College of LAS « Illinois

Faculty honors 2017

LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

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Patricia GreggRuby Mendenhall of sociology and African American studies and Patricia Gregg of geology have been named faculty fellows at Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications for 2017-18. Mendenhall will examine the physiological effects of exposure to nearby gun crimes such as shootings as a way to document the public life and health of African-American mothers. Gregg will expand current efforts in volcano model-data fusion into a scalable data assimilation strategy that will provide a framework for volcano hazards research worldwide.

NAS logoFour LAS faculty members were elected members of the National Academy of Sciences. They are John Cronan, professor and head of microbiology and a professor of biochemistry, Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry, Donald Ort, the Robert Emerson Professor of Plant Biology, and Gary Parker, the W.H. Johnson Professor of Geology.

John GerltJohn Gerlt, the Gutgsell Chair in biochemistry, received the 2017 Gordon Hammes Lectureship from the Division of Biological Chemistry of the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes a single individual whose scientific contributions have had a major impact on research at the interface of chemistry and biology.


Robert RushingRobert Rushing's new book, "Descended from Hercules: Biopolitics and the Muscled Male Body on Screen" (Indiana University Press) won the Film and Media Studies book prize from the American Association for Italian Studies. Rushing is an associate professor of French and Italian.

Bob MorrisseyBob Morrissey, associate professor of history, was named the Mellon Faculty Fellow in Environmental Humanities. His term will last from the fall of 2017 until 2020. In this role, he will serve as the primary supervisor for the Environmental Humanities Research Group.

Renee BaillargeonRenee Baillargeon, professor of psychology, received the Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Child Development Award from the Society for Research in Child Development. It recognizes her continuous lifetime contributions to the scientific body of knowledge and understanding of children's development.

Matthew AndoMatthew Ando, professor and chair of mathematics, won the Campus Executive Officer Distinguished Leadership Award. The award is among the 2017 Campus Awards for Excellence in Faculty Leadership.

Scott E. DenmarkScott E. Denmark of chemistry has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Denmark is one of 228 new members, including national and international scholars, artists, philanthropists and business leaders.

Brian JeffersonBrian Jefferson of geography and geographic information science and Luisa-Elena Delgado of Spanish and Portuguese have been awarded Criticism & Interpretive Theory Junior Research Fellowships from the University of Illinois' Unit for Criticism.

Trevor BirkenholtzTrevor Birkenholtz of geography and geographic information science was awarded the Robert McC. Netting Award from the Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. The award is in recognition of distinguished research and professional activities that bridge geography and anthropology.

Lincoln bust in Lincoln HallEduardo Ledesma of Spanish and Portuguese, Hong Jin of biochemistry, David Sarlah of chemistry, and Catharine Fairbairn of psychology have received the Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors (LEAP) Award, which is granted to faculty based on scholarly productivity and contributions to the educational mission of their departments and the college.

Jonathan Ebel Jonathan Ebel , professor of religion, has been awarded a 2017 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Ebel is one of 173 scholars, artists and scientists named as 2017 Guggenheim Fellows. They were chosen from almost 3,000 applicants on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.

Wail HassanWaÏl S. Hassan has been elected as the American Comparative Literature Association's second vice president. Next year, he'll become vice president and will serve as president the year following. Hassan is a professor of professor of comparative and world literature and English.

Eric McDuffieErik S. McDuffie is the recipient of a 2017 fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies. McDuffie, a professor of African American studies and history, is one of only 71 fellows chosen from nearly 1,200 applicants.


Helaine SilvermanHelaine Silverman, professor of anthropology, has been awarded the Sheth Distinguished Faculty award for International Achievement for her teaching, research, and acts of public service. Read more about the award.

Sue KiefferSue Kieffer, professor emerita of geology, has received the 2017 Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Award of the American Geosciences Institute (AGI). The award is given to a recipient with consistent contributions of high-quality scientific achievements and service to the earth sciences and is a senior scientist nearing completion or has completed full-time regular employment.


Joaquin VieiraFour LAS faculty members have been selected as 2017 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellows. They include Joaquin Vieira of astronomy, and Jefferson Chan, David Sarlah, and Josh Vura-Weis, all of chemistry. The two-year, $60,000 fellowships are awarded yearly researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and a unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Joon KongJoon Kong, a professor and Centennial Scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, has been elected to the College of Fellows at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. The AIMBE College of Fellows represents the most accomplished and distinguished medical and biological engineers responsible for innovation and discovery.

Charles SingCharles Sing, an assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received a 2017 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his proposal, "Developing the design rules of charge sequence to inform polymer self-assembly." The program will provide five years of support.

Feng Sheng HuFeng Sheng Hu, the Harry E. Preble Dean of the College of LAS, a professor of plant biology and the Ralph E. Grimm Professor in Geology, has been named a fellow of the Ecological Society of America. The honor recognizes Hu's outstanding contributions to his field.

Joey ChengJoey Cheng, an assistant professor of Pscyhology, has been named an Association for Psychological Science Rising Star. The award recognizes outstanding psychological scientists in the earliest stages of their research careers.

David Wright"Away Running," a young-adult novel by David Wright, an associate professor in the Department of English, has been recognized as one of the Outstanding International Books of the year by the United States Board on Books for Young People.


Kevin MumfordHistory professor Kevin Mumford, author of "Not Straight, Not White: Black Gay Men from the March on Washington to the AIDS Crisis," has received a 2017 Stonewall Book Award honoree in the Israel Fishman Non-fiction Award category. First awarded in 1971, award recognizes works of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.

Michele KovenMichele Koven, an associate professor in the Department of Communication has won a Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant to pursue her research in in Portugal in 2017-18. She studies relationships between identity and language practices in migrant communities.