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Release: Jan. 21, 2003

UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences names Collegiate Fellows

Four 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 2003 Collegiate Fellows are Amitava Bhattacharjee, professor of physics and astronomy; Virginia Dominguez, professor of anthropology; Brooks Landon, professor of English; and Michael O’Hara, professor of psychology and associate dean for research and development.

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. "All of these professors displayed a deep commitment to the college and the university as a whole, giving generously of their time, talents, and energy for many years. I am pleased to be able to recognize their achievements and honor their dedication."

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.

Bhattacharjee is a prominent researcher in theoretical plasma physics, widely recognized for his contributions to magnetic reconnection and turbulence theory. He is director of the Center for Magnetic Reconnection Studies, a multi-institutional high-performance computing consortium, and associate editor of the Journal of Geophysical Research–Space Physics and Physics of Plasmas. At the UI, he has served as president of the Faculty Senate, as well as on the college’s Executive Committee, and has been honored as a Faculty Scholar and a James Van Allen Natural Sciences Fellow. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dominguez is a scholar of wide-ranging interests whose central focus is how people and societies conceptualize sameness and difference. The author or editor of nine books and special journal issues, she has studied multicultural societies in the Caribbean, the U.S., the Middle East, and Central Europe. She is a past president of the Society for Cultural Anthropology and the current editor of American Ethnologist. As co-founder and co-director of the UI’s International Forum for U.S. Studies, which is funded by a major grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, she has had a significant impact on reorienting the perspective of American studies to include its international context. She has served on numerous university and college committees, including the college’s Executive Committee, and has been recognized with the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

Landon explores the cultural constructions, representations, and implications of science and technology, particularly in science fiction literature and film. Recognized by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts with its Distinguished Scholarship Award, he has written three books and more than a dozen book chapters on 20th-century American literature, science fiction, and fantasy. He has served on many university committees and projects involving the uses of technology in learning, and most of the courses he teaches explore electronic texts and require multimedia writing. For his contributions to student life at the UI, he was honored with the M. L. Huit Award in 1996. He has served as chairman of the English department since 1999.

O’Hara is internationally recognized for his groundbreaking research on postpartum depression. A past president of the Marcé Society, an international organization for research on mental illness related to childbearing, he received the society’s Marcé Medal last fall. He is the author of more than 75 scientific articles and chapters, as well as the book “Postpartum Depression: Causes and Consequences,” and his current research on the efficacy of interpersonal psychotherapy for postpartum depression is funded by the National Institute for Mental Health. He was named a Faculty Scholar in 1990, and he served as chairman of the psychology department from 1994 until 2000, when he was named associate dean.