The College of Arts and Sciences honored 18 faculty members who were recently appointed distinguished professors and distinguished term professors, during a special reception Nov. 13 at Hyde Hall. Karen M. Gil, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, recognized each professorship recipient.
“You inspire our colleagues and students and you inspire me,” she said. “All of us in the dean’s office are grateful for your exceptional scholarship, teaching and service.”
Honorees include the following:
Michel R. Gagné, The Mary Ann Smith Distinguished Professor, Chemistry: He has won numerous awards for groundbreaking research involving synthetic methods, biofuels and renewable feed stocks, including: the Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, the NSF CAREER Award and the Union Carbide Innovation Recognition Faculty Award.
Jonathan M. Hess, The Moses M. and Hannah L. Malkin Distinguished Professor, Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures: He is a leading scholar of German Jewish studies and the history of German aesthetic thought, and he directs the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies. His monograph, Middlebrow Literature and the Making of German-Jewish Identity, was selected by Choice magazine as an outstanding academic title for 2010.
Kevin Hewison, The Weldon E. Thornton Distinguished Professor, Asian Studies: He directs the Carolina Asia Center, and he is an expert on international and area studies, politics and political economy, and Southeast Asia studies, particularly social, economic and political change. His current work focuses on precarious work in Asia and violence in Thailand.
Marc B. Lange, The Theda Perdue Distinguished Professor, Philosophy: He is chair of the department and he specializes in philosophy of science and related areas of metaphysics and epistemology. His publications include Laws and Lawmakers: Science, Metaphysics and the Laws of Nature and Philosophy of Science: An Anthology.
Klaus W. Larres, The Richard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor, History: He is an internationally recognized expert on contemporary transatlantic relations, comparative foreign policies, and European integration. His publications include two recent books, The U.S. Secretaries of State and Transatlantic Relations and Companions to Europe since 1945.
David Lewis Penn, The Linda Wagner-Martin Distinguished Professor, Psychology: He is considered a pioneer and leading expert in the area of social cognition in schizophrenia. He received the Sanders Award for Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching in 2005 and the Distinguished Teaching Award for Post-Baccalaureate Instruction in 2009.
Sergei S. Sheiko, The George A. Bush Jr. Distinguished Professor, Chemistry: His research is supported by a major NSF grant to create the Materials Interdisciplinary Research Team (MIRT) at UNC. He is working to develop new classes of materials that will have potential applications in cancer therapy, medical imaging and diagnosis.
Stephen J. Walsh, The Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor, Geography. He is director of the interdisciplinary UNC Center for Galapagos Studies and co-director of the Galapagos Science Center on San Cristobal. He manages research projects in Thailand, Ecuador and the United States.
Harry L. Watson, The Atlanta Distinguished Professor in Southern Culture, History. He directed the Center for the Study of the American South for 13 years; he edits the journal, Southern Cultures, and he is an expert on the history of North Carolina and 19th century American history. He won the James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association.
Distinguished Term Professors
Dorit Bar-On, The Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education, Philosophy: She is a past recipient of the University’s Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and has been fostering student research in innovative ways. She specializes in philosophy of language, philosophy of mind and epistemology, and she is the author of Speaking My Mind: Expression and Self-Knowledge.
Inger S. B. Brodey, The Bank of America Honors Distinguished Term Professor, English and Comparative Literature: She is an award-winning teacher and scholar, focusing on the history of the novel in late 18th and early 19th century Europe and Japan. Her book Ruined by Design won a 2008 South Atlantic Modern Language Association Award.
Mark J. C. Crescenzi, The Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor, Political Science: His research focuses on international conflict. A past winner of the University’s Tanner Award, he encourages students to learn new approaches to international relations. He has made important contributions in building courses that address the politics of peace and conflict.
Stella Elizabeth Grabowski, The Zachary Smith Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education, Art: She is an award-winning artist and previously held a Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship and a University Johnston Teaching Award. She has written two of the most important printmaking texts used by art schools and art departments today.
Jacqueline Maria Hagan, The Robert G. Parr Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education, Sociology: She is a recognized expert in international migration, race and ethnic relations, religion and human rights. Her book, Migration Miracle, won the 2010 Distinguished Book Award of the Latina/o Section of the American Sociological Association.
Timothy W. Marr, The Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor, American Studies: He is a previous recipient of Tanner and Chapman awards for undergraduate teaching. He is the author of, The Cultural Roots of American Islamicism.
Peter J. Mucha, The Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor, Mathematics: He is chair of the department and a recipient of the prestigious NSF CAREER Award. He focuses his research on computer graphic simulation of fluid flows, studies of sedimentation, and applications of mathematical networking. He and his students have applied network analysis to the topics of sports, politics and Facebook.
Gary J. Pielak, The Glen H. Elder Jr. Distinguished Term Professor in Research and Undergraduate Education, Chemistry: He uses nuclear magnetic resonance to examine the way proteins function in living cells. He was the first UNC professor to receive the prestigious NIH Pioneer Award for research. He has mentored more than 40 undergraduate researchers at UNC.
Jane F. Thrailkill, The Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Associate Professor, English and Comparative Literature: She is an award-winning teacher of undergraduates and graduate students and she is involved in developing a program in the medical humanities. Her publications explore literature and the cultural representation of illness.