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Release: Jan 16, 2002

Photos (from top): Raul Curto, David Wiemer.

UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences names Collegiate Fellows

Two University of Iowa professors have been named Collegiate Fellows in the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in recognition of their years of distinguished teaching, research and service to the college. The 2002 Collegiate Fellows are Raul Curto, executive associate dean and professor of mathematics, and David Wiemer, professor of chemistry.

Linda Maxson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, said the distinction is a way for the college to honor outstanding faculty members at the rank of full professor who have consistently demonstrated their dedication to the three-pronged mission of the college.

"This award was created to recognize senior faculty whose distinction in teaching and scholarship is matched by exceptional leadership in service to the university, the college and their departments," Maxson said. "Both Raul and David have for years given of their time, talents and energy for the benefit of the college and the university as a whole, and I am pleased to be able to honor their achievements."

Collegiate Fellows receive an increase in pay as well as a discretionary fund in each of the first two years of a five-year, renewable term. Fellows are also invited to meet with Maxson and the college's associate deans twice each year to discuss opportunities for improving faculty life and undergraduate education.

Curto has been a member of Iowa’s mathematics faculty since 1981, and in addition to teaching he has served in a number of administrative capacities, including chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He became the college’s associate dean for faculty in 1996 and was named executive associate dean in 1998. In that capacity, he directs the faculty recruitment, appointment, and review processes, and he also administers university personnel policies for faculty, graduate assistants, and non-academic staff in the college. The university honored him with its Catalyst Award in 2000 for his commitment to diversity, especially with respect to recruiting a diverse faculty and mentoring junior faculty. As a mathematician, Curto has had continuous research support from the National Science Foundation since 1980. He is a world leader in the study of functional analysis, particularly operator theory, and has given more than a hundred invited talks on five continents. He has had three books published in the prestigious series "Memoirs of the American Mathematical Society," and his writings stand as the definitive word on the truncated moment problem and the Taylor spectrum.

A member of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences chemistry faculty since 1978, Wiemer has just completed an 18-month term as interim associate dean in the UI Graduate College.

A winner of the Collegiate Teaching Award, he is a legendary teacher of undergraduate and graduate organic chemistry, known for cultivating his students’ success in rigorous courses with state-of-the-art content. He has directed 29 doctoral dissertations and mentored dozens of students in his laboratory. Wiemer’s interdisciplinary research on the isolation, structural characterization, and synthesis of bioactive natural products is highly regarded worldwide. In recent years he has undertaken collaborative efforts with colleagues in the College of Medicine to design novel agents for gene delivery and for cancer therapy. He has published dozens of articles in leading journals in chemistry and biochemistry and is much sought after as a speaker and peer reviewer. Major sponsors of his research have included the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Leukemia Society of America and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.