The University Record, April 8, 1998


Neel recognized for lifetime achievement in genetics

James Van Gundia Neel, professor emeritus of human genetics and of internal medicine, has received the 1998 March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in the field of genetic sciences.

Neel has conducted investigative work in genetics for 60 years, yielding far-reaching research in neurofibromatosis, sickle cell disease, medical population genetics, the effects of atomic radiation and consanguinity. He first became famous for his studies of the effects of radiation on survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1962, Neel originated the 'thrifty gene' theory that obesity is a major risk factor in the development of diabetes. Neel also developed a new type of genetic analysis that suggests that the first Americans descended from a small band of Asian explorers who migrated across the Bering land bridge 30,000 years ago.

Neel has been with the Medical School for nearly 40 years.

Ahronheim wins ALA Piercy Award

Judy Ahronheim, senior associate librarian, Library Technical Services, and head of the Library's Original Cataloging Unit, has been selected as the winner of the American Library Association's (ALA) 1998 Esther J. Piercy Award. The award recognizes excellence in technical services leadership.

Ahronheim was cited for the enormous impact she has had on both her unit and on the Library since she became head of original cataloging in 1992. She was recognized for her expert computing skills, outstanding ability as an agent for technology transfer and her redefinition of cataloging to include broad areas of information organization.

Skivington receives Wyatt Award

Kristen Skivington, director of the U-M Flint Center for University Outreach, received the Dorthea Wyatt Award at the final event of U-M-Flint's Women's History Month in March. Skivington, who is also executive assistant to the chancellor and who holds a faculty appointment in the School of Management (SOM), received the award for her work in the community and on behalf of women.

Skivington joined Flint in 1986 as an assistant professor of management and director of SOM graduate programs. In addition, she serves or has served on the board of the Shelter of Flint, the YWCA of Greater Flint, McLaren Regional Medical Center, the Community Coalition, and the Metro Housing Partnership. She is also the co-chair of the annual NBD-UM-Flint Business Women's Conference.

The Dorthea Wyatt Award has been given annually since 1989 to a woman staff or faculty member who exemplifies involvement in programs that improve the status of women. The award is named for the U-M-Flint's first counselor to women, who also was secretary to the faculty and a professor and chair in the history department.