Teaching, service and research honored with 2012 LAS awards

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AMES, Iowa – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University is honoring 26 faculty and staff with awards for their accomplishments. The recipients will be recognized at the Fall Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty/Staff Convocation on Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, at 4 p.m. in the Sun Room, Memorial Union.

The event will also include a "State of the College" address by Dean Beate Schmittmann; introductions of new faculty and program directors; and recognition of promoted faculty and university award recipients. The event is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences award recipients and nomination information:

Excellence in Undergraduate Introductory Teaching – recognizes outstanding performance in teaching undergraduate introductory classes (defined as entry-level courses in the discipline).

• Steven M. Kautz, lecturer, Department of Computer Science. Kautz has a unique teaching style that allows him to instill the fun, satisfaction, and sense of accomplishment into his students. Many students consider Steve as one of the finest professors they ever had at ISU. He single-handedly designed Computer Science 104 and through this course is helping the department improve the retention rate.

• Erin Wilgenbusch, senior lecturer, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Wilgenbusch is one of Greenlee’s most valued professionals in residence who has taught thousands of students since 2002 in public relations and mass communication introductory principles classes. Her teaching scores are among the highest in the Greenlee School. Her effectiveness as one of our most effective introductory teachers not only occurs in the classroom but also in her open-door office. She couples teaching and advising in such a way as to make lifelong friends of majors and non-majors alike, often inducting them into one of our largest student organizations, the Public Relations Student Society of America.

• Theresa Windus, professor, Department of Chemistry. Windus is a truly outstanding teacher in every sense of the word. She is highly motivated for her students to learn. She works tirelessly to make every class interesting and worthwhile, even for students who do not really understand why they are required to take a course in chemistry. She is articulate and prepares her lectures in a very clear and interesting manner. And, most importantly, she cares. Windus can energize the very brightest students, and at the same time exercise complete patience and understanding with weaker students who need more time to grasp difficult concepts.

Outstanding Achievement in Teaching – recognizes faculty members for outstanding teaching performances over an extended period of time in undergraduate education.

• Ulrike Genschel, assistant professor, Department of Statistics. Genschel has taught over 2,000 students a subject most of them assume to be painful and boring. Her impeccable organization, boundless enthusiasm, and tireless concern for students has earned their respect and appreciation. Faculty and graduate students who have worked with her, find her hardworking example an inspiration for their own careers and teaching. There is no doubt the Department of Statistics and Iowa State University benefit enormously from a teacher who can instruct large classes with such heart, but so too the students who still remember her 8 a.m. smiles and the two-sample t-test.

• Mark Redmond, associate professor, Department of English. Described by students as knowledgeable, innovative, respectful, and approachable, Redmond’s teaching style is highly interactive, and his courses are built upon the premise of developing students’ cognitive skills within the context of communication. Redmond co-developed the Communication Studies program, proposed and championed the major in Communication Studies, and served as the coordinator for 12 years. He created and taught four courses which became part of the core curriculum for Communication Studies, including Introduction to Interpersonal Communication, Communication Research Methods, Human Communication Theory, and the Senior Seminar. He is the author/co-author of four communication textbooks including an introductory interpersonal text in its sixth edition.

Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer – recognizes lecturers or senior lecturers for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time in undergraduate education.

• Susan Benner, senior lecturer, Department of English. Benner shows “excitement and vigor for her subject,” according to a student. She teaches six English courses for international students aiding in their confidence in reading, writing, and speaking English, which most likely increases the retention of ISU’s international student population. She also teaches a course for international teaching assistants, aiding their classroom performance, which affects hundreds of ISU undergraduate students. Recently she collaborated with the Horticulture department in teaching Spanish to horticulture students so they can work with Latino/a co-workers. She has made a significant impact on international students and on cultural influence at Iowa State.

• Ellen B. Pirro, lecturer, Department of Political Science. Pirro (Yale Ph.D.) has been teaching at Iowa State University since 2005. She regularly teaches entry level classes such as World Politics and Comparative Politics. Her upper division classes include: European Politics, International Organizations, International Law and American Foreign Policy. Her latest book is The European Union and the Member States. In addition, she is the author of numerous articles and convention papers. She regularly participates with students in European Union simulations.

Early Achievement in Research – recognizes faculty who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in research and/or artistic creativity unusually early in their professional careers.

• Gregory Oakes, assistant professor, Department of Music. With concert appearances throughout the US, in Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and Brazil, Oakes is an emerging presence in the clarinet world. His CD New Dialects featured revolutionary new performance techniques developed by Oakes in partnership with composer Ken Ueno, and received rave reviews in Fanfare and The American Record Guide. He has performed with the Minnesota and Colorado Orchestras, and in fall 2011 became the new Principal Clarinet of the Des Moines Symphony. He is a frequent soloist at national and international clarinet conferences, and has taught and performed at prestigious summer festivals both in the US and abroad.

• Wensheng Zhang, associate professor, Department of Computer Science. Zhang obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University in 2005. His primary area of research is wireless networks with specific focus on sustainability and security in wireless sensor networks. Zhang has made significant contributions in improving sustainability of wireless sensor networks, and protecting security and privacy in wireless sensor networks. The quality and impact of his work is widely recognized by the research community. Zhang has obtained over $1.7 million in external funding, including over $1.2 million in research grants from the National Science Foundation.

Mid-Career Achievement in Research – recognizes faculty members who have a national or international reputation for outstanding contributions in research and/or artistic creativity at the mid-career stage.

• Anne M. Bronikowski, associate professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Bronikowski is known worldwide as a leading expert in the evolution of biological aging. Her work at Iowa State has brought in nearly $1 million in external support, and has resulted in nearly 40 peer-reviewed publications that are highly cited in her field. She has directed the research of four postdocs, six graduate students, and 30 undergraduates, high-school students, and teachers. She also actively collaborates with others at Iowa State, and throughout the scientific community. Bronikowski is a valued member of Iowa State, and enhances our national and international reputations through her highly respected research program.

• Volker Hegelheimer, associate professor, Department of English. Hegelheimer’s research connects the two disciplines of technology and applied linguistics. He recently obtained a $1.2+ million federal grant from the Department of State to train English language professionals and develop materials for English language learners. His monograph, TESOL Technology Standards Framework, has become an indispensable resource for language-learning scholars. His articles have been published in leading journals, including CALICO Journal, CALL (Computer-Assisted Language Learning), and the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. The recipient of CALICO Journal’s 2007 “Outstanding Article Award,” Hegelheimer has been invited to speak at various universities in Germany and at conferences in Canada, Spain, Austria, Belgium and Finland.

• Xueyu Song, professor, Department of Chemistry. Song is not afraid of taking on hard problems that do not have quick solutions or an easy payoff. He is thoughtful and sincere. He is a scholar in the true sense of the word. Song is one of the rarest of theoreticians: he works on problems that are of real interest for experimentalists, and he actively seeks out collaborations with experimentalists. In so doing, he raises the level not only of his work but also that of his collaborators. He is an extremely precious asset for our Iowa State University.

Outstanding Career Achievement in Research – recognizes faculty members who have a national or international reputation for contributions in research and/or artistic creativity, and who have influenced the research activities of students.

• Amy Andreotti, professor, Roy J. Carver Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology. Andreotti is a brilliant biochemist/structural biologist who has received worldwide recognition for her consistently superlative contributions in the multidisciplinary arena of structural biology and molecular immunology. Andreotti’s contributions can be summed up by a statement from one of her peers: “Her work is exceptionally highly regarded in the field, as evidenced by her appointment as a standing member of the Cellular and Molecular Immunology-A NIH study section, and her invitation to present her work at numerous national and international conferences. In addition to her own studies, Andreotti has contributed to collaborative projects, several of which have resulted in publications in high impact journals such as Science. This latter point attests to the fact that Andreotti’s accomplishments have garnered her a position at the forefront of the field.”

• Dianne Helen Cook, professor, Department of Statistics. Cook has attained global recognition for her innovative applications of statistical and graphical methods. A Fellow of the American Statistical Association, her research spans disciplinary boundaries and is in demand well beyond the confines of the statistical profession proper. Cook provides invited talks at a stunningly large number of institutions of higher education and at other research institutions around the planet. The statistical community and researchers in many disciplines using statistical graphics owe a great debt for her research and the work of the students whom she has mentored into careers in academia, government, and industry.

• William Gutowski, professor, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Since joining the ISU meteorology faculty in 1991, Gutowski has published 73 papers in prestigious national and international journals on the regional and global climate system. Topics of these papers include the atmospheric water cycle, regional climate modeling, and multi-institutional climate research programs. Because of his contribution, he has been invited to be a contributing and lead author of the third, fourth, and fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Assessment Reports. His research efforts have brought ISU $5.5 million in research funds and recognition as a leading research institution in climate research. The fourth IPCC Assessment Report was a co-recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. Gutowski has supervised and completed 10 MS students and six PhDs, and three postdocs. All of his Ph.D. students and postdocs are employed by federal research labs or work as university faculty.

International Service – recognizes faculty members for outstanding international service in terms of teaching, research or administration, within the United States or abroad.

• Constance Post, associate professor, Department of English. Post has integrated teaching, research, and service in her international travels. She has coordinated ISU Study Abroad programs in the United Kingdom and China, taught in China and the Netherlands as a Fulbright lecturer, worked on ISU-sponsored projects in Ukraine, organized academic conferences in the UK and China, reviewed proposals for funding in the art and the humanities in the Republic of Georgia, and served as a referee for the journal of the Transatlantic Studies Association (UK). Her forthcoming book will focus on Isabel Brown Crook, an educational and anthropological leader and a recent nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Early Achievement in Academic Advising – recognizes ISU faculty or staff who have demonstrated outstanding performance in advising undergraduate students early in their professional careers.

• Lois E. Girton, academic adviser, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology. Girton has created, through her advising philosophy and many-faceted activities with undergraduate genetics and biology students, an academic environment for individual student growth and development toward their graduation and future goals. Through her prior research and teaching experiences, she has learned to communicate the importance of planning logical programs of study, inquiry, becoming involved in activities, and self-reliance. She has contributed her expertise to orientation programs, courses providing in-depth understanding of the fields of genetics and biology, and student seminars and informal gatherings. All of these involvements define Girton as a superior and dedicated academic adviser.

Professional & Scientific Excellence – recognizes and honors professional and scientific employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.

• Mark Mathison, teaching laboratory coordinator, Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Mathison is an indispensible member of the department. He is ingenious and innovative, with a work ethic that is unsurpassed. He keeps the departmental computer system and office and laboratory space in working order, and maintains a quarter-million-dollar mass spectrometer. He is manager of the Geology Field Station and was instrumental in its recent major renovation. He is a sought-after field participant in international research projects, in which he provides unparalleled technical savvy. Mathison is a true gem; without him the department could not successfully function.

Professional & Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award – recognizes and honors new professional and scientific employees who quickly have achieved excellence in their respective fields.

• Michelle Duncalf, administrative specialist, Ames Laboratory of U.S. Department of Energy. Duncalf is a creative, innovative, extremely hard working and responsible member of the ISU P&S staff. Duncalf has taken charge of every aspect of the complex operation of the Ames Laboratory Applied Mathematical Sciences program, as well as the ISU quantum chemistry programs, all with grace, efficiency and effectiveness. Duncalf is highly regarded and respected by her peers across the university, because she is both effective in her job and a delight to work with. She epitomizes the ideal in a staff person at Iowa State. As such, she sets a very high standard for her peers.

• Diana McLaughlin, administrative specialist, Department of Economics. McLaughlin has been in her current position of Administrative Specialist III for the Department of Economics since March 2009. Her creative and innovative ideas were instrumental in helping the department deal with recent staff cuts. She is an expert organizer who smoothly and effectively coordinates complex operations. As the supervisor of merit staff and the point-person in the interpretation and implementation of several departmental policies, she is scrupulously fair but firm in her decisions. Always eager to learn and implement new ways to do her job more effectively, McLaughlin will undoubtedly play a critical role in helping the department meet future challenges.

Professional & Scientific Award for Excellence in Information Technology – recognizes and honors P&S employees working in the filed of information technology who have demonstrated excellence in their position responsibilities.

• Sheng Ly, systems analyst, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Ly began work at the Greenlee School when he was a student in computer science, and so impressed the Greenlee School that they encouraged him to apply for a permanent position. He earned that along with continuing admiration and respect for all he has done in helping the Greenlee School make the necessary transition from old to new media in the digital age. Ly’s programming, critical thinking, interpersonal relationships with staff/faculty – coupled with his creative, innovative genius – make him a standout employee whose daily contributions are vital to our operations and accreditation. He not only alleviates stress solving IT issues, but also conducts a yoga class for our employees.

Merit Excellence – recognizes and honors Merit employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.

• Patricia Boone, secretary, Department of Chemistry. Boone is a highly valued Chemistry Department staff member and work colleague. She has worked in chemistry for seven of her 21 years at ISU. Originally a secretary for multiple professors (handling coursework, exams, travel arrangements, etc.), she recently assumed new responsibilities regarding the clerical duties associated with general and organic chemistry programs that serve literally thousands of students per year. She has also been essential in assisting the department during transitions with other personnel. She is skilled with a wide variety of professional software, exceptionally professional, and generous with her time.

• Ellen A. Olson, secretary, Department of Mathematics. Olson has been described as unfailingly accurate. This is a wonderful asset to have as she is the department coordinator for grants, travel expenses, final exams, teacher evaluation data, and keys. Olson handles situations with great insight and tact, and solutions are found that satisfy rules and regulations. Besides her regular duties, Olson is a "go to" person for the department. She has worked in the mathematics department from 1990 till the present. She knows how things used to be done, how they are done now, and where things are stored. She also has maintained and updated her computer skills so that she can handle assignments requiring the latest version of the software.

• Deanna Stumbo, secretary, Department of English. Stumbo is a vital part of the ISUComm Foundation Courses program, which affects every student at ISU, having daily contact with advisers, a large number of students, and a diverse teaching staff of TAs, lecturers, and faculty. Stumbo’s in-depth program and university knowledge, high communication and organization skills, and ability to take the initiative to propose process changes makes her an invaluable asset to ISU. Those who benefit from Stumbo’s extraordinary work are the undergraduate students, whom she helps with patience, professionalism, and efficiency.

Diversity Award – recognizes faculty and staff who have advanced the College’s vision for diversity through their teaching, scholarship, service, or campus-community outreach.

• Bonnie S. Bowen, adjunct assistant professor/ADVANCE executive director, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. The NSF-funded ADVANCE was at the center of the efforts to diversify the science, technology, engineering and mathematics faculty by transforming the conversation about hiring, retention and promotion of women and minority faculty. Not only has Bowen been the leader who kept ADVANCE productive on campus but she has helped to bring national recognition to ISU for innovation and effectiveness in enhancing diversity. All of her colleagues attribute this success to her passion for and personal touch with inspiring young women to pursue their careers.

Learning Community Leadership Award – recognizes faculty and staff members for outstanding coordination and leadership of a learning community in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

• Denise M. Hix, academic adviser, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology / Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology. Hix, academic adviser in the Biology Program, is the learning community (LC) coordinator to whom other coordinators turn for help. Her leadership within the LAS and AgLS Learning Community committees and networks has helped forge a “community” of LC coordinators. However, her students come first! As coordinator of the Biology Education Success Teams (B.E.S.T.) LC for freshmen, Hix demonstrates accessibility, caring and creativity. The B.E.S.T. peer mentors learn leadership from her encouragement, example and the leader-development activities she provides. She is continually envisioning new ways – high- and low-tech – to engage biology students and promote their future success.

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NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University www.las.iastate.edu

Contacts: Beate Schmittmann, Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean, (515) 294-3220 (schmittb@iastate.edu) Laura Wille, Liberal Arts & Sciences Communications, (515) 294-7742 (lge@iastate.edu)