August 4, 2017

Trustees approve professorships; honor retiring chancellor, donors

Seungjin Kim Seungjin Kim
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Aug. 4) approved the appointment of six faculty to named and distinguished positions and approved resolutions of appreciation for the outgoing Fort Wayne campus chancellor and for significant donors to the university.

Seungjin Kim was named the Capt. James McCarthy, Jr., and Cheryl E. McCarthy Head of the School of Nuclear Engineering; Valerie S. Knopik was named the Ben and Maxine Miller Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; Julia Laskin was named the William F. and Patty J. Miller Professor of Chemistry; Jayson Lusk was named Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics; Donna M. Riley was named the Kamyar Haghighi Head of the School of Engineering Education; and Kipling D. Williams was named Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences.

Kim, who earned his master’s and doctoral degrees at Purdue, became head of the School of Nuclear Engineering on June 1. He came to Purdue from Pennsylvania State University. His research includes reactor thermal-hydraulics to reactor system analysis code and reactor safety.

Valerie S. Knopik Valerie S. Knopik
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Knopik will join the faculty this month as the Ben and Maxine Miller Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. Knopik worked recently as a research professor in the departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Behavioral and Social Sciences at Brown University. She also was a research scientist in the Division of Behavioral Genetics at Rhode Island Hospital.

Julia Laskin Julia Laskin
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Laskin will join the faculty as a tenured professor Aug. 14. She is considered one of the world’s leading analytical chemists, specializing in mass spectrometry. She has worked as a scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory since 2011.

Jayson Lusk Jayson Lusk
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Lusk serves as the head of the Department of Agricultural Economics and is a food and agricultural economist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in food technology from Texas Tech University and his doctorate in agricultural economics from Kansas State University. A prolific writer, Lusk’s research interests cover food policy, emerging food issues, consumer behavior, livestock and meat technology and marketing, along with research methods.

Donna M. Riley Donna M. Riley
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Riley began at Purdue July 1 after serving as interim head of the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Princeton University and a doctorate from Carnegie Mellon University in engineering and public policyand is the author of two books.

Kipling D. Williams Kipling D. Williams
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Williams is a professor of psychological sciences who earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington and master’s and doctorate degrees at Ohio State University. He came to Purdue in 2004. Williams is seen as a leading authority on ostracism and social rejection. He is a widely-cited author and is often funded by the National Science Foundation.

Vicky L. Carwein was honored by the board for her management and leadership at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. She was the university’s ninth chancellor and had served since 2012. She will step down at the end of 2017.

Trustees also acknowledged donors making gifts of $1 million or more to the university, including: Jim and Lessie Miller (School of Aeronautics and Astronautics), Jay Wiley Jr. (Lyles School of Civil Engineering), Jack Calhoun (Purdue University), Joe Chuderewicz (College of Health and Human Sciences), and anonymous (Krannert School of Management). 

Writer: Howard Hewitt, 765-494-9451, 

Source: Jay Akridge, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs and diversity, 765-494-7420,

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