The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us


300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024

Release: Dec. 20, 2001

Kay Gfeller and Dorothy Johnson are named F. Wendell Miller professorships

Kay Gfeller, head of the music therapy area of the University of Iowa School of Music, and Dorothy Johnson, director of the UI School of Art and Art history, have been appointed F. Wendell Miller Professors.

Miller professorships have been designated in several UI departments. Previous appointments in the arts have included Frank Conroy, director of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, Pulitzer Prize winning poet James Alan McPherson, and Richard DePuma and Chunghi Choo from the School of Art and Art History.

Linda Maxson, dean of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, comments: "Kate and Dorothy are among our most distinguished faculty by every applicable standard -- as influential researchers, as inspiring teachers and generous mentors of our students, and as leaders in service to the college and their disciplines. The exceptional quality of their work has been apparent from very early in their careers, and they have fulfilled their promise in ways that bring honor and national visibility to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

"Their appointment as Miller Professors is most gratifying and well deserved."

Gfeller is a professor in the UI School of Music and the department of speech pathology and audiology. She is an affiliate faculty member in Aging Studies and served the College of Liberal Arts as associate dean for faculty 1993-96.

Gfeller's primary research focus is music perception and aural rehabilitation of adults and children who have significant hearing losses. She is principal investigator for the Music Perception Project of the Iowa Cochlear Implant Research Project in the department of otolaryngology, funded by the National Institutes of Health. She has also studied applications of music therapy for persons with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, which was funded by the Federal Administration on Aging.

She presents regularly at national and international meetings, and her research is published in numerous peer-reviewed journals, including the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, Ear and Hearing, and the Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology. She is co-author of "An Introduction to Music Therapy: Theory and Practice," now in its second edition and published in four languages.

Past awards include a 2001 Iowa Board of Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, the National Association for Music Therapy Outstanding Researcher Award in 1996 and the UI/Burlington Northern Foundation Faculty Achievement Award in 1991. She was appointed

Visiting Research Professor of the Humanities at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia in 1997, has been an invited lecturer at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. She was a CIC Academic Leadership Fellow in 1993.

Johnson is director of the UI School of Art and Art History and a professor in art history, specializing in 18th- and 19th-century art and the painter Jacques-Louis David. She is the author of two books, "Jacques-Louis David: Art in Metamorphosis," published by Princeton University Press in 1994, and "Jacques-Louis David: ‘'The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis,'" published in 1997 as one of the J. Paul Getty Museum Studies on Art. She is translating the published writings of David for the University of California Press and is the editor and co-author of the forthcoming "Cambridge Companion to David." She is currently writing a book on Romantic Hellenism in
19th-century French art.

Johnson has also published articles and reviews in many scholarly journals, including Art History, Art Bulletin, Gazette des Beaux-Arts,, the Kunstchronik and Eighteenth-Century Studies. She has presented lectures at conferences and professional meetings, and by invitation at universities and museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Louvre.

Johnson studied at the University of Cincinnati and the Sorbonne in Paris and received a doctorate in art history from the University of California at Berkeley. She has received many awards and honors, including a French Government Fellowship to study at the Sorbonne, a Regents Fellowship at the University of California, a George Lurcy Fellowship and a Haakon Fellowship to conduct research in France and a College Art Association Travel Grant. She was selected for Phi Beta Kappa and was a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley for 1990-91 and again in 1992.

She has been on the faculty of the UI School of Art and Art History since 1987. She was head of the art history division 1993-95 and has been director of the school since 1995. At the UI she has received an Old Gold Summer Grant for research, a Faculty Scholar Award and an Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship from the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies.

She is a member of the board of directors of the College Art Association.

The Miller professorships are named for F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager from Rockwell City, Iowa, who died in 1995. Miller's will left the bulk of his estate to the UI and Iowa State University to encourage the advancement of academic endeavors. The Miller Endowment Trust was established from the Miller estate, with interest and income from the trust divided equally between ISU and the UI.