LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

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May 2020

  • 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." 

  • Mei-Po Kwan

    Geography & Geographic Information Science professors Mei-Po Kwan (pictured) and Sara McLafferty have been named as American Association of Geographer (AAG) Fellows for 2020. The AAG Fellows program recognizes geographers that have made significant contributions to the field.

  • Eric Calderwood

    Professor Eric Calderwood (comparative literature) recently received multiple awards for his book, Colonial al-Andalus: Spain and the Making of Modern Moroccan Culture (Harvard University Press 2018). They include: The L. Carl Brown AIMS Book Prize, awarded annually to an outstanding book in the area of North African Studies; Honorable Mention for the Nikki Keddie Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association; and the 2020 Laura Shannon Prize.

  • Raquel Goebel

    Raquel Goebel of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese has received a Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTL) Partnership grant, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and housed at the Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) at Michigan State University. Through this cross-university initiative, Goebel will develop an online model of LCTL instruction reflecting best practices in proficiency-oriented instruction.

October 2019

  • Paul Kenis

    Paul Kenis, the Elio E. Tarika Endowed Chair and head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has received the 2020 Energy Technology Division Research Award from the Electrochemical Society. This award "recognizes outstanding and original contributions to the science and technology of energy related research areas that include scientific and technological aspects of fossil fuels and alternative energy sources, energy management and environmental consequences of energy utilization."

September 2019

  • Ann Abbott

    Ann Abbott of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese is a recipient of the 2019 City of Champaign Community Impact Award. This award recognizes community-based organizations, non-profit, public sector institutions, or local government “which demonstrates exceptional commitment to serving and advocating for local immigrants in our community.

  • Antony Augoustakis

    Two College of LAS professors have been named University Scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Brian Allan, a professor of entomology, is interested in the ecology of infectious diseases. He uses a broad array of tools in approaching these questions. Antony Augoustakis (pictured), a professor and head of classics, researches the cultural poetics and the sociopolitics of Flavian poetry. His “accomplishments in the areas of research, teaching and service, and his national and international reputation are outstanding,” his nominator wrote.

  • Paul Kenis

    Paul Kenis, the Elio E. Tarika Endowed Chair and head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been named Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. Kenis was cited for his exceptional contributions to the invention, characterization and development of innovative processes based on microfluidic systems for diverse applications in electrochemical energy conversion, chemical synthesis, and biology.

  • Julie Dowling

    Julie Dowling of Latina/Latino studies has been appointed as Chair of the US Census Bureau’s National Advisory Committee on Racial, Ethnic and Other Populations. This group advises the Census Bureau on topics such as hard-to-count populations, race and ethnicity, language, aging populations, American Indian and Alaska Native tribal considerations, new immigrant populations, and much more.

  • Emad Tajkhorshid

    Emad Tajkhorshid of biochemistry has been awarded the 2020 Thomas E. Thompson award for his seminal contributions to advancing our understanding of membrane structure and function. The Thomas E. Thompson award is presented by the Biophysical Society. It celebrates outstanding research in the field and the legacy of Thomas E. Thompson, a pioneer in the field of membrane structure and assembly.

  • Charles Gammie

    Astronomy and physics professor Charles Gammie has been named as one of the scientists honored with the 2020 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics. Gammie headed the theory working group for the EHT Project that produced the first image of a black hole. The Breakthrough Prize will be shared equally by the 347 scientists in the collaboration.

August 2019

  • Eva Pomerantz

    Eva Pomerantz, professor in psychology, has been appointed as a 2019-2020 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Provost Fellows. Each Provost Fellow focuses on a critical campus strategic initiative to ensure the University of Illinois is living up to its full potential in scholarly missions. Pomerantz's area of focus through the fellowship will be on promotion and tenure.

  • Guillermo Del Pinal

    Guillermo Del Pinal, professor of philosophy, recently appeared in The Philosopher's Annual, which picks the ten top articles in philosophy from the 2018 literature. Guillermo was named to the list for his “Meaning, Modulation, and Context: A Multidimensional Semantics for Truth-Conditional Pragmatics,” which appeared in Linguistics and Philosophy.

  • Larry Di Girolamo

    Larry Di Girolamo—Blue Waters Professor and Daniel Shapiro Professorial Scholar in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences—has received the 2019 Sheth Distinguished Faculty Award for International Achievement. Established by the Provost in 2001 and endowed by Dr. Jagdish and Mrs. Madhuri Sheth in 2006, this award recognizes an Illinois faculty member for exemplary accomplishments in teaching, research, and public service in the international arena.

  • David Flaherty

    The Department of Energy has selected chemical and biomolecular engineering professor David Flaherty among 73 scientists from across the nation as part of its Early Career Research Program. The effort, now in its tenth year, is designed to bolster the nation’s scientific workforce by providing support to exceptional researchers during the crucial early career years. Flaherty’s research project is entitled, “The Role of Cooperative Interactions Among Surfaces, Solvents, and Reactive Intermediates on Catalysis at Liquid-Solid Interfaces.” 

  • Francina Dominguez

    Atmospheric science professor Francina Dominguez has received an Ascent Award in Atmospheric Sciences from the American Geophysical Union (AGU). According to the AGU, this prestigious honor is awarded for "sustained and unique contributions to advancing our understanding of Earth, its atmosphere and oceans, and planets and astral bodies beyond our own."

July 2019

  • Wendy Heller

    Wendy Heller (pictured, head of the Department of Psychology) and Mariselle Melendez (head of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese) have been named as University of Illinois System 2019-20 President’s Executive Leadership Program (PELP) Fellows. PELP is a professional development program designed to broaden participants’ understanding of higher education issues and strengthen leadership skills related to overseeing a public institution at the university or system level.

  • Prashant Jain

    Prashant Jain of chemistry (pictured) and Daniel Llano of molecular and integrative physiology have been named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on young professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. The young scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions.

June 2019

  • Rhanor Gillette

    Rhanor Gillette (Mollecular and Cellular Biology) is part of a team that has received a Multi-university Research Initiative (MURI) award. According to the Coordinated Science Laboratory at Illinois, this $7.5 million award is for building a Cyberoctopus, a software equivalent to the marine animal that will help understand and leverage an octopus's ability to conduct distributed inference and decision-making, its embodied control and intelligence, and its ability to learn new behavior quickly.

  • Xiaohui Chen

    Professor Xiaohui Chen of statistics was recently awarded the International Chinese Statistical Association (ICSA) 2019 Outstanding Young Researcher Award. This award is presented to young scholars in recognition of outstanding research in statistical theory, methodology, and/or applications. Chen's fundamental contributions to high-dimensional statistics, time series analysis, and statistical machine learning were cited by the ICSA for bestowing this award. 

  • Ruth Nicole Brown

    Seven University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of LAS faculty have been named to the inaugural cohort for the Public Voices Fellowship, a University of Illinois system-wide program that aims to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas shared publicly. These faculty include Ruth Nicole Brown (gender and women’s studies, pictured), Jane Desmond (anthropology), Julie Dowling (Latina/Latino studies), Cara Finnegan (communication), Rini Bhattacharya Mehta (comparative & world literature), Ruby Mendenhall (sociology), and Gilberto Rosas (anthropology).

May 2019

  • Kevin Leicht

    Three LAS professors have been selected as NCSA faculty fellows, a program that provides funding for new collaborative projects between NCSA staff and Illinois researchers. Kevin Leicht of sociology (pictured), Rina Mehta of comparative and world literature, and Diwakar Shukla of chemical and biomolecular engineering will complete projects that aim to examine the spread of medical misinformation, map the media history of current times, and make biomolecular dynamics accessible, respectively.

  • Lisa Guntzviller

    Six LAS professors have received 2019 Campus Distinguished Promotion Awards from the University of Illinois Office of the Provost. These awards celebrate scholars whose contributions have been extraordinary in terms of quality of work and overall achievement. Awardees include Lisa Guntzviller (communication, pictured), Vera (Mi Kyoung) Hur (mathematics), Auinash Kalsotra (biochemistry), Heidemarie Laurent (psychology), Supriya Prasanth (cellular and developmental biology), and Francois Prouix (French and Italian).

  • Bill Hammack

    Chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Bill Hammack, known around the world as “The Engineer Guy,” has been chosen to receive the Carl Sagan Award for the Public Appreciation of Science. This award, given annually by the Council of Scientific Society Presidents (CSSP), recognizes outstanding achievement in improving the public understanding and appreciation of science.

  • Stephen P. Long

    University of Illinois plant biology and crop sciences professor Stephen P. Long has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, recognized for “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” Long uses computational and experimental approaches to improve photosynthetic efficiency, working to address the effects of climate change on crop yield.

April 2019

  • A. Naomi Paik

    A. Naomi Paik, professor of Asian American studies, has received the 2018-2019 IPRH Prize for Research in the Humanities at the faculty level. This prize, which recognizes outstanding humanities research at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was bestowed for Paik's piece "Between Rights and Rightlessness: Haitian Migrants and the Elusive Promises of Humanitarianism," emisférica 14, no. 1.

  • Eduardo Ledesma

    Spanish & Portuguese professor Eduardo Ledesma has been awarded the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Summer stipend. This award will provide financial support for continuous work on his current book project, "Blind Cinema: Visually Impaired Filmmakers and Technologies of Sight."

  • Joyce Tolliver

    Three LAS faculty have received Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership. Joyce Tolliver of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese has received the Outstanding Faculty Leadership Award, awarded for extraordinary leadership contributions that advance the excellence of a unit, a college, and campus. Bob Rauber of atmospheric sciences and Wendy Heller of psychology have received the Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award, which recognizes outstanding academic leadership and vision on campus.

  • Vincent Cervantes

    Vincent Cervantes of Spanish & Portuguese and gender and women's studies has been awarded the Criticism & Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellowship for the years 2019-2021. This fellowship, bestowed by the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory, will support Cervantes' current book "A Body Exposed: The Aesthetics of Sex, Death, and Mexicanness."

  • Catherine Murphy

    Catherine J. Murphy, Larry Faulkner Endowed Chair in Chemistry, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Academy recognizes excellent leaders from various fields who address important world issues and work together to advance humanity through art and science.

  • Mei Shen

    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.

  • Marsha Barrett

    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

    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.

March 2019

  • Philippe Di Francesco

    Three professors in the Department of MathematicsPhilippe 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."

  • Jessica Birkenholtz

    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) has been awarded an IPRH New Horizons Summer Faculty Research Fellowship.

  • Jessica Conroy

    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

    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.

February 2019

  • Diwakar Shukla

    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.