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August 2014 faculty and staff kudos

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Two faculty members in the College were named University Distinguished Professors this summer. Rolfe Mandel, university distinguished professor, holds appointments in the Department of Anthropology and the Kansas Geological Survey. Jorge Soberon, university distinguished professor, holds appointments in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and the Biodiversity Institute.

Alice Bean, professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, has been named a 2014-2015 Jefferson Science Fellow. Jefferson Science Fellows spend one year on assignment at the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development as science advisors on foreign policy issues. Bean was one of just 12 selected from institutions across the United States.

Kristin Bowman-James, university distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry, is a lead principal investigator for a partnership between Kansas and Nebraska researchers that received a three-year, $6 million award  from the National Science Foundation. The award will be split equally between the two states. The consortium is focused on understanding ultrafast molecular processes on the order of a millionth of a billionth second, or one femtosecond. Bowman-James is project director of Kansas NSF EPSCoR.

Jacob Dorman, assistant professor in the departments of American Studies and History, received the 2014 Albert J. Raboteau Prize for Best Book in Africana Religions for “Chosen People: The Rise of American Black Israelite Religions.” The award is given by the Journal of Africana Religions. The book was published by Oxford University Press.

Maryemma Graham, university distinguished professor in the Department of English, received funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to fund part two of a summer institute on reading and teaching African-American poetry. The next institute is called -- Don't Deny My Voice II: Black Poetry after the Black Arts Movement.

Leah Moelling, graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Geology, was selected as a recipient of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers Outstanding TA award. The award honors undergraduate and graduate students who have demonstrated excellence as teaching assistants.

David Nualart, Black-Babcock distinguished professor in the Department of Mathematics, was invited to give an Institute of Mathematical Statistics Medallion Lecture at the 37th Stochastic Processes and Their Applications Conference this summer.  Each year, the IMS Committee on Special Lectures invites eight individuals to deliver Medallion Lectures at IMS sponsored and co-sponsored meetings around the world.  Each lecturer receives a medallion in a brief ceremony preceding the lecture.

Donn Parson, professor in the Department of Communication Studies, will be awarded the Wallace A. Bacon lifetime teaching award this November at the National Communication Association's 100th Annual Convention. This award is the discipline's highest award for an entire teaching career.

A. Townsend Peterson, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, is the only KU researcher who has made the 2014 list of Highly Cited Researchers. More than 3,000 researchers earned the distinction by writing the greatest numbers of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers—ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

Shenqiang Ren, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, earned an Army Research Office Young Investigator Award grant to conduct research on cutting-edge photovoltaic technology intended to give American forces tactical advantages in the field. It is a three-year, $210,100 grant.

Holly Storkel, professor and chair in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing, has been named a fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. The status recognizes professional or scientific achievement and is given to a member who has shown outstanding contribution to the professions-contributions that are significant and would be so regarded within and beyond one's community or state.

Email clasnews@ku.edu about your or a colleague's awards, honors or distinctions to be included in the next College Kudos.