UI faculty named University Scholars

UI faculty named University Scholars

URBANA — Six Urbana campus faculty members have been recognized as University Scholars. The program recognizes excellence while helping to identify and retain the university's most talented teachers, scholars and researchers.

The University of Illinois faculty members will be honored at a reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Lincoln Room at the I Hotel and Conference Center in Champaign.

Begun in 1985, the program provides $10,000 a year for three years to each scholar to use to enhance his or her academic career. The money may be used for travel, equipment, research assistants, books or other purposes.

The recipients:

— Jeffrey R. Brown, a professor of finance and the director of the Center for Business and Public Policy in the College of Business, is one of the nation's foremost authorities on the finance and economics underpinning public and private pension plans. His research includes work on public and private insurance markets, the government's tax and social security policy, and important decisions of individuals regarding their investment choices, including market participation, portfolio choice, retirement and annuitization.

— Naira Hovakimyan, a professor of mechanical science and engineering, has made important research contributions to the mathematics of control theory that are having an impact across a broad spectrum of academic disciplines, including mechanical, electrical and aerospace engineering.

— Paul J. Kenis, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, is an expert in the field of micro fluidics. His research program is focused on development of novel microfluidic tools for applications in energy and health.

— Benjamin J. McCall, a professor of chemistry, is active in a rapidly growing research area, astrochemistry. His research at the interface of astronomy and chemistry broadly includes three major areas: observational molecular astronomy, chemistry of fundamental reactive ion species such as protonated hydrogen, and laboratory detection of molecules important in interstellar chemistry, such as buckyballs or protonated methane.

— The work of Cynthia Oliver, a professor of dance, is immersed in uncovering the complicated ways in which culture is lived and expressed. Her evening-length work, "Rigidigidim De Bamba De Ruptured Calypso," examines, in her words, "the geographic, national and aesthetic borders and the force of calypso as a unifying agent of Caribbeanness."

— James M. Slauch, a professor of microbiology, is internationally recognized for his work on salmonella virulence, a major cause of food-borne illness. His research focuses on the interplay between the human host and bacterium in disease. His work demonstrated, for example, that an enzyme produced by salmonella is key to enabling the bacterium to evade the immune system, and to actually live in phagocytes, the immune cells that normally find and consume viruses and bacteria.