Around the College
CLAS Graduate Students Recognized as Top in
Sociology 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
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
Wagener 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.
Emeritus Professors 2000
President Young Announces Future Plans,
Appoints Permanent Provost
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."
Young 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