March 9, 2015

9 faculty earn professorships

UNL has awarded professorships to nine faculty members who will be recognized at Honors Convocation on April 12.

“These innovative scholars are making a difference in people’s lives through their teaching and research. They have earned the respect of their colleagues at UNL and worldwide,” said Margaret Jacobs, Chancellor’s Professor of History and Chair of the University Professorships Committee. “The committee has been privileged to review their applications.”

Honored faculty include:

  • Concetta DiRusso was named George W. Holmes University Professor of Biochemistry. DiRusso, one of the top lipid biochemists in the world, joined UNL in 2008. Her pioneering research on the transcriptional regulation of fatty acid metabolism in bacteria has been recognized for its innovation, precision and clarity She has had generous, uninterrupted external support for her research for over 25 years from federal agencies including the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy and from private sectors such as the American Heart Association. She has an excellent record as an outstanding teacher and mentor, having received recognitions twice from the UNL Parents Association and the UNL Teaching Council.

Two faculty members were named as Willa Cather/Charles Bessey Professors:

  • Stephen DiMagno, professor of chemistry, joined UNL in 1993 as an assistant professor, was promoted to associate professor in 1999, and to professor in 2008. He is supported by five external grants of more than $3.4 million. His research has led to 21 issued patents with another six pending. DiMagno’s nomination letter stated that he has a flair for exploiting fundamental principles of physical organic chemistry to make important advances in fluorine and medicinal chemistry. For DiMagno’s pioneering work in fluorine chemistry, he was elected chair of the Fluorine Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society.

  • Sebastian Elbaum, professor of computer science and engineering, joined UNL in 1999. He has published 25 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented 58 refereed conference papers at high impact disciplinary meetings. He has won multiple distinguished paper awards, two industry awards and a National Science Foundation CAREER award. Elbaum’s nomination letter stated that he has established himself as a highly regarded researcher internationally in software testing and analysis. He has also developed a strong record of teaching and mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students.

Robert Brooke was named John E. Weaver Professor of English. Brooke has established an outstanding record of scholarship on place-based pedagogy and teaching. He has produced five co-authored or edited books centered on the teaching of writing, edited 21 volumes in the studies in writing and rhetoric volumes, published more than 50 refereed and invited articles on teaching topics, and has more than 80 national and outreach service presentations. Since joining UNL in 1984, Brooke has been recognized by receiving two College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Awards, two certificates of recognition for contribution to students, the Hazel McClymont Teaching Fellow Award and the NCTE/SLATE Intellectual Freedom Award from the National Council of Teachers of English. His nominator stated that the positive impact of his work has been felt not only on UNL’s campus, but across the state and nation.

Five faculty members were named as Susan J. Rosowski 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:

  • Jinsong Huang was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. Huang joined UNL in 2009, becoming tenured and promoted in 2014. He has more than 65 total archival journal publications including papers in high impact factor journals. He also has three book chapters, numerous referenced conference papers and four patents awarded. He was selected for an NSF CAREER and a DTRA Young Investigator Award. A nominator describes Huang as a “dedicated and effective teacher” focusing on teaching and out-of-classroom mentoring.

  • Matthew Jockers was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English. Jockers has three books published with another under contract. His research has been supported by seven funded grants, including two external grants since his appointment at UNL. The national and international recognition of his scholarship is reflected in his 29 invited lectures since 2010. Jockers’ nominator stated that he has quickly established himself as one of the leading scholars in the emergent field of digital humanities.

  • Ming Li was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Psychology. Li has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, numerous conference and invited presentations and a nearly continuous extramural funding record since joining UNL in 2006. He has been awarded 15 grants plus one pending grant from various funding agencies with more than $4 million of support for his research program. Li also provides extensive teaching and service to the advancement of the field, the university and the department through mentoring of students and junior faculty.

  • Roland Vegso was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of English. Vegso has published two highly regarded books and has a third manuscript under contract with a publisher. He has edited to special journal issues, published 15 peer-reviewed journal articles and four book chapters. His record of scholarship also includes an active research program of translations, including two books and 17 articles. Vegso’s contributions as a co-founder of the Humanities on the Edge speaker series have enhanced the quality of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration. He has been recognized for his teaching with a College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Teaching Award.

  • Jun Wang was named Susan J. Rosowski Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Wang has obtained external support for his research through 17 grants, including a NASA New Investigator Award. His record of scholarship includes 63 peer-reviewed publications. He has a record of undergraduate student engagement in his lab, many of which lead to external internships. Wang also devotes much of his time to undergraduate and graduate students, working with students in his research group and in the classroom providing mentoring and one-on-one teaching.

To learn more about the professorships, click here.

Concetta DiRusso
Stephen DiMagno
Sebastian Elbaum
Robert Brooke
Jinsong Huang
Ming Li
Roland Vegso
Jun Wang
Matthew Jockers