Faculty News


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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Both Sides Now

English professor Ivan Kreilkamp walks both sides of the animal/human, high culture/popular culture divide.

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Seeing Human

Art historian Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz studies the rich visual culture of the ancient Kongo kingdom, uncovering beauty, resiliency, and identity.

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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

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 Council on Library and Information Resources to Elizabeth Hebbard in French and Italian and Michelle Dalmau of IU Libraries and the Institute for Digital Arts and Humanities for The Peripheral Manuscripts Project: Digitizing Medieval Manuscript Collections in the Midwest.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Betty Dlamini in the African Studies Program in the Hamilton Lugar School for The Influence of the Emaganu (Marula) Festival on Women Empowerment in the Kingdom of Eswatini.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Jawshing Arthur Liou in Digital Art in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design for Human-Cannabis III: Tracing Green.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Shannon Gayk in English for Apocalyptic Ecologies: Environmental Interpretation at the Dawn of the Anthropocene.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Benjamin H. Irvin in History for Independent Spirit: Revolutionary War Veterans and Disability in the Early United States.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Patrícia Matos Amaral in Spanish and Portuguese for The Company Words Keep: Tracing Semantic Change in Ibero-Romance with Distributional Methods.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Jonathan Risner in Spanish and Portuguese for Home Movies in Francoist Spain.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Micol Seigel in American Studies for Places Without Police: North American Research.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Christopher I. Beckwith in Central Eurasian Studies in the Hamilton Lugar School for Attested Middle Chinese in Early Foreign Transcriptions and Loanwords.

From IU’s New Frontiers in Arts and Humanities program to Elizabeth Stirratt in the Eskenazi School of Art, Architecture + Design for Picturing Indiana Biodiversity.