AMES, Iowa – The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Iowa State University is honoring 39 faculty and staff with awards for their accomplishments. The recipients will be recognized at the Fall Liberal Arts & Sciences Faculty/Staff Convocation on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 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 chairs; 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).
Alan I. Goldman, Distinguished Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Goldman joined the Department of Physics and Astronomy as Assistant Professor in 1988, becoming Full Professor in 1994 and Distinguished Professor in 2007. He taught many semesters of the introductory Physics 111 and 221 courses and received an exceptionally high average student rating of 4.4/5.0. Comments from students attest to his ability to communicate a complex subject in lecture while keeping them engaged through the imaginative use of demonstrations and clickers and leaving time for questions. He views teaching as a valuable opportunity to communicate to his students the beautiful order in the natural world. Thomas Holme, Professor, Department of Chemistry. Holme has distinguished himself as an exemplary teacher in the five years since he joined the Chemistry Department. He has undertaken a redesign of the curriculum for the introductory chemistry course for engineering students and received very high student evaluations, while having a higher percentage of students succeed in the course. He emphasizes the regular use of formative assessment, thereby continuously gauging the learning of students, even in lectures with enrollments over 800. His data-driven approach to constant improvement has led to enhanced outcomes for literally thousands of first-year students in just a few years at Iowa State.
Outstanding Achievement in Teaching – recognizes faculty members for outstanding teaching performances over an extended period of time in undergraduate education.
Joel Geske, Associate Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Geske has taught numerous courses throughout his time at Iowa State University, both in advertising and media studies. Geske earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instructional technology with a minor in mass communication from Iowa State University in 2005, an M.A. in communication media from the University of Northern Iowa in 1986, and a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from Iowa State University in 1978. He has received numerous awards for his teaching and research, including the Outstanding Professor in an Introductory Course Award. His most recent award came in 2011 when he received the LAS Diversity Award. Amy R. Slagell, Associate Professor, Department of English. Slagell has overseen innovations such as learning teams in the basic speech course taken by approximately 1,600 students per year. She deftly guides teaching assistants in helping students become better oral communicators. One optional service learning project has involved students reading aloud books in partnership with the Iowa Department for the Blind. In addition, Slagell has collaborated in teaching two courses with three of her colleagues and has presented workshops on oral communication to colleagues in interdisciplinary areas, as well as at national conferences. Her work has involved collaborating in publication projects with renowned professors in public speaking. George Work, Professor, Department of Music and Theatre. Work's commitment to excellence extends to everything he does for his students, his peers, and his profession. His knowledge and teaching effectiveness are exemplary in preparing future professionals in music. Whether he is performing around the world with the Amara Piano Quartet or performing a solo recital in our own Martha-Ellen Tye Recital Hall, Work keeps his students inspired and learning.
Early Achievement in Teaching – recognizes tenured or tenure-track faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding teaching performance unusually early in their professional careers.
David Alexander, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religious Studies. In just a few years, Alexander has established himself as an outstanding instructor in a department acknowledged for its exceptional teaching. His pedagogical acumen is buttressed by a passion for teaching. He creates an engaged, productive class by planning exercises, such as games, that involve the students interacting with one another. His impact is apparent in the high regard students hold him, as they realize that the analytic skills he helps them develop will continue to benefit them long after they have left our hallowed halls. Michael Dahlstrom, Assistant Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Dahlstrom’s research focuses on science, risk, health, agricultural and environmental communication as well as narrative communication and perceptions and ethics of science communication in policy contexts. He also teaches communication theory. Dahlstrom earned a Ph.D. in mass communication, a joint degree with environmental resources from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2008, an M.S. in biophysics from ISU in 2004, a B.A. in journalism and mass communication and a B.S. in biophysics, both from ISU in 2002. He has been part of several grants while at Iowa State, including one from the National Science Foundation. His passion for science communication is acute and drives his research and zeal.
Outstanding Teaching by a Lecturer – recognizes lecturers or senior lecturers for outstanding teaching performance over an extended period of time in undergraduate education.
Joseph Burnett, Senior Lecturer & Coordinator, Department of Chemistry. Burnett is being recognized for outstanding teaching in Chemistry. Excellent teaching evaluations and enthusiastic statements from students show that he works very well with students and is able to convey the importance and thrill of chemistry. He continually strives to make his teaching even better, for instance by exploring new teaching techniques. Students sense that Burnett sincerely cares about them and their learning success. At the same time, he maintains high academic standards for their long-term benefit. Burnett has been a central driver in the creation of the Chemistry Learning Community, and participates actively in campus-wide faculty learning groups. Michael S. Giles, Senior Lecturer, Department of Music and Theatre. Giles is a saxophone and jazz specialist who teaches applied saxophone lessons, directs jazz ensembles, and has developed a thriving jazz studies program in the Department of Music. His vast and eclectic performance career, as a saxophonist and pianist in jazz festivals and classical concerts spanning the United States, Europe, and Russia is of the highest caliber. He is also a creative composer and improvisator. Giles brings this wealth of talent into the studio and rehearsal hall and is an inspiration to every student who experiences the dynamic and innovative methods of his teaching. Gail Johnston, Senior Lecturer, Department of Mathematics. Johnston was a member of the Ames school board and president of the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators. She has redesigned and she currently runs the program in mathematics education for future elementary school teachers. She produces future teachers who understand mathematics and can use it effectively, who can explain mathematics with ideas relevant to children, and who require their students to innovate and to evaluate their own and each other's contributions. Karen Scheel, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology. Scheel is a masterful teacher who engages her students, communicates complex ideas clearly, and helps students to make important applications to their own lives. In her hands, the course content comes alive. She has not only been an effective teacher of the highest quality, but the quantity of her teaching is also impressive; she has also reached many students. In the previous four years she has taught 706 students in 22 separate three-credit courses. Using the university’s standard 1-5 scale, for those 22 courses she averaged a teacher rating of 4.67. Scheel is a marvelous instructor; her students are fortunate to have her as a professor.
Early Achievement in Research – recognizes faculty who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in research and/or artistic creativity unusually early in their professional careers.
W. Stanley Harpole, Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Harpole is a nationally recognized scientist known for his research in plant community ecology. He has authored over 30 publications, including articles in Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. His research is very highly cited, and is well regarded by his peers. Harpole is recognized as a leading expert in understanding how plant communities respond to global change, and how resource limitation affects plant community dynamics. He is active in undergraduate and graduate training, and serves on administrative committees for interdepartmental graduate programs, and co-teaches the core course for the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology graduate major. Matthew Wynn Sivils, Associate Professor, Department of English. Sivils is a preeminent scholar of pre-1900 American literary culture and environmental criticism. He has published four edited volumes, nine articles in leading journals, and many competitively selected chapters. He has been awarded the prestigious Seal of Approval Award for The Autobiography of a Pocket Handkerchief, the Gregory L. and Kathleen C. Geoffroy Faculty Fellowship, the Justin G. Schiller Fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society, and the James F. Beard Young Scholar Award from the James Fenimore Cooper Society. He founded and co-edits Literature in the Early American Republic, which received the Best New Journal Award from The Council of Editors of Learned Journals. Amanda J. Weinstein, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Weinstein received her Ph.D. degree in high-energy physics from Stanford University in 2005. She joined ISU in 2010 as an Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy. Her research is focused on astroparticle physics and y-ray astronomy. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities through her collaborative research with VERITAS (Very Energetic Radiation Imaging Telescope Array System) located in southern Arizona at Whipple Observatory. She has published 301 refereed papers, of which 43 are in y-ray astronomy. She has given 12 invited talks.
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.
Ryan P. Martin, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics. Martin has pioneered and made major contributions to diverse areas of discrete mathematics, especially the theory of graphs. His research is recognized not only for its pure mathematics value, but also for its relevance in emerging networks such as internet, social, biological and transportation networks. It also has applications to coding theory and cryptography. Over the last five years he has averaged eight invited talks per year to present his research. It is common to see applications for the Ph.D. program where the applicant says he or she would like to come to ISU to work with Martin. David L. Vogel, Professor, Department of Psychology. Vogel has been a very productive scholar in the 12 years since he received his degree. His research areas focus on the stigma associated with mental illness and seeking psychological help, stereotypes of men, women, gay and straight, and the mental health implications of those stereotypes. He has published 76 journal articles in top quality research outlets and has presented 58 scholarly conference presentations. His research has been funded by the NIMH and American Psychological Foundation. He has published extensively with student colleagues and has mentored seven Ph.D. graduates. In short, Vogel is an outstanding researcher and scholar. Bing Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology. Yang has developed a technology that is revolutionizing our ability to improve crop plants for the growing food, fuel and feed needs of this world. The technology was hailed by the prestigious journal Nature Methods as the “Method of Year” for 2011. The technology employs “TAL effectors” that are able to sort through thousands of genes in plant genomes to find their targets because they possess a barcode-reading devise that can read DNA sequences. Not only does this new technology provide access to previously inaccessible plant traits, but it does so in a benign way, unlike present-day transgenic technologies.
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.
Song Xi Chen, Professor, Department of Statistics. Chen's research accomplishments include deep contributions to the theoretical foundations of statistical inference and influence in many important application areas. He has been a leader in the development of the theory of modern statistical methods that rely less on assumptions about model form and has made fundamental contributions to the analysis of high dimensional data that are arising in many important areas of science and engineering. Areas where Chen's research has had an impact on important societal applications include the analysis of national census data with missing values, estimation of wildlife population size, and the dynamics of financial processes. John D. Nason, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Nason is recognized worldwide as an authority on evolutionary processes in plant populations, with a particular focus on plant-insect mutualisms. During his career, he has received more than $1.4 million in external support and has published 75 peer-reviewed publications. He has directed four postdocs, 13 graduate students and hosted three international visiting researchers. He freely shares his expertise with students and colleagues, and collaborates with others at Iowa State and across the scientific community. Nason is a credit to Iowa State, bringing national and international recognition for his research program and his many contributions to evolutionary biology. James Vary, Professor, Department of Physics and Astronomy. Vary is a theoretical nuclear physicist who joined ISU as Assistant Professor in 1975, becoming Full Professor in 1981. He is the world’s leading authority on the detailed structure of light nuclei. In 2000 he developed an ab-initio fully microscopic theory of the detailed structure of light nuclei without simplifying assumptions. A large fraction of modern low-energy nuclear structure theory is based on this framework. This was only possible using the largest computers with codes he developed. Vary has published 350 articles and given 480 invited talks. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society.
International Service – recognizes faculty members for outstanding international service in terms of teaching, research or administration, within the United States or abroad.
Dennis Chamberlin, Associate Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Chamberlin has had an enormous impact on international journalism. He has brought an international perspective to Iowa State University students through partnerships with schools in Sopot, Poland and Urbino, Italy. Chamberlin earned an M.F.A. in photography from Indiana University and a B.A. in English and journalism, also from Indiana University. A Pulitzer-Prize winner for his work with the Fort Wayne News Sentinel, his work from international locales is featured in numerous publications. Teaching courses in photojournalism and multimedia reporting, Chamberlin currently serves as director of Urbino Project, a month-long study abroad program for Iowa State students in Urbino, Italy.
Ruth W. Swenson Award for Outstanding Advising – recognizes outstanding performance as an undergraduate academic adviser over and extended period of time.
Joseph Burnett, Senior Lecturer, Department of Chemistry. Burnett is enthusiastically engaged in undergraduate advising for the Chemistry Department. He has been providing thorough, thoughtful guidance to numerous undergraduate majors for their curricular and career goals. In addition, he has helped create a Chemistry Learning Community and has implemented a course about career options in chemistry. Other advisers appreciate him for his competent and patient help with difficult advising questions. A chemistry assessment for incoming students that Burnett has established serves both to provide objective criteria for advising students on course choices and to help them identify and remedy gaps in their chemistry knowledge.
Professional & Scientific Excellence – recognizes and honors professional and scientific employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.
Renee M. Harris, Administrative Specialist, Department of Chemistry. For a decade, Harris has been the de facto face of the Department of Chemistry. She is without a doubt the Department’s best fundraiser and has played a pivotal role in the Department’s interactions with alumni. Donors and alumni are mesmerized and charmed by her thoughtfulness, caring personality, interest in them and their families, and devotion to the Department of Chemistry and Iowa State University. Harris is the consummate Departmental and University citizen who exhibits a constant and contagious dedication to, and goodwill for, Iowa State University. Jacki R. Hayes, Program Assistant, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Hayes has superbly handled increasing responsibilities since her appointment in 2007. These include website design, coauthoring handbooks, editing the EEOB newsletter, and many others that require her excellent communication skills. A colleague notes that Hayes is “largely responsible for the department’s ‘external face’.” She also handles or assists with all aspects of graduate student recruitment and retention. Her supervisor summarizes, “Jacki is a very intelligent self-starter who continually works to improve processes, recruit new students, and, most importantly, to promote a team environment, supporting each member of the department.”
Professional & Scientific Outstanding New Professional Award – recognizes and honors new professional and scientific employees who quickly have achieved excellence in their respective fields.
Amy Bainum Emmett, Graduate Program Coordinator, Department of Economics. Emmett makes many indispensable contributions to the Economics graduate program. She carefully and reliably fulfills the routine, day-to-day responsibilities of her position, and she develops and helps to implement innovative ideas that significantly improve our operation. She is the first point of contact with the department for our new students, many of whom are international students struggling to adapt to new surroundings, and her cheerful and friendly demeanor help to ease their transition. She is a team-player and a problem-solver. Professionals with her talent and dedication represent Iowa State's greatest assets.
Achievement in Intellectual Property – recognizes faculty and staff members for outstanding LAS/ISU-based achievements in producing intellectual property.
John G. Verkade, University Professor, Department of Chemistry. Verkade has submitted 84 invention disclosures and has obtained 22 patents. His research has focused on novel caged phosphorus structures discovered by his research group. He has an international reputation for his research in this area. ISURF negotiated non-exclusive licenses to Aldrich Chemical Company and Strem Chemicals to sell his superbases. Since the patent expired in 2008, over a dozen companies worldwide are currently selling Verkade’s superbases. Of the 46 patents in the literature on superbases, only six are from Verkade, indicating that the industrial utility of these compounds is quite diverse.
Graduate Mentoring – recognizes the effectiveness of major professors who serve as mentors and who enrich the student-professor relationship by support and attention to detail which enables students to finish their work in a timely and scholarly manner. Major professors considered for this award are expected to be supportive of their students beyond graduation.
Mark S. Gordon, Frances M. Craig Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemistry. Gordon is an exemplary mentor from every aspect. He has graduated 36 Ph.D. students, six M.S. students, and has 13 graduate students in his current group. Many of his former students are employed at prominent research organizations such as the Air Force Research Laboratory and as faculty at top research universities including Purdue University, University of Zurich, and University of Copenhagen. He treats all students as unique individuals, nurtures them according to their interests and strengths, and encourages and develops them into the best possible scientists they aspire to be. Lulu Rodriguez, Professor, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication. Rodriguez’s research focuses on visual communication, science and risk communication, and communication campaigns and strategies. Rodriguez earned a Ph.D. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1993, an M.P.S. in communication from Cornell University in 1987, and a B.S. in development communication from the University of the Philippines in 1979. Her research has been published in top journals in her field. Rodriguez routinely serves an average of 15 master’s committees and two doctoral committees each year. She has received numerous awards for her teaching and mentoring, including being named one of five LAS Master Teachers in 2003-2004. Norm Scott, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology. Scott first arrived at Iowa State in 1971. Since that time he has mentored numerous students in varied capacities. Since 2000 alone, Scott has personally chaired 31 dissertations and thesis committees. He has mentored over 45 students to receive Ph.D.s in psychology. He has also served as a member of innumerable POS committees for students throughout the university. Finally, one cannot quantify the hours and heartfelt effort Scott has offered to students in more informal capacities. He is a caring mentor who has offered much of his professional career to the development of Iowa State students.
Diversity Award – recognizes faculty and staff who have advanced the College’s vision for diversity through their teaching, scholarship, service, or campus-community outreach.
Javier Vela-Becerra, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry. Vela has developed a reputation for promoting diversity through his teaching, scholarship, service, and community outreach. He has a record of leadership in broadening participation of underrepresented groups in the STEM fields. He has served on the graduate recruitment committee and has worked to increase diversity among our applicants by recruiting at colleges and attending annual meetings for the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science. He has worked with the Iowa AGEP to establish a first-year mentoring program for graduate students of color. He exemplifies ISU’s strategic goal of providing a diverse learning environment.
Merit Excellence – recognizes and honors Merit employees who have achieved excellence in their respective fields.
Mary Dau, Secretary, Department of Chemistry. Dau is an extremely valued member of the Department of Chemistry. She serves primarily as the assistant to the chair, but she is widely known as the person who keeps track of everything and can schedule anything. Her demeanor, efficiency, and excellence of work product make her truly a joy for students, staff, and faculty to interact with. Denise Ann Riker, Secretary, Department of Statistics. For nearly three decades, Riker has provided exemplary service to the students, faculty, and staff of the Department of Statistics. With great efficiency, skill, diligence, and cheerfulness, she has played a major role in the instructional needs of one of the nation’s premier departments of statistics. Her efforts for both on-campus and distance education, as well as her technical skills, are widely respected. A supporting letter comments: “She has excelled in all the assignments given to her … This kind of recognition is long overdue for someone who has consistently contributed to our department’s mission.” Teresa L. Smiley, Graduate Program Secretary, Department of English. Smiley has earned the respect and admiration of faculty and students for her unfailing patience, cheerful demeanor, and impressive skills. A member of the staff of the Graduate English Office longer than any DOGE or Assistant DOGE, Smiley possesses vast institutional knowledge about the policies of the Graduate College as well as the seven departmental graduate programs. Her willingness to take the initiative – such as leading faculty workshops on graduate policies – and to go the extra mile – including assisting a graduate student at an international professional conference with a visa problem – has made the office efficient and caring.
Institutional Service – recognizes a member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty or staff for a history of exemplary institutional service that has benefited the department, College and/or the university.
William G. Crumpton, Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology. Generous and skillful contributions to Departmental and Institutional Service have dominated Crumpton’s professional life for the past 22 years. Crumpton has served as Chair, Coordinator or Interim Chair of the: Water Resources Graduate Program, EEB Graduate Program, Environmental Programs, Environmental Science Undergraduate Program, and Environmental Science Graduate Program. As Chair of the EEOB Facilities Committee he oversaw the physical relocation of faculty from six departments, and their laboratories, into a single building. As Chair of the Environmental Studies Major he advises more than 100 undergraduates each year. This award recognizes Crumpton's deep commitment to students, faculty, education, and our University. George A. Kraus, University Professor, Department of Chemistry. Kraus has had a major impact on the integration of researchers from LAS with researchers from across the campus. His efforts have resulted in many new interdisciplinary research opportunities. These new research directions would not have happened without his leadership. These collaborations are a product of his enthusiastic, imaginative and wide-ranging views of science and its role in addressing the needs of Iowa and the world. It is a rare scientist that is not only excellent at doing science but is also able to encourage others to think about their own fields of science in new ways. David Roberts, Associate Professor, Department of English. For nearly half of his 30-year career in the English Department, Roberts has held the position of Associate Chair for Curriculum and Scheduling. Each semester Roberts staffs hundreds of courses, efforts that are crucial to the department and the university in implementing the ISUComm curriculum, developing and sustaining learning communities, and providing high-quality instruction to our thousands of students. As Associate Chair, Roberts frequently hired new lecturers, and he played a lead role in developing our procedures for evaluating, mentoring, and advancing them. Among his many other service contributions, he served as English Department DOGE.
In addition to these awards, two Cassling Family Faculty Awards and the Shakeshaft Master Teacher award will be highlighted in separate news releases on our news page: http://www.las.iastate.edu/news-events/
About Liberal Arts and Sciences
The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is a world-class learning and research community. Iowa State’s most academically diverse college, LAS educates students to become global citizens, providing rigorous academic programs in the sciences, humanities and social sciences within a supportive personalized learning environment. College faculty design new materials, unravel biological structures, care for the environment, and explore social and behavioral issues. From fundamental research to technology transfer and artistic expression, the college supports people in Iowa and around the world.
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NEWS RELEASE College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Iowa State University
Contacts: Beate Schmittmann, Liberal Arts & Sciences Dean, (515) 294-3220 (firstname.lastname@example.org) Laura Wille, Liberal Arts & Sciences Communications, (515) 294-7742 (email@example.com)