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INSIDE ILLINOIS, May 6, 2010             [ Email | Share ]



Faye Dong, a professor of and head of the department of food science and human nutrition in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, was recently honored as one of 23 fellows of the Food Systems Leadership Institute in a ceremony at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities in Washington, D.C.

The fellows were recognized for their accomplishments in completing the institute’s leadership development program and for contributions to their individual organizations and the broader higher education and food systems. The two-year program is designed for experienced leaders in academia, government and industry. 

Alumni, faculty and staff members, and students in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences were honored April 19 at the annual Paul A. Funk Awards Recognition Banquet. Faculty and staff members honored:

Three professors received the Paul A. Funk Recognition Award, the highest faculty honor: Robert A. Aherin, agricultural and biological engineering; Sharon M. Donovan, food science and human nutrition; and Walter L. Hurley, animal sciences. These awards are presented as a memorial to the late Paul A. Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929.

The Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award was presented to Bryan A. White, a professor of animal sciences, who also is in the Division of Nutritional Sciences and affiliated with the Institute for Genomic Biology.

Robert L. Thompson, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics, received the Faculty Award for Global Impact.

The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Prasanta K. Kalita, a professor of  agricultural and biological engineering. Nicholas Brozovi, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics, received the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching. Dianne A. Noland, a teaching associate in the department of crop sciences, received the College Teaching Associate Teaching Award.

Michael J. Plewa, a professor of crop sciences, won the Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Research. The College Faculty Award for Excellence in Research went to Juan J. Loor, a professor of animal sciences and in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension was won by Kenneth W. Koelkebeck, a professor of animal sciences.

The Karl E. Gardner Outstanding Undergraduate Adviser Award went to Manabu T. Nakamura, a professor of food science and human nutrition and in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.

The Farm Analysis Solution Tools (FAST) Team received the Team Award for Excellence. Its members: Ryan M. Batts, Paul N. Ellinger, Darrel L. Good, Scott H. Irwin, Dale H. Lattz, Nicholas D. Paulson, Gary D. Schnitkey and Bruce J. Sherrick, all in the department of agricultural and consumer economics; and James G. Endress and Ruth F. Hambleton, of UI Extension.

Winners of the Professional Staff Awards for Excellence: George F. Czapar, UI Extension educator, for sustained excellence in teaching and outreach; Stephen A. Ebelhar, an agronomist in the department of crop sciences, for sustained excellence in research; Donald L. Meyer, a senior network analyst for ACES Information Technology and Communication Services, sustained excellence in technical contributions; and Jean-Louis F. Ledent, food lab manager and executive chef in the department of food science and human nutrition, for sustained excellence in innovation and creativity.

The Marcella M. Nance Staff Award was presented to Evonne R. Hausman, an office support associate in the department of animal sciences.

Martin M. Williams II, an adjunct professor of crop sciences, received the Service Recognition Award.


Secretariat’s 2010 Office Professional of the Year award was presented to Deborah Weidler, CITES office manager. Weidler was nominated by Tony Rimovsky, associate director of enterprise infrastructure. She was honored at the April 21 Secretariat luncheon at the Levis Faculty Center.

Eleven UI employees were nominated for this year’s award.


Imad L. Al-Qadi, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been elected as a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Paul V. Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering, has been elected to receive a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This award is conferred to scientists and scholars internationally renowned in their field who completed their doctorates less than 18 years ago and are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements. Award winners are honored for their outstanding research record and invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with colleagues at a research institution in Germany.

J. Gary Eden, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, is the 2010 recipient of the Harold E. Edgerton Award from SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The organization was founded in 1955 as the Society for Photographic Instrumentation Engineers.

William Gropp, a professor of computer science, has been awarded the 2010 IEEE Medal for Excellence in Scalable Computing by the IEEE Technical Committee on Scalable Computing. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the world’s largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation.

Michael T. Heath, the Fulton Watson Copp Chair in the department of computer science, was named a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Heath also is director of the Computational Science and Engineering Program and the Center for Simulation of Advanced Rockets.

Negar Kiyavash, a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering, has been awarded a faculty fellowship for the 2010 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship Program.

Cheng Zhai, a professor of computer science, has received an IBM Faculty award for his research contributions in data and text mining.


The College of Engineering presented its 2010 faculty awards at its Faculty Awards Ceremony on May 3.

Those honored with the Xerox Awards for Faculty Research were assistant professors Karrie Karahalios, computer science; Nicholas Xuanlai Fang, mechanical science and engineering; Jianjun Cheng, materials science and engineering; and Yanfeng Ouyang, civil and environmental engineering. Associate professors honored: Peter Abbamonte, physics; Ioannis Chasiotis, aerospace engineering; Jeff Erickson, computer science; Jonathan B. Freund, mechanical science and engineering; Jeffery R. Roesler, civil and environmental engineering; and Pramod Viswanath, electrical and computer engineering.

Daniel A. Tortorelli, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching.

Xinlei Wang, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, received the Everitt Teaching Award.

Paul V. Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering, received the Stanley H. Pierce Award.

The Rose Award for Teaching Excellence was presented to Larry Fahnestock, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and ChengXiang Zhai, a professor of computer science.

The College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award was presented to Roy A. Axford, a professor of nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering.

Paul G. Kwiat, a professor of physics, received the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Eminent Faculty Award.


William Bullock, a professor of industrial design and director of the Design for Energy and Environment Lab, was awarded the annual Midwest Educator award given by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Bullock accepted the award and gave the keynote address April 17 at the Midwest District Conference in Milwaukee. Bullock’s nomination noted “… As co-founder of the Sustainable Electronics Initiative at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center he is currently leading a new initiative to develop a Midwest research and education program dealing with the problem of electronic waste.”



Sally McConkey, water resources engineer at the Illinois State Water Survey in the Institute of Natural Resource Sustainability, has been certified as a diplomate by the American Academy of Water Resources Engineers. The certification is a credential that distinguishes professional engineers who have advanced expertise in the specialty discipline of water resources engineering.

Twenty-five people and two companies were honored March 26 at the Illinois State Geological Survey’s annual awards. Faculty and staff members honored:

Christopher Pearson, National Geodetic Survey’s Illinois State Geodetic Adviser, received the Outstanding External Cooperator Award for his time, expertise and enthusiasm in support of the survey’s geologic mapping and height modernization program.

Distinguished Achievement Awards were presented to Daniel Nelson, associate GIS database administrator, for his leadership in developing the Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse and for his valuable database management work; Torie Strole, grants and contracts coordinator, for her outstanding work in submission and management of grants and contracts; Hong Wang, a geologist, for his establishment of the ISGS Optical Stimulated Luminescence laboratory, which allows age dating up to 250,000 years and benefits research in Quaternary geology, paleoclimate, earthquake hazards and archaeology.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Ivan Krapac, senior geochemist and head, in recognition of his 30 years of innovative geochemical research in the areas of agricultural contamination of groundwater and monitoring of carbon sequestration.

Special Achievement by a Team honored the Sorbent Activation Process Team for its work in developing a patented technology for mercury emission control. This technology will increase the efficiency and lower the cost of removing mercury at coal-fired power plants. Team members affiliated with ISGS: Xu Chen, Hong Lu, Yongqi Lu, Massoud Rostam-Abadi and  David Ruhter.

Mary Seid, a supportive geologist, was recognized as Outstanding New Staff Member for her contributions to the survey’s geologic mapping program through her enthusiasm, creativity, efficiency and attention to detail.

Outstanding Contributions to Survey Health and Safety was presented to David Ruhter, a visiting research specialist, in recognition of his efforts to ensure a safe working environment.


The Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities announced the recipients of its inaugural IPRH Prizes for Research in the Humanities for the 2009-10 academic year at a reception April 30. Leslie Reagan, a professor of history, received the Faculty Award for her project “Rashes, Rights, and Wrongs in the Hospital and in the Courtroom: German Measles, Abortion and Malpractice Before Roe and Doe.”

Graduate and undergraduate awards also were made. Entries had to be published during the past year, or written for a university course during 2009-10.



Hua-Hua Chang, a professor of psychology, has been elected a fellow of the American Educational Research Association. The honor recognizes exceptional scientific or scholarly contributions to education research or significant contributions to the field through the development of research opportunities and settings. Chang and other new fellows were inducted May 1 during the association’s  annual meeting.

Cary Nelson, a professor emeritus of English and Jubilee Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been re-elected president of the American Association of University Professors for a third two-year term. He has served on the association’s National Council for 10 years, six as second vice president and the last four as president. The association is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization that promotes academic freedom by supporting tenure, academic due process, shared governance and standards of quality in higher education.


Senior Library Specialist Jan Adamczyk at the UI Library will be honored by the Illinois Library Association with the 2010 Robert P. Doyle Award. The award, established in 1999, is sponsored by the Reaching Forward Conference of Library Assistants. Adamczyk will receive full registration and expenses to attend the ILA Annual Conference to be held in September at Navy Pier in Chicago.

Christopher Prom, an assistant university archivist and a professor of library administration, is one of four winners of the 2010 Movers and Shakers in Archives awards. Sponsored by the ArchivesNext blog, these awards recognize people or organizations in the U.S. who are innovative, creative and making a difference in the archival world. Prom, also a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and Research Fellow, was nominated for the work he has been pursuing while on sabbatical at the Centre for Archive and Information Studies at the University of Dundee in the UK.



Gov. Pat Quinn declared April 21 as “Eberfest Day” in Illinois to honor film critic Roger Ebert and his annual festival that showcases films that have been overlooked by the public, film critics or distributors.

“I salute Roger Ebert for his lifelong passion for movies, and for his unflagging work, through Ebertfest, to make sure that worthy films find an audience,” Quinn said. Ebert is an adjunct professor of journalism in the College of Media.

Brian Johnson, a journalism professor and head of the department, was awarded the James H. Ottaway Fellowship by the American Press Institute. The fellowship provides funding to attend an API seminar for college-level journalism educators. Johnson attended the “Beyond the Newsroom” seminar in March.

Jan Slater, an advertising professor and department head, will serve as president of the Association of Education in Journalism and Mass Communication for the 2010-2011 term. She will take office during the association’s convention in August. Previously she served on the organization’s board of directors and as the chair of the Council of Divisions.


The Graduate College Career Services Office was honored by the Moms Association during Moms Weekend at the UI. The office was given the Illini Spirit Award, created to provide financial support to programs and projects that contribute to the safety, health, development and achievement of UI students.

Founded in 2003 to assist Illinois graduate and postdoctoral students with decision-making and planning, the office will use the funding to organize a symposium titled “Balancing Family and Work.”



Several university administration employees who work on the Urbana campus have been awarded the Distinguished Employee Leadership and Team Award. They were honored at a banquet April 1.

Academic professionals from the Urbana campus honored:

Del Kranz, an associate director in the Office of Technology Management, was cited for her significant contributions and her expertise on intellectual property.

Beth Ladd, a functional area coordinator with AITS/Decision Support, was recognized for her role in conceptualizing, designing, implementing, marketing and supporting the Consolidated Faculty Analysis tool, which supports reporting and analysis of sponsored research data.

Brent Rasmus, an associate director in University Accounting Services in the Office of Business and Financial Services, is regarded as a resident expert in public higher education accounting and financial management. He provides technical advice and interpretation of state and university accounting policies and procedures.

Civil service honorees from the Urbana campus:

Jackie Huls, an administrative aide in the University Office for Human Resources, gets things done by leveraging her knowledge and experience for the benefit of university HR and the UI.

Heidi Rockwood, an administrative assistant to the vice president for technology and economic development, manages the office and serves as a vital resource for the directors in the organization.

For the team category, the Electronic Fact Sheet Project Team was honored. As a result of this system, data collection and tracking is easier and much more efficient. There has been a reduction in overtime devoted to data collection, and staff members formerly assigned to handle and coordinate late responses are now dedicated to processing the information and are free to work on other priorities.

Team members from the Office of Business and Financial Servies: Stephanie J. Adams, Jason Bane, Madelle Becker, Chris Bland, Sherri L. Faith, Russell K. Fletcher, Ryan M. Hall, Linda McCaffrey, Richard Rebot, Leslie Sherman, Denise M. Stanley, Roger O. Wade and Jodi A. Wright.



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