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University of Iowa News Release


Sept. 13, 2010

UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences appoints faculty to named positions

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has appointed four faculty to named positions: Anthropologist Sonia Ryang is the first C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley Family and Korea Foundation Chair in Korean Studies; John Durham Peters is the A. Craig Baird Professor in communication studies; Chemist Vicki Grassian is an F. Wendell Miller Professor; and Statistician Dale L. Zimmerman is the first Robert V. Hogg Professor.

"It is my distinct pleasure to recognize these exceptional faculty members," said Linda Maxson, who holds the UI Alumni Association Dean's Chair in the Liberal Arts and Sciences. "Each has been prolific in presenting wide-ranging research to the academic community and is highly regarded in her or his respective field. They represent the scholarly achievement that continuously renews our curriculum and offers exciting academic opportunities for our students.”

Ryang combines her intellectual training in British social anthropology with American cultural anthropology to study vulnerable populations, politics and ideology, diaspora, identity and love across Asian cultures. Her research includes South Korea’s rapid transformation from totalitarian regime to neoliberal society and its connection to the rise of digital technology. She is also studying culinary politics and culture in South Korea. The Stanley/Korea Foundation chair was established with funds from the Korea Foundation of Seoul, Korea and the Stanley-UI Foundation Support Organization. C. Maxwell and Elizabeth M. Stanley created The Stanley Foundation in the 1950s to promote a secure peace with freedom and justice, through dialogue and education.

Peters is a pioneering communication theorist and historian. His work incorporates political and social philosophy into the study of communication theory and practice. His interests include media and cultural history, communication and social theory, and understanding communication in its broader historical, legal, philosophical, religious and technological context. He is completing a book started by the late UI historian Ken Cmiel to be called "Promiscuous Knowledge: The Information Age in Historical Perspective.” Peters joined the UI faculty in 1986, was appointed F. Wendell Miller Professor from 2002-10, and has served as chair of communication studies since 2008. The Baird professorship was established by donors in honor of the late UI professor Albert Craig Baird to perpetuate his influence in the field of public address.

Grassian is a world leader in interfacial environmental and atmospheric chemistry. She has research interests in fundamental studies of environmental interfaces, as well as the impact of nanoscience and nanotechnology on environmental processes and human health. She has written or co-written more than 175 peer-reviewed articles and 15 book chapters, and edited three books. Grassian joined the UI faculty in 1990, and was appointed as a CLAS Collegiate Fellow from 2007-10. Her professorship is named for the late F. Wendell Miller, an attorney and farm manager from Rockwell City, Iowa. Interest and income from his endowment is divided between ISU and the UI to advance academic endeavors.

Zimmerman is an international leader in spatial sampling design for environmental data and linear and antedependence models for longitudinal data. His work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and other agencies. He was elected a fellow of the American Statistical Association in 2001 and received a distinguished achievement award from the association in 2007. Zimmerman is the chair of statistics and actuarial science at the UI. The Robert V. Hogg Professorship is named for UI professor emeritus and alumnus Robert Hogg, who helped found the department in 1965 and chaired it for 19 years. The professorship is supported by Hogg and his family, friends, colleagues and former students in recognition of his service to the UI.

STORY SOURCE: CLAS Office of External Relations, 240 Schaeffer Hall, Iowa City, Iowa, 52242-1409

MEDIA CONTACT: Esther Baker, 319-335-2818,