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University of Iowa News Release


May 6, 2008

Eight UI faculty awarded Global and Faculty Scholarships

Seven University of Iowa faculty members have been selected by the UI Office of the Provost to receive Faculty Scholar Awards and one to receive a Global Scholar Award.

Jeffrey Cox, professor of history in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences was awarded the Global Scholar award. Recipients of the award are released from half their usual year of teaching, advising, administrative and service obligations for two consecutive academic years. Cox will use the award to write a book on the contrast between Europe and America, "European Religion/American Religion: Why the Difference?"

Faculty Scholar Award winners for 2008 are Denise Filios, associate professor of Spanish & Portuguese; Gregory Friestad, associate professor of chemistry; Loren Glass, associate professor of English; Michael Gobat, associate professor of history; Shaun Vecera, professor of psychology; Kembrew McLeod, associate professor of communication studies; and Jon Winet, associate professor of art and art history. All are faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

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 academic years. Typically, the award takes the form of a Career Development Award for one semester of each of three years.

Filios will write a book entitled "Living History: The Muslim Conquest of Spain in Spanish and Moroccan Foundational Narratives." This book will cover the treatment of the Muslim conquest (711 C.E.) in the earliest Muslim-Arabic and Christian-Latin/Spanish chronicles, which provide very different versions of events.

Friestad's organic chemistry research involves development of new synthetic methods for application in drug discovery and total synthesis of biologically active natural products. The award will support building an entirely new independent research program in asymmetric synthesis of biologically active oxygen-containing compounds.

Glass will examine the relationship between modernism and obscenity in the 20th-century United States. Focusing on the crucial post-World War II period when the censorship of literature, and literary modernism itself, came to an end, Glass will argue that the two concepts must be understood in terms of their specific historical convergence. Glass has signed a contract for publication of this project with Duke University Press.

Gobat's study will examine the forgotten history of the United States' first overseas empire. This empire was built in Central America during the 1850s by William Walker and his band of nearly 10,000 colonists. Walker's empire triggered  Latin America's largest and most successful anti-U.S. campaign ever. The main results of Gobat's study will be a scholarly book and a document reader for use in college courses.

McLeod's long-term research program focuses on the ways that intellectual property considerations impinge on the work of scholars and artists, and his current project examines one significant area that has been troubled by copyright. He will write a book titled "Creative License: Digital Sampling, Culture, and the Law," which he expects to be a groundbreaking work that tackles key questions about quotation in a digital world.

Vecera will investigate the operation of a key cognitive process in Alzheimer's disease patients: visual memory. The research will test the visual memory deficit hypothesis of Alzheimer's functioning, which states that visual memory impairments are the primary cause of deficits in the early phases of Alzheimer's.

Winet will research and develop interactive new media artworks for the Internet, World Wide Web, and cell phones and other mobile devices, to be presented in national and international art and technology projects focusing on the 2008 U.S. presidential elections and 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Charles S. Drum, 319-384-0048,