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University of Iowa News Release

March 30, 2005

Five Liberal Arts & Sciences Professors Named Dean's Scholars

Linda Maxson, dean of the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has named five newly tenured associate professors Dean's Scholars, an award that honors faculty who have demonstrated excellence in both teaching and scholarship or creative work early in their careers. The 2005-07 Dean's Scholars are Christine Getz, music; Leonard MacGillivray, chemistry; Jane Singer, journalism and mass communication; Douglas Trevor, English; and Kasturi Varadarajan, computer science.

Dean's Scholar awards are made possible through the UI Alumni Association's endowment of the Dean's Chair in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The endowment, managed by the University of Iowa Foundation, provides funds for the dean to use for special projects within the college.

"Endowments like the Dean's Chair are crucial in supporting our extraordinarily talented faculty members," Maxson said. "I am pleased to be able to recognize this year's Dean's Scholars for their outstanding scholarly and teaching achievements. I am grateful to the Alumni Association for its generous endowment, which provides needed resources for faculty development and other worthy projects."

Dean's Scholars receive a $5,000 discretionary fund for each of two years, which they may use for "any appropriate professional reason," including equipment, travel, supplies or other support for teaching and research initiatives.

Getz is a musicologist who specializes in the music of 16th-century Italy. She has published articles in this field in major academic journals and has completed a book on "Music in the Collective Experience in Sixteenth-Century Milan." She has recently received a contract to prepare an edition of music by Hermann Matthias Werrecore, choirmaster at the cathedral in Milan 1522-1550 and will use the Dean's Scholar Award to support that project. Before coming to the UI in 1999, she served on the faculty of Baylor University, where she received the 1999 Outstanding Teacher Award for Tenure-Track Faculty. She holds a doctorate in musicology from the University of North Texas College of Music.

MacGillivray's work, for which he received the 2004 Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award by the American Crystallographic Association and the 2004 Inter-American Photochemical Society Young Investigator Award, involves the development of a general method to direct chemical reactions in molecular crystals. He ultimately hopes to demonstrate that many molecules can be synthesized and many chemical reactions can take place in the solid state as easily as the liquid phase. MacGillivray will use the Dean's Scholar Award to continue his studies of directed solid-state reactions. MacGillivray joined the UI faculty in 2000 and earned his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998.

Singer studies journalists' adaptation to changes in communication technologies. She will use the Dean's Scholar Award for ongoing research in the area of online journalism, particularly in relation to norms and ethics, political coverage and the sociology of online news work. In the next few years she plans to extend her research to include a cross-cultural examination of online journalism in other nations. Singer joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty in 1999 after several years on the journalism faculty at Colorado State University. Before earning her doctorate in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia, she spent five years as a reporter and editor at three East Coast newspapers and 10 years in the editorial department of Prodigy, one of the first around-the-clock news products ever to be delivered to people's homes through a computer. She was Prodigy's first news manager.

Trevor's research focuses on the early modern understanding of the passions and how this understanding influenced 16th and 17th century writers. He will use the Dean's Scholar Award to continue research on his second book, "The Problem of Oneness: Love and Theology from Shakespeare to Milton," which examines the heretical dimensions of amorous attachment in 17th-century England. Trevor earned a doctorate in English Renaissance literature from Harvard University in 1999 and joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty the same year. In addition to his scholarly writing, Trevor has published more than a dozen short stories in literary journals and won the 2005 Iowa Short Fiction Award for his first collection of stories, "The Thin Tear in the Fabric of Space," which will be published this fall by the UI Press.

Varadarajan designs and analyzes programs (algorithms) that deal with such problems as avoiding exhaustive searches when finding patterns or fitting shapes to geometric data (geometric optimization) and calculating the prices of goods in economic models (economic equilibira). One example of his work with economic models involves understanding situations in which prices can be calculated using a small number of steps. Varadarajan will use the Dean's Scholar award to continue his studies of efficient algorithms for geometric optimization and equilibrium computation. Varadarajan joined the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences faculty in 2000 and earned a doctorate in computer science from Duke University, Durham, N.C., in 1998.

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

MEDIA CONTACT: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, mary-kenyon@uiowa.edu.