Top U-M faculty garner annual awards
Twenty-seven faculty members will be recognized for their teaching, scholarship, service and creative activities Oct. 7 in Rackham Assembly Hall.
Distinguished University Professorships recognize full or associate professors for exceptional scholarly and/or creative achievement, national and international reputation, and superior teaching skills. Created in 1947, each professorship bears a name determined by the appointive professor in consultation with her or his dean. Each professorship also carries an annual salary supplement of $5,000 and an annual research supplement of $5,000. The duration of the appointment is unlimited, and the title without the salary and research supplements may be retained after retirement. In addition, newly appointed Distinguished University Professors are expected to deliver an inaugural lecture during the first year of appointment. Honorees and their awards are:
• Michael Boehnke, Richard G. Cornell Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics, School of Public Health (SPH)
• Bruce Frier, John and Teresa D'Arms Distinguished University Professor of Classics and Roman Law, LSA; Henry King Ransom Professor of Law, Law School
• Linda Gregerson, Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English, LSA
• James House, Angus Campbell Distinguished University Professor of Survey Research, Public Policy and Sociology; Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research (ISR); Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, LSA
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards honor senior faculty who consistently have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research and/or creative endeavors; teaching and mentoring of students and junior faculty; service; and a variety of other activities. Up to five awards of $1,500 are made each year. Awardees include:
• Carl Akerlof, professor of physics, LSA
• Valerie Lee, professor of education, SoE; faculty associate, Survey Research Center, ISR
• Vincent Pecoraro, John T. Groves Collegiate Professor, Department of Chemistry, LSA
• Christopher Peterson, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, LSA
• George Steinmetz, professor of sociology, Germanic languages and literatures, LSA
Faculty Recognition Awards are intended for faculty early in their careers who have demonstrated substantive contributions to the University through achievements in scholarly research and/or creative endeavors; excellence as a teacher, adviser and mentor; and distinguished participation in service activities of the University. Eligible candidates include full professors with no more than four years at that rank, associate professors and assistant professors. Up to five awards of $1,000 each are made each year. Recipients include:
• Theodore Goodson, III, professor of chemistry, applied physics, LSA; professor of macromolecular science and engineering, College of Engineering (CoE)
• Marios Papaefthymiou, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, CoE
• Michael Solomon, associate professor of chemical engineering and macromolecular science and engineering, CoE
• Nancy Butler Songer, professor of science education and learning technologies, SoE
• Anna Stefanopoulou, professor of mechanical engineering, CoE
University Undergraduate Teaching Awards are designed to honor faculty early in their careers who have demonstrated outstanding ability in teaching undergraduate students. Nominees must have an evident commitment to students; a record of innovation in teaching and learning; notable dedication to working effectively with a diverse student body; and a consistently positive effect on students' intellectual/artistic development. Each year up to two awards of $1,000 will be made. Awardees:
• Sara Blair, professor of English language and literature, LSA
• Joseph Trumpey, associate professor of art, director of International Engagement, School of Art & Design
University Press Book Awards are presented to members of the University teaching and research staff, including emeritus members, whose book has added the greatest distinction to the Press List. Selections are made from books published within a span of two calendar years. The cash value of the award is $750 and is apart from any royalties the book may have earned. Awardees:
• Chun-shu Chang, professor of history, LSA
• Rudi Paul Lindner, professor of history, LSA
Distinguished Faculty Governance Awards recognize outstanding leadership in faculty governance over a period of years, with an emphasis on Universitywide service. The award includes a $1,500 stipend. Recipient:
• Semyon Meerkov, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, CoE
Regents Award for Distinguished Public Service, with a stipend of $1,000, will go to:
• Barbara Anderson, professor of sociology, LSA; research professor, Population Studies Center, ISR
University Librarian Achievement Award is presented for exceptional distinction reflected in active and innovative career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services. The recipient will receive a $1,500 stipend. Awardee:
• Traianos Gagos, professor of papyrology and Greek, Department of Classical Studies; archivist of papyrology, Graduate Library, University Library; assistant research scientist, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
University Librarian Recognition Award honors an individual who holds a primary faculty appointment as librarian, archivist or curator with no more than eight years' practice in the profession. Selection criteria include active and innovative early career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services. This may include developing specialized services for faculty and students, improving access to information or efficiently managing library and archival resources (staff, space, funding, collections), or other activities. The recipient will be awarded $1,000. Awardee:
• Donna Hayward, information studies librarian, Graduate Library, University Library
Collegiate Research Professorship Award recognizes exceptional scholarly achievement and impact on advancing knowledge in science, engineering, health, education, the arts, the humanities or other academic field of study. A $2,000 stipend will be given to:
• Douglas Lawrence Miller, research professor of radiology, Medical School
Research Faculty Achievement Awards are given for outstanding scholarly achievements, as represented by significant contributions to an academic field of study over time, a specific outstanding discovery or the development of innovative technology. Nominees must hold at least a 75-percent appointment at the rank of research professor, research associate professor, research scientist or associate research scientist. Recipients receive $1,500 each and are selected by the vice president for research based on the recommendation of the research faculty awards committee. Honoree:
• Gabor Toth, research scientist, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, CoE
Research Faculty Recognition Awards honor individuals who hold at least a 75-percent appointment at the rank of research associate professor, research assistant professor, associate research scientist or assistant research scientist. Selection criteria include exceptional scholarly achievements, as evidenced by publications and/or other scholarly activities in any academic field of study. The following recipients will be awarded $1,000:
• Jimmy Irwin, assistant research scientist, Department of Astronomy, LSA
• Vinay Parikh, assistant research scientist, Department of Psychology, LSA
Distinguished University Professorship, Hyman Bass
Over the course of a 50-year career, Hyman Bass, the Samuel Eilenberg Distinguished University Professor of Mathematics, and professor of mathematics education, has distinguished himself in pure mathematics research, leadership and education.
Bass was one of the founders of algebraic K-theory, which has become an important branch of mathematics. His work in commutative algebra, including the study of "Gorenstein Rings," is of fundamental importance.
Bass received the prestigious Frank Nelson Cole Prize in Algebra from the American Mathematical Society in 1975. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1980 and to the National Academy of Sciences in 1982. He also received an invitation to collaborate with a group of leading French mathematicians writing, under the pseudonym Nicolas Bourbaki, a series of treatises on the foundations of modern mathematics. In 2007 he was awarded the National Medal of Science.
Bass has contributed to groundbreaking work on the nature and measurement of mathematical knowledge used in teaching. He has had the most significant impact on the quality of mathematics education in America of any mathematician of his generation. His efforts to bridge the many intellectual, cultural, methodological and political schisms that divide mathematical communities led to his becoming chairman of the Mathematical Sciences Education Board at the National Research Council, president of the American Mathematical Society, and president of the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction.
Throughout his career, Bass has compiled an outstanding record of service to the scientific community. He was instrumental in the creation of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and served as founding chair of the Board of Trustees from 1981-86. From 1992-97, he was a member of the Board of Trustees at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.
Bass "professes" mathematics in the deepest and richest sense of the term, contributing to the development of that discipline through his creative work as a scholar and to the profession of mathematics as a public good, as a field of educational struggles and accomplishments, and as the intellectual glue that holds together the efforts of scientists, social scientists and educators.
Distinguished University Professorship, Michael Boehnke
Internationally recognized for his work in identifying genes for Type 2 diabetes and diabetes-related traits, Michael Boehnke, the Richard G. Cornell Distinguished University Professor of Biostatistics, is a leader in the development of new statistical and computational methods for the analysis of human genetic data. He is involved in efforts to understand the genetic basis of bipolar disorder and has made major contributions to both teaching and service, building one of the world's leading training programs in statistical genetics. He has shown a remarkable ability to assemble outstanding researchers from diverse disciplines to work together on important problems, and his research generates findings related to the future of human health.
Boehnke oversees the collaborative project of identifying the numerous hereditary factors involved in adult-onset diabetes. Dr. Frances Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, calls Boehnke "an absolutely world-class statistical geneticist." In recognition of the project's remarkable milestones, Science magazine chose it as the 2007 breakthrough of the year, specifically citing the work on Type 2 diabetes as a justification. Likewise, Time magazine listed this work on diabetes among the top 20 medical discoveries of 2007.
Another current project led by Boehnke to uncover the genetic basis of bipolar disorder brings together a wide range of scientists from various fields. Boehnke's wisdom, judgment, flexibility, integrity and passion for finding answers continue to impress his colleagues. "He is one of the most collaborative scientists I have ever encountered," says one, "and this is true at every level from the intellectual to the social, to the willingness to step aside and let young scientists shine or old scientists feel heard."
Boehnke is known as an exceptional teacher and mentor and has acquired a long list of admiring young scientists who are former students. As letters from his current and former students attest, he is generous with his ideas and time, constantly helpful in finding research opportunities and committed to excellence. His past trainees include 13 doctoral students and five postdoctoral fellows, all but two of whom are in faculty positions at major research universities.
Distinguished University Professorship, Bruce Frier
Bruce Frier is the John and Teresa D'Arms Distinguished University Professor of Classics and Roman Law and the Henry King Ransom Professor of Law. A distinctive scholar who also has been invaluable as a teacher and as an active and dedicated citizen, Frier stands out for his productivity, his teaching record and his performance of service responsibilities on campus.
Frier has published eight books and has a ninth in preparation. Within classics, he has created two productive territories for scholarship, one in demography and the other in the sociology of Roman law.
Before Frier, the study of Roman law was more the province of legal historians; he has made it integral to ancient history. His scholarship blends state-of-the-art demographic research tools, an unsurpassed knowledge in classical historical and literary materials, and a thorough understanding of law and legal systems. His work in Roman law combines legal thinking and mastery of ancient texts with an understanding of Roman society. "Were it not for his scholarship and his teaching, the field of Roman Law would be entirely dead in North America," a colleague says.
Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1993 and to the American Philosophical Society in 2003, Frier has done work that is internationally respected and cited, and he frequently is sought out as a consultant and referee.
Frier has shared his knowledge and his ethos of scholarship with his students through his written work, classroom teaching and mentoring. In his undergraduate Roman law course, he uses the Socratic technique to guide students to work out problems for themselves. His Latin courses offer deep views of Roman literature, and his Law School courses are equally praised. In his course on persuasion, he presents students with documents they rarely see in other courses transcripts of arguments made in trial courts.
Like his scholarship, Frier's service has covered an immense territory and last year he won the Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award for his work on a provost taskforce to develop policies for the transgendered.
Distinguished University Professorship, Linda Gregerson
Poet, scholar, teacher and administrator Linda Gregerson, the Caroline Walker Bynum Distinguished University Professor of English, is among those rare few who emerge as a voice of the University at large. She builds her monument simultaneously on both sides of one of the oldest divides in literary studies that between the creative and the critical.
In the last 30 years, Gregerson has published four volumes of poetry and more than 75 individual poems. All her books of poetry have received rave reviews, and her fourth, "Magnetic North," was a finalist for a 2007 National Book Award. Her verse has appeared in nearly every significant venue for publication of poetry. She has received numerous grants, awards and prizes, including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Author Charles Baxter says, "This is poetry in which intensity and thought are combined, as they are in the Renaissance poems Linda admires."
Gregerson also is one of the most original Renaissance scholars of our time and a prolific critic of contemporary poetry. Of "The Reformation of the Subject," published in 1995 a fellow Renaissance scholar says, "Her analyses of Spenser and Milton are simply breathtaking, and constitute in the aggregate the best discussion I know of the craft of Renaissance poetry." In 2003 a collection of her reviews, "Negative Capability: Essays on Contemporary American Poetry," won the University Press Book Award.
Of Gregerson, poet Robert Pinsky says, "She is a remarkable embodiment of consonance between the ideals of art and of the humanities: a combination taken for granted in the period she studies but unusual (and to be honored) in our own time. To her excellence as a poet and scholar we can add her profound, informed interest in science and scientific ideas."
The range of courses she teaches is impressive, and her students consistently rank her as an excellent teacher of both creative writing and literature. In her 20 years at the University, she has been on 25 doctoral committees, chairing seven, and she has chaired or co-chaired 50 MFA theses.
In addition to her many other achievements, Gregerson has been tireless in her service to the department, the University and the academic community at large.
Distinguished University Professorship, James House
Internationally recognized in the social, behavioral and medical sciences as a leading social epidemiologist, James House, the Angus Campbell Distinguished University Professor of Survey Research, Public Policy and Sociology, has played a key role in the paradigm shift from explaining health and illness exclusively in terms of biological causes to the recognition of the influence of psychosocial factors and processes. He has made important and enduring contributions to social psychology and social epidemiology.
House has devoted his research career to examining social inequalities in health and mortality by age, sex, marital status and social class. He has made important contributions to the study of occupational stress on health and focused on understanding social disparities in health policy and broader social policy. He has been at the forefront of defining an approach that bridges social and biomedical sciences to the detriments of the health of individuals and populations. In six books (four as editor or co-editor) and more than 125 widely cited publications in leading journals, he has used a multidisciplinary approach to assess the relationship between social influences and health. His latest, "Making Americans Healthier: Social and Economic Policy as Health Policy" (2008), bridges sociology, social epidemiology and public policy.
House is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Science. He also has received the Leo. G. Reeder Award for Distinguished Contributions to Medical Sociology and the Cooley-Mead Award for Outstanding Career Contributions to Sociological Social Psychiatry.
"Socioeconomic position and race/ethnicity shape individuals' exposure to and experience of virtually all known psychosocial, as well as many environmental and biomedical risk factors, and these risk factors help to explain the size and persistence of social disparities in health," House said after receiving the Leo G. Reeder Award.
House also is a dedicated teacher and mentor. Testimonials from former students who have become leaders in the field attest to his generosity of spirit, intellectual curiosity and perceptive feedback, along with continued guidance as they moved into their careers.
House has served as chair of the Department of Sociology and director of the Survey Research Center, as well as a member of the college's Executive Committee.
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, Carl Akerlof
Passionate, innovative, pioneering, courageous, creative, independent: these are a few words colleagues use to describe Carl Akerlof, professor of physics. Akerlof's ability to transform himself and maintain a leadership position as he moves into new areas of research has gained him not only the respect of his colleagues but also attention from national media, including a cover article in Nature. In addition to his research successes, he has personally created most of the undergraduate laboratory classes, courses that have grown to record enrollments under his guidance.
For several years after joining the faculty in 1969, Akerlof worked in traditional high energy physics research, which would have ensured success. Instead he chose to work in astrophysics, opening an entirely new area of research: tera-electron-volt gamma-ray astronomy. He was a leader in designing the innovative technology that now plays a central role in experiments in this field. He then turned his attention to the nature of the dark matter that dominates the universe and again played a role in the detection of Einstein's predicted "microlensing magnification," which was announced in Nature in 1993.
Akerlof now is most widely known for his creation and leadership of a collaborative, international team of about 45 physicists and astronomers that studies gamma-ray bursts that had been a persistent mystery for many years. In 1999 one of his instruments observed the brightest optical object ever detected, one of NASA's 10 most significant accomplishments of the year. The discovery now is a standard feature of introductory astronomy texts. Akerlof continued this research by creating a global network of four robotic optical telescopes that have made further discoveries, making the University a continuing leader in this area.
Akerlof has undertaken a comprehensive revision of undergraduate laboratory courses. He designed and constructed new experiments that incorporate modern data acquisition and analysis methods in all the labs, refocusing the engagement of students with important physics concepts. Since these changes were made, student enrollments and evaluations dramatically have risen. He also has included students in his research work and has built up a generation of successful scientists who now hold faculty positions.
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, Valerie Lee
Since arriving at U-M in 1986, Valerie Lee, professor of education and faculty associate at ISR, built a record that has brought international and national recognition to her, the School of Education and the University. Known as the premier sociologist of education, she has focused on issues of school organization and its impact on equity in student attainment. In five books, 72 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and 44 book chapters and reviews, she has brought disciplined tools to bear on questions of educational equity.
Lee's area of expertise is the sociology of education. With co-authors A. S. Byrk and P. B. Holland, she published "Catholic Schools and the Common Good," which in 1993 received the Willard Walker Award. This landmark book represents an application of her statistical method and in-depth qualitative research for studying the social distribution of achievement within schools. More recent books that she authored or co-authored include "Restructuring High Schools for Equity and Excellence: What Works" (2001), "Inequality at the Starting Gate" (2002) and "Schools Within Schools: Possibilities and Pitfalls of High School Reform."
She has researched effects of school size, high school dropout incidence and single-sex schooling, as well as educational opportunities and obstacles in Brazil and Africa, small-schools reform and the influence of teacher beliefs on their practice, among other topics. She is internationally renowned for her work on what has come to be known as "school restructuring," and has found that optimal high school size is 600-900 pupils.
Lee's courses are legendary for their rigor and intense workloads, but also for how well they prepare students to ask, explore and analytically answer research questions. She generates intellectual enthusiasm for projects amongst her colleagues and doctoral students, and many of her publications are co-authored by her students.
Beyond her role in teaching and research, Lee has served as representative to the Senate Assembly and as liaison to the University Research Policy Committee. Most recently she was a member of the Evaluation Advisory Committee for the Advance Project, which in 2006 released a report on the climate for U-M doctoral students. She also is a frequent advisor to research organizations and agencies in the United States.
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, Vincent Pecoraro
Vincent Pecoraro, the John T. Groves Collegiate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, is an investigator whose work has had a major impact on both synthetic and biological inorganic chemistry. He also is a charismatic leader who has expanded the scope of bioinorganic chemistry to include work in polypeptide design and other areas of biophysics that must deal with the role of metal ions in formulations of structure-function relationships.
Pecoraro has carried out a range of studies using coordination chemistry to understand aspects of inorganic chemistry in the biological world. He is known for his work in developing mimics for the active site of manganese containing oxygen evolving complex and other manganese enzymes. His creativity and structural insights in devising a whole new family of metallacrown complexes have impressed colleagues. In explaining this chemistry, he has shown a high level of scholarship, detailed structural work and originality in design. He can be counted among the few chemists who have developed a new molecular class.
Early in his career, when the chemistry department introduced its new curriculum, Pecoraro developed new undergraduate courses and later new graduate courses. He has mentored nearly 70 undergraduates and numerous graduate and postdoctoral fellows. He has served as the director of the NIH-sponsored Michigan Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program for the past five years.
Pecoraro has published nearly 220 papers and edited two books. More importantly, his work has been cited more than 7,500 times. He has given more than 200 talks at colleges and universities and has been a plenary lecturer at numerous international meetings. Pecoraro has received extensive grant funding, including from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.
At 37 he was asked to serve as an associate editor for the journal Inorganic Chemistry. His honors include being selected as a Sloan Fellow, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a recipient of the Alexander von Humbolt Fellowship for senior U.S. scientists from the German Government. He also was the first U-M faculty member to receive the prestigious GD Searle Scholar's Award and he currently holds a prestigious collegiate chair.
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award, Christopher Peterson
Christopher Peterson, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Psychology, is, in the opinion of a prominent colleague in his field, "the most important intellectual figure at the intersection of clinical and social psychology of his generation." In addition to his research, his teaching and mentoring skills are legendary; he works as effectively with large undergraduate courses as with individual graduate students, and his work lives on not only in his numerous publications but in the students and junior faculty he has mentored.
The author of approximately 300 articles, Peterson ranks within the top one hundred psychologists worldwide in his citation record. He has transformed two major research areas during his career: attributional styles (and their effects on behavior and mental health) and positive psychology (personal attributes that lead to a fulfilled life). On this latter topic, he is collecting data across cultures, age groups and other demographic categories. His work on attributional styles focuses on how the ways in which individuals explain social events in their lives affect a variety of outcomes, ranging from academic achievement to mental health and longevity.
Something of Peterson's outstanding teaching ability can be imagined from the applause he receives at the end of each term. One student notes that his "remarkable contribution to the field of psychology comes not from his scores of publications, but from his ability to utilize his intellectual endowments to inspire, change, and affect students in his classrooms." Other indications of his devoted attention to students are his open-door policy and the hundreds of thoughtful letters of recommendation he writes for students each year. His teaching skills earned him the Thurnau professorship early in his career.
Finally, Peterson's service efforts within his department also are unusual. He has chaired the clinical psychology area for many years, a complex and time-consuming task that oversees the academic and clinical training of students, co-coordinates the graduate and undergraduate teaching schedule, shepherds admissions and faculty recruitment, and works with psychology outpatient clinics where students receive training. He has also served nationally on review panels, editorial boards, and society committees and has been a visiting professor at several other universities.
Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award,George Steinmetz
A nationally recognized leader in historical and cultural sociology, George Steinmetz, professor of sociology and Germanic languages and literatures, has built a brilliant career both in the discipline of sociology and as a leading architect of cross-disciplinary exchange. One of the most forceful sociologists of his generation, he also is a dedicated, hard-working, and talented teacher and mentor, as well as a highly valued colleague.
With his first book, "Regulating the Social," Steinmetz earned a reputation as one of the discipline's most creative and original social theorists. This book shows a highly sophisticated sociologist commanding the relevant conceptual and comparative literatures who has simultaneously done original historical research satisfying the highest expectations of that second discipline. His book is the first systematic and most thoroughly researched general history of welfare provision and social policy in Germany before 1914; it also challenges the broader assumptions about German peculiarities.
Steinmetz's second book, "The Devil's Handwriting" (2007), has been called "the best investigation of colonial practices yet produced." Winner of the 2008 award for the best book in Cultural Sociology, awarded by the American Sociological Association, this book is a "breathtaking work of scholarship" that advances a theoretical synthesis and points to a new framework for integrating materialist and cultural approaches to colonialism and state theory more generally. In it, he engages the ways in which imperial projects shape and inevitably distort understanding of subaltern populations and the resulting colonial strategies of incorporation.
In addition to these two important books, Steinmetz has published dozens of articles on a wide range of topics, as well as producing two influential edited volumes, "The Politics of Methods in the Human Sciences" and "State Culture," and a widely discussed documentary film, "Detroit: The Ruin of a City," which has been screened worldwide.
During his years at U-M, Steinmetz has likewise built up an impressive record of teaching and mentoring. His first-year seminars have sparked the interest of new undergraduates in exploring the intersection of social science and history. He has taught a number of very challenging graduate courses, supervised countless doctoral dissertations, and served on more than 40 dissertation committees.
Faculty Recognition Award, Theodore Goodson, III
One of the stars in the fields of physical and materials chemistry, Theodore Goodson, professor of chemistry, applied physics and macromolecular science and engineering, is a leading pioneer in the optical studies of molecular materials. He has developed an international reputation for his ground-breaking research on novel organic materials for optical and electronic applications, especially using non-linear ultrafast spectroscopy techniques.
Goodson's research program combines the development of state-of-the-art laser techniques with novel applications to important problems of chemical and biological interest. His research team comprises a diverse group of individuals in the area of chemistry, physics and engineering. While he has done a large amount of work in other important areas, he has made the biggest impact in the use of new techniques to examine energy transfer and migration processes important to the capture and transfer of energy in artificial systems.
Goodson has made experimental discoveries that are very important conceptually. These discoveries were the result of a systematic program of research well thought out and meticulously carried out. The importance of these discoveries is evidenced by the number of research agencies that have supported his work.
An impressive publication record, with some 75 papers to his credit, is another indication of Goodson's contributions. For his work, he has won a number of prestigious awards, including an NSF CAREER Award (2002), an Army Young Investigator Award, a Sloan Fellowship and a Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award. He was selected as senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry and appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of American Chemical Society.
A leader in undergraduate physical chemistry education, Goodson has been a mentor for undergraduates and graduate students in his research laboratory. His enthusiasm and creativity have encouraged students to pursue careers in science and medicine. He also has recruited students from diverse backgrounds into the chemistry, applied physics and macromolecular engineering graduate programs.
For the last nine years Goodson has mentored Detroit Public High School students who participate in research and college prep enrichment summer training. For his work on this productive program he was awarded the American Chemical Society Award for Minority Development (2007). He also has played many important roles in the Department of Chemistry, including serving on the department's executive committee.
Faculty Recognition Award, Marios Papaefthymiou
A "world-class scholar who has achieved international stature," Marios Papaefthymiou, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, has been conducting pioneering research for reducing the energy consumption of computer chips, which have been identified as the fastest-growing source of energy consumption in the Western Hemisphere. With excellent external funding, he has built a vigorous research group. He also has been a successful teacher of large undergraduate and graduate courses. He has, furthermore, made significant service contributions to the University, notably serving as director of the Advanced Computer Architecture Laboratory, one of the nation's top centers for computer design research.
A central theme of Papaefthymiou's research has been the exploration of novel energy-efficient computer chips. His investigations have focused on innovative circuit architectures that rely on resonance to recycle energy and achieve ultra-low energy consumption. Among other contributions, his research has resulted in the first-ever adiabatic circuits that operate with a single clock phase and minimal overheads at GHz operating frequencies, as well as the first-ever methodologies and software tools for automating the design of energy-recovering computer chips.
Papaefthymiou's research accomplishments have been recognized by award winning research papers and prototype chips and have resulted in issued and pending U.S. and international patents. He has an outstanding reputation in the field for the quality of his published work and has garnered more than $3 million in external funding from government and industry. To facilitate the transfer of his energy-efficient computer design technology to the commercial world, Papaefthymiou founded Cyclos Semiconductor, an award-winning startup company launched with financing from Silicon Valley-based venture capital firms, strategic investors and U.S. Government awards.
Papaefthymiou has taught a broad range of undergraduate and graduate core courses on computer design and has taught more than 1,800 students in the junior-level course on computer organization. His students admire his outstanding skills, presentations, and his ability to reach students at all levels. He also has been a caring mentor of students as they launch their own careers.
On the service front, Papaefthymiou consistently accepts leading positions in the organization of professional meetings and serves on editorial boards and program committees in his fields.
Faculty Recognition Award, Michael Solomon
Researcher and scholar Michael Solomon, associate professor of chemical engineering and macromolecular science and engineering, is known as a passionate teacher and mentor and a cherished colleague. He has established a world-recognized laboratory for the study of complex fluids and is one of the leaders of a new generation of chemical engineering faculty who are using advances on confocal microscopy, as well as other state-of-the-art methods in scattering, to reveal the microstructure and dynamics of colloidal materials in real space.
Solomon has made pivotal contributions to both the science and technology of colloids and soft materials. His accomplishments include answering 40-year-old scientific puzzles, providing unexpected mechanistic explanations for commonly observed phenomena and overcoming technological barriers that frustrate commercialization of new products. He has been a pioneer in the application of the life science method of confocal microscopy to address research problems in chemical engineering and materials science. By this advanced experimental method, Solomon has made key fundamental discoveries about how the structure of soft matter responds to applied fields such as flow.
Recognition for Solomon's scholarly research has included invitations to deliver keynote lectures at international meetings and articles published in premier journals. Since 1996 he has published 44 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited more than 750 times. In addition to receiving the College of Engineering's 1938E Award and 3M's Non-tenured Faculty Award, he has received the Henry Russel Award and the NSF CAREER Award.
Solomon has promoted student learning through an active teaching style that directly engages individual students, even in large lectures. He has developed new core and elective course content that incorporates the tools of statistical analysis and molecular stimulation. His effective teaching style was acknowledged by his receipt of the 2006 ASEE Outstanding Professor of the Year Award. Many students have called him "the best teacher I've ever had." His success in graduate student mentoring is evidenced by his students' postgraduate placement. Of his 13 doctoral students, eight have joined companies or start-ups, two are pursuing post-doctoral fellowships, and three are currently assistant professors at U.S. or international universities.
Faculty Recognition Award, Nancy Songer
Nancy Butler Songer, professor of science education and learning technologies, has built a distinguished program of research that addresses some of the most difficult problems involved in improving science learning.
Songer has established a research program that combines curriculum design, classroom research, and assessment design to study the systemic nature of science learning. She focuses on how technologies can contribute to the improvement of science learning outcomes in challenging school contexts.
In Kids as Global Scientists, funded by NSF in 1992, she explored how students' use of technology can help them understand atmospheric science. Her BioKids project, funded under the Interagency Education Research Initiative in 2001, involved five years of research in an urban school district to coordinate design of curriculum materials that use modern technologies with instruction to improve middle-school student learning of complex science topics. The DeepThink project, funded by NSF in 2006, investigates effective curricular progressions in science. All of her work merges good science with sensitive attention to young students' learning.
Songer has published more than 60 articles and chapters and designed 12 different curriculum units and inquiry-based software tools. She has given more than 200 presentations on her research, all over the United States and world. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, U.S. News and World Report, the Wall Street Journal and Education Week. In 2006 she was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2000 she was selected by the U.S. Secretary of Education for the Promising Educational Technology Award. In 1995 she received an NSF Career Research Award and was selected from among the recipients for the Presidential Faculty Award as the first science educator to receive this recognition.
Songer also has excelled in teaching and mentoring. Her success as a teacher was first noticed by the award she received from the University of California, Berkeley, as Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor, and in recent years by high student evaluations and glowing testimonials. She has directed 15 dissertations and served on 20 additional doctoral committees, and her mentorship continues as these students move into careers.
Faculty Recognition Award, Anna Stefanopoulou
Anna Stefanopoulou, professor of mechanical engineering, has distinguished herself as the leading researcher in the country in the emerging area of fuel cell vehicle control systems. Her research results have appeared in prestigious journals and attracted mass media attention while also influencing the design strategies of automotive manufacturers. Her performance in the classroom is exemplary and includes transfer of research results into curricular renewal in both undergraduate and graduate courses.
Stefanopoulou's research has addressed the complex automation required in advanced internal combustion engines, fuel cell power systems and fuel processing for hydrogen generation. Her work outlines the energy and power path that we may follow in the next few decades as we transition to new forms of mobility power. She uses mathematical models for the analysis, optimization, control and diagnostics of these complex power systems, combining experimental and theoretical techniques to assess the behavior of new configurations and guide the design of new power system concepts. Working from scratch, she established the Fuel Cell Control Laboratory, the first of its kind dedicated to control development for fuel-cell power systems.
Stefanopoulou boasts eight awarded patents, many invited keynote and plenary lectures, an impressive range of awards, and a high level of funding earned in a highly competitive field. Her recent book, "Control of Fuel Cell Power Systems," has received considerable attention, and her many accolades include selection as the 2005 Outstanding Young Investigator by the Dynamic Systems and Control Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), election to the rank of ASME Fellow, and selection in 2002 as an MIT Technology Review Young Innovator.
Stefanopoulou has enhanced student understanding of abstract mathematical material. At the graduate level, she developed a new course on powertrain control. She has mentored and trained an impressive team of mechanical, electrical, marine and environmental engineering students. Her efforts were recognized by her students and peers in two awards, the 2003 Mechanical Engineering Teaching Incentive Fund Award and the 2005 Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award in Mechanical Engineering.
Stefanopoulou actively participates in four international professional organizations, 12 review/referee boards and seven U-M committees.
University Undergraduate Teaching Award, Sara Blair
During her decade of work with undergraduate students at U-M, Sara Blair, professor of English language and literature, has established a record of imaginative teaching, inspiring mentorship and innovative curricular development. She has played a central role in the educational experience of hundreds of students who have taken her classes, sought her advice, and benefited from her guidance, knowledge, and enthusiasm.
Blair has taught a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate courses in 19th- and 20th-century British and American fiction, photography and visual culture, Jewish culture, and women writers. Her choices in the literature she teaches reflect the idea of America as a melting pot of various histories, ethnicities and experiences. She also is a faculty associate in American Culture and Judaic Studies.
Blair has been praised for her enthusiasm and her encouragement for students to think independently and trust their own abilities. A former student says, "Professor Blair's unique promise to undergraduates (is that) she allows young minds to develop and consider their own ideas about literature, writing, and the living world outside novels. Her influence encouraged me to expand my comfort zone in order to engage new experiences, explore the unknown, and continue to challenge myself in the beginning of my post-graduate life."
Blair brings energy and enthusiasm to her work, and she gives unusual attention to students' compositions. She always challenges her students with new material and ideas, and the reach of her courses includes art forms other than literature.
Blair has taught many classes that provide close mentoring of English honors students as they draft, rewrite, complete and present their senior-year honors theses. Students note the close and careful attention she gives to every step involved in producing a thesis.
As director of the English Honors Program from 2000-05, Blair was instrumental in refining the program, honing the thesis-supervision process, and working to keep honors courses excellent, while supervising many honors theses.
University Undergraduate Teaching Award, Joseph Trumpey
Joseph Trumpey, associate professor of art and director of international engagement at the School of Art & Design (A&D), is a dedicated educator, artist, and advocate who inspires his students to reach beyond the classroom to embrace and engage with the natural world. He joined A&D in 1994 after having served as chief science illustrator for "Grizmek's Animal Life Encyclopedia," one of the world's most renowned encyclopedias.
Eleven years ago Trumpey launched an extension of "plein air" drawing that has become an enormous success. He brings a group of students to a biologically significant setting to draw and experience firsthand the creatures, landscape and sense of place unique to that location. He has taken groups to 10 countries, including world heritage sites, national parks, national monuments and national wildlife refuges. Students on these trips have identified more than 1,500 species of flora and fauna and produced an extraordinary body of work. Approximately 160 undergraduates have now had an opportunity to better understand issues affecting the environment in locations around the world.
Students are enthusiastic about this innovative program's impact on their lives. One student described her experience this way: "I could fill an entire notebook with the ways in which Joe Trumpey has influenced me, not only as an artist but also as a person. He opened my eyes to the world, quite literally, with his field-sketching classes. I had the privilege of going on three Eco-Explorers trips, which changed my direction in life. I learned observational skills while being immersed in unique atmospheres, be it in a Cypress Forest in the Everglades, a Zulu homestead, or a kiva on the Navajo Nation. They were the most incredible classes I have ever taken."
Trumpey has incorporated an innovative aspect into Eco-Explorers by linking the field trips to elementary schools in Michigan via Internet communications. Thousands of school children have received reports from, and communicated with, U-M students as they worked in remote locations.
Trumpey also has expanded the science illustration program to include a cluster of courses centered on ecology. His strong mentoring skills and commitment to enabling students to broaden their horizons made him a natural choice to serve as the school's director of international engagement.
University of Michigan Press Book Award, Chun-shu Chang
Chun-shu Chang, professor of history, won this award for his two-volume history of early imperial China, "The Rise of the Chinese Empire." Chang has authored more than 25 books and monographs and 65 articles, and received numerous scholarly honors and awards, including the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 1998 and the Warner G. Rice Award. This work is part of his 10-volume new history of the Chinese Empire.
In "The Rise of the Chinese Empire," Chang "argues from literary and archaeological records that empire, modeled on Han paradigms, has largely defined Chinese civilization ever since." The second and first centuries B.C. were a critical period in Chinese history, but for almost 2,000 years, because of gaps in the available records, this essential chapter in the history was missing. Fortunately, with the discovery during the last century of about 60,000 Han-period documents in Central Asia and Western China, scholars have been able to put together many of the missing pieces. Chang's study is "a true landmark in Han historical studies," says Nicola Di Cosmo of Princeton.
In the first volume of his monumental history, subtitled "Nation, State and Imperialism in Early China, ca 1600 B.C.-A.D. 8," Chang uses these newfound documents to analyze the ways in which political, institutional, social, economic, military, religious and thought systems developed and changed in the critical period from early China to the Han empire.
In the second volume, subtitled "Frontier, Immigration, and Empire in Han China, 130 B.C-A.D. 157," Chang provides the first systematic reconstruction of the history of the acquisitions and colonization undertaken by the Chinese empire. His comprehensive reconstruction of ancient and early Imperial Chinese history, based on literary, archaeological and recently discovered ancient texts and classics, reveals the process and mechanics of the Han frontier development through an innovative and complex system of colonization, the core mechanics of the Han empire-building enterprise.
Chang has made available an important body of evidence and scholarship that has heretofore been inaccessible to English readers. His writing "will remain for many decades a standard source" for the study of the Chinese empire.
University of Michigan Press Book Award, Rudi Lindner
Rudi Paul Lindner, professor of history, won this award for his latest book, "Explorations in Ottoman Prehistory" (2007), the first book in more than 60 years to reassess the beginnings of the greatest empire in Near Eastern history. Lindner has worked in the history of the Mongols, the historiography of medieval Europe, and the history of astrophysics and cosmology. Forthcoming this year are chapters for "The Cambridge History of Turkey and The Cambridge History of Warfare" and a study of U-M and Harvard observatories in Africa. He has written and lectured widely in all these fields, and he received Fulbright and other fellowships for research in Italy, Turkey and Israel. He has refereed manuscripts and grant applications in the fields of history and astrophysics.
The origins of the Ottomans, whose enterprise ruled much of the Near East for more than half a millennium, have long tantalized and eluded scholars. While the later history of the Ottomans has become better known, the foundation years have proved an alluring puzzle. Lindner discovered new sources, cast a critical eye on the older ones, and allowed the evidence to elbow aside the words of previous authorities.
Lindner also developed formerly unutilized geographic data and unknown monetary evidence. He looked at the context in which the Ottomans appeared: Greek, Mongol, Persian and pastoral. By investigating who the Ottomans were, where they came from, and where they settled and why, as well as what sort of relationships they had with their neighbors in the late 13th and early 14th centuries, Lindner makes an engaging contribution to an otherwise very small store of knowledge of early Ottoman history.
The reviews of this book have been full of praise, for content, method and for prose style. The most recent review, from a senior British scholar in an international journal, states that this book will be the starting point for all future work on this crucial era of Islamic history.
Lindner has made major additions to the world's small store of knowledge of the early Ottomans and, more important, to the ways of studying the origins of great empires.
Distinguished Faculty Governance Award, Semyon Meerkov
Semyon Meerkov, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, served on the Senate Assembly from September 2003-May 2006 and on SACUA from May 2004-April 2007. During this time he was active and effective in several areas.
Meerkov was the driving force behind annual faculty evaluations of administrators. Despite initial opposition, he orchestrated a full senate meeting with a 100-member quorum, got approval of the creation of the senate committee and instituted the first evaluations. He was instrumental in the successful motion to create a committee to set up and run the evaluations, which now have become almost institutionalized. Last fall they took place for the fourth time, with more than 1,000 faculty members participating.
Meerkov also was influential in a task force on unit-shared governance. This effort began when an executive committee conducted an election but the person receiving the largest number of votes was not selected by the administration to serve on the committee. The unit-shared governance task force produced a report that resulted in changes in the College of Engineering (CoE) rules for election to the executive committee, enhancing the faculty's role in the selection. He also served on a task force on Universitywide shared governance that worked with the provost. The task force's report was recently approved by the Senate Assembly and the University administration.
A third contribution was his initiation of a faculty fund for need-based scholarships. The fund now is in place and Meerkov serves on the fundraising committee.
Meerkov has been a leader within a group of faculty from CoE and LSA that works to develop the Pre-college Academy. The idea is for faculty members to teach math and physics courses that will prepare high school students from low-income families for admission to and success in the best universities in the country. A pilot program of this initiative has been implemented at Pioneer High School in Ann Arbor.
Regents' Award for Distinguished Public Service, Barbara Anderson
Barbara Anderson, professor of sociology and research professor at the Population Studies Center, is one of the country's most accomplished social demographers. In approaching public service, she consciously has avoided the spotlight, choosing instead the more challenging route of building capacity within organizations to conduct their own analyses, using the tools of demographic methods that she has provided through careful and patient training.
"Hard work well done and with lasting impact: that's the essence of public service." Anderson does such work "regularly and effectively," says a colleague, and each time, she brings credit to U-M. She exemplifies the role faculty members can play in using their expertise to assist communities. In the late 1990s she worked as a consultant to the Ann Arbor School Board, where she served on the Demographic Committee, conducting analyses that could inform decisions regarding school closing, new construction, and re-drawing boundaries for elementary and middle schools.
Anderson also has made lasting public service contributions to Estonia, South Africa and China. She became a high-level advisor for the Estonian National Family and Fertility Survey, and she is credited with laying "the basis for the emergence of modern survey statistics in the country." At the invitation of the Estonian government, she attended the United Nations 1993 European Population Conference in Geneva, where she successfully advocated for financial support to build capacity for micro-data analysis within Estonia. In recognition of her valued service, she was awarded a certificate of honor from the Estonian Secretary of State.
Anderson also consulted with the Deputy Head of the Chinese Census about problems with census data from the northwest province of Xinjiang and she trained researchers to analyze micro-data at the Capital University of Economics and Business in Beijing. She also helped establish the Population Institute of Tibet University.
Her current research and public service work is based mainly in South Africa. One of her former students now is executive manager of demographic and social analysis for Statistics South Africa, and in recent years she has consulted with the organization on a number of issues, especially on the impact of the HIV epidemic on adult mortality and orphans in South Africa.
University Librarian Achievement Award, Traianos Gagos
The tenure of Traianos Gagos, professor of papyrology and Greek, and assistant research scientist, as archivist in charge of the University Library Papyrology Collection has been a period of notable achievement for the collection and has greatly expanded its study and use locally, nationally and internationally. Gagos has broken new ground in the use of information technologies for the study of ancient documents. Among the international community of papyrologists, Gagos is known both as a leader and an outstanding scholar.
Gagos has opened up the Papyrology Collection for study, teaching, and research, greatly increasing its value as a resource for the University, and he has made extensive use of the collection in his own teaching via student projects. He also has encouraged faculty from various departments to use the collection for their teaching and research. He also makes the collection available to groups from other nearby universities and the local communities, allowing for frequent tours and for local institutions to loan materials.
As archivist in charge of one of the largest collections of ancient papyri in the world, Gagos facilitates the research and study of these documents by scholars and researchers from all over the world. He is known for his work in making the collection accessible online and for his assistance in bringing together researchers with appropriate and useful papyri; indeed, few scholars in the field will embark on a new project involving papyri without consulting Gagos about relevant material in his charge. His development of the University Library's Papyrology Collection Web site has become a leading resource for scholars and teachers around the world. Gagos's plays a pivotal role in the Advanced Papyrological Information System, a multi-institution international database that allows the user to study papyri from collections all over the world.
Furthermore, Gagos is responsible for assembling and maintaining the reference collection of books housed in the Hatcher Graduate Library. This has involved keeping abreast of an enormous amount of secondary literature to allow papyri to be studied along with all necessary reference works. Thanks to Gagos's ongoing efforts, the University is one of the best places in the world to study ancient papyri.
University Librarian Recognition Award, Donna Hayward
Donna Hayward, information studies librarian, has been an active and effective leader within the Graduate Library. She has actively participated at a national level in the American Library Association and the Association of College and Research Libraries. Her leadership skills and creativity are evident throughout all levels of the library.
As supervisor of School of Information University Library Associates, Hayward is an enthusiastic mentor, meeting weekly with students and encouraging them in their goals and projects. As coordinator of the Graduate Library Information and Reference Center, she also provides reference training for all School of Information student assistants.
As library liaison to the School of Information, she has been active in creating new ways to connect with faculty members, staff and students. She implemented a series of applied research and technology workshops for students, established an annual fall reception for students and faculty to meet with librarians, and provides bibliographic and other instruction for classes.
Hayward has made efforts to upgrade the juvenile literature collection. When she took over the collection, she undertook a needs assessment of groups on campus and embarked on an overhaul. She took all users' needs into account and built a collection that reflects more closely the diversity of race, culture, ability, sexuality and gender preferences in society.
Hayward has been involved in exploring the use of Library 2.0 technologies within the University Library. Together with a team of colleagues, she carried out a Flickr exhibit on banned books, drawing attention to the issue of freedom of expression. She has been available as a resource to many of her colleagues in the use of new media to facilitate communication between the library and the public, as well as between library staff, and drew attention to the University as an innovator in the Web2.0 environment.
As an elected member, Hayward just completed service on the Librarians' Forum Executive Board, where she was a key advocate, organizer and champion for a new staff development program called SkillShare that paired library staff members from different areas, enabling them to learn about other parts of the library.
Collegiate Research Professorship Award, Douglas Lawrence Miller
Innovative research and a vast array of publications have made Douglas Miller, research professor of radiology at the Medical School, the world authority on the bio-effects of ultrasound in tissues containing microbubbles. Among his 125 publications in peer-reviewed journals and 41 in other journals, books, and proceedings are many that have broken new ground in understanding the effects and mechanisms of ultrasonic and electromagnetic waves in biological systems.
Three decades ago, when Miller was beginning his research career, ultrasound was firmly established as an effective form of diathermy, but little was known about non-thermal mechanisms of interaction of ultrasound with biological materials. He produced some of the earliest and most innovative physical, biological and mathematical models for revealing the effects of endogenous microscopic gas bubbles and other natural gas bodies in lungs, intestines and other organs and biological systems.
Ultrasound studies constitute the majority of medical imaging examination worldwide, and its therapeutic use now is expanding rapidly. The use of ultrasound may be approaching a time of wide dissemination as a precisely targetable, minimally invasive therapeutic modality. It may even allow bloodless, infection-free surgery in situations where surgery could not otherwise be performed. Miller's work has contributed heavily to standards directed toward safety of both diagnostic and therapeutic ultrasound. In the National Council for Radiation Protection and Measurements, he was an active contributing member of the committee that created authoritative documents in diagnostic ultrasound safety.
Although his most important contributions have been in biomedical ultrasound, during the 1990s, Miller also had a significant impact on the biophysics of the effects of magnetic and electric fields. One of his more recent investigations deals with sonoporation, an application of ultrasound involving contrast agents, in which cells are made reversibly permeable so that large molecules of interest can be inserted into them.
Miller also has made major contributions to the American Institute of Ultrasound and Medicine (AIUM) and to the World Federation of Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology. In 1988 he was awarded fellowship status in the AIUM, and in 2006 he was the recipient of the Joseph H. Holmes Basic Science Pioneer Award.
Research Faculty Achievement Award, Gabor Toth
Recognized as one of the world's experts in developing techniques to model both astrophysical phenomena and space environments, Gabor Toth, research scientist in the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, has made outstanding contributions to space science research. The innovative techniques developed under his leadership have advanced progress in space weather research and led to a number of revolutionary results that are crucial to modern understanding of key processes in magnetospheric dynamics. He is the creator of two highly praised and widely used numerical tools: the Versatile Advection Code (VAC) and the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF), of which he is chief architect.
The VAC is a "happy marriage" of the very best schemes for fluids and plasmas with impressive software development. It has been used successfully by dozens of scientists around the world for simulating and analyzing solar and astrophysical plasma dynamics. The second instrument Toth developed, the SWMF, is the first of its kind to allow full sun-to-thermosphere simulations of the space environment. It is a software framework for taking diverse physics models of the space environment and combining them into a single operational unit. The SWMF, which is used at several universities and institutes, is regularly utilized to link models of the solar corona, Earth's magnetosphere and Earth's upper atmosphere to study the sun's affect on the planet, a process known as "space weather."
In addition to his work on the SWMF, Toth has created and implemented new techniques that make modeling the space environment possible. These contributions include his paper on controlling divergence of the magnetic field in magnetohydrodynamics, now considered a seminal paper on the topic, and his development of an implicit time-stepping algorithm. Without this technique it would be impossible to make simulations of the magnetospheres of Saturn and Jupiter. His creation of this algorithm has indirectly led to major discoveries about the behavior of these environments.
Research Faculty Recognition Award, Jimmy Irwin
Jimmy Irwin, assistant research scientist in the Department of Astronomy, is one of the world's experts on X-ray emission from elliptical galaxies and from clusters of galaxies. At an early stage of his career, he has impressed fellow scientists with the quality of his work, his deep passion for that work and his accomplishments as a researcher.
After graduate school at the University of Virginia, Irwin became a Chandra Fellow at U-M. Since then he has written many successful X-ray-observing proposals and created a self-sustaining research enterprise, complete with his own postdoc and undergraduate students. He has been successful in obtaining highly competitive time in missions that are oversubscribed, and in gaining research funding from agencies that operate a wide range of high-energy astrophysics satellites. He raised more than $1 million in grants, including a prestigious Long Term Space Astrophysics NASA grant for almost $600,000.
Irwin's research principally involves work in the field of high energy astrophysics, ranging from studies of transient X-ray sources, to the properties of diffuse hot gas surrounding individual galaxies, and to the properties of intermediate and low-mass black holes.
Over the years that Irwin has been at the University, he has given a number of talks, both formal and informal. His recent work on the extra-cluster origin of low-mass X-ray sources was called "a textbook example of defining, studying, and analyzing a sample and drawing sound conclusions from the results."
This work points to a more complex range of origins or a more complicated dynamical evolution (or both) than the simple idea that all such systems are born exclusively in ultra-high stellar density environments. "What struck me," says a professor of astronomy, "was the clarity of his exposition of his work and the utter confidence he inspired in me of the basic soundness of his conclusions."
Irwin works well with students, as with colleagues, and has collaborated with a student on work that led to a published paper in the Astrophysical Journal. Organized and well prepared in all he does, he is also known as a caring, kind, and modest person.
Research Faculty Recognition Award, Vinay Parikh
Vinay Parikh, assistant research scientist in the Department of Psychology, has research achievements in the field of neuropharmacology and neuroscience of outstanding quality and exceptional significance. His research addresses cutting-edge questions about the neuronal mechanisms supporting high-level cognitive functions. The findings generated by his research are of immediate relevance to an understanding of the brain mechanisms underlying the cognitive symptoms of brain disorders, including schizophrenia and age-related dementia.
The development of therapeutic strategies designed to restore cognitive function in individuals with brain disorders requires first that the brain mechanisms responsible for these disorders be identified. In his research, Parikh employs diverse and multidisciplinary approaches to combine molecular, cellular, neurochemical, psychopharmacological and sophisticated behavioral methods in order to determine how neurochemical messengers initiate and orchestrate cognitive operations in the brain. To better understand how these signaling molecules mediate the processing of attentional information, he has developed a novel electrochemical method to measure neurotransmitter release in the brain in real time. This research involves enormous technical and experimental challenges, and thus far, he is the only researcher who has managed to develop this new electrochemical sensing technique for use in cognitive neuroscience.
A neuroscientist who successfully combines clinical with basic research interests, Parikh also made original and important contributions concerning the brain systems underlying the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. For example, he demonstrated that the beneficial cognitive effects resulting from the treatment of patients with certain antipsychotic drugs are associated with effects on the regulation of brain molecules termed "neurotrophic factors." He also found that schizophrenic patients exhibit neurotrophic factors in the brain and that treatment with drugs improved patients' cognitive abilities, in part by restoring normal levels of these brain factors.
Parikh, who serves as co-investigator on two NIH grants, received widespread recognition for his research. His list of publications is impressive, and his work has been cited by scientists across the world. He has received several research awards, including the prestigious Young Investigator Award by the International Congress of Schizophrenia Research in 2003 and the Rafaelson Young Investigator Award of the Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum (CINP) in 2006.