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Candidates EECEC 2008

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 Anderson, Conwell    Nunez-Cedeno,Rafael
 Comer, Christopher  Pieper, Paul 
 Diekwisch, Thomas  Rojecki, Andrew
 Junker, Laura  Thomas, Douglas
 Mazumder, Sudip K. - Exec  Ucker, David 
 Mazumder, Sudip K. - Awards  Unnerstall, James
 Mossberger, Karen  

Behavioral and Social Sciences

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Laura Junker, Associate Professor, Anthropology

I am an associate professor in the Anthropology Department, specializing in the archaeology and ethnohistory of Southeast Asia, with current archaeological field projects in the Philippines and Vietnam. Ever since my own graduate career at two quite different universities with varying philosophies about graduate education (University of Pennsylvania M.A. 1984 and University of Michigan Ph.D. 1990), I have been interested in developing effective ways of mentoring graduate students and ensuring their success in the academic world. I have served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Anthropology for four years (after serving as the Director of Undergraduate Studies for three years), emphasizing a "k-selection" (i.e. heavy faculty investment in a small number of superior students) rather than "r-selection" strategy of graduate admissions, mentoring, and retention, to use a biological analogy, which has resulted in a significant rise in the number of external grants and fellowships for our students, stronger faculty intellectual mentoring and social support for our students, and significantly improved retention and post-Ph.D. placement. As the current Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the Honors College, I have also worked with academically superior undergraduates at UIC to prepare them for graduate work. By serving on the Graduate Executive Committee, I hope to offer my experience and skills at the college level.
 

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Karen Mossberger, Associate Professor, Public Administration

Karen Mossberger is Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Public Administration.  She is a member of the faculty senate and the Senate Committee on Education Policy.  Before arriving at UIC in 2005, Mossberger was the coordinator of the Master of Public Administration Program and an active member of the Ph.D. program in public policy at Kent State University.  She co-chaired a committee that reformed the graduate curriculum in both programs and conducted an external review of the online MPA program there.  Mossberger specializes in research and teaching on local government and public policy (including information technology policy and urban policy).  One of the tasks of the graduate college executive committee is to review changes in programs, and the university should encourage innovation and responsiveness to changing needs in our disciplines and society.  Our location in Chicago affords our students and faculty many opportunities for research and professional networks, and UIC's array of graduate and professional programs are making important contributions to both practice and research in exciting ways.  Those contributions collectively deserve greater visibility, to enhance recruitment and the attraction of new resources.

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Andrew Rojecki, Associate Professor, Communication

I have been Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Communication since 2001. During my tenure our program has significantly increased its admission standards, so much so that average GRE scores of incoming masters students now rank in the top tier of graduate programs in the discipline. Our students are now routinely accepted in highly ranked PhD programs in communication such as Northwestern, UIUC, Purdue, and the University of Massachusetts. I also helped secure university and state board of higher education approval for our PhD program (our first cohort began their studies this fall) and implemented a non-thesis option for masters students. I am currently serving on a Graduate College task force committee that is studying and making recommendations for a system that will permit students to submit and archive theses and dissertations online.

I would like to serve on the Graduate Executive Committee to deepen my understanding of the institutions that support graduate education and to further the cause of interdisciplinary graduate study at UIC. I believe my experience in building the graduate program in my department will help me contribute to the overall mission of the Graduate College.

Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences  

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Sudip Mazumder, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Sudip K. Mazumder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and is the Director of the Laboratory for Energy and Switching-electronics Systems.  He has over twelve years of professional experience and has held R&D and design positions in leading industrial organizations and received his PhD from Virginia Tech and MS from RPI. He received in 2008 and 2006 the UIC Faculty Research Award and the Diamond Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activities. He received the ONR Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER, and the DOE SECA awards in 2005, 2003, and 2002, respectively. He has received four IEEE Awards including three Prize-paper Awards and Future Energy Challenge award. He is the Editor-in-Chief for International Journal of Power Management Electronics since 2006. He is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics since 2003 and was the Associate Editor for
IEEE Power Electronics Letters till 2005.

Prof. Mazumder has advised (or is advising) 6 PhD and 6 MS students. Two of his PhD students have received prestigious IEEE Fellowship and prize awards, while five additional graduate students have received job placements in leading R&D organizations including GE Global Research, Philips, and International Rectifier. He serves as the Faculty Advisor to UIC’s Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society and guides meritorious students in that regard. Recently, he guided a team comprising 5 UIC graduate students to first position finish in USA (beating world class institutes including Texas A&M, University of Wisconsin, Univ. of Aachen) for the prestigious IEEE Future Energy Challenge Competition, which involved the design and fabrication of a novel fuel-cell based energy-conversion system. He has developed and introduced a completely new ECE PhD qualifier on Electric Circuits and Power Electronics, which is the first of its kind in USA.  Further, in 2007, as the Chair of the ECE Electronic Laboratory Committee, he proposed and secured much-needed financial support from UIC's College of Engineering Dean for laboratory upgrade of graduate power curricula in ECE. Further, as the ECE Chair of the Graduate Subcommittee in Circuits, he has completely overhauled and revamped the circuits curriculum comprising over 6 courses. He regularly attends workshops (e.g. organized by NSF, ONR, IEEE) on energy and power to gather what experienced teachers at other leading universities are doing to keep ECE's graduate and undergraduate curricula up-to-date and translate these useful experiences to the benefit of the UIC students.

Prof. Mazumder's addition to the graduate executive committee and awards committee will benefit from his tangible and wide-ranging experience regarding the cause of graduate students and his consistent energetic support to the same. His achievements as a multiple-award-winning dynamic faculty with strong inter-disciplinary skills will also add to the credibility and breadth of this important committee position. 

Fine Arts and Humanities

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Rafael Nunez-Cedeno, Professor, Spanish/FIP

Rafael Nuñez-Cedeño is Professor of Hispanic linguistics, specializing in phonology, morphology, and dialectology. He has been at UIC for 22 years. He has published extensively in linguistic journals, newspapers and is the author of six books on Spanish and general Romance linguistics. He is also a co-founder and co-editor of Probus: International Journal of Latin and Romance Linguistics, published by the Germany-based Mouton de Gruyter. He was former director of Latin American and Latino Studies. He has served in and chaired several Spanish departmental committees, which includes directing Hispanic Graduate Studies, and has been a member of the LAS Executive committee. In the UIC Senate he has served in the committees of   Academic Freedom and Tenure, Faculty Affairs, and the External Relations and Public Service. He is currently a member of the All-University Promotion and Tenure Committee and of the the Graduate College.

Life Sciences

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Thomas Diekwisch, Professor, Oral Biology

Currently, I am training three Ph.D. students and one M.S. student in my laboratory.  I have trained about a dozen Ph.D. and M.S. students previously.  If elected, I would like to enhance the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary aspects of graduate education. I am especially interested in the interface between Liberal Arts and Sciences. 

Short bio:

D.M.D., Ph.D. (sc.), Ph.D. (phil.) 

Born in Bielefeld, Germany, Dr. Diekwisch holds degrees in dental medicine (1986, D.M.D.), a Ph.D. in Anatomy (1988, "summa cum laude"), and a Ph.D. in philosophy (2005, “magna cum laude”), all from the Philipps-University of Marburg.  From 1986-1990, Dr. Diekwisch worked as a lecturer, clinical instructor, and research associate in the Departments of Anatomy and Periodontics at the Philipps-University.  In 1990, he became a postdoctoral fellow in craniofacial biology at the University of Southern California.  In 1994, he joined the faculty of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, TX, where he created an award-winning community science education outreach program entitled “Habitat for Science”. 

In 2001, Dr. Diekwisch was recruited to the University of Illinois at Chicago to become the first Director of the Brodie Laboratory for Craniofacial Genetics and the Allan G. Brodie Endowed Chair.  Two years later, he was appointed Professor and Head of the Department of Oral Biology at UIC.  Besides Oral Biology, Dr. Diekwisch holds appointments in Anatomy and Cell Biology, Bioengineering, Orthodontics and Periodontics.  Diekwisch discovered and characterized a gene, CP27 that plays an important role in craniofacial development.  Other research areas include the development and evolution of tooth enamel and periodontal tissues as well as craniofacial tissue engineering.

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David Ucker, Professor, Microbiology and Immunology

Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology (since 1994)
College of Medicine

I have a longstanding interest and commitment to graduate education, and to academic (including research and teaching) excellence.

I have served as the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology for six years, during which time we thoroughly revised the Departmental graduate curriculum. I was involved in the development of the integrated Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) curriculum, which brought a rigorous curriculum to the entire basic science faculty within the College of Medicine. (I am the director of one of the core GEMS courses.) As a past member of the Executive Committee of the Graduate College, I also have been actively involved in issues of programmatic educational quality throughout the University.

My efforts are directed to enhancing the depth and rigor of the training we provide for our students, with particular emphasis on the development of critical and analytical thinking and excellence in scholarship.

(Biosketch information)
Education:
B. Sc. (1977) Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(Life Sciences)
Ph.D. (1981) University of California, San Francisco
(Biochemistry and Biophysics)
Postdoctoral Fellow (1981 – 1984) Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology (Molecular Immunology)
Previous positions:
Associate Member, Division of Immunology, Medical Biology Institute
La Jolla, 1986 - 1993.
Instructor in Pathology, Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, and
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 1984-1986.

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James Unnerstall, Associate Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology; Neuroscience

I came to the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1991 from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and have served on the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology since 1993.  I have participated in Graduate Student Teaching in several Departmental Courses as well as interdisciplinary courses such as BioS/NEUS 582, Methods in Modern Neuroscience, which I also formerly directed.  For the Anatomy Department, I also established a new Graduate Seminar course, ANAT 529 Chemical Neuroanatomy, directed ANAT 595 Departmental Seminar (Journal Club) for ten years and more recently have served as course director for ANAT 521 Plasticity in the Nervous System.  I have further served on the Preliminary Examination Committees of most of the students in Anatomy since coming to UIC as well as many of the Anatomy student dissertation committees as well as the committees of two students in Biological Science and one in Psychology.  More recently I was pivotal in the development and curriculum design of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience, and presently serve as the Director of Graduate Studies of this Program.  I further serve as Course Director and lecturer in NEUS 502 Foundations of Neuroscience 2, NEUS 595 Seminar in Neuroscience (Journal Club) and ANAT/NEUS 403 Human Neuroanatomy.  I sincerely believe in Interdisciplinary education and see this as the direction Graduate Education at UIC will go.  I believe my experience and close work with Graduate Students both at the Departmental level and the Interdisciplinary level will serve the Graduate College well as it works toward increased cross-departmental and cross-college educational efforts.

Behavioral and Social Sciences

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Paul Pieper, Associate Professor, Economics 

Associate Professor of Economics.  Director of Graduate Studies, 1989-present, Graduate College Executive Committee 2005-06, Faculty Senate 2000-05, Senate Committee on Educational Policy 2000-05, Faculty Advisor, Graduate Student Council 200-04,  Chair, College of  Business Administration Graduate Academic Program Committee 2000-present, Member, Graduate College Task Force on Campus-wide Evaluation of Ph.D. Programs, 1998-99, Member, Graduate College Task Force on TOEFL Admissions Standards, 2005.

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences

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Sudip Mazumder, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Sudip K. Mazumder is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and is the Director of the Laboratory for Energy and Switching-electronics Systems.  He has over twelve years of professional experience and has held R&D and design positions in leading industrial organizations and received his PhD from Virginia Tech and MS from RPI. He received in 2008 and 2006 the UIC Faculty Research Award and the Diamond Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarly Activities. He received the ONR Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER, and the DOE SECA awards in 2005, 2003, and 2002, respectively. He has received four IEEE Awards including three Prize-paper Awards and Future Energy Challenge award. He is the Editor-in-Chief for International Journal of Power Management Electronics since 2006. He is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics since 2003 and was the Associate Editor for
IEEE Power Electronics Letters till 2005.

Prof. Mazumder has advised (or is advising) 6 PhD and 6 MS students. Two of his PhD students have received prestigious IEEE Fellowship and prize awards, while five additional graduate students have received job placements in leading R&D organizations including GE Global Research, Philips, and International Rectifier. He serves as the Faculty Advisor to UIC’s Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society and guides meritorious students in that regard. Recently, he guided a team comprising 5 UIC graduate students to first position finish in USA (beating world class institutes including Texas A&M, University of Wisconsin, Univ. of Aachen) for the prestigious IEEE Future Energy Challenge Competition, which involved the design and fabrication of a novel fuel-cell based energy-conversion system. He has developed and introduced a completely new ECE PhD qualifier on Electric Circuits and Power Electronics, which is the first of its kind in USA.  Further, in 2007, as the Chair of the ECE Electronic Laboratory Committee, he proposed and secured much-needed financial support from UIC's College of Engineering Dean for laboratory upgrade of graduate power curricula in ECE. Further, as the ECE Chair of the Graduate Subcommittee in Circuits, he has completely overhauled and revamped the circuits curriculum comprising over 6 courses. He regularly attends workshops (e.g. organized by NSF, ONR, IEEE) on energy and power to gather what experienced teachers at other leading universities are doing to keep ECE's graduate and undergraduate curricula up-to-date and translate these useful experiences to the benefit of the UIC students.

Prof. Mazumder's addition to the graduate executive committee and awards committee will benefit from his tangible and wide-ranging experience regarding the cause of graduate students and his consistent energetic support to the same. His achievements as a multiple-award-winning dynamic faculty with strong inter-disciplinary skills will also add to the credibility and breadth of this important committee position.

Fine Arts and Humanities


No positions available for the Awards Committee in the Fine Arts & Humanities division

Life Sciences

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Conwell Anderson, Associate Professor, Anatomy and Cell Biology

Dr. Anderson is a Director of Graduate Studies, and a current member of the Graduate College Executive committee.  Over the years he has taught several graduate courses in neuroscience, and advised MS and PhD students.

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Christopher Comer, Professor, Biological Sciences

statement pending - currently out of town 

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Douglas Thomas, Assistant Professor, Medicinal Chemistry and Phramacognosy

I am an assistant professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy.  I did my undergraduate work at Washington State University and received my PhD at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2000.  Although new to the UIC system, I have been involved with students through teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, in addition to mentoring several students on a one-on-one basis.    Through my own teaching experience, I have developed a deep appreciation for the teachers who impacted my thinking throughout my educational training.  Serving on the Graduate College Awards Committee would afford me the opportunity to be more closely in tune to the students, as well as allowing me to learn from other more senior faculty while also contributing to the school.   I am anxious to become more involved with decision making at the student level, and I am confident that my enthusiasm and commitment would be a positive contribution.