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University of Iowa News Release

Feb. 8, 2005

UI Provost Names Faculty Scholars, Global Scholar

The University of Iowa Office of the Provost has selected six faculty members to receive Faculty Scholar Awards and one to receive a Global Scholar Award.

Global Scholars are released from half their usual year of teaching, advising, administrative, and service obligations for two consecutive academic years. Typically, the award takes the form of a Career Development Award for one semester each year, part of which is spent in at least one foreign country.

Vicki Hesli, professor of political science, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS), is this year's Global Scholar Award recipient. Hesli will investigate the formation, development and institutionalization of political opposition of Central Asian states -- an area beset with civil wars and international military interventions. 

Faculty Scholar Awards give leading scholars the opportunity for creative, extended and concentrated work on their research. Recipients are released from half of the usual obligations of teaching, advising and service for three consecutive years. Typically, the award takes the form of a Career Development Award for one semester of each of three years. The 2005 recipients come from mathematics, art and art history, physics and astronomy, history, and geoscience.

Frauke Bleher, associate professor of mathematics, (CLAS), will study applications of a new deformation theory that Bleher helped develop. Deformation theory studies the behavior of mathematical objects under small perturbations.

Robert Bork, associate professor of art and art history, (CLAS), will study the geometry of Gothic architectural drawings, the oldest surviving "blueprints" in history. Bork's research combines scrutiny of original medieval drawings with computer-aided analysis of their proportions to show how medieval designers using simple tools developed sophisticated building plans.

Julie Berger Hochstrasser, associate professor of art and art history, (CLAS), will explore the visual arts generated by the Dutch and those with whom they traded. Hochstrasser will study both sides of these exchanges to forge new ways of thinking about global visual culture from the early modern period to today

Philip Kaaret, associate professor of physics and astronomy, (CLAS), will conduct new observations of black holes to measure the mass of intensely bright X-ray sources in other galaxies, which may represent a new class of black hole, with masses intermediate between the two known classes, supermassive and stellar-mass.

Paula Michaels, associate professor of history, (CLAS), will trace the story of psychoprophylaxis, known in the United States as the Lamaze method. She will study political issues surrounding Lamaze in the Cold War context of this technique's transfer across the Iron Curtain.

Mark Reagan, associate professor of geoscience, (CLAS), will study how explosive lavas are generated in volcanic arcs. He will research rhyolites, the Earth's most explosive lavas; the fluxes of water and other materials from subducting oceanic plates to sources of basalts in volcanic arcs; and the timing of magma degassing during volcanic eruptions.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,; Writer: Gary Kuhlman, University Relations Publication