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Candidates EECEC 2013

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Statements are provided by the candidate


Maria Barbolina Guochang Hu Laxman Saggere
Sharon Collins John M. Kennedy David Schaafsma
Kamal Eldeirawi Virginia Miller Stewart Shankman
Giamila Fantuzzi Dianna Niebylski Ramin Takloo-Bighash
Douglas Feinstein Serdar Ogut Christos Takoudis
Malgorzata (Gosia) Fidelis Jack Prost  
Richard Gemeinhart Jamie Roitman  

Executive Committee Candidates Behavioral and Social Sciences

">Jack Prost
Professor, Anthropology

Having served for 11 years as the Executive Officer of my Department, I developed an abiding concern for the health and welfare of our graduate programs and their visibility and support from entities outside of the University. Having served on the Graduate Executive Committee before, I am aware of the commitment of the staff and Dean to these same objectives and, therefore, I would be happy to serve a second term on the Executive

">Stewart Shankman
Associate Professor, Psychology

Stewart Shankman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry. His research lab conducts multi-method research that examines the relation between depressive and anxiety disorders; the nature and familial transmission of emotional disorders; and basic questions in the study of emotions. To this end, his research group integrates clinical and epidemiological approaches with neuroscience and psychophysiological methods and has strong collaborations with researchers in the UIC Departments of Psychiatry and Pharmacy and at other institutions. He has 48 publications (41 peer-reviewed) and has received funding from the National Institute of Mental Health, Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, and from several internal mechanisms within UIC.

Dr. Shankman is extremely invested in training doctoral students to be the next generation of clinical scientists. Since arriving at UIC in 2005, Dr. Shankman has mentored 7 doctoral students, several of whom have received external awards/fellowships (e.g., F31 from NIMH) and internal awards/fellowships (e.g., UIC Provost Award for Graduate Research, Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship for Interdisciplinary Research). In 2010, he received a UIC Teaching Recognition Program Award for Excellence in Teaching. In addition, he is director of clinical training and head of the clinical psychology doctoral program (a program accredited by the American Psychological Association). If elected to the Graduate College Executive Board, he will strive to continue the excellent graduate student training that students receive throughout the university.

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences


">Serdar Ogut
Professor, Physics

I am a professor and Co-Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Physics. I have joined UIC in Fall 2001. The one single characteristic that has defined my decade-plus tenure at UIC is my strive for serving 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 committees, including (i) Graduate College (GC) Executive Committee (2007-2009), (ii) GC Awards Committee (2009 – 2012), (iii) Mentor for GC University Fellows (2007 – 2009), (iv) GC Mentoring Award Selection Committee (2007), (v) UIC Council for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (2005 – 2008), (vi) Faculty Associate in the UIC Residence Life Faculty Program (2004 – 2005). At the departmental level, I have served as a frequent member of the Advisory Committee, as Co-Director of Graduate Studies (since 2008), and frequent chair of the Departmental Qualifying Exam Committee. From 10/2009 to 10/2012, I have served as a program director at the National Science Foundation (Arlington, VA) in the Division of Materials Research under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignment (while keeping my research group at UIC active and still serving the university in various committees). I have been fortunate enough to win two CETL Teaching Recognition Program awards (in 2004 and 2009) and received a UIC Alumni Association WOW award in 2008. I am a fellow of the American Physical Society (since 2011), and have served as an Editorial Board Member in Physical Review B since 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 allow 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.

">Laxman Saggere
Associate Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE). I earned my PhD from the University of Michigan and served as a Research Scientist at MIT for over two years before joining UIC in 2001. My current research, which is interdisciplinary and focused in the area of micro/nano systems, has been supported by NSF and NIH with grants totaling over $3 million and covered in the international press. I am a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (2005) and the NSF EFRI Award (2009).

At UIC, I have advised (or am advising) three Postdoctoral, five PhD and ten Master’s students. Almost all of my advisees have won one or more competitive internal awards including the University Fellowship, the Dean’s Scholar Award, Provost’s Award for graduate research, Chancellor’s Award for undergraduate research and several external awards including three Best Paper awards at various international technical conferences.

Of the many facets of the university’s collegial system of governance, the graduate education aspects particularly interest me. I have served as a member of the Graduate Committee (2002-04, 2006-present) and as the Director of Graduate Studies (2009-10) in the MIE department. I have also served on the Graduate College Awards Committee (2006-2009), the UIC Faculty Senate (2009-12) and the UIC Campus Research Board, Natural Sciences and Engineering Subcommittee (2003-04, 2006-09). Gratified by these experiences, I am now seeking to serve on the Graduate College Executive Committee as it offers a larger opportunity to work towards promoting the quality, interdisciplinarity and diversity of our graduate education at UIC.

">Christos Takoudis
Professor, Chemical Engineering

-- has 32 years of teaching and research
-- has been Major Advisor of about 30 PhD and 25 MS graduates many of whom are currently in influential positions around the world (e.g., US National Academy of Engineering Member, Assistant Minister of Education in Korea, Executive Strategic Leader at Intel Corporation, University Professors in the US, Korea, Saudi Arabia and India, and Industrialists in the US, China, India, Korea, Egypt, and Canada)
-- has been providing Continuing Education along with federally funded Fellowships to K-14 teachers since 2001
-- has been Board Member of International Research Institutions, Scientific Organizations, and Cultural Groups
-- has been Evaluator for the US National Research Council
-- has been Evaluator of teaching and research programs in the US, Israel, Czech Republic, Finland, Korea, Canada, Singapore, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia
-- has been the research advisor of well over 100 undergraduate students
-- has been research advisor of 11 IMSA students
-- is currently the major advisor of 1 MS and 7 PhD students
-- his areas of research are: Microelectronic Materials and Processing, Micro- and Nano-fabrication Techniques, Organic Microelectronics, Chemical and Bio Sensors, Interactions of Peptides and Proteins, Biocompatibility of Implantable Biomedical Engineering Devices, Bionanotechnology, In Situ Surface Spectroscopies at Interfaces
-- has PhD from the U. of Minnesota, Twin Cities in Chemical Engineering, and Diploma from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece in Chemical Engineering
-- was Professor of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University from 1981 to 1998; has been Professor of Chemical Engineering at UIC since 1996, and Professor of Bioengineering at UIC since 2005.

Fine Arts and Humanities

">Virginia Miller
Associate Professor, Art History

Virginia E. Miller is currently Chair of the Department of Art History. She has also served as the Director of Graduate Studies and the Director of Undergraduate Studies for the department. Among many other committees, Miller has been a member of the College of Architecture and the Arts Executive Committee, the Graduate College Awards Committee, and the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women.

Miller’s research focuses on the art and architecture of the ancient Maya of Yucatán, Mexico. Her publications include a monograph on the archaeological site of Acanceh, Mexico, an edited book on gender in Pre-Columbian art and architecture, and numerous articles on Pre-Columbian art. Her research has been supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission, and Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, D.C., among other institutions. She is currently also exploring Maya revival style architecture and monuments in post-revolutionary Yucatán.

Miller teaches undergraduate and graduate classes on the indigenous arts of the Americas. She has supervised or is currently supervising a wide range of qualifying papers, theses, and dissertations in Art History as well as acting as a reader for theses written in other UIC departments and at other universities.

">David Schaafsma
Associate Professor, English

David Schaafsma has been a member of the graduate faculty for thirteen years. He is the Director of the Program in English Education in the Department of English, and is the author of several books, most recently Narrative Inquiry in English Studies (Teachers College Press, 2011).

Life Sciences

">Giamila Fantuzzi
 Professor, Kinesiology and Nutrition

I am a Professor in the Department of Kinesiology and Nutrition, College of Applied Health Sciences. I obtained my PhD from the University of Milano, Italy and did post-doctoral work at Tufts University before getting a faculty position at the University of Colorado. I joined UIC in 2004. My background is in inflammatory responses and cytokine biology; my current research focuses on the connection between obesity and inflammation. My research is funded by NIH and other extramural sources and I serve as an appointed member of the Tumor Microenvironment study section at NIH. In addition to being an active basic researcher I teach pathophysiology to both undergraduate and graduate students and I advise MS and PhD students, post-doctoral fellows and undergraduate students in the Honors program.

I am interested in serving on the Graduate College Executive Committee to provide my contribution to building of ever better graduate programs at UIC. I believe our students deserve the best in terms of instruction and mentoring programs as well as learning and research environments. I am committed to work toward achieving this goal.

">Richard Gemeinhart
Associate Professor, Biopharmaceutical Sciences

I am currently an Associate Professor of Pharmaceutics and Bioengineering primarily in the Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences of the College of Pharmacy. I’ve been a member of the UIC and the Graduate College since 2001 and am very dedicated to graduate education. I have mentored 4 PhD and 9 MS students in the past with 5 current PhD students, including one MD/PhD and one PharmD/PhD candidate. Several of these students have benefited from Graduate College Awards, including 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 Competition, and UIC Outstanding Dissertation Award (co-advisor). My students have also received a number of external awards. I have served on NIH (F30, F31, and F32) and NSF (GRFP) fellowship review committees. I was the Director of the Biopharmaceutical Sciences Graduate Program for 5 years and am now the Director of Graduate Education for the College of Pharmacy. My research is highly interdisciplinary in nature bridging engineering, chemistry, biology, physics applying these disciplines to medical therapy. As a member of the graduate college executive committee, I will strive to support excellence in graduate education.

Awards Committee Candidates

Behavioral and Social Sciences

">Sharon Collins
Associate Professor, Sociology

Sharon M. Collins, the Director of Graduate Studies in the Sociology Department since 2005, specializes in racial workplace discrimination and written a book and numerous articles on black managerial achievement.

">Jamie Roitman
Assistant Professor, Psychology

(Statement not received)

Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences

">Ramin Takloo-Bighash
Associate Professor, Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science

I received my doctorate at Johns Hopkins in 2001. From 2001 to 2007 I was on the faculty at Princeton University. I came to UIC in 2007 as an assistant professor, and then an associate professor starting 2009. I'm currently the Director of Graduate Studies in Math, Stat, and Computer Science

Fine Arts and Humanities

">Malgorzata (Gosia) Fidelis
Associate Professor, History

I am Associate Professor of Eastern European, Modern European, and Gender History in the Department of History. My research focuses on social and cultural issues in post-1945 Eastern Europe (Poland, in particular). My first book Women, Communism, and Industrialization in Postwar Poland was published by Cambridge University Press in 2010. I am currently working on a new book on the cultural history of the “Sixties” in East Central Europe with a particular emphasis on youth and students in a transnational context.

I have been mentoring Ph.D. and MA students in our department and other departments (as outside member) since the beginning of my appointment at UIC in 2006. I have served on numerous prospectus and exam committees in History, and as outside member in the Department of Art History, Latin American and Latino Studies, and Communication. I currently serve as primary adviser to two Ph.D. students. I teach graduate courses and conduct Independent Studies in two graduate concentrations in our department “Encounters, Ethnographies, and Empires” and “Work, Race and Gender in the Urban World.” I also serve as a coordinator and instructor in an interdisciplinary graduate and undergraduate concentration “Central and Eastern European Studies” (a collaborative effort of History, Slavic/Baltic, and Germanic Studies). I was member of the Graduate Advisory Committee in 2009-10, and Associate Chair of History Department in 2010-12.

I especially enjoy working individually with graduate students to help them develop a solid grasp of intellectual debates in their fields, and to navigate their academic careers.

">Dianna Niebylski
Professor, Hispanic and Italian Studies

Dianna Niebylski (Ph.D., 1988, Comparative Literature, Brandeis University) is Professor of Latin American Literature in the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. She has been active an active member of the Graduate School at UIC since 2005 and previously served as Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Kentucky. She is currently a member of the Graduate Committee of the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies. She is or has been a grant evaluator for several national grant organizations, including ACLS (American Council of Learned Societies) and the SSRC-Canada (Social Sciences Research Council) and has served on Departmental awards and fellowships committees. Her most recent books include Sergio Chejfec: Trayectorias de una escritura (IILI, 2012); Humoring Resistance: Laughter, Bodies and Excess in Latin American Women's Fictions (SUNY, 2004) Her current research approaches the ubiquitous presence of displaced and disposable bodies in contemporary Latin American literature and film as a dispositive for theorizing the effects of neoliberal economies and global trades on Latin American imaginaries. She serves on several editorial boards. She is currently directing five doctoral dissertations and is a member of several dissertation committees.

Life Sciences

">Maria Barbolina
Assistant Professor, Biopharmaceutical Sciences

Maria Barbolina was recently named the Liz Tilberis Scholar from the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund demonstrating her success as an assistant professor. She is an expert in ovarian cancer biology and metastasis. Her work has been published in several prominent journals including Molecular Cancer Research (cover art featured in 2012), Journal of Biological Chemistry, Cancer Treatment Research, and Nature Neuroscience.

">Kamal Eldeirawi
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Kamal Eldeirawi is an Assistant Professor with the College of Nursing. His research focuses on multilevel modifiable risk factors for chronic conditions, especially in minority and immigrant populations. Dr. Eldeirawi is a passionate advocate and a sincere mentor for students. He has taught courses in both the College of Nursing and the School of Public Health and is highly respected by students and colleagues in both disciplines.

">Douglas Feinstein
Research Professor, Anesthesiology (Anatomy and Cell Biology)

Dr. Feinstein received his BS from MIT, his Ph.D. in cell biology from the Johns Hopkins University, and then did post-doctoral training at the Scripps Clinic in San Diego, the University of Uppsala in Sweden, and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He was a faculty member at the Cornell University Medical College in New York for several years before moving to Chicago. Dr. Feinstein has been at UIC since 1998 in the Department of Anesthesiology, and is currently a Research Professor. He also holds a position at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center where is a recipient of a VA Research Career Scientist award for his work in Alzheimer’s disease. He has joint appointments with the Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and with Bioengineering. He has mentored 4 graduate students in the neuroscience program, and has served on over 20 PhD thesis committees. He encourages high school students from IMSA to work in his lab, as well as medical students and residents from UIC, Rush, and Chicago Medical College. His research focuses on therapeutic interventions for neurodegenerative diseases including AD and MS; and is supported by the NIH, the National MS Society, the American Alzheimer’s Association, the VA MERIT program, as well as from several pharmaceutical companies. He has published over 150 peer reviewed papers with an H-index of 45. He serves on NIH, VA, and NMSS study sections; was president of the American Society for Neurochemistry, and currently serves as a Council Member for the International Society of Neurochemistry.

">Guochang Hu
Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology (Pharmacology)

Guochang Hu is an assistant professor of Departments of Anesthesiology and Pharmacology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He obtained his PhD from China Medical University in 2004 and the MD from Xuzhou Medical College in 1988. He was a Chairman and Associate Professor of the Department of Clinical Anesthesia in China between 1994 and 1998. During the past 5 years, he has published 16 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He is currently serving as a scientific reviewer of more than 20 journals. As an editor-in-chief, he published 2 books in the areas of pharmacology and medicine. He has received numerous teaching and research awards including a Young Investigator Award from the American Heart Association. He is holding a NIH R01 grant and his research focuses on molecular mechanisms of endothelial permeability, vascular inflammation, and pulmonary injury.

">John M. Kennedy
Associate Professor, Physiology and Biophysics

I have been a UIC Faculty member of the Graduate College for 25 years. I have mentored 4 successful Ph.D. students and 2 M.S. students in Physiology and served on approximately 20 PhD. thesis committees. I serve as the Assistant Director of Graduate Studies in Physiology and in that capacity supervise graduate student applications for extramural and intramural funding. As the Director of Physiology Education, I have served as the Course Director for Graduate and Medical Physiology Courses. I also am the Director of the Craig Fellowship Program for Medical Student summer research training and currently serve on the Admissions Committee for the Medical Scientist Training Program. I have a strong commitment to graduate education and would very much look forward to serving on the Awards Committee of the Graduate College.