College of LAS « Illinois

Faculty honors 2017

LAS professors bring honor and recognition to the college.

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Eric Darnell Pritchard Eric Darnell Pritchard of English has been awarded the 2017 Outstanding Book Award from the Conference on Community Writing for his book, "Fashioning Lives: Black Queers and the Politics of Literacy."

Mara Wade Mara Wade of Germanic Languages and Literatures has been approved as the Vice President of the Renaissance Society of America. According to the selection committee, Mara's appointment was based on her work in "bridging the world of the digital humanities with the world of scholarship on emblems, her broad connections in many fields, the historic depth of her commitment to the RSA, her strong record of receipt of international fellowships, and her dedication to teaching and lecturing widely."


Brent Roberts Brent Roberts of psychology was awarded with an honory doctorate from the University of Basel's Faculty of Psychology. The award is in recognition of his novel, comprehensive research on life-long personality development.

Carla Caceres Carla Cáceres of animal biology and Douglas G. Simpson of statistics have been elected 2017 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest general scientific society. Fellows are chosen by their peers for their outstanding contributions to the field.

Stephen Long Lisa Ainsworth and Stephen Long of plant biology and crop sciences, Yi Lu of chemistry, and Brent Roberts of psychology have been named to the 2017 Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researchers list (previously known as the Thomson Reuters Highly Cited Researchers list). The list recognizes "leading researchers in the sciences and social sciences from around the world," according to Clarivate Analytics.

Cara Finnegan Cara Finnegan of communication has been selected to receive the Rhetoric and Communication Theory division's Faculty Mentorship Award from the National Communication Association. This award honors her countless influences on students and advisees.

Brenda Wilson Brenda Wilson of microbiology has been annouced as 2017 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Leadership in Diversity. This honor recognizes leadership in being an outstanding advocate in advancing diversity at Illinois. The award is given in honor of Dr. Larine Y. Cowan, past director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) at the University of Illinois.

Mikhail Lyubansky Mikhail Lyubansky of psychology has been selected to receive the 2017 Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for Teaching & Mentoring in Diversity as a recognition of his tireless efforts in advocating for inclusion and access at Illinois. The award is given in honor of Dr. Larine Y. Cowan, past director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access (ODEA) at the University of Illinois.


Emanuel Rota Emanuel Rota of French and Italian has been appointed as a CAS Associate for the academic year 2017-18. These appointments with the Center for Advanced Study provide an incentive to pursue the highest level of scholarly achievement. Professor Rota will be working on his project, "Before Unemployment: Work, Idleness and the Uber-working Class."

Eleonora Stoppino Eleonora Stoppino of French and Italian has been appointed as an IPRH Faculty Fellow for the academic year 2017-18. Professor Stoppino will be working on her project, "Ugly Beast, Talking Monkey: Contagion and Education in Medieval and Early Modern Culture."

Thomas Nevins Associate professor Kay Kirkpatrick and professor Thomas Nevins, both of mathematics, have been selected as 2017 Simons Fellows. The foundation funds faculty for up to a semester long research leave from classroom teaching and administrative obligations.

Jim Best Jim Best of geology has been named the 2018 recipient of the Lamarck Medal from the European Geosciences Union. The Jean Baptiste Lamarck Medal is established by the EGS Division on Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, and Paleontology in recognition of the scientific achievement of Jean Baptiste Lamarck. It is reserved for scientists for their exceptional contributions to either stratigraphy, sedimentology, or paleontology.

Thomas Kehl-Fie Thomas Kehl-Fie of microbiology has been named a 2017 Vallee Scholar. The Vallee Scholars Program recognizes outstanding early career scientists by providing $250,000 in discretionary funds for basic biomedical research. Candidates are competitively selected based on their originality, innovation, and quality of the proposal, in addition to their record of accomplishment.


D. Fairchild Ruggles D. Fairchild Ruggles of medieval studies has been awarded a grant from the The Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative. Fairchild's project is entitled "Mediterranean Palimpsests: Connecting the Art and Architectural Histories of Medieval and Early Modern Cities."

John Vasquez John Vasquez of political science has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association. Founded in 1903, the Association is the leading professional organization for the study of political science and serves more than 12,000 members in more than 80 countries.


Francina Dominguez Francina Dominguez and Nicole Riemer of atmospheric sciences, Prashant Jain of chemistry, Robert Morrissey of history, Diane Beck of psychology, Rebecca Stumpf of anthropology, Antonio Augoustakis of medieval studies, and Robert DeVille of mathematics have been honored with the Campus Distinguished Promotion Awards. For their extraordinary academic contributions, each receives a discretionary fund to support their scholarly activities.

Kami Hull Kami Hull of chemistry has been awarded the Amgen Young Investigators Award. The award recognizes young chemists who are making significant contributions to the field of organic chemistry and pharmaceutical research.

May Berenbaum Mae Berenbaum of entomology has been awarded Honorary Membership by the British Ecological Society. Honorary membership is the highest honor received by the BES, as it recognizes exceptional contributions at international level to the generation, communication, and promotion of ecological knowledge and solutions.

Thomas Rauchfuss Thomas Rauchfuss of chemistry has been awarded the ACS Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry sponsored by Strem Chemicals by the American Chemical Society. The award recognizes individuals who advanced inorganic chemistry by significant service in addition to performance of outstanding research.

Paul Hergenrother Paul Hergenrother of chemistry has been awarded the George & Christine Sosnovsky Award for Cancer Research by the American Chemical Society. The award is for outstanding achievements in the explanation of chemical and biochemical pathways underlying human cancers which lead to the discovery and development of improved cancer therapeutics.

Open Society Foundation logo James Kilgore, a research scholar in the Center for African Studies, the Center for Global Studies, and in LAS Global Studies, has been awarded an Open Society Foundation 2017 Soros Justice Fellowship. It will allow him to lead an effort to advance more effective and less punitive policies on the use of electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system.

John Lynn John Lynn of history has been awarded a Public Scholar award from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award is one of only 28 such awards totaling $1.3 million given out this year, the third year for the program. This is the first such award for a U of I faculty member.


Aron Barbey Aron Barbey of psychology, Jonathan Inda of Latino/Latina Studies, and Susan Koshy of English have been awarded David Dodds Henry Lectureship Funds in support of the culminating research event of the University of Illinois' Sesquicentennial Celebration. The symposia will highlight Illinois' strengths in interdisciplinary research, exploring issues as diverse as human health, race and justice, the arts and the humanities, agriculture and the environment, and the legacy of the land-grant institution.

L. Elena Delgado L. Elena Delgado of Spanish and Portuguese has been awarded the competitive Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory Senior Research Fellowship for the years 2017-19 to advance on her book project, "Habits of the Heart: Affective Attachments in the Public Sphere." The Unit will provide fellowship support to help Elena undertake the research necessary to completing the book.

Jim Kuklinski Jim Kuklinski of political science has been awarded the American Political Science Association Political Psychology Section's 2017 Hazel Gaudet Erskine Political Psychology Career Achievement Award. The award is an honor to Hazel Gaudet Erskine, a prominent social scientist and a member of a multiple univerisity research project that studied the effect of mass media on society in the late 1930s. Kuklinski is the second recipient of the award.

Francina Dominguez Francina Dominguez of atmospheric sciences has been awarded the Henry G. Houghton Award by the American Meteorological Society. The Henry G. Houghton Award is given to an early career scientist in recognition of research achievements in the field of physical meteorology and hydrometeorology.

Mark Hertzman Mark Hertzman of history, Soo Ah Kwon of Asian American studies, and John Karam of Spanish and Portuguese have been selected as Conrad Humanities Scholars for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. These awards, funded by a gift from Arlys Conrad, are designed to support the work of exceptionally promising associate professors in humanities units with the aim of enhancing retention of the University's strongest scholarly leaders.

Avital Livny Center for Advanced Study has appointed seven new members to its permanent faculty — one of the highest forms of academic recognition the University of Illinois campus for outstanding scholarship. They are Antoinette Burton and Harry Liebersohn of the Department of History; Martine Gruebele, Sharon Hammes-Schiffer, and Catherine Murphy of the Department of Chemistry; and Gary Dell of the Department of Psychology

Avital Livny Avital Livny and Stephen Chaudoin of the Department of Political Science have been selected as the 2017-2018 Linowes Fellows at the Cline Center for Democracy. Linowes Fellows are expected to play a leadership role in the annual David F. Linowes Lecture on Public Policy.

Hans-Friedrich Köhn Hans-Friedrich Köhn of the Department of Psychology is a recipient of the 2017 Best Reviewer Award from the Psychometric Society. The Psychometric Society is an international nonprofit professional organization devoted to the advancement of quantitative measurement practices in psychology, education, and the social sciences.

Beverly Smith Beverly Smith assistant director of the Native American House has been accepted to be a member of the Higher Learning Commission Peer Corps. The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) was founded in 1895 as an independent corporation. It serves as one of six regional institutional accreditors in the United States.

Eric S. McDuffie Eric S. McDuffie of the Department of African American studies and Michelle M. Rivera of the Department of Communication have received American Council of Learned Society (ACLS) Fellowships. McDuffie received the ACLS Fellowship, which awards fellowships to individual scholars working in the humanities and related social sciences. Rivera was awarded the Mellon/ACLS Public Fellows Program, which places recent humanities PhDs in staff positions at partnering government agencies and non-profits. In 2017, the ACLS will award over 300 scholars across a variety of humanities disciplines.


Rachel Whitaker Rachel Whitaker of the Department of Microbiology has been named an Allen Distinguished Investigator by the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, which will bring $1.5 million over the next three years to her research of microbial evolution. Whitaker is one of five new ADIs recognized by the Frontiers Group for pioneering research in epigenetics, aging, and evolution.

Kathryn Clancy Kathryn Clancy of the Department of Anthropology was elected to the Biological Seat on the American Anthropological Association Executive Board. The American Anthropological Association is the world's largest association for professional anthropologists and has more than 10,000 members.

Donald Weubbles Don Wuebbles of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences has been named a Presidential Fellow for the University of Illinois System. An expert in climate change, air quality, and environmental issues, Wuebbles will focus on ways to promote urban sustainability throughout the U of I system by capitalizing on science, technology and human analysis.


Patricia Gregg Ruby 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.


Rebecca StumpfProfessor Thomas Nevins of mathematics, Associate Professor Dana Rabin of history, Professor Rebecca Stumpf of anthropology, and Professor Andrew Suarez of entomology are the recipients of the Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Supriya PrasanthCarla Beatriz Rosell of english and Supriya G. Prasanth of cell and developmental biology are the recipients of the Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers.

Sarah WestJustine Murison of English and Sarah West of Spanish and Portuguese are the recipients for the Humanities Council Teaching Excellence Award. Murison and West are recognized for their efforts in humanities instruction.

Gretchen AdamsGretchen Adams is the recipient of a 2017 Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching by Instructional Staff. Adams, a professor of chemistry is recognized for her efforts in the classroom.

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.


Irvin HuntIrvin Hunt, associate professor of English, has been awarded a 12-month Fellowship with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The foundation creates career development opportunities for faculty with promising research projects in an array of fields including English, critical dance studies, history, Mexican American and Latino/a studies, sociology, music, American studies, and philosophy.

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.