ALUMNI CLASnotes

 

Around the College


CLAS Graduate Students Recognized as Top in State
ChurchillTwo CLAS graduate students were chosen by Florida Leader Magazine as finalists for the 14th annual "Florida College Student of the Year" award. The awards program, which recognizes students who support themselves through college, excel academically, and are involved in community service and political activism, honors Florida's most outstanding campus leaders with nearly $50,000 in scholarships and prizes.

SlossbergSociology student Candace Churchill won a $1,000 honorable mention, while Political Science student Gary Slossberg received a $2,500 finalist prize. Churchill, leader of numerous projects to improve services for women on campus including anti-rape campaigns, is president of Campus NOW and a teaching assistant for Felix Berardo's "Marriage and Family" course. She used her prize money to help support a summer research internship in New York City with Redstockings, a feminist think-tank.

Slossberg, who studies political campaigning with Michael Martinez, is the Vision Party chairperson; he ran for student body president last spring. Slossberg is also past president of the Inter-residence Hall Association and the Jewish Student Union.


CLAS Alumnus Participates in Lecture Series
AbingtonEdward Abington (BA, Political Science, 1966 and MA, Political Science, 1967) spent three days at UF in October and gave a series of seminars and lectures about such topics as the Middle East peace process, negotiating religious conflict, and choosing a Foreign Service career. His visit, which was sponsored by the Center for Jewish Studies in conjunction with the political science department, was an opportunity for CLAS to learn from an experienced insider about the struggles of negotiating peace in one of the most contested regions in history.

Since graduating from UF, Abington has had a distinguished 30-year career in the Foreign Service, most of which was spent in the Middle East and Washington DC dealing with the Arab-Israeli dispute. His last overseas assignment was from 1993-97 as the American Consul General in Jerusalem. He was the senior American representative dealing with President Arafat and other members of the Palestinian National Authority. He helped negotiate numerous Israeli-Palestinian agreements, including the 1995 Interim Agreement and the 1997 Hebron Agreement. Abington has retired from the Foreign Service and now lives in Washington, DC where he provides counsel to the Palestinian National Authority on its relations with Washington.


Wagener Named UF Teacher/ Scholar of the Year
Kenneth Wagener (Chemistry) was named the 1999-2000 Teacher/Scholar of the Year. This award is the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member by UF.

WagenerWagener earned his PhD in organic and polymer chemistry at UF in 1973 and then went to work for Akzo Nobel, a leading Dutch corporation. After 12 years in the business, he realized it was time to return to teaching. "I came back to UF because I love to teach. I love interacting with the students. I don't see teaching as a job, I see it as a privilege."

The Teacher/Scholar of the Year award is based on recommendations from faculty members and academic deans, with the approval of the Faculty Academic Advisory Group, the provost and the president. Wagener was formally recognized as this year's recipient at the August commencement ceremony.

The importance of Wagener's scholarship has been widely recognized. This year he was given a rare grant extension from the National Science Foundation. The "Two Year Extension for Special Creativity" extends three-year grants to five years without requiring a renewal proposal. The NSF grant will fund Wagener's research on the study of branching in polyethylene, the world's largest volume polymer.


CLAS Botanist Speaks at British Conference
Botany professor Alice Harmon, who is also this year's Michael Zerner Commemorative Term Professor, recently spoke at the 52nd Harden Conference on Plant Signal Transduction at Wye College. Harmon studies the molecular biology of plant responses to the environment and is also involved in research on the genomics of plant protein kinases.

Harmon traveled to Kent in the United Kingdom to give her talk titled "Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases -- Substrates and Signalling." The Harden Conferences are residential research conferences held annually under the auspices of the Biochemical Society. Each conference covers a specialist topic and is aimed at the forefront of biological research.

Harmon

Anthropologist Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Michael Moseley, professor of anthropology, was recently elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Moseley's election into this prestigious body is in recognition of his many years of pioneering archaeological research in Peru and the Central Andes. His investigations have ranged from examining the remains of 10,000-year-old fishermen to studying the capitals of great empires.

Mosley

Emeritus Professors 2000
In the last academic year, six CLAS professors who retired were awarded the honorary emeritus status. Former CLAS Dean Will Harrison, who is currently on the faculty of the department of chemistry, was awarded the Dean Emeritus title.

  • John Anderson
    Associate Professor Emeritus, Zoology
  • Ron Foreman
    Associate Professor Emeritus, African-American Studies
  • Marvin Harris
    Graduate Research Professor Emeritus, Anthropology
  • Will Harrison
    Dean Emeritus
  • Carwford Holling
    Eminent Scholar Emeritus, Zoology
  • Frank Nordlie
    Professor Emeritus, Zoology
  • Robert Scholes
    Professor Emeritus, Communication Sciences and Disorders

President Young Announces Future Plans, Appoints Permanent Provost
YoungOn September 26, Interim President Charles Young announced he would remain at UF for at least two more years and has plans to become the university's permanent president.

Young had postponed an announcement about his status because of the health of his wife, Sue, who is battling breast cancer in California. The Board of Regents reached an agreement with Young, and at this time he will remain as interim president.

Chancellor Adam Herbert said he believes Young is the right person for the job. "The Board (of Regents) is interested in Dr. Young serving as permanent president as soon as that is possible. I am excited for the University of Florida, the State University System, and all of Florida. He brings outstanding credentials and a vibrant passion for education."

ColburnYoung served as Chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles for 29 years and retired in 1997. He has indicated that one of his first and highest priorities is to fill senior-level academic and administrative positions.

A week after Young stated his intentions, he appointed David Colburn to serve as provost and vice president for academic affairs. Colburn has served as interim provost since last November. Young said there is no one better qualified than Colburn for this position since he has handled several challenges facing UF over the past 10 months. "The permanent appointment of David Colburn to provost provides the university with the stability needed to make important personnel and policy decisions. This is indeed an indication the University of Florida is moving forward."

Colburn is a former CLAS associate dean and vice provost for academic affairs. He is currently director of the Reubin O'D. Askew Center on Politics and Society at UF and is a professor of history.

-- Allyson A. Beutke

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