NEW FACES 2012
an assistant professor in the School of Labor and Employment Relations and the department of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Education: Ph.D. (industrial/organizational psychology), Texas A&M University; M.S. (applied psychology), University of Baltimore; B.S. (psychology), Grand Valley State University
Courses teaching: LER 593, Quantitative Methods in Labor and Employment Relations, and PSYCH 465, Organizational Psychology
Research interests: Disentangling issues regarding the measurement and understanding of job performance. Carpenter is most interested in how to measure counterproductive and prosocial behaviors; construct redundancy issues; and the relationship between performance theory and measurement.
“Her training as an industrial-organizational psychologist uniquely positions her to study LER topics such as workplace accommodation of recognized disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act from the employee’s perspective,” said Joseph Martocchio, the interim dean of the School of Labor and Employment Relations. “Her expertise will enhance the educational experience of LER’s and psychology’s graduate students by challenging students to comprehend the complexity of managing employees in complex work environments.
Why Illinois? “Because of the opportunity to be a part of not only one, but two departments with rich traditions for excellence in scholarship,” Carpenter said. “There was also a genuine spirit of collegiality among my colleagues that was immediately evident when I visited the campus, so I knew that Illinois was the best place for me. I’m a Midwesterner at heart, so I was also happy for the opportunity to be closer to my family and friends.”
the vice chancellor for research
Education: Ph.D. (physics), Stanford University; B.S. (physics), Yale University
Research interests: Areas of experimental condensed matter physics: magnetic materials and granular materials
“In Peter Schiffer we were able to find an extremely successful researcher, an award-winning teacher and a strategically minded administrator,” said Chancellor Phyllis M. Wise. “These are exactly the combination of skills that will allow him to lead our efforts to increase our broad research and discovery mission. I am excited that he chose to join our leadership team and I’m sure he and his family will find a warm welcome from the Illinois community.”
Why Illinois? “The UI is a world-renowned institution that I have admired for my entire career,” Schiffer said. “The breadth and depth of its research portfolio are simply stunning. The position of vice chancellor for research gives me the opportunity to engage with outstanding researchers from across the UI, and I am looking forward to working with the full range of what the scholarly community has to offer.
“The faculty and other researchers at the UI are already among the very best in the world, and their work has wide-ranging impacts both within their fields and for the public good. My goal as the vice chancellor for research is to continue to build on the tradition of excellence, to foster an environment in which Illinois researchers can be creative and productive, and to facilitate their efforts in whatever ways I can.
“On a personal note, I grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and I welcome the opportunity to return to the Midwest.”
an assistant professor in the School of Social Work
Education: Ph.D. (social work), M.S.W., Boston College; M.P.A., Columbia University; M.A. (political science), St. John’s University; B.A. (journalism and political science), University of Oklahoma
Research Interests: Health disparities (cancer) and immigrant populations, integration challenges among immigrant communities, domestic violence among immigrant women and sex-trafficking in Eastern Europe.
“Dr. Bekteshi brings the mix of professional practice and research experience that will give her a rich base for educating future social workers,” said Wynne Korr, the dean of the School of Social Work. “For example, she served as program manager and deputy director of the Albanian American Women’s Organization, a startup that served 300,000 in New York City. She has now turned her formidable energy to expanding our knowledge of immigrants and breast cancer research.”
Courses Teaching: SOCW 427, Social Work Research Methods
Why Illinois? “Collegiality, innovative spirit, opportunities and support for interdisciplinary collaborations, eagerness to learn among students, and the school’s emphasis on health disparity topics, are just some of the reasons why I chose the UI,” Bekteshi said. “And let’s not forget the Midwestern values of hospitality and sense of community, which I found not only and especially in the school, but throughout campus and the Urbana-Champaign region.”
an associate professor of kinesiology and community health in the College of Applied Health Sciences.
Education: Postdoc (rehabilitation technology), Ph.D. (rehabilitation science), University of Pittsburgh; M.S. (biomedical engineering), B.S. (physical therapy), National Yang Ming University, Taipei, Taiwan
Research interests: Biomechanical analysis of risk for soft-tissue injury and efficacy of preventive interventions, activity-based rehabilitation for preventing secondary complications in aging people with disabilities, wearable devices to quantify social participation and intervention compliance in people with disabilities.
“Dr. Jan is trained as a physical therapist, biomedical engineer and rehabilitation scientist, whose research addresses a number of issues related to quality of life for persons with spinal cord injury,” said Wojtek Chodzko-Zajko, a professor and head of the department of kinesiology and community health. “Dr. Jan’s research has been supported by a variety of federal agencies and private foundations and many of his grants have been collaborative. He has a demonstrated ability to assemble teams of scholars with a diverse background to address disability-related questions from an interdisciplinary perspective.”
Courses teaching: He will be teaching courses related to disability and rehabilitation.
Why Illinois? “I chose Illinois because of its commitment to promoting diversity. The UI is a place to embrace difference,” Jan said. “Being a researcher in disability, I am thrilled and proud of joining the UI, the first in the nation to provide students (with disabilities) access to all university services, curricula and facilities. I look forward to collaborating with world-renowned researchers to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life in people with disabilities.”
an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science
Education: Ph.D. (communication, information and library studies), Rutgers University; M.S. (adult education/certificate in distance education), Pennsylvania State University; M.S. (library service), B.A. (communication), Rutgers University
Research interests: Human information behavior, community development in online learning environments, eLearning and digital pedagogy in LIS education, the retention and mentoring of minority librarians and LIS doctoral students, information literacy, and leadership, organizational development and communication in libraries.
“Nicole arrives here not a moment too soon,” said Allen Renear, professor and interim dean of GSLIS. “Her research focuses on how online students form communities for interaction and information gathering – a topic that is obviously at the very heart of some of the most dramatic contemporary developments in higher education.”
Courses teaching: LIS 504, Reference and Information Services, as well as other courses on campus and through the LEEP distance-learning option in the future.
Why Illinois? “GSLIS is the No. 1-ranked school in my field, so that’s what enticed me to apply for the position,” Cooke said. “But it was the warm and collegial faculty, staff and students that convinced me to come to Illinois. I am thrilled and honored to be joining the faculty at a cutting edge school that is poised for continued growth and innovation. Illinois is a wonderful fit for my teaching and research interests and will allow me to develop new areas of expertise.”
an assistant professor of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
| Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Education: Ph.D. (English), M.A. (English), Vanderbilt University; B.A. (English) Tougaloo College, Mississippi
Research Interests: Early U.S. and African-American print culture, race and citizenship, American studies, African-American literature and culture.
“Spires’ current work centers around an archival recovery project focusing on theories of citizenship developed and tested in a range of documents representing early African-American print culture: pamphlets, periodical literature, convention proceedings and the like,” said Curtis Perry, the head of the department of English. “His research is meticulous and thorough, representative of the best kind of historical, archival research that our field has to offer. But Spires is not only an archival cultural historian, he is also an acute critical reader of these documents, able to demonstrate how the literary or symbolic qualities of these texts and documents carried the weight of generative political thought about the nature of citizenship and belonging. … It is clear that his project has the potential to reshape the way we think of early African-American culture. We are very excited to have him join our faculty.”
Courses Teaching: ENGL 274, Literature and Society; ENGL 455, Major Authors
Why Illinois? “When I went on the market, I had Illinois circled,” Spires said. “The faculty in the department of English were doing the kind of work I saw myself doing moving forward, and I could see that the institution was dedicated to not only providing financial support for research, but also to sustaining spaces – the Unit for Criticism, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, the Sustainability Studies Initiative in the Humanities, etc. – that fostered collaboration and exchange across disciplines. I was also excited to be working with a diverse and intellectually curious group of undergraduate and graduate students.”
an assistant professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering in the College of Engineering
| Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Education: Ph.D. (nuclear engineering), M.S. (nuclear engineering), B.S. (physics and astronomy), University of Michigan
Research Interests: Radiation detection and measurements.
“Clair Sullivan has had a varied and interesting career path before coming to Illinois. She works in the areas of radiation detection and signal analysis,” said James Stubbins, the head of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering. “She worked on radiation detection technology at Los Alamos National Lab to aid first responders following the 9/11 attacks. She translated that work into advanced signal detection and processing techniques, which caught the eye of the CIA, where she worked before arriving at Illinois. At Illinois, she plans to develop advanced radiation detection and analysis technologies to support national security.”
Courses teaching: NPRE 451/NPRE Laboratory, radiation detection and instrumentation; radiation dosimetry and shielding; basic measurements in nuclear engineering; engineering application; micro computer data acquisition and experimental control.
Why Illinois? “One thing that really stood out to me about the UI was how collaborative the university is,” Sullivan said about her choice to come to Illinois. “I know of several places where you don’t collaborate with other faculty members in your own department, much less those from other departments. In my experience, the best research is done by groups of diverse thinkers. I chose Illinois because it is a place that wholeheartedly embraces that concept.”
an assistant professor in the department of advertising in the College of Media
| Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Education: Ph.D. (mass communication), M.A. (communication studies), University of Minnesota; B.S. (Bible/theology), Valley Forge Christian College
Research Interests: Intersection of mass media content and interpersonal communication: how to develop more effective, culturally relevant mass media campaigns for underserved populations.
“John is an outstanding addition to our faculty,” said Michelle Nelson, the acting head of the department of advertising. “His scholarship brings a theory-based understanding to designing effective health messages – a perfect fit with our ‘Sandage Way’ positioning in which we strive to provide an education that is professionally relevant, yet broad enough that students learn critical, analytical and problem-solving skills. His teaching in public relations will help serve all of our majors as well as students outside the college who are interested in earning a PR certificate. He is a well-trained, thoughtful and delightful colleague.”
Courses teaching: ADV 310, Introduction to Public Relations; ADV 350, Writing for Public Relations
Why Illinois? “I was really struck by the level of collegiality displayed by the members of my department when I visited here last spring,” Wirtz said. “They clearly liked and supported one another. I also was impressed by the quality of the undergraduate and graduate students I met during the interview. They were engaged and interested in what I would bring to the college. And, of course, the UI has an excellent reputation of promoting and supporting research and this was very important to me.”
the head of business administration and the John M. Jones Professor of Marketing in the College of Business
| Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Education: Ph.D. (marketing and sociology), University of Wisconsin at Madison; M.B.A. (marketing), Cornell University; B.S. (management), Central Connecticut State University
Research interests: Understanding interorganizational relationships, consumption values and new product development.
“Aric comes to our college from the University of Wisconsin School of Business as the McManus-Bascom Professor in Marketing, where he served as department chair of marketing,” said Larry DeBrock, the Josef and Margot Lakonishok Endowed Dean of the College of Business. “He has also served as a faculty member at the University of Arizona, Tilburg University and Korea University and worked for J. Walter Thompson-Japan, Millward Brown and the U.S. Army. He is a prolific author, a respected editor and reviewer for many top journals, an outstanding mentor and celebrated teacher.”
Why Illinois? “Being the head of the department of business administration was a unique opportunity to lead a diverse yet collegial group of faculty at one of the leading business schools in the country,” Rindfleisch said. “Illinois has a rich tradition in business research and practice and is well poised for the future. I look forward to working with our faculty to develop the next generation of business scholars and help guide our department to the next phase of its evolution.”
an assistant professor of crop sciences in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
| Photo by L. Brian Stauffer
Education: Ph.D. (agronomy), M.S. (agronomy), University of Nebraska; B.A. (biology and environmental studies), University of St. Thomas
Research interests: He will conduct research in urban and peri-urban agricultural production, plant ecophysiology and ecological pest management with a focus on enhancing sustainable food production systems in Chicago.
“Although fresh out of his Ph.D. program, Sam already has nine peer-reviewed publications with two more in review,” said Germán A. Bollero, a professor and head of crop sciences. “During his Ph.D. program Sam helped secure over $300,000 in competitive grant funding to investigate weed suppression in organic farming systems. Sam received the 2012 Outstanding Graduate Student Award by the Weed Science Society of American and the highly competitive 2012 Gerald O. Mott Award from the Crop Science Society of America.”
Courses teaching: HORT 100, Introduction to Horticulture
Why Illinois? “I chose the UI because of the exciting nature of the position (urban food production) and the opportunity to pursue my research in one of the largest and most diverse cities in the U.S. (Chicago). I was impressed by the enthusiasm among faculty and staff for this position and the general direction of the department. Finally, my wife and I were impressed by the Champaign-Urbana community (neighborhoods, parks, restaurants, events and people) and easily envisioned living here.”
the Lois M. Lackner Professor of Mathematics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Education: Postdoctoral (mathematics), Instituto Superior Técnico, Lisbon, Portugal; Ph.D. (mathematics), M.S. (mathematics), University of Minnesota; B.S. (physics engineering), Instituto Superior Técnico
Research Interests: Poisson geometry, Lie algebroids and groupoids
“He is a world leader in the study of Poisson geometry and Lie algebroids,” said Matthew Ando, a professor and head of mathematics. “His work brings both deep insight and technical power to bear on fundamental questions about the nature of geometry. “Recently, Fernandes has used Poisson geometry and the theory of Lie algebroids and Lie groupoids to obtain important new advances in the theory of foliations, one of the classic areas of research in geometry. At the same time, his work unifies and clarifies a number of classical results. He also has been a very successful adviser both of graduate and undergraduate research.”
Courses Teaching:Math 518/519, differentiable manifolds; Math 522, Lie Groups and Lie Algebras
Why Illinois?After spending part of my career in Europe, and having served as head of a department for the last three years, I was looking for an institution with a tradition of excellence that could provide the right environment to devote myself to research and teaching. The UI provides exactly that with its longstanding tradition of excellence as a world-class leader in research and teaching in mathematics. For these reasons I am very thrilled and proud to join the math department at the UI.
an assistant professor of art history in the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Education: Ph.D. (history of art and architecture), Harvard University; M.A. (art and art history), University of Iowa; B.A. (art and art history), University of Florida
Courses Teaching:ARTH 113, Introduction to African Art; ARTH 310, African Art and Society; and ARTH 510, Graduate Seminar in African Arts
“Professor Meier is the kind of scholar who combines ‘hands-on’ work with objects and their specific histories with the most current theoretical concepts shaping how we understand African visual cultures,” said Lisa Rosenthal, the chair of the Art History Program. “Her broad interests and interdisciplinary approach will put her in dialogue with a wide range of scholars and students here at Illinois.”
Why Illinois? “I am excited to join the UI community because it offers so many wonderful opportunities to expand my intellectual horizons, both in the classroom and in my own research,” Meier said. “The students, faculty and staff have been exceptionally welcoming and I’m especially inspired by the collaborative spirit that defines this campus and the originality of the work and research being done here.”
an assistant professor of chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Education: Ph.D. (chemistry), Indiana University; M.S. (chemistry), University of North Carolina at Charlotte; B.S. (chemistry), Gannon University
Courses Teaching:CHEM 512, Advanced Inorganic Chemistry
Research Interests: Synthetic inorganic and organometallic chemistry. Her group is interested in the synthesis of transition metal complexes that can mediate the activation of small molecules such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, water and nitrogen gas. Her efforts may directly affect important environmental, biological and energy concerns.
“Alison Fout is a very promising young scientist whom we identified after an extensive national search,” said Steven C. Zimmerman, the former head of chemistry. “Her career trajectory was truly impressive … rising to become one of the most accomplished young scholars emerging from the department of chemistry at Harvard University. We were particularly impressed by her innovative program using structural inorganic chemistry to develop new catalysts with applications in green and environmental chemistry.”
Why Illinois? “The UI’s department of chemistry is highly ranked nationally, meaning I would be able to work with not only the best and brightest students, but also with world-renowned colleagues,” Fout said. “Couple that with the exceptional facilities, department collegiality and knowledgeable staff and it was an easy choice to make.”
an associate professor of food engineering in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Education: Ph.D. (food engineering), Purdue University; M.Eng. (post-harvest and food-production engineering), Asian institute of Technology, Thailand; B.Tech. (agricultural engineering), Punjab Agricultural University, India
Courses Teaching:FSHN 461 and 462, Food Processing I and II (required courses for undergraduate students in the food science major). He also will teach a graduate course related to his research area.
Research Interests: Takhar applies predictive mathematical modeling to areas such as food engineering, pharmacology, meat science, nutrition and food microbiology. His group has developed a new NMR pulse sequence to image moisture in foods existing in different thermodynamic states.
“Dr. Takhar has a history of very productive collaborations across disciplines in applying mathematical modeling to areas as diverse as food engineering, pharmacology, meat science, nutrition and food microbiology,” said Faye Dong, the head of food science and human nutrition. “His expertise in the area of mathematical modeling and its application to food materials and biopolymers will enrich and support the scholarship, application and impact of research in food science and human nutrition that we do now and in the future.”
Why Illinois? “I chose Illinois for its reputation in conducting high-quality research and teaching,” Takhar said. “Illinois is home to many great faculty members with whom I can collaborate. I also heard that people here are friendly and humble even with their accomplishments.”
the Lynn H. Murray Faculty Scholar in the College of Law
Education: J.S.D. and LL.M., Yale Law School; J.D., Harvard Law School; A.M. (sociology), Stanford University; A.B. (social studies), Harvard University
Research Interests: A nationally recognized expert in the fields of constitutional law and intellectual property law, Mazzone focuses on issues of federalism, separation of powers, state court interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and intellectual property policy.
“Professor Mazzone is a prolific, innovative and highly respected scholar in the fields of constitutional law and intellectual property,” said Bruce Smith, the dean of the College of Law. “His scholarship on federalism, separation of powers and public constitutionalism – informed by legal-historical and sociological perspectives – has appeared in the nation’s leading law reviews. And his recent book, ‘Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Copyright Law’ (Stanford University Press, 2011) places him in the midst of active debates about the appropriate scope of copyright protection, arguing that companies routinely assert copyright claims that are overly expansive, thus impinging on fair use and the public domain. We are thrilled to welcome a scholar of this stature and influence to the Urbana campus and the College of Law.”
Why Illinois? “Illinois is home to one of the three or four strongest faculties in the United States at work in interdisciplinary research,” Mazzone said. “The College of Law is also at the forefront of developing innovative measures to prepare its students for the challenges of legal practice in the 21st century. Geography also matters. Our modern Constitution is that of Lincoln rather than of Madison and Jefferson. For a constitutional scholar, Illinois is practically an inevitability.”
an assistant professor of special education in the College of Education
Education: Ph.D. (special education), UI; M.A. (special education), B.S. (biology), Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Courses teaching: SPED 583, Single-subject Research Design
Research Interests: Social-emotional and communication behavior of children with disabilities and intervention methods to enhance these spheres of functioning.
“Dr. Meadan is passionate about her work with young children with social communication needs, in particular, children with autism spectrum disorders,” said Michaelene Ostrosky, the head of the department of special education. “Hedda cares deeply about working with the families of children who struggle and helping family members learn strategies to support their children’s development at home and in the community. Her knowledge and skills make her a wonderful addition to the department and the Champaign-Urbana community.”
Why Illinois? “I completed my Ph.D. here about eight years ago and knew that this was the kind of place I would like to be in the future,” said Meadan-Kaplansky. “I chose to come back to the UI because of the people (that I now) have the privilege to work with every day and the wonderful supportive work environment. I look forward to collaborating on interdisciplinary research projects with students and faculty members across campus.”
an associate professor of medical microbiology in the College of Medicine
Education: Ph.D. (molecular, cellular and developmental biology), Indiana University; B.S. (microbiology and immunology), McGill University
Courses Teaching: BMS 626, Medical Biology. He also will serve as course coordinator for the medical microbiology course.
Research Interests: Investigation of RNA turnover in microbes including pathogenic bacteria
“Dr. Burns’ qualifications are on the cutting edge of medical education with both practical and administrative experience in medical school curricular integration and in active learning, both of which are strong current mandates of the national accreditation body for medical schools,” said Uretz Oliphant, the interim regional dean of the College of Medicine. “In addition to his practical experience in both problem-based learning and team-based learning, he has developed materials and trained faculty members and students in these new teaching modalities and his expertise represents a campuswide asset, which could be made available through the campus teaching academies.”
Why Illinois? “Vince Lombardi said ‘Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work,’ ” Burns said. “It is also what makes a university work. This attitude pervades our campus. Illinois students, faculty and staff members are all committed to doing their individual best while working hard to elevate everyone in the university community. This is why I chose Illinois. Together we will do greater things than any of us could do on our own.”
an associate professor of medical microbiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine
Education: M.S. (veterinary medical sciences), Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; D.V.M. (veterinary medicine), University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad West Indies
Teaching: Harper, a small-animal surgeon, is board-certified by the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Her teaching responsibilities include didactic, laboratory and clinical teaching of pre-clinical and clinical DVM students, interns and surgery residents.
Research Interests: Orthopedic surgery, including total hip replacement, stifle and elbow diseases, angular limb deformities, arthroscopy and fracture repair; and rehabilitation therapy for animals that have experienced lameness and other ambulatory disorders.
“Harper will expand our rehabilitation therapy program and develop research projects to investigate the effectiveness of specific rehabilitation therapy modalities,” said Karen Campbell, the head of veterinary clinical medicine. “We look forward to her contributions in teaching enhanced surgical skills to our professional students and surgery residents and in providing exceptional care for our surgical patients.”
Why Illinois? “Orthopedic surgery, canine physical therapy and rehabilitation are important components of the postoperative care for orthopedic patients,” Harper said. “The U. of I. Veterinary Hospital has all of the tools I need to advance in these fields. We have a full-time rehabilitation specialist as well as the necessary equipment. We also have the infrastructure necessary to further research in this area.”