May 19, 2017

Appointments, honors and activities

Faculty and staff honors:

- Arvind Varma, the R. Games Slayter Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering, has been awarded the 2017 Giulio Natta Medal in Chemical Engineering. The honor, named for 1963 Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, annually recognizes a distinguished scientist for exceptional contributions in the broad area of chemical engineering. It will be presented by the Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta” of Politecnico di Milano in Italy. Varma served as the Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Head of Chemical Engineering from 2004 through 2016.

- Christopher Lukasik, an associate professor of English and American Studies, was recently named to the Fulbright Specialist Roster. The Fulbright Specialist Program links United States scholars and professionals with their counterparts at host institutions abroad to share their expertise and strengthen institutional linkages. As a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster, Lukasik is placed in a pool of highly qualified United States academics and professionals who are eligible to be chosen to work on a project with an overseas host institution from one of more than 150 countries. Lukasik was given the honor on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the Institute of International Education’s Council for International Exchange of Scholars. Lukasik will serve on the roster for a period of three years running from April 2017 to April 2020.

- On April 27, the Indiana Council for Continuing Education announced 2017 award winners and officers during their annual professional development conference. Cynthia Wilson of Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne was selected as Faculty of the Year. Melody Carducci of the West Lafayette campus and Kent Lawson of IPFW were selected as Professional Staff of the Year. Lisa Peters of the West Lafayette campus was selected as Support Staff of the Year. In addition, officers were named for the upcoming year. Mitchell Springer of the West Lafayette campus will be president, Sara Griffin of IUPUI will be secretary, Robin Cunningham of the West Lafayette campus will be treasurer, and Jim McFaul of Vincennes University will be membership chairperson.

Alumni honors:

- Craig S. Pikaard was elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences. Pikaard received his PhD from Purdue's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture in 1985. In 2010 he was elected as one of Purdue's Distinguished Agriculture Alumni. Pikaard's research is focused at the intersection of plant epigenetics and human disease. According to Robert J. Joly, professor in Purdue's Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, "Craig has led a research program that has elevated our understanding of both fields, especially with respect to how gene silencing mechanisms discovered in plants may play similar crucial roles in human gene expression." The National Academy of Sciences recognizes achievement in science and provides policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

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