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University of Iowa News Release


April 16, 2009

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences names Collegiate Fellows

Four University of Iowa professors have been named Collegiate Fellows of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) in recognition of their distinguished teaching, research and service. The 2009 Collegiate Fellows are Paul Abbas, professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders; Alan Christensen, professor and chair of psychology; Joseph Kearney, professor of computer science and associate dean of CLAS; and Gary Small, professor of chemistry.

"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," said CLAS Dean Linda Maxson. "All of these professors have 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 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.

Abbas is an internationally known researcher whose contributions to auditory physiology have enhanced understanding of human audition and helped shape recent advances in cochlear implants. He is currently the primary investigator of two National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants, and shares a patent for a technique to measure residual cochlear function using the cochlear implant's ability to stimulate and record responses. He is an elected fellow of the Acoustical Society of America. A devoted teacher and mentor, Abbas is a past recipient of the M.L. Huit Award for Excellence in Teaching and actively involved in the neuroscience doctoral program and the otolaryngology training program. He joined the UI faculty in 1974 and has served as chair of his department since 2005.

Christensen is a clinical psychologist whose scholarship focuses on psychological adaptations to chronic disease. He is a core scientist in the Center for Research in the Implementation of Innovative Strategies in Practice, funded by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and editor-in-chief of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. In addition to publishing many journal articles, he is the author of "Patient Adherence with Treatment Regimens" (2004) and co-editor of "Encyclopedia of Health Psychology" (2004) and "Chronic Physical Disorders: Behavioral Medicine Perspective" (2002). An elected member of the Academy of Behavioral Medicine Research and a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, Christensen joined the UI faculty in 1993 and has chaired his department since 2006. He holds a joint appointment in the Carver College of Medicine's Department of Internal Medicine.

Kearney is an accomplished computer scientist, mentor and administrator who co-directs the Hank Virtual Environments Lab and is in his sixth year as CLAS Associate Dean for Research. His scholarship has focused on behavior modeling and simulation, and his current research, funded by the NIH and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seeks to improve safety for child cyclists. Since joining the UI faculty in 1983, he has served as chair of his department (1993-96), director of the School of Library and Information Science (2000-02), and a member of the UI Council on Teaching and the CLAS Executive Committee. A leading CLAS representative throughout last summer's flood, Kearney has worked this year for flood recovery and prevention on the flood mitigation task force.

Small is an analytical chemist whose pioneering work in developing new techniques in infrared spectroscopy has both clinical and environmental applications. His investigation of noninvasive methods of measuring blood glucose levels in patients with diabetes has long received support from the NIH and led to his holding of five patents. His research on remote sensing through passive infrared spectroscopy has received support from the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army and led to the development of software used to detect and map the presence of toxic chemicals via aircraft. Small began his academic career at the UI in 1984, and since rejoining the UI faculty in 2004, has taught a range of chemistry courses and served on the CLAS Educational Policy Committee.

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