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University of Illinois: Champaign-Urbana, Chicago, Springfield

Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs

University Scholars Program

Faculty excellence is the cornerstone of any university of high quality. There is no more important task at the University of Illinois than attracting and retaining the very best teachers and scholars. The Faculty Scholar Program aims to recognize outstanding members of the faculty and to provide each with a funding allocation to enhance their scholarly activities.

Scholar awards are not made for a specific project or proposal; rather, they represent recognition of the recipient’s excellence and the University’s commitment to foster outstanding people and their work. Therefore, the awards are made through nominations, not by application.

As of 2013, each award consists of an allocation of $15,000 per year for a period of three years. Recipients may use the funds at their discretion to enhance their scholarly work through travel, equipment, research assistants, scholarly materials or other uses that support their university-related teaching or research. University Scholars funds cannot be used toward the recipients’ base salary but can be used to support a summer salary of up to two-ninths of base salary.

Eligibility to the University Scholar Program is limited to members of the University of Illinois faculty, as defined in the University Statutes, i.e. members of the academic staff who are tenured or receiving credit toward tenure.

Each campus will determine its selection criteria and process. Prior to the end of the academic year, they will submit the selection results to the President. Formal announcements of new University Scholars will generally be timed to coincide with the beginning of the academic year following selection.

University Scholars from 1985 to current year

2015 University Scholars

Vikram S. Adve
Department of Computer Science, College of Engineering, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Adve’s research focuses on compilers, programming languages, software security, software reliability and parallel computing. He is widely known as one of two lead designers of the innovative, award-winning LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, which has had an extremely broad impact on both commercial products and on research.

Carla Eva Cáceres
Department of Animal Biology, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Cáceres is a leading ecologist who works on aquatic ecosystems to understand a number of key biological processes including how parasites shape the evolution of communities, the investment into sexual reproduction, and host/parasite interactions. Her main study organism has been the water flea, a crustacean in the genus Daphnia.

Clare Haru Crowston
Department of History. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Crowston is a leading historian of early modern France. She has published two books – one on women’s role in shaping the contours of labor during mid-17th century to the French Revolution and a second that details reconstruction of credit systems in the female dominated fashion industries of 18th century France.

Luisa A. DiPietro
Department of Periodontics, College of Dentistry, Chicago
Professor DiPietro has made significant contributions to the basic understanding of wound healing. She is Founder and Director of UIC’s Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration, which offers research and training opportunities for graduate, undergraduate, and professional students as well as for post-doctoral fellows and visiting scholars.

Tonda L. Hughes
Department of Health Systems Science, College of Nursing, Chicago
Professor Hughes is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of health of LGTBQ communities. She has been the clearest national voice for nursing in promoting the health of sexual minority women. Her work has major implications for improving the health and quality of life of both sexual minority and heterosexual populations.

Brian Kenneth Kay
Department of Biological Sciences, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Chicago
Professor Kay’s research focuses on engineering proteins to serve as recombinant affinity reagents for use in basic science, diagnostics, and therapeutics. He is a world-leader in the area of phage-display, a method by which a library of combinatorial peptides or engineered proteins is displayed on the surface of bacteriophase M13.

Leanne K. Knobloch
Department of Communication, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Knobloch researches how people communicate during times of transition within close relationships, with a focus on how military couples communicate during and after deployment. She is a science advisory board member of the Military Child Education Coalition and is leading a study funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.

Elizabeth Kosmetatou
Department of History, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Springfield
Professor Kosmetatou is a leader in Hellenistic history, archaeology, epigraphy (the study of inscriptions), and numismatics (the study of coins). She is fluent in English, Modern Greek, Dutch, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Turkish languages with reading knowledge of classical Greek, Latin, Biblical Hebrew, Coptic, and Pharaonic Egyptian.

Dirk K. Morr
Department of Physics, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Chicago
Professor Morr’s work covers a wide range of topics in condensed matter physics, crossing the boundaries between theory and experiment. In addition to his research and teaching, he does an exceptional amount of outreach, working with University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Arden Rowell
College of Law, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Rowell researches risk regulation and human behavior, exploring how legal decision makers make national decisions using cost-benefit calculations when the variables at stake will reach across time and space. She developed a regulatory tool for reducing harm caused by environmental pollution, which attracted attention from EPA’s National Center on Environmental Economics.

Vijay Singh
Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Sciences, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Singh’s research focuses on science and engineering required to produce sustainable food, biofuels, and bioproducts. He is internationally recognized as an authority in the area of corn processing for food and fuels. His work on biofuel processes has resulted in the issuance of three patents.

Emad Tajkhorshid
Department of Pharmacology, UIC College of Medicine, Urbana-Champaign
Professor Tajkhorshid has a spectacular record in biomedical sciences with remarkable productivity in the areas of computational biology, biophysics, and membrane proteins. His extensive research program is housed in the prestigious Beckman Institute and in the cross-campus interdisciplinary Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology located in Urbana.

Nik Theodore
Department of Urban Planning & Policy, College of Urban Planning & Public Affairs, Chicago
Professor Theodore studies labor economics and policy, focusing on problems of undocumented workers who are paid less than minimum wage or are not compensated for overtime; issues of pay, workplace safety, and coercion. His research on day laborers has shaped public debate and testimony in state and local government.

Daniela Tuninetti
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Chicago
Professor Tuninetti is a leading expert in the area of wireless communications. Her research covers information theory – investigating fundamental questions related to the transfer of information in networks and information processing and storage. Her work focuses on cognitive networks where modern/cognitive devices with superior computing capabilities coexist with legacy devices.

updated Sept 2015





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