Faculty News

New channels in Hawaiian Studies

The direction of religious studies professor Michael Ing’s research is often guided by personal exploration. With a New Directions Fellowship from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Ing will step outside his usual discipline to analyze Hawaiian society’s response to colonization and explore the suppressed culture of his ancestors.

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Ethics + Engineering

In Fall 2020, Professor Ben Kravitz will teach a course on climate engineering and modeling. Students in this class will study geoengineering theory and methods but also the broader social implications of deliberately changing the climate, including climate ethics and justice.

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Six years ago, Amit Hagar found himself in a peculiar sort of scientist’s midlife crisis that ended up opening the door to an entirely new direction for his research.

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Biology + Photography

Justin Kumar is a professor of Biology who combines science and photography to study cell specification, fly eyes, and more. By integrating art and science in his work, Kumar is conducting better research and passing these skills on to his students.

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Finding the Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Biologist Ellen Ketterson admires resilience. And she believes we can learn a lot about it from a common songbird.

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Awards & Honors

Liese van Zee, professor of Astronomy, has been awarded the lifetime designation of “National Associate” by the National Academy of Sciences for her extraordinary service as chair of the Committee on Radio Frequencies.

Aurelian Craiutu, professor of Political Science, has been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for his project, "Moderation and the Rise of Democracy in France, 1830-1900." Professor Craiutu's is one of only four NEH projects funded in Indiana, and the only one at IU.

Bill Johnston, professor of Comparative Literature, was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, one of only 24 in the United States, for his translation of "Nights and Days" (Parts I and II) by Maria Dąbrowska from Polish into English.

Five College faculty members have been elected 2019 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science for their contributions to science and research: Brian R. Calvi, professor of Biology; Justin P. Kumar, professor of Biology; Krishnan Raghavachari, distinguished professor of Chemistry; Michael VanNieuwenhze, Standiford H. Cox Professor of Chemistry; and Kevin Zumbrun, distinguished professor of Mathematics.

Caroline Jarrold, Class of 1948 Herman B Wells Endowed Professor of Chemistry and department chair, was awarded the 2020 Frances P. Garvan-John M. Olin Medal by the American Chemical Society. This award was established in 1936 and recognizes “distinguished service to chemistry by women chemists.”

Mary Murphy, professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, and Megan Thielges, associate professor of Chemistry, were both awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). According to the official White House press release, “The PECASE is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government to outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and who show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.”

Five faculty members have been awarded College of Arts and Sciences’ 2019 David and Cheryl Morley Teaching Awards.  Kimberly Geeslin, professor of Spanish and Portuguese, received the James P. Holland Teaching Award for Exemplary Teaching and Service to Students; Amy Berndtson, senior lecturer in Biology, received the Career Distinguished Teaching Award (Non-Tenure Track) in honor of Kathy O. Smith, Kelly Berkson, assistant professor of Linguistics, received the Early Career Teaching Excellence Award; and Michael Manzella and Megan Murphy, lecturers in Biology, received the ASURE Teacher of the Year Award.

Elizabeth Dunn, professor of Geography and International Studies, was awarded a 2019 IU President's International Research Award. Her research examines how countries and localities develop and manage refugee arrival infrastructure.

Sumit Ganguly, a distinguished professor and the Rabindranath Tagore Professor of Political Science, was awarded a 2019 IU President's International Research Award. His research will support the creation of new scholarly work and an author’s conference for the Oxford Handbook of Indian Politics.

Faculty in the news

Caty Pilachowski, distinguished professor and Daniel Kirkwood Chair of Astronomy, was a guest on The Interplanetary Podcast where she discussed “old space events, another legend from the Harvard computers and the crazy incident of the Long March 5B.”

Gerald Wright, professor of Political Science, provided an expert breakdown of Iowa’s position as the first primary-election state in an article for WalletHub.

Gerardo Ortiz and David Baxter, professors of Physics, were appointed co-directors of IU's Quantum Science and Engineering Center. The center is devoted to the investigation of quantum theory, particularly quantum entanglement, and “reflects the important contributions IU is making to this second quantum revolution.”

Professor Alvin Rosenfeld, Irving M. Glazer Chair of Jewish Studies and the director of the Institute for the Study of Contemporary Antisemitism, spoke with Holocaust survivor Anna Ornstein for NPR's On Point, marking the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, known as International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

Danielle K. Kilgo, assistant professor of Journalism in the The Media School, described the importance and consequences of media coverage of protest movements in a piece for The Conversation.

Sumit Ganguly, distinguished professor of Political Science, provided the “historical context of the [Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)] program and its implications for the future of Indian democracy” in an interview for Freedom House.

Jamsheed Choksy, distinguished professor of Central Eurasian Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School, weighed in on the tension with Iran and the mounting concern over a potential cyber threat in a Fox 59 news article.

In an article for The Times of Israel, Alvin H. Rosenfeld, professor of Jewish Studies and English, reflected on rising anti-Semitism in America and increasing “Israel denial.”

In a TIME article on the fate of the battleship U.S.S. Arizona following its destruction at Pearl Harbor, Edward Linenthal, professor of History, discussed the site’s significance as both a “wormhole to the past” and an “open grave.”

Galen Clavio, associate professor of Sports Media in The Media School, was quoted in the Washington Post weighing in on Sports Illustrated’s faux pa in reporting (and refuting) that the University of Southern California’s football coach was being fired.

In a commentary for War on the Rocks, Andrew W. Bell, assistant professor of International Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School, and Thomas Gift, a lecturer in the department of political science at University College London, discussed the firing of U.S. Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer.

Bernard L. Fraga, associate professor of Political Science, shared his expert analysis in a Politifact article on Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg’s claim that “black voters supported him more [the] second time he ran for mayor.”


New grants

From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to Samir Salim in Astronomy for Sharpening GALEX images to derive accurate physical properties of low-z galaxies and inform high-z studies.

From the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to Jay Lennon in Biology for Energy limitation and the evolution of microbial dormanc.

From the National Eye Institute to Justin P. Kumar in Biology for Induction of retinal development by the peripodial epithelium in Drosophila.

From the University of Delaware to Roger Innes in Biology for Live-cell, quantum-dot-based tracking of plant & microbial extracellular vesicles.

From the National Science Foundation to Scott Michaels in Biology for Negative transcription elongation factors prevent transcriptional interference in plants.

From the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to Soni Lacefield in Biology for Timing and regulation of meiotic commitment.

From the National Institute of General Medical Sciences to Michael Van Nieuwenhze in Chemistry for Chemical Biology Studies of the Dynamics and Inhibition of Peptidoglycan Biosynthesis.

From the National Science Foundation to Justin Maxwell in Geography for Collaborative Research: NSF P2C2-Summer temperature reconstructions for Eastern North America.

From the National Science Foundation to Michael J. Larsen in Mathematics for Groups and Arithmetic Geometry.

From the National Science Foundation to Russell Lyons in Mathematics for Probabilistic Models Tied to Group Theory, Analysis, and Ergodic Theory.

From the National Science Foundation to Robert M. Nosofsky in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Collaborative Research: 3D Virtual-Rock Models for Testing Category Learning Theory to Improve Student Learning in Physical Geology.

From the University of Michigan to Mary Murphy in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Enhancing Cultural Toolkits and Student Mindsets Teacher Training Institute.

From the Kern Family Foundation, Inc. to Mary Murphy in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Meta-Assessment and Program Evaluation for the Faculty Development Program with Engineering Unleashed.

From Ohio State University to Chen Yu in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Real-time mechanisms of word learning during social interaction in young deaf children with cochlear implants.

From the National Science Foundation to Jonathon Crystal in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Replay of episodic memories in rats.

From the Biostime Institute of Nutrition and Care to Jeffrey R. Alberts inPsychological and Brain Sciences for The mother-offspring microbiome (M-OM) and neurobehavioral development.

From Abalone Bio to Andrea Hohmann in Psychological and Brain Sciences for Therapeutic Antibodies for Reducing Morphine Tolerance in Neuropathic Pain.

From The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to Michael Kaulana Ing in Religious Studies for `A`ohe Pau ka `Ike i ka H?lau Ho`okahi: New Directions in Hawaiian Studies (A traditional Hawaiian saying: All knowledge cannot be learned in just one school.)

From the Educational Testing service to Kathleen Bardovi-Harlig in Second Language Studies for Investigating L2 English learners? interpretations and responses to conversational implicatures in requests and refusals.