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This article was originally printed in the November 2005 issue of CLASnotes.

Mark Your Calendar

The next CLAS Assembly is Wednesday, November 16 at 4 pm in room 282 of the Reitz Union. Dean Neil Sullivan will discuss the state of the college, and Interim Dean of the Graduate School Kenneth Gerhardt will talk about graduate education at UF.

CLAS Scientists Named AAAS Fellows

Physics Professor Arthur Hebard and Chemistry Professor Weihong Tan have been awarded the distinction of Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) along with 374 other scientists this year. The association annually elevates its top members to the rank of Fellow in recognition of their distinguished efforts in the advancement of science. To date, 24 UF faculty have received this honor.

Arthur Hebard
Arthur Hebard

Weihong Tan
Weihong Tan

Hebard, who has been a physics professor at UF since 1996, specializes in condensed matter. In his awards citation from the AAAS, he is honored for his “seminal studies in thin-film physics, especially in magnetism, dilute magnetic semiconductors, fullerenes and superconductors.” Much of Hebard’s work is done through the facilities of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and he has been issued six US patents.

Tan also has taught at UF since 1996. His areas of specialty are bioanalytical chemistry, biomedical engineering and biophysics, and his citation recognizes his “work in biosensors, molecular recognition, and bio-nanotechnlogy, covering molecular-beacon design, biosensor development, and studies in intracellular mRNA monitoring.” Tan is the associate director of UF’s Center for Research at the Bio/nano Interface and has been issued four US patents for his work in the past two years.

Hebard and Tan will be honored during a special ceremony at the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting in St. Louis on February 18, where they will receive an official certificate and a gold and blue rosette pin symbolizing science and engineering.

Founded in 1848, the AAAS began its tradition of designating Fellows in 1874. The non-profit organization is the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science.

Florida Blue Key Honors CLAS Professors

Kenneth Gerhardt
Kenneth Gerhardt

Marc Branch
Marc Branch

Nora Alter
Nora Alter

As part of the university’s homecoming festivities in October, three CLAS professors were honored with 2005 Distinguished Faculty Awards from Florida Blue Key for their outstanding service and dedication to UF. German Professor Nora Alter, Psychology Professor Marc Branch and Communication Sciences and Disorders Professor Kenneth Gerhardt were among three of the six professors selected from across campus for the prestigious award. In the past four years alone, 11 of the 18 faculty members who have received these awards have been CLAS professors.

“I believe you have the most for a couple of reasons,” says Danny Miller, chair of the awards committee and UF advertising senior. “As seen in the individuals chosen, CLAS puts a real emphasis on students—that is what is important to us. You have well-rounded candidates, and you are motivated to nominate them to see the hardworking faculty be honored.”

College deans, department chairs or university vice presidents nominate faculty members, who are then selected by a campus-wide committee comprised of UF faculty and undergraduate and graduate students. Winners are announced at the Homecoming Education Celebration and are honored throughout homecoming weekend—riding in the homecoming parade, participating in a special President’s Brunch and experiencing a round of applause from Gator fans on the football field following the first quarter of the homecoming game.

Welcome New Advisors

Catherine Lawton and Naomi ParkerThe Academic Advising Center welcomes two new advisors this year. Catherine Thibodeau Lawton (right) is a general CLAS advisor, but also serves as an AIM advisor and a member of the provost’s Community College Relations Team. She holds two degrees from UF—a BS in human resource development and a Master of Education. Naomi Adaire Parker (left) is a pre-law advisor. She earned a BA in sociology with a concentration in anthropology from North Carolina State University and an MA in education with a specialization in adult education from East Carolina University.

Top Statistician to Speak at UF

Bradley EfronBradley Efron, a professor of statistics and biostatistics at Stanford University, will present the 2005 Challis Lecture at UF on November 30 from 4–5 pm in room 282 of the Reitz Union. The lectureship is sponsored by the Gill Foundation of Texas, in cooperation with the UF Department of Statistics, and is presented annually by a premier statistician who has made profound contributions to the field. Efron will lecture on “Fifty Years of Empirical Bayes” to a general audience. On November 29, he will deliver a more technical speech on multiple testing problems from 4–5 pm in room 349 of the Reitz Union. Both events are free and open to the public.

Efron is best known for his work proposing the bootstrap resampling technique, which has been applied in many quantitative disciplines beyond statistics. He has published more than 100 papers and served as president of both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association. Efron also is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association.

Department News

African American Studies

The program is pleased to announce the addition of a new 18-credit minor and is registering students now for the upcoming spring semester. On October 17, more than 50 people gathered at a special reception in Dauer Hall for the official announcement of the new minor, during which the program’s faculty each gave an overview of their background, area of expertise and courses. The event was highlighted with cultural music and catered by Reggae Shack Cafe and Junior’s Restaurant.

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Jaeock Kim, a PhD student working with Christine Sapienza, has received a scholarship to attend the International Conference on Aging, Disability and Independency in February in St. Petersburg. She will present her dissertation work titled “Physiological Effects of Respiratory Muscle Strength Training on Breathing, Cough and Swallow Functions in the Elderly.”

Criminology, Law and Society

Paul Magnarella recently published “The Background and Causes of the Genocide in Rwanda” in a special issue of the Journal of International Criminal Justice devoted to Rwanda. Antonio Cassese, the first president of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and a member of the Appellate Chamber of both the Yugoslavian and Rwandan Criminal Tribunals edited the issue.


William Logan has received the first-ever Randall Jarrell Award in Poetry Criticism from the Poetry Foundation. He received $10,000 for his poetry criticism, which is aimed at a large general readership rather than an audience of specialists. Logan is the author of four books of criticism and a regular critic of poetry for the New York Times Book Review. Upon conferring the honor, Christian Wiman, editor of Poetry magazine, noted “William Logan has been called ‘the most hated man in American poetry,’ but the truth is that even those who can’t stand his opinions can’t keep themselves from reading him. He is provocative, incisive, inventive, and, best of all, he is a great prose stylist.”

Geological Sciences

LUECI Director Mark Brenner presented a paper titled “Cambios climáticos en la región del Caribe durante los ~36,000 años pasados: implicaciones para la distribución de humedales y fauna acuática” (Climatic Changes in the Caribbean Region During the Last ~36,000 Years: Implications for the Distribution of Wetlands and Aquatic Fauna) at the fifth International Symposium on Wetlands in Playa Larga, Matanzas, Cuba in October.

The meeting brought together scientists from Florida, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Ecuador to help develop a management plan for the Zapata Swamp in southwest Cuba. The aquatic ecosystem shares many characteristics with the Florida Everglades.

Germanic and Slavic Studies

Nora Alter (German) has received one of the most prestigious honors in German studies, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) German Academic Exchange Service Prize for Distinguished Scholarship in German and European Studies from the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at The Johns Hopkins University. The aim of the prize is to foster a new generation of American scholarship on Germany and to encourage innovative contributions to the interdisciplinary scope of German studies. She will receive $5,000 and will be honored at the institute’s Global Leadership award dinner on November 10 in New York City.

Otto Johnston (German) was inducted into the Florida Foreign Language Association’s Teacher Hall of Fame at its annual conference in October. The Hall of Fame recognizes the accomplishments of Florida’s foreign language and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) educators at all levels of instruction.


The department’s student-run journal, Alpata: A Journal of History, recently won second place in the national Phi Alpha Theta history honors society’s publications competition. Only in its second year of publication, Alpata is overseen by a student editorial board headed by graduate student Jace Stuckey and undergraduate Brandon Stelck. Last year’s inaugural issue was guided by graduate student Samuel Pierce and undergraduate Anne Osborn. Professor Jack Davis serves as the publication’s advisor. Copies of Alpata are available for purchase in the department’s main office in room 25 Keene-Flint Hall.

Romance Languages and Literatures

On October 5–6, Professor Emeritus of French Raymond Gay-Crosier gave two invited lectures and a faculty seminar on “Questions de méthode critique et de stratégie éditoriale dans la préparation de la nouvelle Pléiade Camus” at the University of Ulster-Corelaine in Northern Ireland.

Tan photo courtesy of Weihong Tan
Gerhardt by Jane Gibson, Parker and Lawton by Jeff Stevens
Bradley Efron courtesy of Statistics
All others by Jane Dominguez

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