The University Record, March 15, 1993

2 faculty members, 2 students honored by MAGB

By Rebecca A. Doyle

Two faculty members and two students from the U-M will be honored at the Michigan Association of Governing Boards of Higher Education Convocation April 7 in East Lansing. The awards recognize distinguished faculty and outstanding students from each of Michigan’s 15 four-year public universities.

Mary L. Brake, associate professor of nuclear engineering, “is a dedicated teacher who has made major contributions to laboratory course development,” said Erdogan Gulari, senior associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering, who nominated her for the award. “Working with students on an individual basis is an area in which Dr. Brake is especially effective, and she is an excellent counselor at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

Brake has attained a national reputation in research as a plasma spectroscopist and her work has been applied to plasma processing, microwave plasmas and electron-beam pumped lasers.

“Much of her work has required the design and construction of first-of-it’s-kind equipment,” continued Gulari. “Dr. Brake has built on her strong background in both engineering and physics to bring a unique capability to her research laboratory.”

Leroy B. Townsend, the Albert B. Prescott Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, “is a distinguished scientist and teacher and is world-renowned in the field of cancer research,” said Ara G. Paul, dean of the College of Pharmacy, in nominating Townsend for the award. “He has synthesized a significant number of compounds that show promise and has one currently in phase II of clinical trials. In the field of viral diseases, Dr. Townsend has made significant contributions to the treatment of herpes and AIDS.”

Townsend has developed a new drug to treat filariasis, a parasitic disease prevalent in Third World countries. The drug will be distributed by the World Health Organization.

“To have spanned the study of such diversity of diseases and to have developed promising therapeutic agents in each of these areas is a highly unusual and exceptional accomplishment for one scientist,” noted Paul. “But in addition, the 44 Ph.D. students and 26 postdoctoral fellows who have studied with Dr. Townsend have gone on to make significant contributions in their own right in the field of new therapeutic agents.”

Jonathan Rodden, a senior majoring in political science, “has the sort of inquisitive, eclectic mind that chafes against disciplinary boundaries,” noted Liina Wallin, associate director of the LS&A Honors Program. “His expertise as a clarinetist, his love of literature, his facility in German and his predilection for social theory all inform his thinking as a political scientist interested in modernization and industrialization theory.”

Rodden’s activities include presidency of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honorary society; membership in Michigan Mortar Board; handling public relations for SWAT Hunger; serving as site coordinator for the 1990 Huron River Clean-up and participating in a variety of sports.

“Jon is presently engaged in an honors thesis analyzing the role of the Protestant Church in the East German protest movements of the 1980s, especially in Leipzig,” continued Wallin. “His instructors know enough of his remarkable powers of imagination, analysis and expression that they confidently expect the result to be extraordinary.”

Christina Galicia, a senior in chemical engineering, “has a passion for doing things well,” noted Maureen A. Hartford, vice president for student services, “and has spent the last four years as a model student at the University of Michigan by putting her passion to work.”

Galicia has worked to increase student involvement in campus governance by improving leadership opportunities for both the College of Engineering and the entire campus.

“She has been a key player in the development of the LeaderShape program and is a founding member of the Student Leader Board,” Hartford added. LeaderShape is a joint program between the College of Engineering and Hartford’s office that hones leadership skills in undergraduate students. Galicia also has served as the 1992 president of the Engineering Council and has been active in the Society of Women Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.