LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

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May 2021

  • 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.

  • Leanne Knobloch

    Leanne Knobloch of the Department of Communication has been named as a Fellow of the International Communication Association. Fellow status in the International Communication Association (ICA) is a recognition of distinguished scholarly contributions to the broad field of communication.

  • Julie Cidell

    Julie Cidell, professor of Geography and Geographic Information Science, has received the Edward L. Ullman Award from the American Association of Geographers’ Transportation Geography Specialty Group for her contributions to the field of transportation geography. The Transportation Geography Specialty Group facilitates interactions among individuals who are interested in the research, practice, and education of transportation-related topics.

April 2020

  • Donald Ort

    Donald Ort, professor of plant biology and crop sciences, has recently awarded the Charles Reid Barnes Life Membership Award from the American Society of Plant Biologists. Ort, who is also deputy director of the RIPE project, was honored for his distinction in research, education, outreach, and service to plant biology.

  • Carolyn Fornoff 

    Carolyn Fornoff (Department of Spanish & Portuguese) has received an inaugural Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities Summer Faculty Research Fellowship. This fellowship is "designed to help faculty at the University of Illinois maximize the summer for research in service of their ongoing professional development." Fornoff will be working on a chapter on climate change and indigenous futurity which is part of her book in-progress, Subjunctive Aesthetics: Mexican Culture in the Era of Climate Change.

February 2020

  • David Cooper

    The American Association for Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages (AATSEEL) has awarded its 2019 Prize for Best Scholarly Translation to professor David Cooper (Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures). Cooper was honored for his book "The Queen’s Court and Green Mountain Manuscripts With Other Forgeries of the Czech Revival."

  • Monica Fabiani

    Monica Fabiani and Gabriele Gratton of the Department of Psychology received the Award for Distinguished Contributions to Psychophysiology by the Society for Psychophysiological Research. The award was bestowed for their "joint dedication to outstanding theoretical and methodological contributions in psychophysiology."

January 2020

  • Armine Kotin Mortimer

    The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded Armine Kotin Mortimer (professor emerita and research professor of French literature) a Literature Translation Fellowship to support her translation of Catherine Cusset’s novel "Un brillant avenir." Mortimer is one of 24 Literature Translation Fellows in 2020. 

  • John A. Lynn II

    John A. Lynn II, professor emeritus of history, has had his book "Another Kind of War: The Nature and History of Terrorism" named to the Outstanding Academic Titles List for 2019 by Choice, a publishing unit at the Association of College & Research Libraries. This prestigious list “reflects the best in scholarly titles reviewed by ‘Choice’ and brings with it the extraordinary recognition of the academic library community.”


  • Ted Underwood

    Professor Ted Underwood (Department of English) has received a National Humanities Alliance grant for the project "Broadening Access to Text Analysis by Describing Uncertainty." Through this project, he will study "errors and paratextual noise in optically transcribed digital library texts, and the consequences of these errors on historical and humanistic conclusions measuring trends across time."

  • Naveen Narisetty

    Professor of statistics Naveen Narisetty has received the distinguished Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award supports early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Professor Narisetty's work explores several key aspects of Big Data and how statisticians and data scientists can more efficiently work within the Bayesian framework. 

December 2019

  • David Kranz

    David Kranz, Phillip A. Sharp Professor of Biochemistry, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. All together, fellows "hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and  companies, and created more than 36 million jobs."

  • Mara Wade

    Mara Wade, professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures, has been appointed 41st president of the Renaissance Society of America (RSA). The RSA is the largest international academic society devoted to the study of the era 1300–1700 and has approximately 5,000 members around the world. “It is an increasingly diverse organization which welcomes innovative scholarship [...] and global perspectives,” said Wade.

November 2019

  • Florencia HenshawFlorencia Henshaw of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese has been selected to serve on the Editorial Advisory Board for "The Language Educator." This publication, produced by the American Council of the Teaching of Foreign Languages, “provides educators of all languages at all levels with a single, comprehensive source of news and information."