of campus recognition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

July 2020

  • Tom Rudolph

    Tom Rudolph, head of the Department of Political Science, has been named a Lincoln Distinguished Professorial Scholar by the College of LAS for his leadership and scholarship on public opinion, political psychology, and political behavior in the context of American politics.

  • Xiao Su

    Xiao Su (Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering) has received the 2020 Viktor K. LaMer Award from the Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. The LaMer Award recognizes an outstanding PhD thesis accepted by a U.S. or Canadian university during the three years prior to the award year.

    Su also has been selected as a Scialog Fellow to participate in the 2020 Scialog: Negative Emissions Science Initiative, jointly sponsored by Research Corporation for Science Advancement and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He has been selected in recognition of his achievements and expertise in separations that address environmental problems including water purification. 

June 2020

  • Malaika McKee

    Four LAS professors have been named NCAS Faculty Fellows for the 2020-21 academic school year. The NCSA Faculty Fellowship is a competitive program which provides seed funding for new collaborations that include NCSA staff as integral contributors to the project. LAS fellows include David Cooper (Slavic languages and literatures), Xin Liu (astronomy), Malaika McKee (African American studies), and Ruoqing Zhu (statistics).


  • Jack Hutchens

    Jack Hutchens of the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures has received the 2019 Article of the Year award from the Canadian Association of Slavists for his article "Julian Stryjkowski: Polish, Jewish, Queer," published in Canadian Slavonic Papers.

May 2020

  • Valeria Sobol

    Valeria Sobol (Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures) has been awarded "Best Article in the field of Ukrainian history, politics, language, literature and culture" from the American Association for Ukrainian Studies. She received this honor for her article, “’Tis Eighty Years Since: Panteleimon Kulish’s Gothic Ukraine,” which was published in Slavic Review.