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University of Iowa News Release


Feb. 22, 2007

Four Liberal Arts And Sciences Faculty Members Named 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 2007 Collegiate Fellows are William Davies, professor of Linguistics; Vicki Grassian, professor of Chemistry; Usha Mallik, professor of Physics and Astronomy; and Lauren Rabinovitz, professor of American Studies and of Cinema and Comparative Literature.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean Linda Maxson 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 recognizes 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 a salary increase as well as a discretionary fund to support their teaching and research. Fellows are invited to meet with Maxson and the college's associate deans twice each year to discuss opportunities for improving faculty life and undergraduate education.

William Davies is a major theoretical linguist specializing in syntax. He is also the leading expert on two Indonesian languages, Javanese and Madurese, and he incorporates data and analysis of these languages into more general theories about the structure and organization of human languages. He co-authored the book "Grammar of Raising and Control" (Blackwell Publishing, 2004). His research has been supported with grants from the National Science Foundation, and he received a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Fellowship in 2005. He is currently associate editor of the scholarly journal Language and frequently serves as a reviewer for the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. A UI faculty member since 1986, he served as chair of his department for 10 years and has been elected to the CLAS Educational Policy Committee.

Vicki Grassian's pioneering research program investigates how particles in the atmosphere affect its chemical composition. She has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, and data from her lab is considered essential to current atmospheric chemistry models. Her work is currently funded by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Occupational Safety and Health, and the Army Research Office. In 2005, she received the Regents' Award for Faculty Excellence. A UI faculty member since 1990, she helped create the undergraduate degree program in environmental sciences and continues to oversee the chemical sciences track of that major. She has served on the CLAS Executive Committee, the self-study committee for the 2003 review of the College and the UI Research Council.

Usha Mallik's highly visible research program in experimental particle physics has made important contributions to understanding the types of heavy quarks and their ability to transition from one type to another. Since 1999, she has been a leading member of the large-scale BaBar Experiment, which investigates the dominance of matter over anti-matter in the known universe. A Fellow of the American Physical Society, she served on the U.S. High Energy Physics Advisory Panel. She is currently a U.S. representative for the Americas to the International Linear Collider Group, which is developing a more powerful particle accelerator that will open a new era of discovery in particle physics. Since joining the UI faculty in 1993, she has taught physics courses at both the introductory and advanced levels, and has been very active in promoting study of science at the elementary and middle school levels.

Lauren Rabinovitz is a ground-breaking and versatile scholar of American popular culture and social history. Her books include a social history of women, "For the Love of Pleasure: Women, Movies, and Culture in Turn-of-the Century Chicago" (Rutgers University Press, 1998) and a critical study of feminist film-makers, "Points of Resistance: Women, Power, and Politics in the New York Avant-Garde Cinema, 1943-1971" (University of Illinois Press, 2003). A pioneer in recognizing the scholarly and pedagogical possibilities of digital technology; her interactive projects are "Yesteryear's Wonderlands" on early 20th century amusement parks, funded by an National Endowment for the Humanities Educational Development Grant, and the co-authored "The Rebecca Project," one of the first CDs to use new media as a tool of film analysis for Alfred Hitchcock's 1941 movie "Rebecca." which used new media as a tool of film analysis. She is currently chair of the American Studies department, director of the CLAS Division of Interdisciplinary Programs and director of the Center for Ethnic Studies and the Arts.

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

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,; Writer: Barb Yerkes