Alumni CLASnotes Summer 2004

Around the College

Vicki SarajediniSHINE ON:
Astronomy Professor Vicki Sarajedini has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award, becoming one of seven UF astronomers to win the award in the past six years alone. Assistant Physics Professor Stephen Hagen also received a grant this year. Only the top 10 percent of young tenure-track faculty in the US are given CAREER grants to support their research.

Flagship for Discovery
UF Holds Inauguration for New President
On September 9-10, UF will celebrate the inauguration of its 11th president, J. Bernard "Bernie" Machen, by featuring symposia sponsored by each of its colleges and units, nationally recognized guest speakers, and Machen's installation ceremony at noon on September 10 in the O'Connell Center.

The CLAS-sponsored symposia on September 9, include "Astrophysics in the New Millennium: The Legacy of Newton and Einstein," "The Ethics, Politics and Science of Environment and Ecology" and "UF Partnerships with African Universities: Partners in Education and Research." Visit CLASannounce for more information.

Machen, who took office January 5, was educated as a pediatric dentist and has held leadership positions at the University of Michigan, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and University of Utah.

N. Yngve OhrnProfessors Receive Teaching & Advising Awards
Professor of Chemistry and Physics N. Yngve Ohrn has received the 2003-2004 UF Teacher/Scholar Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member at the University of Florida. The award is given annually to the professor who best demonstrates excellence in teaching and scholarly activity and exhibits visibility within and beyond the university. Ohrn has taught at UF for the past 38 years and is recognized worldwide for his fundamental and important contributions to quantum chemistry. He has served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and as director of the Quantum Theory Project, a world-renowned interdepartmental center in physics and chemistry.

Also recognized by the university recently was Botany Professor Jack Putz, who received a 2003-2004 UF Teacher of the Year award for his outstanding achievements as a teacher of botany, ecology and forestry for the past 21 years. The award is given annually to two professors who demonstrate excellence, innovation and effectiveness when teaching undergraduates. Elliot Douglas, a professor of materials science and engineering, also received the award this year. In addition to Putz, CLAS had 11 college-level teaching and advising award winners. The teaching award winners are: Miklos Bona, mathematics; James Button, political science; Renee Johnson, political science; Gillian Lord, Romance languages and literatures; Anthony Oliver-Smith, anthropology; Alex Piquero, criminology; Greg Pryor, zoology; Jennifer Rea, classics; and Gene Witmer, philosophy. Advising awards went to David Hedge, political science, and John Perlette, English.

Retiring Faculty
Eleven CLAS faculty members from eight departments retired at the end of the academic year. These professors were honored at the CLAS Baccalaureate ceremony on April 30, and each retiree received a chair emblazoned with the seal of the university and an attached plaque bearing the faculty member's name and years of service.

Walter R. Cunningham, Psychology
David A. Jones, Botany
Murdo J. MacLeod, History
Stephen A. Saxon, Mathematics
Harry Shaw, English and Office of Academic Support and Institutional Services
L. Elizabeth Seiberling, Physics
Douglas L. Smith, Geology
Eldon R. Turner, History
Henri A. Van Rinsvelt, Physics
Anne M. Wyatt-Brown, Linguistics
Bertram Wyatt-Brown, History

Harry ShawFrom Harry to Terry
Associate Deanship for Minority Affairs Changes Hands
Associate Dean of Minority Affairs Harry Shaw retired on March 31, after more than 30 years of service to the university. Hired as an English professor in 1973, Shaw also has overseen CLAS minority recruitment, retention and mentoring since 1979, serving as the first head of the Office of Academic Support and Institutional Services (OASIS).

Terry MillsShaw is succeeded by Terry Mills, assistant dean of the Graduate School and a sociology professor. In his role as assistant dean, Mills was responsible for leading the Office of Graduate Minority Programs and overseeing the administration of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. As the CLAS associate dean for minority affairs, Mills will continue such work through mentoring, encouragement, professional development and assistance. "I am a little nervous about following such an icon," Mills says. "Dr. Shaw is a very charismatic person who has made a positive impact on thousands of individuals at UF and in the community. He leaves some very big shoes to fill, but I have big feet."

PAACTPAACT Welcomes New Students
Almost 6,800 new freshmen started their college careers at UF during either the summer or fall 2004 semesters. Of these students, more than 300 signed up for PAACT, or Pledging to Achieve Academic Competence Together, a program for minority students. Run by the Office for Academic Support and Institutional Services (OASIS), PAACT's goal is to increase the retention and graduation rates of minority students. As pictured to the left, the students participate in special week-long orientations during the week preceding the start of summer and fall classes. The orientation phase is followed by coordinated year-long support services for minority students in all colleges, and PAACT has been highly successful in helping students increase their grade point averages.

Jane Dominguez

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