President Bush Nominates
Neikirk Term Professor for National Council
In mid-October, President George W. Bush nominated History Professor Stephen A. McKnight to serve as a member of the National Council on the Humanities. The council is a 25-person advisory board to the National Endowment for the Humanities, which is an independent grant-making agency of the federal government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in the humanities. Council members serve six-year terms.
Along with McKnight, the president nominated eight other individuals to serve on the council. The Senate must confirm all nominations. Once confirmed, McKnight would be the first person from UF to serve on the council. A professor of European history and the history of science, McKnight has been at UF since 1972. Last year, he was the first Waldo Neikirk Term Professor in the college.
Teacher of the Year Awards
Geography Professor Peter Waylen won the 2002 UF Teacher of the Year Award. He was recognized in April at a reception at UF President Charles Young's home and was honored at the college's spring commencement ceremony in May.
Waylen has been teaching at UF for 17 years and was promoted to full professor in 1997. A native of southern England, Waylen earned his BS from the London School of Economics in 1975 and his MA and PhD from McMaster University in 1976 and 1982, respectively. Before coming to UF, he was on the faculty at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.
Waylen's primary research area is the effects of El Niño on hydroelectric power production, and he is an affiliated faculty member with UF's Center for Latin American Studies. He teaches several undergraduate and graduate classes including Introduction to Physical Geography, Hydrology, and Hydrologic Modeling.
Waylen was one of nine faculty members who received a CLAS Teacher of the Year Award and was in competition with faculty members from other colleges for the top honor. The other CLAS Teachers of the Year are listed below.
Ronald H. Carpenter, English
Marsha Bryant, English
Steven Noll, History
Pham Huu Tiep, Mathematics
Alexandre Turull, Mathematics
Lise Abrams, Psychology
Terry L. Mills, Sociology
Marta L. Wayne, Zoology
Chemistry Professor Receives Sloan Foundation Fellowship
Michael Scott has received a two-year Alfred P. Sloan Research Foundation Fellowship. The fellowships were established in 1955 and are awarded to young scientists in the fields of mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, economics and neuroscience. The award includes an unrestricted grant of $40,000, which Scott is using to support his research on the development of biomimetic copper oxidation catalysts.
Scott received his PhD in inorganic chemistry from Harvard University in 1994 and held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before coming to UF in 1997.
Faculty Receive Fulbright Awards
Anthropology Professor Anthony Oliver-Smith received a Fulbright Senior Specialists Award to conduct research in Peru this summer. Oliver-Smith is among the first grantees under the new Fulbright Senior Specialists short-term grant program, which offers two-to-six-week grants to leading US academics. During May and June, Oliver-Smith spent two weeks at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perù in San Miguel, consulting in the design of a program to evaluate the impact of development programs, urban expansion and natural disasters.
Richard Scher, a political science professor, has received a Fulbright Distinguished Chairs Program Award for the 2002-2003 academic year. The award is among the most prestigious appointments in the Fulbright Scholars Program. Scher is the John Marshall Chair of American Politics in Hungary and teaches courses on US government, politics and political institutions at the Central European University in Budapest and the University of Debrecen.
Center for African Studies Hosts West African Professors
To build ties with UF, four West African professors visited campus in late July to map out a long-term partnership with their colleagues in the US. "This is the beginning of exploring this opportunity," says Leonardo Villalón, new director of the Center for African Studies. "We hope to have broad-based exchanges of students and faculty in teaching positions." A partnership between UF and West African universities would allow UF faculty and students to study in Africa to heighten their international role. The visitors were Irene Odotei and Kofi Anyidoho from the University of Ghana, Boubakar Barry from the University Cheikh Anta Diop in Senegal, and Issiaka-Prosper Laleye from Gaston Berger University in Senegal.
Leonardo Villalón joined UF this summer as the new director of the Center for African Studies and a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. Before coming to UF, he was an associate professor of political science at the University of Kansas and also directed the undergraduate major in international studies. Villalón received his DEA (Diplôme d'Etudes Approfondies) from L'Institut d'Etudes Politiques de la Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques in Paris in 1985 before earning his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992, where he specialized in comparative politics and international relations.
As a Fulbright professor and visiting professor, Villalón has taught at two universities in Senegal and also has lectured at other institutions in a number of countries in West Africa. His research focuses on the politics of the former French colonies of West Africa, and especially the Sahelian countries of Senegal, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Above, Left to Right: Leonardo Villalón, Irene Odotei, Todd Leedy, Issiaka-Prosper Laleye, Kofi Anyidoho and Boubakar Barry.
New Associate Deans
Yumiko Hulvey, an associate professor of Japanese languages and literatures in the African and Asian languages and literatures department, is the new associate dean for academic affairs. French Professor Carol Murphy, who held the position since 1999, returned to full-time teaching and research in the Romance languages and literatures department on July 1. Hulvey, who has taught at UF since 1990, specializes in Japanese prose and poetry of the 10th-14th centuries.
Distinguished Professor of Zoology Lou Guillette is the new associate dean for research. Guillette has taught at UF since 1985 and is internationally recognized for his work in the field of reproductive biology and developmental endocrinology. In 1998, UF recognized Guillette with the Teacher/Scholar of the Year Award, the highest honor given to a faculty member.
James Mueller is the new associate dean for administrative affairs. He succeeds Chemistry Professor Lisa McElwee-White, who held the position since 1998. Mueller is an associate professor of religion and also serves as a faculty member in the Center for Jewish Studies. His research interests are in the area of Greco-Roman period Judaism and Christianity.
Constance Shehan, a professor of sociology, is the new associate dean for special projects. Shehan has been at UF since 1982 and recently served as the director of the University Center for Excellence in Teaching. Her research focuses on children and families, gender roles, and aging and adult development.
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