Faculty members honored for scholarship, service


Editor’s note: The information for this story includes excerpts from the citations written from materials provided by the Rackham School of Graduate Studies, the Office of Research, the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs and the University Press.

Twenty-six faculty members are being recognized today for their teaching, scholarship, service and creative activities.

Distinguished University Professorships recognize full or associate professors for exceptional scholarly and/or creative achievement, national and international reputation, and superior teaching skills. Created in 1947, each professorship bears a name determined by the appointive professor in consultation with her or his dean. Each professorship also carries an annual salary supplement of $5,000 and an annual research supplement of $5,000. The duration of the appointment is unlimited, and the title — without the salary and research supplements — may be retained after retirement. In addition, newly appointed Distinguished University Professors are expected to deliver an inaugural lecture during the first year of appointment. Recipients include:

• Tamas I. Gombosi, Konstantin I. Gringauz Distinguished University Professor of Space Science, Rollin M. Gerstacker Professor of Engineering, professor of atmospheric, oceanic and space sciences, professor of aerospace engineering, and director of the Center for Space Environment Modeling, CoE.

• Jessy W. Grizzle, Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor of Engineering, Jerry W. and Carol L. Levin Professor of Engineering, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and professor of mechanical engineering, College of Engineering.

• Robert T. Kennedy, Hobart H. Willard Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry, professor of chemistry, LSA; professor of pharmacology, Medical School.

• Donald R. Kinder, Philip E. Converse Distinguished University Professor of Political Science, professor of political science, professor of psychology, LSA; research professor, Center for Political Studies, Institute for Social Research.

• Harry L.T. Mobley, Frederick G. Novy Distinguished University Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, Frederick G. Novy Collegiate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, professor of microbiology and immunology and chair, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Medical School.

• Susan A. Murphy, Herbert E. Robbins Distinguished University Professor of Statistics; professor of psychiatry, Medical School; research professor, ISR.

• Peter Railton, Gregory S. Kavka Distinguished University Professor of Philosophy, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of philosophy, LSA.

• Peter D. Sparling, Rudolf Arnheim Distinguished University Professor of Dance, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of dance, School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

Faculty Recognition Awards are intended for faculty early in their careers who have demonstrated substantive contributions to the university through achievements in scholarly research and/or creative endeavors; excellence as a teacher, adviser and mentor; and distinguished participation in service activities of the university. Eligible candidates include full professors with no more than four years at that rank, associate professors and assistant professors. Up to five awards of $1,000 each are made each year. Recipients include:

• Valeria Bertacco, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, CoE.

• Charles Hiroshi Garrett, associate professor of musicology and chair, Department of Musicology, School of Music, Theatre & Dance.

• Jon M. Miller, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics, LSA.

• Melanie S. Sanford, Moses Gomberg Collegiate Professor of Chemistry, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, professor of chemistry, LSA.

• Patricia Wittkopp, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and associate professor of molecular, cellular and developmental biology, LSA.

University Librarian Achievement Awards are presented for exceptional distinction reflected in active and innovative career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services. The recipient will receive a $1,500 stipend. Awardee:

• Peggy E. Daub, librarian emerita, Special Collections Library, University Library.

University Librarian Recognition Awards honor an individual who holds a primary faculty appointment as librarian, archivist or curator with no more than eight years’ practice in the profession. Selection criteria include active and innovative early-career achievements in library, archival or curatorial services. This may include developing specialized services for faculty and students, improving access to information or efficiently managing library and archival resources, or other activities. The recipient is presented $1,000. Awardee:

• Evyn C. Kropf, associate librarian, Library Research International Studies, University Library.

University of Michigan Press Book Awards are presented to members of the university teaching and research staff, including emeritus members, whose books have added the greatest distinction to the Press List. Selections are made from books published within a span of two calendar years. This year’s stipend is $1,500. Awardee:

• Andrew Herscher, associate professor of architecture and urban planning, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning; associate professor of Slavic languages and literature, associate professor of the history of art, LSA.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards honor senior faculty who consistently have demonstrated outstanding achievements in the areas of scholarly research and/or creative endeavors; teaching and mentoring of students and junior faculty; service; and a variety of other activities. Up to five awards of $1,500 are made each year. Awardees include:

​​• Ellen M. Arruda, professor of mechanical engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, and professor of macromolecular science and engineering, CoE.​

• Martin Katz, Artur Schnabel Collegiate Professor of Music in Piano, SMTD.

• Theodore Norris, Gérard A. Mourou Collegiate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and director, Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials, CoE.

• Jianming Qian, professor of physics, LSA.

• Nicola Terrenato, professor of classical archaeology, LSA.

The Distinguished Faculty Governance Award was established by the Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs in 1986 and is funded by the Alumni Association. The criterion for the award is distinguished service to faculty governance over several years with an emphasis on universitywide service. A $1,500 stipend is presented. Awardee:

• J. Keith Riles, professor of physics, LSA.

Research Faculty Recognition Awards honor individuals who hold at least a 75-percent appointment at the rank of research associate professor, research assistant professor, associate research scientist or assistant research scientist. Selection criteria include exceptional scholarly achievements, as evidenced by publications and/or other scholarly activities in any academic field of study. There is a $1,000 stipend. Awardee:

• Xianzhe Jia, assistant research scientist, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, CoE.

The Collegiate Research Professorship Award honors exceptional scholarly achievement and impact on advancing knowledge in science, engineering, health, education, the arts, the humanities or other academic field of study. The recipient is presented $2,000. Awardee:

• Scott D. Larsen, Joseph Burckhalter Collegiate Research Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, College of Pharmacy.

Research Faculty Achievement Awards honor individuals who hold at least a 75-percent appointment at the rank of research associate professor, research assistant professor, associate research scientist or assistant research scientist. Selection criteria include exceptional scholarly achievements, as evidenced by publications and/or other scholarly activities in any academic field of study. There is a $1,500 stipend. Awardee:

• Enrico Landi, research scientist, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences, CoE.

Regents’ Awards for Distinguished Public Service recognize public service activities that relate closely to teaching and research and reflect professional and academic expertise. There is a $1,000 stipend. Awardee:

• Sridhar Kota, Herrick Professor of Engineering, professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Institute for Manufacturing Leadership, and the Compliant Systems Design Laboratory, CoE.

Distinguished University Professorship

Tamas I. Gombosi

Space physicist Tamas Gombosi has contributed significantly to space and planetary physics, from enhancing understanding of galactic cosmic rays and cometary plasma physics to developing the first time-dependent model of the terrestrial polar wind. He is revolutionizing space weather research with his flexible modeling tools and applications.

Founding director of U-M’s Center for Space Environment Modeling, Gombosi and his team developed the first physics-based predictive models of the Sun-Earth space environment and the Space Weather Modeling Framework, a computational tool that enables scientists to combine a chain of models to describe the complex Sun-Earth system. Under his leadership, CSEM has become the leading center of first-principles-based weather modeling.

Gombosi, chair of the Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences from 2003-11, created two graduate programs, the Space and Planetary Physics doctorate program and Master of Engineering Degree in Space Engineering. He also wrote two textbooks, “Gaskinetic Theory” (1994) and “Physics of the Space Environment” (1998), has advised many graduate students and chaired or co-chaired 19 doctoral committees. He has authored or co-authored more than 320 articles in Science, Nature and professional journals, and regularly presents at American Geophysical Union meetings and conferences around the world. Gombosi has served as senior editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Space Physics, on the National Academy of Sciences’ Committee on Solar and Space Physics, and on many NASA and National Science Foundation committees.

A life member of the International Academy of Astronauts and fellow of the AGU, he received the AGU inaugural Space Weather Prize, NASA’s Group Achievement Award twice, and its Public Service Group Achievement Award. CoE has honored him with its Stephen S. Attwood Excellence in Engineering Award, Team Excellence Award, and Research Excellence Award.

Distinguished University Professorship

Jessy ​W. Grizzle

Jessy Grizzle is transforming electrical and mechanical engineering with theoretical contributions to nonlinear control systems and ingenious applications. He has contributed to fuel-efficient automotive powertrains, a new control strategy for hybrid electric trucks, and bipedal robots that can run on uneven terrain. His inventions, featured in Discover magazine and Scientific American, among others, are advancing human prosthetics and robotics.

In 2008, Grizzle and colleagues unveiled Mabel, a two-legged robot with knees that is guided by feedback-control algorithms that enable it to react to what its legs encounter. Mabel set records for speed and ability to walk over rough terrain. Popular Mechanics recognized the robot’s creators with its 2012 Innovator Award. Its successor, Marlo, has prosthetic feet and hips that swing sideways for stability, and is more energy efficient. Marlo is expected to lead to other advances, including prosthetic legs with powered knees and ankles and robots that can navigate in dangerous environments.

Grizzle, a superb undergraduate teacher and adviser to 21 doctoral students, is co-author of “Feedback Control of Dynamic Bipedal Robot Locomotion” (2007). He has published 186 articles and papers and holds 16 patents. A frequent conference presenter, the former senior editor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Automatic Control has served on the IEEE Control Systems Society Board of Governors and received the group’s Control Systems Technology Award and Hendrik W. Bode Lecture Prize. He also has received the Ford Innovation Award and National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award. Scientific American listed him among the Top 50 leaders in science and technology in 2006. Grizzle has been recognized with CoE’s  Stephen S. Attwood Excellence in Engineering Award, Research Excellence Award, Teaching Award, and U-M’s Distinguished Achievement Award and Henry Russel Award.

Distinguished University Professorship

Robert T. Kennedy

Robert Kennedy, one of the world’s pre-eminent analytical chemists, has significantly advanced biomedical research with his novel methods and instruments that make possible near real-time measurements of important chemicals in the brain and endocrine system. His discoveries help explain underlying molecular mechanisms associated with endocrine and neurological diseases such as diabetes and Huntington’s.

His pioneering research in chemical separations, electrochemistry, imaging and mass spectrometry is detailed in more than 200 research papers. Kennedy’s methods to achieve high-speed separation and analysis of biomolecules have led to a rapid immunoassay and new ways to study protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. He also has combined high-speed separations with sampling probes to monitor chemical changes in complex environments, including neurotransmitters in vivo. The National Institutes of Health recently recognized his research with two 10-year MERIT research grants. An accessible and esteemed teacher and mentor, Kennedy is a founding member and former director of U-M’s Microfluidics in Biomedical Sciences Training Program. The vast majority of the 48 doctoral students and 19 postdoctoral fellows he has mentored have gone on to prominent positions in academia and industry.

Kennedy, analytical core director of the Michigan Regional Comprehensive Metabolomics Research Core, has served on many chemistry department committees and the Provost’s Advisory Committee. He also is associate editor of Analytical Chemistry and a reviewer for other journals, NIH and the NSF. He is chair of the 2016 High-Performance Liquid Chromatography Conference and co-founder of Mozaic Solutions to commercialize droplet mass spectrometry for personalized medicine applications. Kennedy is an American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. His accolades include an NSF Award for Special Creativity, Presidential Faculty Fellowship, American Chemical Society Arthur F. Findeis Award for Achievements by a Young Analytical Scientist, and U-M’s Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award.

Distinguished University Professorship

Donald R. Kinder

Donald Kinder, one of the world’s pre-eminent political scientists, is renowned for his path-breaking contributions to public opinion and political psychology research. In addition to introducing rigorous theoretical concepts and empirical methods to political science, he has generated new knowledge about racial attitudes, voter criteria for evaluating candidates for political office, and the effect of political communication on citizens’ priorities and voting decisions.

In his first book, “News that Matters” (1987, updated in 2010), he demonstrates the power of television news to shift citizens’ priorities and alter how they evaluate politicians. His subsequent books include “Experimental Foundations of Political Science” (1993); “Divided by Color: Racial Politics and Democratic Ideals” (1996), in which he advances a theory of modern prejudice; and “Us Versus Them: Ethnocentric Foundations of American Opinion” (2009). In “The End of Race? Obama, 2008, and Racial Politics in America” (2013), Kinder concludes that prejudice played a major role in depriving President Obama of a landslide victory.

An outstanding teacher of undergraduates in large lecture classes and seminars, Kinder pioneered political science’s graduate-level Research Methods course and has co-authored most of his books with students. He has trained an outstanding cadre of doctoral students, many of whom have become leading researchers in the study of elections, race and public opinion, and political communication. Kinder has served as Department of Political Science chair twice, as principal investigator of the National Election Studies, and on the American Political Science Association Council. An American Academy of Arts and Sciences and Guggenheim fellow, he has received, among other honors, the APSA Warren E. Miller Award, Distinguished Mentor Award from the APSA Women’s Caucus, and U-M’s Henry Russel Award.

Distinguished University Professorship

Harry L.T. Mobley

Harry Mobley, one of the world’s top microbiologists, has significantly advanced knowledge of how Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause urinary tract infections and peptic ulcers. His pioneering research on uropathogenic bacterial species and novel antimicrobial agents has important implications for public health and medicine in an era of rising antibiotic resistance.

One of the first researchers to identify and characterize the role of the enzyme urease in elevating the pH of the urinary tract, Mobley also identified other virulence factors. In a landmark paper in the EMBO Journal, he described the repressor protein MrpJ and its role in coordinating bacterial adherence and movement, essential for infection to proceed. He also studies how microbes harvest iron for growth and the role of nickel transporters, which could lead to therapeutics for a broad spectrum of infectious diseases. He co-leads U-M’s Host Microbiome Initiative, scientists working to accelerate understanding of how microbes interact with their host.

Mobley has written more than 240 articles and 38 book chapters. He has co-edited five books, including “Helicobacter pylori: Physiology and Genetics” considered the authoritative reference in the field. He has served as associate editor of Microbiology Spectrum since 2012, on the Infection and Immunity editorial board, and is a reviewer for Nature, Science and the National Institutes of Health, among others. He teaches the Medical School’s first-year sequence on microbiology and infectious diseases and has trained more than 50 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. He received the U-M Postdoctoral Association’s Excellence in Mentorship Award in 2012. A past president of the Association of Medical School Microbiology and Immunology Chairs, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Distinguished University Professorship

Susan A. Murphy

Mathematical statistician Susan Murphy’s myriad fundamental contributions to statistical theory have revolutionized the field and propelled biomedical research. She has significantly advanced personalized medicine with new methodologies to evaluate courses of treatment for patients coping with substance abuse, mental illness and other chronic diseases. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation recently recognized her with its prestigious genius award for her creativity and path-breaking work.

Faced with how and when to alter treatment for patients with chronic disorders, doctors often must make a series of decisions about the best therapeutic approach based on the patient’s dynamically evolving physical and psychosocial state, risk of relapse, and response to prior treatment. Professor Murphy developed experimental trial designs so as to collect high quality data for assisting clinical and behavioral scientists in building effective treatment regimens to guide this series of decisions. A former co-editor of The Annals of Statistics, she is author of 84 articles in journals, conference proceedings and book chapters. She frequently presents at international conferences and universities and is a respected teacher, mentor and thesis adviser.

A champion of interdisciplinary research, especially between statistics and the social and behavioral sciences, Murphy co-founded the interdisciplinary Quantitative Methodology Program at ISR. She also launched and advises the annual Michigan Student Symposium for Interdisciplinary Statistical Sciences, and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and College on Problems of Drug Dependence. She was elected to the International Statistical Institute in 2011.

Distinguished University Professorship

Peter Railton

Internationally recognized for his pioneering work, Peter Railton has made enduring contributions to moral philosophy and the philosophy of science. Recently, he has been engaged in an interdisciplinary project connecting empirical research psychology and neuroscience to philosophical questions in ethics, aesthetics and the theory of action. Best known for his formulation and defense of a realist position on the foundations of moral thought and practice, Railton develops an integrated view of ideas of objectivity, normativity, and explanation as they pervade scientific and ethical inquiry. In the theory of action, he has studied the role of the mental representation and evaluation of possible futures in shaping human cognition, emotion, motivation and behavior.

Railton has published more than 60 essays, including such landmark articles as “Moral Realism,” “Alienation, Consequentialism, and the Demands of Morality,” and “The D-N Model of Probabilistic Explanation.” He is the author of “Facts, Values and Norms: Essays Toward a Morality of Consequence” (2003) and co-editor, with Allan Gibbard and Stephen Darwall, of the influential collection “Moral Discourse and Practice” (1997). His work has been presented at universities and conferences around the world and translated into a half-dozen languages. He has piloted new approaches to undergraduate teaching and championed diversity.

He is a former member of the University Civil Liberties Board and of the Committee on Use and Care of Animals, and has served as department chair and on the LSA Executive Committee. Railton is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and past president of the American Philosophical Association Central Division. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, and National Endowment for the Humanities, among others. U-M recognized Peter Railton’s contributions to research early in his career with the Henry Russel Award, and his contributions to undergraduate and graduate education with an Arthur F. Thurnau Professorship and the John D’Arms Award for Distinguished Graduate Mentoring. 

Distinguished University Professorship

Peter D. Sparling

In a career spanning 40 years, choreographer, dancer and educator Peter Sparling has enthralled audiences as a member of the Jose Limon Dance Company, principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company, and founder and artistic director of the Peter Sparling Company. An inspiring role model, he teaches from vivid experience at the pinnacle of the dance world.

Artistic director of the Peter Sparling Dance Company, first in New York from 1979-83 and then in Ann Arbor from 1993-2007, he has been an integral part of U-M’s Department of Dance faculty since 1984. He served as department chair for seven years and co-founded its resident professional company Ann Arbor Dance Works. Sparling has distinguished himself as a fellow of U-M’s Institute for the Humanities, Rackham Interdisciplinary Institute, and Michigan Society of Fellows in addition to serving on the University Musical Society Board of Directors, U-M Museum of Art Executive Committee, Campus Planning Committee, and Ann Arbor Leaders Forum.

Sparling has choreographed 115 works, including “Dance for the Wave Field” for the dedication of Maya Lin’s landscape sculpture on North Campus. He creates videos for live performance, installations in galleries and museums, and showings at screen festivals and for television. His film montage “Beautiful Captives: Martha Graham and the Cinematic Id” opened each performance of the Martha Graham Company during its 2012-13 season.

Sparling has published essays and poems in Michigan Quarterly Review, Choreography and Dance, Ballet Review, and has presented papers at meetings of the Society of Dance History Scholars and European Association of Dance Historians. He co-chaired U-M’s 2012 groundbreaking conference Meanings and Markings of Queer Dance. He garnered new works grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs each year from 1994-2007 and was honored with the 1998 Governor’s Michigan Artist Award by ArtServe Michigan. He also received U-M’s Faculty Recognition Award.

Faculty Recognition Award

Valeria Bertacco

Computer scientist Valeria Bertacco, lead researcher at the University Center for Future Architectures Research, works at the forefront of computer-aided design for integrated circuits, reliable system design, hardware security and computer architecture. She designs novel ways to harness the power and boost the reliability of the tiniest transistors.

Using simulations, graphic-processing units, and machine-learning techniques, Bertacco seeks to diagnose computer system bugs as early as possible in the design and manufacturing process. She has broken new ground in post-silicon verification research by introducing on-chip hardware to test critical functions. Drawing on experience in computer-aided and reliable system design, she has demonstrated how a clever decentralized design can perfectly align speed and reliability concerns. She holds six patents and has distributed a number of research evaluation platforms online, including the Bug Underground repository and CrashTest for reliability analysis. She shares her discoveries widely and has published several books and more than 100 articles in journals and conference proceedings.

Bertacco engages students through interactive lectures and industry visits. She creates lively communities in her classes and research lab, welcoming students from diverse backgrounds, including from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She has chaired seven U-M doctoral committees and supervised 44 undergraduate and master’s students. For the last several years she has worked to modernize computer science education at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa Institute of Technology.

A member of the dean’s advisory committee on female faculty, she has served on program committees for the International Conference on Dependable Systems and Networks and the Design Automation Conference and as an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design, among others. Her honors include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Council on Electronic Design Automation Early Career Award, IBM Faculty Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, CoE Vulcans Education Excellence Award and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Outstanding Achievement Award.

Faculty Recognition Award

Charles Hiroshi Garrett

Charles Hiroshi Garrett, a leading scholar of American music and president-elect of the Society for American Music, has made significant contributions to musicology, most notably with the publication of the second edition of The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2013). As editor-in-chief, he led a team of 1,500 authors, including U-M faculty, alumni and students, who contributed 8,500 articles illuminating the people, places, practices, genres, themes, and traditions that forged America’s music. It won the PROSE Award for Best Multivolume Reference Work in Humanities and Social Sciences in 2013.

His broad training in jazz, popular and classical music enables him to engage readers thoughtfully and thoroughly. Garrett’s “Struggling to Define a Nation: American Music and the Twentieth Century” (2008) won the Society for American Music Irving Lowens Memorial Book Award and honorable mention for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Woody Guthrie Award. He co-edited “Jazz/Not Jazz: The Music and Its Boundaries” (2012) and is writing a new book about music and humor.

Garrett publishes articles and reviews in top journals, serves on the Evental Aesthetics editorial board, and has served as a reviewer for American Music, Journal of the Society for American Music, and several university presses. He was a founding editorial board member of the online journal ECHO and regularly chairs sessions at American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music meetings.

A lively and demanding instructor, Garrett advises undergraduate musicology students and LSA students with a music minor. He has served on 34 dissertation committees and mentored scores of undergraduate researchers. In addition to chairing his department’s lecture committee, he is a member of its graduate admissions committee and co-director of U-M’s American Music Institute. Nationally, he serves on the American Musicological Society Committee on Membership and Development and is affiliated with several other professional associations.

Faculty Recognition Award

Jon M. Miller

One of the world’s top X-ray spectroscopy scientists, Jon Miller is reshaping astronomy with observations and research on the basic properties of black holes and neutron stars. In 2012, he was part of a team that first detected a star being consumed by a supermassive black hole some 4 billion light years from Earth — a discovery that excited astronomers and the public. Black holes can be observed only indirectly, from flashes of radiation released by in-falling matter. When a star gets close to a black hole, its gas spirals inward, forming an accretion disk. The closer the star gets, the faster the accretion disk spins and the hotter it becomes. Gas is ejected, and the remaining gas emits X-rays. Because the more spin a black hole has the more radiation it is capable of emitting, such measurements help clarify the contribution of black holes to the energy budget of the universe. Miller has measured more spins than any other astronomer.

He has published 206 public papers that have been cited more than 8,500 times and is much in demand as a collaborator. Miller chairs the NASA Chandra X-ray Observatory Users’ Committee and is a member of many other groups, including the NuSTAR Science Team and the ATHENA+ Science Team. He is the U.S. chair of the New Explorations X-ray Telescope Science Working Group. He also collaborates on European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency projects.

Miller has elevated the Department of Astronomy’s stature through his interactive undergraduate courses and, as graduate program chair, has improved recruitment and graduation and job placement rates. He is active in the American Astronomical Society’s High Energy Astrophysics Division and the American Physical Society, and is a frequent interviewee on CNN, the BBC and other media.

Faculty Recognition Award

Melanie S. Sanford

Working at the interface of organometallic and synthetic organic chemistry, Melanie Sanford converts readily available materials such as carbon dioxide into complex products. She has opened new paths to manufacturing important compounds —pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, and fuels — in a more efficient and environmentally friendly manner. She also has discovered a way to convert carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into fuel. In 2011, Sanford won a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for exceptional creativity. Using metal-based agents, primarily palladium, she catalyzes reactions that substitute hydrogen in carbon-hydrogen bonds with other atoms or functional groups. She has chronicled her research in 106 articles in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Nature, and Angewandte Chemie, among others, and more than 200 invited presentations.

She is associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society and serves on major journal advisory boards as well as the NSF Advisory Committee for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Institutes of Health Synthetic and Biological Chemistry Study Section, American Association for the Advancement of Science Chemistry Section, and Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia International Advisory Board. Sanford received U-M’s John Dewey Award for Undergraduate Education and LSA Excellence in Teaching Award, and was named an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in recognition of her contributions to undergraduate education.

She regularly participates in events that encourage women in science and mentors a diverse group of students, including many international and first-generation college students. She is departmental ombudsperson for students and postdoctoral fellows, a member of the Provost’s Student Learning Advisory Committee, and chair of U-M’s Third Century Initiative.

Sanford has been recognized with several American Chemical Society awards as well as the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Prize in Chemistry, Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Synthetic Chemistry, Thieme-International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry Prize, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and NSF CAREER Award.

Faculty Recognition Award

Patricia Wittkopp

Patricia Wittkopp, an emerging star in the evolution of development field, addresses important questions about the genetic and molecular mechanisms that control gene expression within and between species. She garners international attention for her research on the genetic basis of phenotypic evolution, mechanisms that control gene regulation, and her genomewide analysis of regulatory variation, which has implications for the evolution of gene networks. Her research on pigmentation evolution in Drosophila showed that changes in gene expression often contribute to evolution. She then developed a strategy to study changes in gene expression that researchers in diverse fields have adopted. Currently she is investigating the effects of new mutations on gene expression, which provide the raw material for adaptation as well as cause diseases such as cancer.

Wittkopp, who has served on 33 thesis committees, inspires high school students to postdoctoral fellows. An early adaptor of clickers in large lecture classes, and Piazza, a forum that crowdsources answers to students’ questions, she generously shares her teaching expertise through the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching. She has published 45 articles in top journals, and her research has been featured in Science, on public television and in textbooks. She is associate editor of Molecular Biology and Evolution, Genome Biology and Evolution, and Heredity and frequently presents at international conferences, workshops and other venues. She is a founding council member and education officer of the PanAmerican Society of Evolutionary Developmental Biology and serves on the Genetics Society of America Education Committee.

Named a “Scientist to Watch” by The Scientist magazine, she has received a March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Starter Scholar Award, among other honors. U-M has recognized Patricia Wittkopp with its Work/Life Champion Award for Supervisors, Excellence in Education Award, LSA Class of 1923 Memorial Teaching Award and the Henry Russel Award.

University Librarian Achievement Award

Peggy E. Daub

In a distinguished U-M career spanning 32 years, Peggy Daub has modeled the activist, engaged librarian, capitalizing on opportunities to strengthen and promote the Music and Special Collections libraries. She also has joined with other faculty to provide extraordinary learning and research experiences. Daub has encouraged thousands of students and the public to explore the library’s collections of rare books, manuscripts and archival materials.

Daub was a U-M faculty member from 1982 until her 2014 retirement. As head of the Music Library from 1982-89, she acquired more than 150,000 pieces of historic American sheet music to support the newly forming American Music Institute. Then, as director of the Special Collections Library, she orchestrated the acquisition of many manuscripts and archives, including those of Robert Altman, Nicholas Delbanco, Theodore Kaczynski and Orson Welles, doubling the collection’s size.

She also enhanced the university’s historical astronomy holdings by acquiring early star atlases and bringing more prominence to U-M’s Galileo Manuscript by having it reauthenticated, retranslated, and reproduced in a facsimile to distribute. In addition to supporting undergraduate and graduate education by interpreting library materials to classes, Daub has reached wider audiences through exhibits on many different subjects. Among them, she worked with students and staff to create rotating exhibits of Judaica from the Harris Jewish Heritage Collection. It became an integral part of the Jean & Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies.

Her other professional contributions include articles, essays and book reviews; presentations at conferences; participation on Association of College & Research Libraries Rare Books and Manuscript Section committees, the Music Library Association board of directors and the American Musicological Society Council. Daub served on U-M library committees including the University Library Diversity Council.

University Librarian Recognition Award

Evyn C. Kropf

An expert on Islamic manuscript materiality and codicology, Evyn Kropf is respected on campus and internationally for the knowledge and passion she brings to her work as librarian for Near Eastern and religious studies and curator of U-M’s extensive Islamic Manuscripts Collection. She led the effort to complete the cataloging and digitization of U-M’s approximately 1,100 Arabic, Ottoman Turkish and Persian manuscripts dating from the 8th to the 20th centuries. Curator since 2013, she continues to develop and promote the collection, which attracts scholars from around the world.

Kropf is passionate about supporting training and scholarship in Islamic manuscript studies. As librarian for Near Eastern and religious studies, she acquires materials and collaborates with faculty members across the university on lectures, research projects and guided viewings.

In addition to her journal articles and conference papers, Kropf has created two online research resources: Islamic Manuscripts Collection, a guide to U-M’s collection, and Islamic Manuscript Studies, which includes information on identifying and locating manuscripts and links to digitized manuscripts and online catalogs. She co-curated “Sacred Hands,” a 2011 display of manuscripts from the three Abrahamic faiths at the Hatcher Graduate Library, and contributed to “A Man of Many Parts: The Life and Legacy of Francis Willey Kelsey” exhibit at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology in 2012.

Kropf also has lectured and delivered workshops at meetings of the Middle East Librarians Association, the Midwest Association for Middle East and Islamic Studies, The Islamic Manuscript Association and England’s Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies. At U-M, Kropf serves on the Open Research Contributor ID Task Force, the Asia Library-International Studies Instruction Group and the Special Collections Library Reader Services Team, among other committees.

2014 University of Michigan Press Book Award

Andrew Herscher

In The Unreal Estate Guide to Detroit (2012), Andrew Herscher writes about urban space that has fallen out of the market economy and, as a result, becomes available to other systems of value — cultural, social and political, as well as economic. Through more than 100 photographs and scores of vignettes, he offers an alternative way of understanding Detroit as a center of creativity, experiment and self-reliance, spotlighting inventive transformations of abandoned buildings, vacant lots and other unused urban spaces.

Herscher, a member of the university faculty since 2005, believes that architects and urban planners, who typically focus on cities with flourishing capitalist economies, also can learn from shrinking cities and that Detroit could be a model for living with reduced economic and environmental resources in the future. Among other honors, he has received a Fulbright Scholarship and a 2014 Michigan Humanities Award.

As well as working in Detroit, Herscher was an investigator for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, directed the Department of Culture in the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, and co-founded and co-directed the Kosovo Cultural Heritage Project from 1999-2005.

He has written extensively about the former Yugoslavia, including “Violence Taking Place: The Architecture of the Kosovo Conflict,” and is working on two new books. He is the author of eight book chapters and 32 articles and book reviews in leading journals, serves on the Future Anterior editorial board, and frequently presents at international conferences. He also has curated exhibits at U-M and in Europe, among other venues. Herscher coordinated the Rackham Interdisciplinary Seminar on Human Rights from 200508 and is a Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies faculty associate. He also previously served on the Museum Studies Program and Center for International and Comparative Studies advisory boards.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Ellen M. Arruda

Ellen M. Arruda is an international expert in the theoretical and experimental mechanics of macromolecular materials, including polymers, elastomers, nanocomposites and soft tissues. Her pioneering research on material structures and topologies at the nanoscale has applications in medicine, national defense, automobile manufacturing and consumer products.

Arruda established a new direction in the field of hyperelasticity with the widely cited eight-chain Arruda-Boyce model that describes the mechanical behavior of rubber and other polymeric substances. She currently is developing polymer nanocomposites with exceptional properties, including toughness, which can be used to create lightweight body armor capable of withstanding ballistics, more crashworthy vehicles and stronger trash bags. A leader in the field of soft tissue mechanics, she invented and patented a method to grow replacement knee ligaments from stem cells without support scaffolding. Her repair model restores knee anatomy and function within six-to-nine months of implantation and has been recognized with the Ann Arbor Spark Best of Boot Camp Award, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine Excellence in Research Award, and a cover article in Tissue Engineering.

She is the author of 84 articles, holds three patents and has organized or presented at more than 100 conferences. She is a member of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies Executive Board and has served on numerous other committees including the Dean’s Advisory Committee on Female Faculty.

She is a fellow and past-president of the Society of Engineering Science and a fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics and American Society of Mechanical Engineers. She has received the college’s Ted Kennedy Family Team Excellence Award and Research Excellence Award, the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s Outstanding Achievement Award and Outstanding Teaching Award, and the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, among other accolades.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Martin Katz

In an international career spanning four decades, collaborative pianist, conductor and educator Martin Katz has accompanied eminent artists in major concert venues on five continents. He also has raised the stature of accompanists and trained countless singers and pianists. The Los Angeles Times has hailed Katz as “the dean of collaborative pianists.” The New York Times praised him for consistently creating “the gold standard of accompanying,” and Musical America magazine named him Accompanist of the Year in 1998. An SMTD faculty member since 1984, he has chaired the program in collaborative piano for more than two decades while maintaining a busy performance schedule.

Katz has appeared and recorded with Cecilia Bartoli, Kathleen Battle, Jose Carreras and Marilyn Horne, among others. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Salzburg Festival, La Scala in Milan, and the Paris Opera, and has accompanied many artists at Hill Auditorium under the auspices of the University Musical Society. He also has toured extensively in Australia and Japan and has conducted staged productions for the Music Academy of the West, San Francisco Merola Opera, New National Theatre in Tokyo and the University Opera Theatre.

A rigorous teacher, Katz inspires students to aim for and attain the highest artistic and academic standards. He also leads much-in-demand master classes around the world. In his book, “The Complete Collaborator,” Katz distills with humor and wit the collaborative musical experience. William Jewell College, Shenandoah University and Westminster Choir College have honored him with honorary doctorates. He also is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, music’s oldest fraternal society.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Theodore Norris

Ultrafast optical scientist Theodore Norris is known for his path-breaking research in multiple fields, studying phenomena on time scales of 10 millionths of a billionth of a second and using light pulses just a few microns long. Founding director of the Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials, an NSF Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, he works on materials that manipulate light in new ways.

Early in his career Norris invented two types of regenerative Ti:Sapphire laser amplifiers that revolutionized ultrafast optical research. He was part of a U-M research team pioneering the fabrication and study of self-organized quantum dots, which led to the highest performing quantum dot lasers known. His group has made many leading contributions to the fields of terahertz optoelectronics and nanoscale three-dimensional imaging and spectroscopy. He has collaborated with the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences on promising new biomedical sensors and cofounded the spin-off company PhotonAffinity LLC to commercialize the findings. Most recently, he has focused on optical and THz properties of graphene, leading to several fundamental discoveries. This work, in collaboration with researchers in electrical engineering, has led to the invention of novel photodetectors and a new spin-off company, Graphene Vision.

In the mid-1990s, he worked with faculty colleagues to modernize U-M’s optical sciences curriculum. Norris directs a large group of students and postdoctoral fellows and has graduated 25 doctoral students. Norris, a fellow of the Optical Society of America and the American Physical Society, represents U-M to the NSF and other groups. He has chaired major meetings, served as editor for journals and books, and as a reviewer for federal agencies and other universities. Michigan has honored Norris with a Faculty Recognition Award, Rackham Distinguished Mentor Award, David E. Liddle Research Excellence Award, John F. Ullrich Education Excellence Award, and Ted Kennedy Team Award.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Jianming Qian

Particle physicist Jianming Qian played a key role in the 2012 discovery of the long-sought Higgs boson, a cornerstone of the Standard Model describing the process through which elementary particles gain mass. Qian focuses on the study of matter at its smallest dimensions, pursuing questions regarding the origin of the universe and the structure of matter. He is recognized internationally for his research at the Fermilab Tevatron Accelerator in Illinois as well as the European Laboratory for Particle Physics Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland.

Discovery of the Higgs boson unlocked the mystery of electroweak symmetry breaking and advanced understanding of the origin of mass. It was the centerpiece of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics. Qian was a leader of one of the Higgs working groups of the A Toroidal LHC ApparatuS (ATLAS) collaboration. In 2011 and 2012, he led more than 100 physicists from around the world studying Higgs decay to W-pair. He organized the scientists into subgroups to study detector performance, the Higgs signature, and relevant background processes. The U-M group produced common physics analysis files for other researchers to use, a huge computational task. The group also prepared the final results of the Higgs discovery by the ATLAS experiment. He has presented his research at 50 colloquia and seminars and has published more than 800 articles.

An outstanding teacher, Qian is famous for flawless lectures on complex mathematical material, often delivered without notes. He developed the department’s advanced particle physics seminar course, has served on the department’s executive committee, chaired or convened ATLAS task forces, convened several particle physics community-wide studies in the United States, and organized numerous symposia. He is a fellow of the American Physics Society and has been recognized with LSA’s Excellence in Education Award (twice) and Excellence in Research Award.

Distinguished Faculty Achievement Award

Nicola Terrenato

Nicola Terrenato, one of the world’s top Roman archaeologists, has posited pioneering theories explaining expansion of the early Roman state from a village to a Mediterranean empire and supported the theories with spectacular archaeological discoveries. He also is revolutionizing the way archaeological findings are disseminated.

His excavations at the city-state Gabii outside Rome and Sant’Omobono on the Tiber River discovered elite burials with rich grave goods, a sign of social stratification in the seventh and eighth centuries B.C.E. Civic buildings with massive stone blocks predating Rome’s Colosseum suggest that Gabii could have been a major Roman rival. The findings were featured in The New York Times, and Archaeology Magazine selected Gabii one of the top 10 archaeological discoveries of 2013. At Sant’Omobono, where Terrenato has co-directed fieldwork since 2008, archaeologists discovered the earliest known Roman temple, dating to the early sixth century B.C.E. His projects have received major funding from the National Science Foundation, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society, and Loeb Foundation.

Terrenato is author or co-editor of nine books and has published 68 journal articles. Working in partnership with U-M Press, he uses image-based modeling and distributed databases to record excavation discoveries, thus promoting acceptance of this type of scholarly evidence. He has contributed significantly to Michigan’s Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology and directed the American Academy in Rome Summer Program in Archaeology from 2003-12. Among other honors, Terrenato was named the Institute for Advanced Study William D. Loughlin Senior Fellow in 2013 and received the Cullen Prize from Antiquity in 2003.

Distinguished Faculty Governance Award

J. Keith Riles

Since joining the U-M faculty in 1992, J. Keith Riles has championed faculty participation in university governance and advocated for transparent administrative policies and procedures. As a Senate Advisory Committee on University Affairs member from 2006-09 and in other leadership roles, he has spoken eloquently and forcefully on behalf of the professoriate regarding the responsibilities reserved to the faculty under the bylaws of the Board of Regents. He has addressed such important topics as faculty evaluation of administrators, student recruitment and retention and procedures to ensure democratic processes in school and college faculty governance.

He also is active in physics department governance, currently serving as associate chair for research and facilities and as an ex-officio member of the executive committee. A charter member of the Faculty Senate Administration Evaluation Committee, Riles has played a pivotal role in the annual faculty assessment of U-M leadership. He created the initial database of U-M administrative positions and faculty affiliations and has updated the database annually since the survey was launched in 2004.

As a member of the Academic Affairs Advisory Committee from 2005-09, Riles advocated for greater faculty authority over academic policies and helped pass AAAC resolutions concerning Office of the Registrar operations, undergraduate admissions and proposed changes to tenure policies. He also chaired the AAAC subcommittee that studied factors contributing to undergraduate academic success at U-M and authored the 142-page report, “Pre-Admissions Indicators and Undergraduate Student Academic Success at Michigan.”

Riles received LSA’s Excellence in Concentration Advising Award in 2004. He has served on or chaired 31 dissertation committees and supervised 24 senior theses and independent studies projects. He leads the Michigan Gravitational Wave Group, which uses the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory to probe the fundamental forces of nature. A fellow of the American Physical Society, he also is active in the International Astronomical Union and the American Astronomical Society.

Research Faculty Recognition Award

Xianzhe Jia

Jia is the main developer of a magnetohydrodynamic model that has provided the framework for understanding plasma environments around planetary moons and determining their magnetic properties and interior structures. Jia made a crucial contribution leading to the discovery of a global magma ocean under the surface of Jupiter’s moon Io, which was published in Science. He also developed a novel model that explains periodic variations observed in Saturn’s magnetosphere. His atmospheric vortex model is helping unravel one of space science’s intriguing mysteries — the apparent variable rotation rate of Saturn.

In addition to contributing to NASA missions, Jia’s research has played a pivotal role in planning and developing the European Space Agency’s L-class mission to the Jupiter system, the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer mission.  He is a co-investigator on three teams: the particle environment package, magnetometer, and radio and plasma wave investigation teams — building instruments for JUICE.

Jia is respected for his rigorous research, thorough papers and excellent presentations. He has published 25 articles in preeminent journals, including Science, Space Science Reviews and the Journal of Geophysical Research. He has been invited to speak more than 40 times at international conferences and workshops hosted by the American Geophysical Union, European Geophysical Union and International Space Science Institute, among others. He also reviews articles for Nature, Icarus, Geophysical Research Letters and other top journals, as well as research proposals for NASA and the National Science Foundation.

The Collegiate Research Professorship Award

Scott D. Larsen

Scott Larsen, director of U-M’s Vahlteich Medicinal Chemistry Core, is widely known for his world-class contributions to the design and synthesis of potential new drug therapies. He has advanced the development of drugs to combat neurotropic alphaviruses, pathogenic bacteria, rare neurological disorders and cancer, among other diseases.

Larsen collaborates with researchers from a range of disciplines to develop biologically active compounds from small molecules identified by high-throughput screening. He helps transform the molecules through chemical modification into potential medicinal agents.

Current projects include developing a signaling pathway inhibitor that impedes cancer cell migration and fibrosis, novel antivirals for Western equine encephalitis virus, and a lipid biosynthesis inhibitor to treat central nervous system-based inherited metabolic disorders such as Tay-Sachs and Gaucher disease. He also worked on a class of compounds that significantly reduced the spread and severity of group A streptococcus bacteria in mice, a discovery that might have therapeutic value in the treatment of strep and similar infections in humans. He also is working on biofilm inhibitors to combat staphylococcus infections.

Larsen has published more than 65 journal articles and holds 21 patents. He also is an outstanding teacher and mentor and serves on numerous dissertation committees. He created and directed a new Principles of Drug Design course and lectures on drug metabolism in the Bioorganic Principles of Medicinal Chemistry course. He is a member of the American Chemical Society’s division of medicinal chemistry and consultant to Metabolic Solutions Development Company in Kalamazoo.

Research Faculty Achievement Award

Enrico Landi

Enrico Landi is one of the most influential physicists in the field of solar spectroscopy. He has created novel tools to interpret and predict solar radiation and new diagnostic techniques to measure the properties of solar plasmas from spectral observations, enhancing understanding of the physics behind solar activity, the solar corona and solar wind. His work has paved the way for efficient forecasting of solar radiation evolution and variability in order to determine its effects on the Earth’s upper atmosphere and minimize its impact on strategic human assets such as power grids, satellites and telecommunications.

He is the principal architect of the CHIANTI Spectral Code, used by astrophysicists worldwide to interpret spectroscopic observations, and pioneered techniques to measure the physical properties of optically thin and thick plasmas. Landi also developed a method to predict solar irradiance and has performed path-breaking studies of the solar coronal heating, solar wind acceleration and coronal mass ejections. Recently, he combined extreme ultraviolet spectral observations of solar wind source regions in the inner solar corona with in situ measurements of charge state abundances in the solar wind at Earth, revolutionizing theories about solar wind origin.

Landi, co-author of the book “Ultraviolet and X-ray Spectroscopy of the Solar Atmosphere” (2008), has published 166 peer-reviewed articles and delivered 45 invited talks worldwide. He also chairs the international steering committee of the Coronal Solar Magnetism Observatory, which will be the world’s largest refractor telescope. Within CoE, Landi is part of the Solar-Heliospheric Research Group and the Center for Space Environment Modeling. He serves on the college’s honors and awards committee and his department’s executive committee. In addition to receiving the college’s Kenneth M. Reese Outstanding Research Scientist Award, he has been recognized with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Group Achievement Award and the British Royal Astronomical Society Group Achievement Award for Geophysics.

Regents’ Award for Distinguished Public Service

Sridhar Kota

Throughout his career, Sridhar Kota has worked to bridge the gap between theory and practice in engineering research and education, accelerating the translation of academic research to commercialization as president of his own company and through his teaching and public service.

As assistant director for advanced manufacturing in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy from 2009-12, he developed policies and strategies to enhance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, sparked a vital dialogue about the importance of advanced manufacturing to the nation’s future and helped launch the new Advanced Manufacturing Partnership. He proposed and championed establishment of National Manufacturing Innovation institutes that are being implemented throughout the country. He also launched the National Robotics Initiative and others to enhance the competitiveness of small- and medium-size manufacturers.

A member of the CoE since 1987, Kota has pioneered a new paradigm in mechanical design called distributed compliance that eliminates joints, reduces cost, and improves reliability. In 2001, he founded FlexSys Inc. to bring this technology, including his variable geometry airfoil FlexFoil to market. FlexFoil reconfigures an aircraft’s wing in flight to maximize performance, saving fuel and reducing noise.

Kota holds 25 patents and licenses. He has published more than 65 journal articles, 150 conference papers and has co-authored a textbook. He orchestrated and taught U-M’s first interdisciplinary design course and has taught the Design for Manufacturability course for students and practicing engineers since 1990. He has advised 22 Ph.D. graduates and several hundred graduate and undergraduate student mechanical engineering design projects.

Kota is a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers and has consulted for several dozen companies. His awards include ASME’s Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Design Educator Award, Machine Design Award, and Leonardo da Vinci Award and U-M’s Mechanical Engineering Achievement Award and Teaching Excellence Award.



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