Trustees ratify appointments, OK department name change

May 11, 2012

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (May 11) ratified the appointment of  two named professors and deans for Purdue Extended Campus in West Lafayette and the College of Health and Human Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne.

Trustees also approved a name change for an academic unit at the West Lafayette campus.

The board ratified Tonglei Li as the Allen Chao Chair in Industrial and Physical Pharmacy and Daniel K. Mroczek as the William and Sally Berner Hanley Professor of Gerontology.

Tonglei Li

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An associate professor of pharmaceutics at the University of Kentucky since 2002, Li received a master's degree in computer science and his doctorate from Purdue. From 1999-2002 he was a visiting assistant professor of pharmaceutics at Purdue.

Li's research focuses on solid-state organic chemistry, molecular modeling and simulation, drug-delivery systems, and formulation design. His long-term goal is to predict physiochemical and mechanical properties and drug-action kinetics in humans based on the molecular structure of a drug compound.

He has written articles in more than 60 peer-reviewed publications and in 2005 received a National Science Foundation Career Award.

Li earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Nankai University in Tianjin, China, where he also received his master's degree in computational chemistry.

Daniel Mroczek

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Mroczek has been a professor of human development and family studies since he came to Purdue in 2005. Before that he was on the faculty as an assistant and associate professor in the Department of Psychology at Fordham University.

His academic interests are changes in personality and well-being, particularly during midlife and older adulthood. He has shown that factors such as marriage, divorce, remarriage and death of a spouse play a key role in altering personality.

He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association in the adult development and aging division, and he also served on the social personality and interpersonal processes study section at the National Institutes of Health.

Mroczek received his bachelor's degree from Loyola University in Chicago and his master's degree and doctorate from Boston University.

Mary Sadowski

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The board also ratified Mary Sadowski as dean of Purdue Extended Campus, effective June 1. Sadowski is now interim dean of PEC and, prior to that, she was associate dean for undergraduate programs and learning in the College of Technology.

Ann Obergfell was approved as dean of the College of Health and Human Services at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Obergfell, who is serving as interim dean, came to IPFW in 2010 as professor and chair of radiography.

Ann Obergfell

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Prior to that, she was professor and dean of the School of Health Sciences at Saint Catharine College in Saint Catharine, Ky. She also has been on the faculty of the University of Louisville. She received her bachelor's degree in health service management from the Indiana University School of Medicine and her doctorate from the University of Louisville School of Law.

In other business, trustees approved renaming the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences to Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. The change is to bring more attention to the department's planetary science program, said Timothy D. Sands, executive vice president for academic affairs, provost and Basil S. Turner Professor of Engineering.

"The program has become internationally prominent thanks, in part, to the work of Professor Jay Melosh," Sands said. "With 12 faculty members involved in the planetary sciences, it has emerged as one of the signature areas of the department and enhances and builds on Purdue's tradition as a key component of the U.S. space program."

Writer: Greg McClure, 765-4969711,

Sources:  Timothy Sands, 765-494-9709,

                   Tonglei Li,

                   Daniel Mroczek, 765-494-2937,

                   Mary Sadowski, 765-496-2321,

                   Ann Obergfell, 260-481-0512,