Voices of the College: Faculty Notes

Chaloupka receives American Cancer Society Award for Leadership

Frank J. Chaloupka, professor in the Department of Economics, has been awarded the American Cancer Society’s Luther L. Terry Award for Exemplary Leadership in Tobacco Control, an award which honors outstanding accomplishment and is synonymous with excellence in the field. The award recognizes Professor Chaloupka’s leadership in and contributions to global research in the field of tobacco control.

Leon Fink

Leon Fink

Fink wins Book of the Year award

Leon Fink, professor in the Department of History, has won the International Labor History Association’s Book of the Year award for his book Workers in Hard Times (University of Illinois Press, 2014). The ILHA recognized Fink’s work for the way it “represents a cogent contribution to labor history with lessons drawn from past and present worker struggles.”

Javier Villa-Flores

Javier Villa-Flores

Villa-Flores named National Humanities Center Fellow

Javier Villa-Flores, associate professor in Latin American and Latino Studies and in the Department of History, has been named a fellow of the National Humanities Center for the 2015-2016 academic year. Villa-Flores, who studies religious issues, colonialism, performance studies and the social history of language in colonial Mexico, will work on his project “Perjurers, Impersonators, and Liars: Public Faith and the Dark Side of Trust in Eighteenth-Century Mexico.”

Groves named Simons Fellow

Daniel Groves, associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, has been named a 2015 Fellow in Mathematics by the Simons Foundation. The fellowship provides funding for release from classroom and administrative duties for one semester in order to increase time for research. During his Simons semester, Groves will continue his research on geometric group theory.


Wai-Yee Keung

Keung elected fellow of American Physical Society

Wai-Yee Keung, professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He was cited for his “influential contributions to elementary particle theory, including CP violation and electric dipole moments, Higgs physics, and collider phenomenology.” Keung is the author or co-author of more than 150 papers on particle theory and has presented internationally at conferences and symposia.

Mankad lands Sloan Fellowship

Neal Mankad

Neal Mankad

Neal Mankad, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, has been awarded a 2015 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Mankad’s research focus is on inorganic and organometallic chemistry related to catalysis and small molecule activation. His award was one of 126 Sloan two-year research fellowships awarded for 2015 to early career scholars to support and stimulate fundamental research in chemistry, molecular biology, computer science, economics, mathematics, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics. Fellows are chosen in recognition of distinguished performance and their potential to make substantial contributions to their field.

Nanno Marinatos

Nanno Marinatos

Marinatos honored with Festschrift

Nanno Marinatos, professor and head of the Department of Classics and Mediterranean Studies, has recently been recognized with a Festschrift, which is a book honoring a respected scholar that is authored by his or her peers and colleagues as a tribute during his or her lifetime. A special issue of the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections (Vol 7, No 3: JAEI September 2015) celebrates Professor Marinatos and her significant contributions to understanding interconnections in the ancient Mediterranean world.

Morr receives Humboldt Foundation Fellowship

Dirk Morr, professor in the Department of Physics, has received an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship, which allows internationally recognized scientists to conduct research in Germany. Morr will use his fellowship to collaborate with research groups at the Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems and the Technical University in Dresden and at the University of Leipzig to understand the emergence of quantum criticality and topological phases in strongly correlated electron materials. This is the third time that Morr has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Fellowship.

Nagy named Geochemistry Fellow

Kathryn Nagy

Kathryn Nagy

Kathryn Nagy, professor and head of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, has been named a Fellow of the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry. The honorary title of Geochemistry Fellow is bestowed upon outstanding scientists who have, over some years, made a major contribution to the field of geochemistry. Nagy investigates geochemical and biogeochemical reactions in systems that affect the surface and near-surface regions of the earth. Currently, she is focusing on mercury levels in the water supply. The title of Geochemistry Fellow, which was recommended by a joint committee of the GS/EAG, was awarded to Nagy at the Goldschmidt Meeting in Prague in August 2015.


Serdar Ogut

Ogut elected to Turkish science academy

Serdar Ogut, professor in the Department of Physics, has been elected as a member of Bilim Akademisi, the Turkish Science Academy. Ogut is a theoretical condensed matter physicist, whose research focuses on investigations of structural, electronic, and optical properties of materials from first principals. Bilim Akademisi is a independent, self-governing organization dedicated to promoting scientific merit, freedom, and integrity. It strives to contribute to the improvement of science education and to disseminate information to the public on scientific development. Ogut and six international colleagues join the academy as newly elected members. Ogut was unanimously elected by his peers.

Pellegrino receives educational research award

James Pellegrino, LAS distinguished professor of Psychology, co-director of the Learning Sciences Research Institute, and UIC distinguished professor of education, has received the 2015 Educational Research Award from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents. The award is given for outstanding achievement in educational research that improves children’s learning and understanding. Pellegrino’s research and development interests focus on children’s and adults’ thinking and learning and the implications of cognitive research and theory for assessment and instructional practice. He received the award in May 2015 at the CSSP meeting in Washington, D.C.

Pugh named 2015 Guggenheim Fellow

Christina Pugh

Christina Pugh

Christina Pugh, professor in the Department of English, has been awarded a 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship in poetry. As a Guggenheim fellow during the 2015-2016 academic year, Pugh will work on a book-in-progress titled “Stardust Media,” a collection of reflective poems that follow a poetic speaker through encounters with various technologies- both ancient and contemporary.

Reeves garners Whiting poetry award

Roger Reeves, assistant professor in the Department of English, has been named one of four poets to receive the 2015 Whiting Award from the Whiting Foundation. Reeves is the author of King Me (Copper Canyon Press, 2013) and the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including an NEA Fellowship and a Ruth Lilly Fellowship. The 30-year-old Whiting Award recognizes emerging writers of exceptional promise and carries a $50,000 prize.

Risman named Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences

Barbara Risman, professor in the Department of Sociology, has been named a 2015-2016 Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, a highly prestigious distinction for social scientists and philosophers. The award draws an international class of senior scholar fellows to Stanford to create interdisciplinary discussion groups and begin new projects. Risman received the award to further her research in gender inequality, families, feminist activism, and public sociology.

Steven Rikvin

Steven Rivkin

Rivkin among most influential education scholars

Steven Rivkin, professor and head of the Department of Economics, was named as among the 200 most influential education scholars in the U.S. The 2015 ranking was compiled by Frederick Hess, the director of educational policy studies for the American Enterprise Institute. Hess, who blogs for Education Week, bases his “Edu-Scholar Public Influence Ranking” on several factors, including the Google Scholar Score which aggregates the number of widely cited articles, books, and papers a scholar has produced and their total mentions in the news media. The Institute’s rankings spotlight university-based scholars who move ideas from academic journals into the national conversation. Rivkin studies the economics of education, labor economics, and public finance. He has written about teacher quality, the benefits of smaller classes, and the effectiveness of charter schools.

Sinapova wins National Science Foundation CAREER Award


Dima Sinapova

Dima Sinapova, assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science, has received a 2015 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her project, "Forcing and Large Cardinals.” The CAREER Award is one of the NSF’s most prestigious honors, which supports promising junior faculty in their continued education and research.

Sivalingam Sivananthan

Sivalingam Sivananthan

Sivananthan gets lifetime achievement award

Sivalingam Sivananthan, LAS distinguished professor in the Department of Physics and director of the UIC Microphysics Lab, has been recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Sri Lanka Foundation. The award, which was presented in a ceremony in Los Angeles in November 2014, honors individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their community. Sivananthan, whose field focuses on solar and other alternative energies, works at the intersection of innovation and entrepreneurship, conducting groundbreaking research and then facilitating the development of new technologies from that research. He is principal in six corporations including Sivananthan Laboratories, Inc., EPIR Technologies, Inc., Episolar, Inc., and Episensors. Among the products brought to market through his entrepreneurship is the material used in night vision technology critical to operations of the U.S. Department of Defense. In 2012 Sivananthan launched InSPIRE, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to green-industry education and job training. InSPIRE works with populations in the public schools and with veteran groups.

Weissberg named SEL Champion

Roger Weissberg, distinguished professor of Psychology and Education and NoVo Foundation endowed chair in social and emotional learning (SEL), was honored as the inaugural SEL Champion by Dancing Classrooms, a New York-based organization dedicated to cultivating essential life skills in children through the practice of social dance. Weissberg’s work at UIC’s Social and Emotional Learning Research Group and in his leadership role at the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is dedicated to research and practice in preventive interventions with children and adolescents through the development of social competence. He has authored more than 200 publications and trained scholars and practitioners to design and deliver school-based programs that prevent problem and high risk behaviors. Weissberg received his award at the Dancing Classrooms gala in New York on March 11, 2015.

Zhang named Woodrow Wilson Fellow


Yue Zhang

Yue Zhang, associate professor in the Department of Political Science, has been named a Woodrow Wilson Fellow by the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, based on her project “Informal Urbanization: The Making and Governance of Megacities in China, India, and Brazil.” As a fellow, Zhang will be offered a nine month residential fellowship to conduct research and write while interacting with policymakers in Washington, D.C. and the Wilson Center staff.