Six faculty earn professorships

Six faculty earn professorships

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The University of Nebraska-Lincoln has awarded professorships to six faculty members.

Three faculty were named as Willa Cather Professors. The professorships were established in 2001 to recognize faculty members with the rank of full professor who have established exceptional records of distinguished scholarship or creative activity. Learn more about these professorships here.

  • Susan Hermiller, professor of mathematics, has a national and international reputation in the area of group theory. Her scholarship has been at the forefront of major innovations in computational group theory and her work is consistently published in top-tier journals. Hermiller excels at mentoring, working successfully with graduate and undergraduate students and has been heavily engaged in increasing the research environment in the Mathematics Department.

  • Timothy Gay, professor of physics and astronomy, is easily the most recognized physicist in Nebraska, given his public outreach on the physics of football. He is a pioneer in the field of “spin chemistry” – the study of how low energy collisions between photons or electrons and simple molecules are affected by their spin. Gay’s passion for physics and teaching has made him an effective and popular teacher. He takes very seriously the importance of good citizenship, recognizing and embracing service to his field and his department.

  • David DiLillo, professor of psychology, is a prolific researcher with more than 100 publications and a nearly continuous extramural funding record since his arrival at Nebraska in 2000. His research’s primary focus is in family and interpersonal violence. He has accomplished this while providing extensive service to the advancement of the field, the university, and the department. He also is recognized for his combination of research excellence and commitment to mentoring.

Three faculty members were named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professors. The professorship recognizes faculty at the associate professor level who have achieved distinguished records of scholarship or creative activity and who show exceptional promise for future excellence. For more information on the professorship, click here.

  • Sarah Gervais, associate professor of psychology, examines prejudice in the context of social interactions using perspectives from social psychology, women’s studies, law psychology and neuroscience. Her interdisciplinary focus and novel technological approaches have allowed her to make several discoveries of both theoretical and practical importance in areas as sexual assault on campuses, academic performance of women in STEM and workplace discrimination. Gervais’ interdisciplinary expertise is recognized, respected and in demand by the international research community. Her impact extends through her mentoring of students and junior faculty.

  • Martin Centurion, associate professor of physics and astronomy, aims to make “molecular movies” – to observe molecular processes while they are happening. Centurion’s success in winning substantial grant awards for his research is clear evidence of his research’s excellence. His research achievements resulted in 17 invited talks in the past three years. Centurion also supervises undergraduate research, receives excellent student reviews and contributes to improving the calculus-based introductory physics courses by pioneering the use of smartPhysics.

  • Timothy Schaffert, associate professor of English, is a creative writer who has five published novels, a completed but not yet contracted short story collection, an edited book collecting and reintroducing the short stories by the late Ervin Krause, and numerous stories, essays and reviews. Schaffert helped revise the undergraduate creative writing curriculum, is developing courses in gay and lesbian studies, and is a host for visiting writers. He mentors students and is an invaluable resource to the creative writing program and the department. He is devoted to excellence in his own creative and pedagogical activities and is dedicated to serve and reach out to the communities of which he is an important member and leader.