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Candidate Statements Executive and Awards Committees 2015

Click on name below for more information on candidate (if provided)
Statements are provided by the candidate
Brian Bauer Richard Gemeinhart Serdar Ogut  Ramin Takloo-Bighash
Amir Berbic Rosilie Hernandez James L. Patton Cheryl Towler Weese   
Chieh Chang Lin Li Pamela Quiroz Daria Tsoupikova
Eileen Collins Steven Marsh Anna Roosevelt  
Anne Eaton Margaret Miner David Schaafsma  
David E. Featherstone Terry Moore Michael Scott  

Executive Committee Candidates

Arts and Humanities

Steven Marsh
Associate Professor, Hispanic and Intalian Studies

Steven Marsh is an associate professor and served as Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies from 2011-2014. He remains actively involved in the department's program, serves on many graduate student committees, and has directed and is directing several PhD dissertations. He was recently invited to deliver the keynote address at the Spanish and Portuguese Graduate Student Conference at Indiana University. A specialist in Spanish cinema his recent work includes having been invited editor of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies’ special dossier on Spanish film and spectrality (2015), together with articles in Discourse and Hispanic Review. He is the author of Popular Film Under Franco (Palgrave 2006) and co-editor of Gender and Spanish Film (2004). He has published widely in refereed journals and book collections in US, UK, Chile and Spain. He is currently finishing a new monograph provisionally titled: Spanish Cinema, a Counter-History: Cosmopolitanism, Experimentation,Militancy. He is a member of the editorial collective of the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies and an editorial committee member (and founding editor) of the journal Studies in Hispanic Cinemas.

David Schaafsma
Associate Professor, English

David Schaafsma is a Professor of English and Director of English Education with a joint appointment in the College of Education. He's published several books in his field, most recently On Narrative Inquiry: Approaches to Language and Literacy Research (2011) and Jane Addams in the Classroom (2014). He was the editor of the leading journal in his field, English Education, and has served in leadership positions in the National Council of Teachers of English.

He was nominated for a Silver Circle Award for Excellence in Teaching and received the Council of Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award (CETL) in the Teaching Recognition Program in 2003. He has served in various capacities for the Faculty Senate. He just completed a rotation on the Graduate College Executive Committee and volunteered to serve again, if elected.

Cheryl Towler Weese
Associate Professor, Design

Cheryl Towler Weese is a nationally recognized designer and is Director of Graduate Studies and Associate Professor at the School of Design. She has been an active participant at the university level, leading a capstone class of senior undergraduates and working with Executive Associate Chancellor Michael Redding and a campus-wide group of faculty, alumni, staff, and university leadership to research, define, design, and implement a new identity for UIC. 

Her professional practice, Studio Blue, serves a national client base of museums and universities, and her work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Newberry Library, and the Denver Art Museum. She has served on the national board of AIGA, the national organization for design, and in 2013 was awarded the AIGA’s fellow award. As a member of the graduate college executive committee, Cheryl would support the graduate college’s mission, encouraging interdisciplinary collaboration, supporting excellence in graduate education, and encouraging the highest caliber graduate applicants across the campus.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Anna C. Roosevelt
Professor, Anthropology

Anna C. Roosevelt is a four-field anthropologist interested in human ecology and evolution, the peopling of the Americas, tropical forest peoples, hunter-gatherers, self-organization, iconography in ritual and propaganda, Subsaharan African kingdoms, and social Darwinism in European colonialism and in early museums.  She supports UIC's commitment to diversity, community, and excellence.

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences

Serdar Ogut
Professor, Physics

I am a professor in the Department of Physics. I joined UIC in Fall 2001, and since then I have tried my best to serve UIC as a student-centered professor. Promoting future generations and providing them an educational opportunity of the highest intellectual and academic excellence is UIC’s highest mission.  My efforts to help bring this mission closer to reality have been the most satisfying experiences of my career and have led to a deep sense of personal and professional fulfillment.  During my tenure, I have served UIC as a member of various university-wide and departmental committees, some of which are:

  • Graduate College (GC) Executive Committee (2013-2015 and 2007-2009)
  • GC Awards Committee (2009 – 2012)
  • Department of Physics, Co-Director of Graduate Studies (2008 - 2013)
  • Departmental Advisory Committee (AYs 05-06, 06-07, 08-09, 11-12, 12-13, 13-14, 14-15)
  • Mentor for GC University Fellows (2007 – 2009)
  • GC Mentoring Award Selection Committee (2007)
  • UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2005 – 2008)
  • Faculty Associate in the UIC Residence Life Faculty Program (2004 – 2005)

My other administrative activities and awards include

  • Program Director at NSF, Division of Materials Research (2009-2012 and 2013-present)
  • Elected Member of the Turkish Science Academy (2014 – present)
  • University Scholar (2014-2017)
  • Fellow of the American Physical Society (2011 – present)
  • Editorial Board Member of “Current Opinion in Solid State and Materials Science” (2014- present)
  • Editorial Board Member of Physical Review B (2008 – 2010, re-elected 2011- 2013)
  •  2-time winner of the CETL Teaching Recognition Program Award (2004 and 2009)
  • UIC Alumni Association WOW Award (2008)

I believe that the experience and insight into graduate education that I have gained by serving in various UIC committees and as a program director at the NSF will help me to contribute to the educational experience and needs of UIC graduate students and faculty in a meaningful and impactful way as a member of GC Executive Committee.

Michael Scott
Associate Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Michael J. Scott is Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Director of Graduate Studies for MIE, and Director of the Interdisciplinary Product Development Program. He completed elementary and high school in the Chicago Public Schools, a Bachelor's in Philosophy at Harvard University, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology. He has received numerous teaching awards including the UIC Award for Excellence in Teaching. He bikes to work year-round.

Ramin Takloo-Bighash
Professor, Mathematics, Statistics, & Computer Science

Ramin Takloo-Bighash (PhD, Johns Hopkins University, 2001) is a professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science.  He has served as the Director of Graduate Studies in MSCS from 2012 to 2015 and the Graduate College Awards Committee since 2013. He has also served four years as an elected member of the departmental advisory committee, with one year as the committee chair. In addition to his academic responsibilities, he has held elected office with the Iranian-American Cultural Society of Maryland (non-profit organization) as Vice President and Director of Cultural Affairs.  

Upon graduating from Hopkins, Takloo-Bighash joined the faculty at Princeton University first as an instructor, then assistant professor. He joined the UIC community in 2007. He was promoted to the rank of associate professor in 2009, and full professor in 2014. Since joining UIC he has organized eight workshops and conferences. Takloo-Bighash's research, primarily in number theory, sits at the crossroads of several areas of pure mathematics. He is the author, with Steven J Miller, of "An invitation to modern number theory" (Princeton University Press, xx+503pp, 2006). 

Academic website and expanded CV: 

Life Sciences

Chieh Chang
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

Dr. Chieh Chang received a Ph.D. in Biology from California Institute of Technology, where he was the recipient of the Helen G. and Arthur McCallum Fellowship and the Howard Hughes Medical Fellowship, Caltech and studied under Dr. Paul Sternberg (Thomas Hunt Morgan Professor of Biology, Caltech). His graduate study at Caltech set out to develop tools to silence gene expression and to understand signaling mechanisms in animal development. Dr. Chang was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow and performed his postdoctoral work at Stanford University under Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne (President and Carson Family Professor, Rockefeller University) and at the University of California, San Francisco & Rockefeller University under Dr. Cornelia I. Bargmann (Torsten N. Wiesel Professor, Rockefeller University). His Postdoctoral study is exceptional, making a big splash in the field well populated by developmental neurobiologists interested in mechanisms of negative regulation in axon growth and guidance. From 2006 to 2014, he held faculty positions at McGill University, and at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Research Foundation. Since Dr. Chang established his own lab, he has generated exciting new leads to the timing mechanisms underlying transition of sequential events in initial neuronal connectivity and age-related decline in neuronal regeneration. This is a particularly exciting direction since intense scrutiny has been focused on dissecting molecular functions in neurons with sufficient spatial resolution but not enough temporal information to fully understand involved mechanisms. These findings have been recently reported in Science and Science Signaling, where he is the senior corresponding author. He joined the University of Illinois at Chicago as associate professor in August 2014.

Dr. Chang is the recipient of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Leaders Opportunity Award, the Whitehall Foundation Research Award, and the March of Dimes Foundation Research Program Award. His lab is currently supported by a NIH RO1 grant recently funded for five years, a NSF grant recently funded for four years, and a Whitehall Foundation grant.

Eileen Collins
Professor, Nursing

Eileen Collins has been on the faculty in the College of Nursing since 2002.  Her research focuses on developing methods to improve physical function in patients with chronic illness.  She has developed innovative methods to augment function in patients with peripheral vascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). She and her colleagues tested a unique biofeedback program to slow breathing rate and decrease dynamic hyperinflation during exercise in patients with COPD.  Her research has been funded by NIH, VA and numerous foundations. Dr. Collins serves as the chair of the College of Nursing Appointment, Promotion and Tenure Committee and is a member of the Research and Advisory Committee. She has also served on the faculty Senate and the Research Committee of the Faculty Senate. Dr. Collins is also a member of the Nursing and Clinical Sciences study section and the VA Rehabilitation R&D Career Development scientific review committee. Her many trainees have gone onto successful academic and clinical careers in nursing and medicine.

Richard Gemeinhart
Associate Professor, Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Dr. Gemeinhart is currently an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics and Bioengineering primarily in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences of the College of Pharmacy. His research is highly interdisciplinary in nature bridging engineering, chemistry, and biology, applying these disciplines to medical biomaterials and drug delivery development. Since 2001 upon arrival at UIC, Dr. Gemeinhart has been active in graduate research and education serving as the Director of the Biopharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program for 5 years and Director of Graduate Education for the College of Pharmacy for 2 years. Dr. Gemeinhart was recently appointed as Research Integrity Officer for UIC. Dr. Gemeinhart has mentored 5 PhD and 9 MS students in the past with 4 current PhD students, including one MD/PhD and one PharmD/PhD candidate. In addition, Dr. Gemeinhart has participated in more than 30 MS and PHD thesis/dissertation exams. Graduate trainees under Dr. Gemeinhart’s guidance have been very competitive, receiving numerous Graduate College Awards, including Dean’s Scholarships, University Fellowships, Provost’s Award for Graduate Research, W.C. and May Preble Deiss Award for Biomedical Research, University of Illinois at Chicago Image of Research recognition, and UIC Outstanding Dissertation Award (co-advisor). Dr. Gemeinhart has served on NIH (F30, F31, and F32) and NSF (GRFP) fellowship review committees and numerous national and international research grant review panels (NIH, DOD, NSF, and others), and will bring knowledge of these competitions and expectations to the Graduate College. Dr. Gemeinhart would like to participate in the Graduate Executive Committee to help to develop programs that will bring the best and the brightest graduate students to our programs!

Awards Committee Candidates

Arts and Humanities

Amir Berbic
Associate Professor, Design

Amir Berbic is an Associate Professor at the UIC School of Design and an Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts. His research examines visual communication in the function of place identity, with a particular interest in visible language unique to transcultural environments. Amir is dedicated to projects that have a social or cultural dimension. He has practiced design in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, working with cultural institutions, community and arts publications, and small businesses. Prior to joining UIC in 2014, he taught design at the American University of Sharjah, in the UAE, where he examined branding campaigns for Dubai’s architectural developments. 

He is member of the UIC Research Advisory Council, the Senate Research Committee, and was on the reviewing panel for the Researcher of the Year Award and the OVCR Grants for Art, Architecture, Design, and the Humanities.

Anne Eaton
Associate Professor, Philosophy

Anne Eaton is an Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department, where she served for one term as Directory of Graduate Admissions and for two terms on the graduate admissions committee.  She received her Ph.D. from The University of Chicago in both philosophy and art history in 2003, and hopes that this interdisciplinary training would be especially useful on the Graduate Awards Committee.  Anne works on topics in gender studies, aesthetics and philosophy of art, value theory, race, and Italian Renaissance painting. For details about her publications and accomplishments, see her website:

Rosilie Hernandez
Associate Professor, Hispanic and Italian Studies

In the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies I served as Director of Undergraduate Studies and Department Head.  At the level of the College, I served as Visiting Assistant Dean for Foreign Languages, Associate Director for the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics, and Acting Director for the School of Literatures, Cultural Studies, and Linguistics.  During my time of service as an administrator, one of my main areas of interest was curricular development and the improvement of research initiatives for faculty and graduate students. In my capacity as administrator I garnered a Fulbright Fellowship (German Office) for training regarding the new Bologna system in Europe and graduate/faculty exchange possibilities between European and American higher education institutions.  My areas of specialization are the literatures and visual cultures of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Spain. I am currently (2014-2015) a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for the Humanities. I am the author of Bucolic Metaphors: History, Subjectivity, and Gender in the Early Modern Spanish Pastoral (University of North Carolina Press, 2006), as well as numerous articles focusing on Cervantes, women writers, and political and economic treatises.  I have co-edited several volumes, the most recent being Women's Literacy in Early Modern Spain and the New World (With Anne J. Cruz. Vermont: Ashgate Press. 2011), winner of the Collaborative Project Award for the Society for the Study of Early Modern Women.  I have successfully directed four dissertations at UIC and I am currently directing three additional thesis projects.

Margaret Miner
Associate Professor, French and Francophone Studies

Margaret Miner is associate professor in the department of French and Francophone Studies. She has served for many years as Director of Graduate Studies in French, and she has been a member of the Graduate College Awards Committee on three previous occasions. Her research focuses on nineteenth-century French literature, with particular attention to poetry and poetics, relations between music and literature, and short fiction. She has published extensively on Baudelaire and Mallarmé, and her current book project examines interaction between the fantastic and the everyday in modernist French writing.

Daria Tsoupikova
Associate Professor, Design

I have been a faculty member in the School of Design, College of Architecture, Design and the Arts since August 2002. In 2011 have received a Fulbright Research Scholarship for studies in France have served in Fulbright UIC committees as well as the Fulbright European Awards Committees since. I have been mentoring honor students and graduate Master and PhD students in their research activities and serving on thesis committees in UIC and Europe.

My research and artwork includes development of virtual reality art projects for VR projection systems, such as the Cave Automatic Virtual Environment theater (CAVE) in the UIC’s Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL). I am interested in applying computer graphics art to various application domains such as educational multimedia, cultural heritage and virtual rehabilitation for stroke survivors. I work closely with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Hand Rehabilitation Laboratory on the developing a multi-user virtual environment to aid in hand rehabilitation of stroke survivors for home-based therapy funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). In addition, I develop educational games to teach mathematics through the use of cryptography in collaboration with the UIC mathematics department.

I have been serving the UIC community in the School of Design, the College of Architecture, Design and the Arts, including the school’s and college’s educational policies committee, personnel committee and executive committee. I served as a Co-Chair on the Chancellor's Committee on the Status of Women Faculty Development and Concerns Subcommittee (CCSW), an organization committed to improving faculty development at UIC to ensure equal opportunity for women. During this time, I initiated the Expectant Mothers Parking Program, which was implemented in 2015.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Brian Bauer
Professor, Anthropology

Brian S. Bauer is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Chicago and an Adjutant Curator at the Field Museum.  His scholarly interests are focused on the development of complex societies in the Americas and the European – American contact period.  He has published more than 15 books and monographs on Andean prehistory and is particularly well known for his work on the Incas.  He was named Researcher for the Year at UIC in 2010.  His work has been supported with numerous awards from the National Geographic Society, the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Pamela Quiroz
Professor, Educational Policy Studies

(Statement not received) -

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences

Lin Li
Assistant Professor, Mechanical & Industrial Engineering

Lin Li is an Assistant Professor and founding director of Sustainable Manufacturing Systems Research Laboratory in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) at the University of Illinois at Chicago since January 2011. His research interests are in sustainable manufacturing systems focusing on system-level energy efficiency management, electricity demand response, joint production and energy modeling and control, and electric vehicle battery remanufacturing. He has more than 70 articles published/accepted including 43 journal papers and received external funding from NSF, DOE, industry, etc., to support his research. Lin Li is the recipient of 2012 and 2013 UIC College of Engineering Faculty Advising Award, 2013 UIC College of Engineering Faculty Research Award, and 2014 UIC College of Engineering Faculty Teaching Award. He is the member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers), IIE (Institute of Industrial Engineers), SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) and IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He serves as elected member of MIE advisory committee, MIE Undergraduate committee member, and faculty advisor of IIE Chapter 895 in UIC. Under his leadership, the IIE UIC chapter has been elected as national Chapter Recognition Gold Award for continuous three years. Outside of UIC, he also serve as Founding Member, technical committee of Sustainable Production and Service Automation in the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society, and Vice-Chair, Quality and Reliability Technical Committee, ASME Manufacturing Engineering Division (MED).

James L. Patton
Professor, Bioengineering

James L. Patton is Associate Professor of Bioengineering and an Adjunct in Computer Science at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and is a senior research scientist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC). He also holds an affiliate positions in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. He was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan in but grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. He was educated in Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science (dual BS, University of Michigan) Theoretical Mechanics (MS, Michigan State University), and Biomedical Engineering (Ph.D., Northwestern University). He worked for Ford Motor and as a cyclotron operator before turning his attention to academics and the control of human movement. His general interests involve robotic teaching, dynamic balance control, haptics, modeling of the human-machine interface, and robot-facilitated recovery from a brain injury. Specific contributions to the field include a new understanding of how neural control avoids undesirable situations and how the nervous system's adaptive capacity can teach movement skills, and hence help people recover from brain injury. He is Editor in Chief of the IEEE-Engineering in Medicine and Biology conference, and has chaired the technical committee on biomedical robotics. He is also the Associate Director of the NIDRR Center for Rehabilitation Robotics, which has supported 16 major research projects and numerous initiatives that further the cause of using technology for restoring function.

Recent significant work:

  • Melendez-Calderon A, Piovesan D, Patton JL, Mussa-Ivaldi FA, (2014) “Enhanced assessment of limb neuro-mechanics via a haptic display” Robotics and Biomimetics, In Press
  • Parmar, P N, Huang, F, Patton JL, (2014) “Evidence of Multiple Coordinate Representations during Generalization of Motor Learning” in press, Experimental Brain Research. DOI 10.1007/s00221-014-4034-6 (13 pages)
  • Mugler, Emily; Patton, James; Flint, Robert; Wright, Zachary; Schuele, Stephan; Rosenow, Joshua; Shih, Jerry; Krusienski, Dean; Slutzky, Marc (2014) “Direct classification of all American English phonemes using signals from functional speech motor cortex," Journal of Neural Engineering, JNE-100210. 2014 J. Neural Eng. doi: 10.1088/1741-2560/11/3/035015
  • Abdollahi F, Case E, Listenberger M, Kovic M, Kenyon RV, Bogey R, Hedeker D, Jovanovic B, Patton JL, (2013) “Error augmentation enhancing arm recovery in individuals with chronic stroke: a randomized crossover design” Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair (NNR), August 8, 2013, doi: 10.1177/1545968313498649

Life Sciences

David E. Featherstone
Associate Professor, Biological Sciences

David Featherstone is currently an associate professor in the department of Biological Sciences (with promotion to full professor pending Chancellor and BOT approval). His research is directed at uncovering novel mechanisms regulating synapse development in Drosophila and mice. He came to UIC as a new assistant professor in 2002. Since then, he has mentored 10 PhD students (average time to graduation 4 years). Of the students who have already graduated, two have tenure-track faculty positions, while the other four are still doing postdoctoral work. Four more students just joined Dr. Featherstone’s lab within the last year. In addition, Dr. Featherstone has served on the committee of 25 other graduate students from seven different graduate programs and two institutions. Dr. Featherstone is currently a member of the Educational Policy Committee (since 2014), Director of Undergraduate Studies for Neuroscience (since 2008), Director of Undergraduate Studies for Biological Sciences (since 2013), was special assistant to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Affairs in 2014, served on UIC’s OVCR Campus Research Board Basic Life Sciences panel from 2011-2014 (as vice chair 2013-14), and has reviewed many graduate and undergraduate research fellowship applications. Besides his teaching at UIC (which was honored with a CETL award in 2011, Silver circle award in 2008, and runner-up/nominations for Provost Award in 2012 and Honors College Fellow of the Year in 2013), Dr. Featherstone was an instructor for several years and then organizer for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories Drosophila Neurobiology summer course 2009-2011. He recently served as guest editor for the journal Glia and regularly reviews for dozens of different journals and funding agencies all over the world. Dr. Featherstone is the recipient of a German Alexander von Humboldt Award for experienced researchers, and has been funded by NIH, NSF, NARSAD, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. He believes that graduate students are the heart of any research university, and that few things are more important than rewarding them appropriately.

Terry Moore
Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry & Pharmacognosy

Assistant Professor Terry Moore from the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy in the College of Pharmacy.  Terry trained with Dr. Katzenellenbogen at UIUC in Urbana for his PHD and with Dennis Leota at Emory for his postdoctoral fellowship.  Since coming to UIC in 2012, he has already secured four grants and published in his field.  He serves on the interviewing committee for the department graduate program.  He is also involved in the UIC CENTRE drug discovery initiative.  His science is highly translational and multidisciplinary (spanning chemistry and biology) and I think this would make him an excellent candidate for evaluating these diverse students and awards.