The College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences recognized outstanding faculty and staff members at the annual Paul A. Funk Recognition Awards Banquet April 13 at Pear Tree Estate in rural Champaign.
The awards program was established in 1970 by the Paul A. Funk Foundation of Bloomington, Illinois, as a memorial to Funk, who attended the college as a member of the class of 1929 and devoted his life to agriculture.
The three recipients of the Paul A. Funk Recognition Award – Elvira de Mejia, a professor of food science and human nutrition, Brian Diers, a professor of crop sciences, and Alan Hansen, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering – headlined this year’s ceremony. The Funk Award is the college’s highest honor. It is presented annually to faculty members for outstanding achievement and major contributions to the betterment of agriculture, natural resources and human systems, said ACES Dean Robert Hauser.
The Spitze Land-Grant Professorial Career Excellence Award went to Scott Irwin, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics. Karen Chapman-Novakofski, a professor of food science and human nutrition, received the Faculty Award for Global Impact.
The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Soo-Yeun Lee, a professor of food science and human nutrition, while the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching went to Nicholas Paulson, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics.
Sandra Rodriguez-Zas and Ryan Dilger, professors of animal sciences, received the Senior Faculty Award and College Faculty Award, respectively, for excellence in research.
The Senior Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Mohammad Babadoost, a professor of crop sciences, while the College Faculty Award for Excellence in Extension went to Paulson.
The Teaching Associate Teaching Award was given to Margaret Norton, a visiting teaching associate in crop sciences.
The John Clyde and Henrietta Downey Spitler Teaching Award went to Barbara Fiese, a professor of human development and family studies and the Pampered Chef Endowed Chair, who also is the director of the Family Resiliency Center.
The Team Award for Excellence went to members of theSTRONG Kids/Illinois-Transdisciplinary Obesity Prevention Program (I-TOPP): Kelly Bost, a professor of child development; David Buchner, a professor of kinesiology and community health; Sharon Donovan, a professor of food science and human nutrition and the Melissa M. Noel Endowed Chair in Nutrition and Health; Fiese; Diana Grigsby-Toussaint, a professor of kinesiology and community health; Craig Gundersen, a professor of nutritional sciences; Jessica Hartke, a professor of nutritional sciences and the assistant director of the Division of Nutritional Sciences; Charles H. Hillman, a professor of kinesiology and community health; Rodney W. Johnson, a professor and the director of nutritional sciences; Brenda Koester, a professor of human and community development and the assistant director of the Family Resiliency Center; Lee; Janet Liechty, a professor of social work; Brent McBride, a professor of human development and the director of the Child Development Lab; Salma Musaad, a visiting researcher of biostatistics in human and community development; Margarita Teran-Garcia, a professor of food science and human nutrition; Jennifer Themanson, a project coordinator for human and community development; Donna Whitehill, a visiting project coordinator for nutritional sciences; and Angela Wiley, a professor of applied family studies and the director of the Child Care Resiliency Programs.
The Professional Staff Awards for Excellence were given to Elizabeth Reutter, a teaching associate in food science and human nutrition,“for Sustained Excellence in Advising, Teaching and Outreach”; Lowell Gentry, a senior researcher specialist in agriculture in the department of natural resources and environmental sciences, “for Sustained Excellence in Research”; and Linda Tortorelli, the coordinator of the Autism Program, “for Innovation and Creativity.”
Luis Mejia, an adjunct professor of food science and human nutrition, received the Service Recognition Award.
Dianne Carson, an office support specialist in crop sciences, and Donna Stites, an administrative clerk in agricultural and consumer economics, received the Staff Award for Excellence. Maria Rund, an office administrator for human and community development, was awarded the Marcella M. Nance Staff Award.
Other recent ACES awards:
Amy Ando, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics, received the ACE GSO Outstanding Faculty Award.
Richard Gates, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Robert Hughes Jr., a professor of human and community development, received the National Council of Family Relations Felix Berardo Mentoring Award.
Walter Hurley, a professor emeritus of animal sciences, received the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Agricultural Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award.
Justine Karduck, a teaching associate of food science and human nutrition, received the Illinois Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 2013-14 Outstanding Dietetics Educator.
Lee received the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities Regional Teaching Award for Food and Agriculture Sciences.
Vijay Singh, a professor of agricultural and biological engineering, received the American Association of Cereal Chemists International Excellence in Teaching Award.
Paul Stoddard, a lecturer of agribusiness, received the Earl M. and Mildred S. Hughes Teaching Enhancement Award.
Dawn M. Bohn, a director for Off-Campus Programs and teaching associate of food science and human nutrition, DoKyoung Lee, a professor of crop sciences, and Robert Schooley, a professor of natural resources and environmental sciences, received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Educator Award.
Faculty members in agricultural and consumer economics who received the American Agricultural Economics Association Distinguished Extension/Outreach Program Group Award: Mark Althouse, a program coordinator; Ryan Batts, an extension specialist of Farm and Financial Management; Jonathan Coppess, a clinical professor; Paul Ellinger, a professor and department head; A. Bryan Endres, a professor; Darrel Good, a professor emeritus; Scott Irwin, the Laurence J. Norton Chair of Agricultural Marketing; Hongxia Jiao, a visiting extension and research specialist; Todd Kuethe, a clinical professor, Marc Lovell, a director of Tax Education and Outreach; John Newton, a clinical professor of agricultural commodity markets; Paulson; Paul Peterson, a clinical professor; Dwight Raab, an extension specialist; and Gary Schnitkey, a professor.
Flavia Andrade, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Graduate and Professional Teaching Award.
Tina Candler, an administrative aide in kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Staff Excellence Award for civil service employees.
Kristin Carlson, a lecturer in kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for instructional staff members.
Carol Firkins, an academic adviser for the applied health sciences administration, received the college’s Excellence in Undergraduate Advising Award.
Kim C. Graber, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the Phyllis J. Hill Award for Exemplary Mentoring in the Edmund J. James Scholar Award.
Charles H. Hillman, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Graduate Student Mentoring Award.
Edward McAuley, a Shahid and Ann Carlson Khan professor of kinesiology and community health, received the Society of Behavioral Medicine 2014 Distinguished Research Mentor Award.
Robert Motl, a professor of kinesiology and community health, received the college’s Excellence in Guiding Undergraduate Research Award.
Jarrod Scheunemann, a community education and services coordinator for recreation, sport and tourism, received the college’s Academic Professional Excellence Award.
Amy Woods, a professor of kinesiology and community health, won the college’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award for Faculty.
Gopesh Anand, a professor of business administration, received the College of Business Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching.
Brooke Elliott, a professor of accountancy, received the St. Louis Teaching Award.
Petro Lisowsky, a professor of accountancy, received the College of Business Alumni Association Excellence in Teaching Award for Undergraduate Teaching.
Jessen Hobson, a professor of accountancy, and Adel Ibrahim, a lecturer in accountancy, received Head’s Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Tammy Collins, a facilities manager for the College of Education, received the Distinguished Staff Award.
Hedda Meadan-Kaplansky, a professor of special education, received the Spitze-Mather Faculty Award for Excellence.
Karla Moller, a professor of curriculum and instruction, received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.
Yoon Pak, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership, received the Outstanding Asian American Faculty/Staff Award.
Michelle Perry, a professor of special education, received the Distinguished Teaching Career Award.
Jena Pfoff, an online academic and student service coordinator for education policy, organization and leadership, received the college’s Academic Professional Excellence Award.
Adam Poetzel, a clinical assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics Max Beberman Mathematics Educator Award.
Charles Gammie, a professor of physics, has been named a 2015 Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics by the Simons Foundation. Gammie, who has joint appointments in astronomy and physics, will use the fellowship to continue his leading-edge theoretical work in black hole astrophysics while on sabbatical next academic year at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. The Simons Fellow in Theoretical Physics allows time away from the classroom to pursue research. The Simons Foundation’s mission is to advance research in mathematics and the basic sciences.
Joseph W. Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, was awarded the Foresight Institute Feynman Prize in Nanotechnology for experimental work. Lyding is a pioneer in the development of scanning tunneling microscope technology and particularly hydrogen depassivation lithography. Foresight Institute is a leading think tank and public interest organization focused on molecular nanotechnology. These prestigious prizes, named in honor of pioneer physicist Richard Feynman, are given in two categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. These prizes honor researchers whose recent work has most advanced the achievement of Feynman’s goal for nanotechnology: the construction of atomically precise products through the use of productive nanosystems.
Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has won the Air Force Young Investigator Award as part of the Young Investigator Program through the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. Pilawa-Podgurski is designing new computing systems for the storage and processing of information that are intended to be lightweight and compact enough to function on a plane. The three-year award recognizes promising researchers who have received their doctoral degree within the last five years. The program aims to foster creative research in science and engineering and increase opportunities for the young investigator.
Gabriel Popescu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been elected as a fellow of the Optical Society of America. He received his nomination for his research on “quantitative and nanoscale imaging of cells and tissues.” Popescu’s work has focused on helping to turn biology into an engineering-oriented science through microscopic devices that use light scattering and interferometry to turn imaging into a quantitative measurement tool. The society is the leading association in optics and photonics, and no more than 10 percent of the total membership of the society can be a fellow.
Mats Selen, a professor of physics, has been named one of the first recipients of the new Transformational Research and Excellence in Education Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Selen is widely recognized for his critical contributions to the development of CLEO, a general-purpose particle detector at the Cornell Electron Storage Ring, and his work to advance the understanding of charm hadronic decays and excited states. The award recognizes research and educational accomplishments of the Cottrell Scholars community, along with encouraging the improvement of science education at universities. The Cottrell Scholar program develops outstanding scholars who are recognized for their research and leadership skills.
Paris Smaragdis, a professor with joint appointments in computer science and electrical and computer engineering, has been named an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers fellow. Smaragdis has spent the majority of his career working on some of the most challenging problems in audio processing. The core of Smaragdis’ work lies in making machines understand sound. The association’s mission is to foster technological innovation to benefit the world, and only select members of the association with accomplishments are deemed fellows.
The College of Engineering recently hosted its annual awards reception and announced these recognitions:
Catherine Best, a research professor of bioengineering, received the UIC Urban Health Program College of Medicine Team Member Servant Leadership Award.
Timothy Bretl, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching.
Harry Dankowicz, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received the American Society for Engineering Education Fred Merryfield Design Award.
Stephen Downing, a lecturer of mechanical science and engineering, received the Mechanical Science and Engineering Five-Year Effective Teaching Award.
J. Craig Dutton, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Teacher of the Year award.
Gregory Elliott, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the College of Engineering Stanley H. Pierce Award.
Randy Ewoldt, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Bruce Flachsbart, a senior research engineer and a professor and lecturer of mechanical science and engineering, received the College of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award.
Grace Gao, a professor of aerospace engineering, received the Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence.
Cinda Heeren, a lecturer in computer science, received the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Wen-mei Hwu, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Collins Award for Innovative Teaching.
Paul Kwiat, a professor of physics, received the Doug and Judy David Award for Excellence in Teaching Undergraduate Physics.
Scott Olson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Civil and Environmental Engineering Excellence Faculty scholar, received the Chi Epsilon Central District James M. Robbins Excellence in Teaching Award.
Michael Philpott, a professor emeritus of mechanical science and engineering, received the Mechanical Science and Engineering Two-Year Effective Teaching Award.
Kevin Pitts, College of Engineering dean for undergraduate programs and a professor of physics, received the Department of Physics Nordsieck Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Jeffrey Roesler, a professor, associate head and the director of Graduate Studies of civil and environmental engineering, received the College of Engineering Stanley H. Pierce Faculty Award.
David Ruzic, an Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering, received the American Nuclear Society Student Chapter Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. Ruzic also received the Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering 2014 Teacher of the Year.
Peter Sauer, a professor and the W.W. Grainger Chair in electrical and computer engineering, received the Tau Beta Pi Daniel C. Drucker Award.
Mariana Sohn, a visiting lecturer, a visiting curriculum development coordinator and a professor of mechanical science and engineering, received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Timothy Stelzer, a professor of physics, received the Rose Award for Teaching Excellence.
Dusan Stipanovic, a professor of industrial and enterprise systems engineering, received The Sharp Outstanding Teaching Award.
Jenny Amos, a senior lecturer and the chief academic adviser of bioengineering and the director of Undergraduate Programs; Kerri Green, an Undergraduate Programs specialist and an academic adviser for bioengineering; Dipanjan Pan, a professor of bioengineering; and Bradley Sutton, a professor of bioengineering and the associate head for Undergraduate Programs; received the Engineering Council Outstanding Advising Award.
Matthew Caesar, a professor of computer science; Carl Gunter, a professor of computer science; Jiawei Han, an Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering; Stephen Herzog, the coordinator of Undergraduate Programs for computer science; Laxmikant Kale, a professor of computer science; Karrie Karahalios, a professor of computer science; Darko Marinov, a professor of computer science; Dan Roth, a professor of computer science; Smaragdis; and ChengXiang Zhai, a professor of computer science; received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Dutton and Laura Gerhold, an academic adviser and the coordinator of Undergraduate Programs, received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Lynford Goddard, Rakesh Kumar, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski and Jose Schutt-Aine, all professors of electrical and computer engineering, received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Angus Rockett, a professor and chief adviser for undergraduates in materials science and engineering; John A. Rogers, a Swanlund Chair, a professor of materials science and engineering and the director of the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory; and Kenneth Schweizer, the G. Ronald and Margaret H. Morris professor of materials science and engineering; received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Emad Jassim, the director of Undergraduate Programs and a lecturer in mechanical science and engineering; Nicole Neighbors, the assistant director of research administration for mechanical science and engineering; and Pam Vanetta, an office support specialist for mechanical science and engineering; received the Mechanical Science and Engineering Staff Award for Exemplary Service.
Becky Meline, a coordinator of academic programs for nuclear, plasma and radiological engineering, and Ruzic received the Engineering Council Award for Outstanding Advising.
Abbas Aminmansour, a professor of architecture, received the Special Achievement Award from the American Institute of Steel Construction at the plenary session of the 2015 North American Steel Construction Conference in Nashville, Tennessee. He received the honor because of his contributions to the advancement of structural steel design and the construction industry from his paper, “A New Approach for Design of Steel Beam-Columns,” which appeared in Engineering Journal. According to the American Institute of Steel Construction’s website, their “mission is to make structural steel the material of choice by being the leader in structural-steel-related technical and market-building activities.”
Erin Gee, a composer known for her works that use nontraditional vocal techniques, is one of two composers to win the 2015 Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Gee, a professor of composition-theory, won the fellowship based on two new pieces that premiered in 2014. The compositions are part of Gee’s “Mouthpiece” series, which she began in 1999 with a composition for a solo voice. The piece does not use words, but rather a diverse array of vocal sounds, such as pops, clicks, sung tones and whistles. One of her new pieces for which she won the fellowship, “Mouthpiece XXII,” was written for a string quartet and was premiered by the Arditti Quartet, one of the pioneer string quartets for new music. The other piece recognized with the fellowship award is “Mouthpiece XX: Mathilde of Loci Part 2,” a composition for voice, orchestra, actor and video. The American Academy of Arts and Letters is composed of architects, composers, artists and writers. The Academy’s purpose is to foster and sustain interest in literature, music and the fine arts by identifying and encouraging artists.
Gene Robinson, the director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, was appointed to the Board of Scientific Advisors of the National Courts and Sciences Institute. The institute is a judicially governed science and technology organization providing special training to state and federal court judges, Native American court judges and administrative law judges of federal and state executive agencies and independent regulatory agencies.
Leanne Knobloch, a professor and the director of graduate studies for communication, will receive the Top Paper in Interpersonal and Small Group Communication award from the Central States Communication Association. The award honors the write-up of her research study “Communication of Military Couples during Deployment: Topic Avoidance and Relational Uncertainty.” Knobloch investigates the processes of regulating privacy and managing relational uncertainty as challenging aspects of communication for military couples separated by deployment. The paper then offers recommendations to military couples facing these communication challenges. The association is a professional, academic organization of primary- and secondary-school teachers, students, college and university professors and communication professionals. Founded in 1931 to promote the communication discipline in educational, scholarly and professional endeavors, the association consists of 13 Midwestern states and has more than 800 members.
Yi Lu, a professor of chemistry, received the Royal Society of Chemistry Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award for 2015. Lu was recognized for original research breakthroughs in metallo-DNAzyme and for technological innovations in sensor design that have resulted in a new class of metal ion sensors for on-site and real-time detection in environmental monitoring, food safety and medical diagnostics. Award recipients are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results, which can be shown in publications, patents or software. The awards recognize achievements by individuals, teams and organizations in advancing the chemical sciences. The society is the world’s leading chemistry community, advancing excellence in the chemical sciences.
Robin Kar, a professor of law and of philosophy, and Andrew Leipold, the Edwin M. Adams professor and the director of the Program in Criminal Law and Procedure, received the College of Law’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
T. “Brad” Harris, a professor of labor and employment relations, received the LER Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.
Charles “Stretch” Ledford, a professor of journalism, received the Associated Press Media Editors Innovator of the Year Award for College Students.
Shachar Meron, a lecturer in advertising, received the Award for Teaching Excellence.
Peter Sheldon, a lecturer in advertising, received the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Distinguished Teaching Award.
Leta Summers, an administrative aide in the Capital Planning Division of Facilities and Services, received the 2015 Office Professional of the Year Award from The Secretariat. Summers was recognized at an awards luncheon April 15.
Also nominated: Peggy Buchner, an office administrator in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost; Rayme Dorsey, an office manager in plant biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Michael Foellmer, an office support specialist in political science in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; and Sheila Powers, an office manager in the College of Medicine.
The Secretariat is comprised of U. of I. employees in certain civil service classifications. Nominees for the Office Professional of the Year Award perform their duties well and enthusiastically support the U. of I. and its programs. The nominee demonstrates professionalism and is involved in the Secretariat organization.
Sung Wan Kang, a teaching assistant of social work, received the Ackerson Award for Excellence in Student Teaching.
Tyler D. Kearney, the associate director for the University Office of Planning and Budgeting, and Jennifer Delaney, a professor of education policy, organization and leadership, received a 2014 Charles F. Elton Best Paper Award from the Association for Institutional Research for their paper, “Guaranteed Tuition Policies and State General Appropriations for Higher Education: A Difference-in-Difference Analysis,” which appeared in the Journal of Education. The award honors scholarship that exemplifies the standards of excellence established by the award’s namesake, and makes scholarly contributions to the field of institutional research and decision making in higher education. The goal is to honor publishable papers and to acknowledge that the scholarship of the association is featured in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals.