A report on honors, awards, appointments and other outstanding achievements of faculty and staff members.
agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences
A leading dairy industry group has named UI Extension Dairy Specialist Mike Hutjens the 2008 Industry Person of the Year. World Dairy Expo Inc. will present the award Oct. 1 during its annual exposition in Madison, Wis.
The expo is the world’s largest dairy event. “No one has been more instrumental in raising levels of knowledge” about the dairy industry than Hutjens, the awards committee noted. The award recognizes Hutjens’ role in “building a worldwide industry connecting people, technology, and commerce.”
Schuyler S. Korban, professor of molecular genetics and biotechnology in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences and in the Division of Nutritional Sciences, received the 2008 Outstanding Graduate Educator Award from the American Society of Horticultural Science. Korban was recognized for his demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievements in graduate education and teaching during the society’s annual conference held in Orlando, Fla., July 21-24.
Kevin L. Steffey, a professor of entomology in the department of crop sciences, has been honored as a fellow of the Entomological Society of America. The election as a fellow acknowledges outstanding contributions in entomological research, teaching, extension or administration. Steffey will be recognized at the society’s annual meeting in Reno, Nev., in November. He has been recognized for his Extension entomology program at the UI, which has been in the department of crop sciences since 1996. His applied research and Extension activities have focused on management of some of the most important insect pests of field crops in the Midwest, including corn rootworms, European corn borer, and soybean aphid.
Two professors were honored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers at the society’s international annual meeting in Providence, R.I. on July 2. K.C. Ting, professor and head of agricultural and biological engineering, was presented with the 2008 Kishida International Award. Yuanhui Zhang, professor of agricultural and biological engineering, was awarded the 2008 Henry Giese Structures and Environment Award.
Ting was recognized for his outstanding global accomplishments in administration, teaching, research, public service and economic development. The award serves to “recognize outstanding contributions to engineering mechanization-technological-related programs of education, research, developments, consultation or technology transfer outside the United States.” Ting is currently leading a BP Energy Biosciences Institute program on “Engineering Solutions for Biomass Feedstock Production.”
Zhang was recognized for his outstanding contributions as a teacher and researcher in bioenvironmental engineering. Zhang is recognized as one of the top international scientists in the bioenvironmental engineering area of structures and environment. His unique research programs have successfully attracted millions of dollars in external funding, along with competitive research grants and contracts.
Reginald J. Alston, professor of kinesiology and community health, has been named a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow for 2008-2009 by the Institute of Medicine and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Considered the premier health policy fellowship on Capitol Hill, the highly competitive program selects physicians and behavioral and social scientists who have a distinguished record in health research and a history of public engagement surrounding health-care issues.
As a fellow, Alston will spend a year in Washington, D.C., working in a congressional office or in the executive branch to enrich his understanding of the legislative process and health policy formation. In particular, he will concentrate on improving and expanding legislation to address racial disparities in rehabilitation outcomes across the country. Alston’s primary research interest involves the impact of race/ethnicity on the psychosocial adjustment and rehabilitation success of African Americans with chronic illnesses and disabilities. Following his assignment on Capitol Hill, Alston will receive funding for an additional two years to apply his experiences toward health-care policy at the state and local level.
Ruth Nicole Brown, professor of educational policy studies and of the Women’s Studies Program, and Julie Dowling, professor in the Latina/Latino Studies Program, have been awarded the 2008-2009 Faculty Fellow Awards from the Center on Democracy in a Multiracial Society. The center is a unique interdisciplinary research and service institute committed to the practice of democracy, equality, and social justice within the changing multiracial society of the United States. These awards provide release time for one semester, during which the fellows will be in residence conducting research across the broad area of “multiracial democracy.”
For more information about their projects, go to http://cdms.ds.uiuc.edu/.
Narendra Ahuja, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has won HP Labs’ inaugural Innovation Awards funding collaborative research. He was one of 41 winners selected from among 450 submissions to HP Labs. Awardees will work with HP Labs researchers on speculative and potentially game-changing research, the results of which are expected to generate the next set of technology breakthroughs in the areas of information explosion, dynamic cloud services, content transformation, intelligent infrastructure and sustainability.
Jean-Pierre Leburton, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was named a fellow in the Institute of Physics. Based in the United Kingdom, the institute works to advance physics in order to further understanding of the physical world and its application for economic and social benefit; to promote interest and participation in physics across society as a whole; to support and involve physicists throughout their education and careers.
Phillip Phillips, professor of physics, has been named one of 12 American Competitiveness Initiative Fellows by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Materials Research. Phillips, a Bliss Faculty Scholar in the department of physics, was recognized “for his creative interdisciplinary contributions to fundamental condensed-matter science including new understanding in strong correlation physics in materials, and for his role in promoting education and international activities.”
An article co-written by Carol Tilley, professor of library and information science, was selected as one of the top 20 articles of 2007 by the Library Instruction Roundtable. “New Mentors for New Media: Harnessing the Instructional Potential of Cognitive Apprenticeships” appeared in Knowledge Quest (Vol. 35, Issue 5). The article championed the use of “cognitive apprenticeships” to enhance learning by guiding novices through real-world tasks with the goal of teaching skills and strategies. Tilley co-wrote the article with Daniel Callison, dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Indiana University.
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