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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 2, 2008

Distinguished, University Professors named

Seven Iowa State faculty members have been awarded the titles of Distinguished Professor or University Professor. They will be honored at the fall university convocation and awards ceremony.

Distinguished Professors have shown exemplary performance and impact on a national or international scale in their disciplines (research and/or creative activities), and demonstrated excellence in at least one of the following: teaching and advising; extension/professional practice; and institutional service. Recipients receive a $4,000 addition to their base salaries.

The University Professor title recognizes faculty members who have made significant contributions to improve the university. In addition, a University Professor must be outstanding in at least one of the following: research and/or creative activities; teaching and advising; and extension/professional practice. Recipients receive a $3,500 addition to their base salaries.

Robert C. Brown, Anson Marston Distinguished Professor in Engineering

As founding director of the Bioeconomy Institute, Brown played a key role in establishing Iowa State's national leadership in biorenewables. He has built several multidisciplinary teams to pursue promising research in thermochemical processing of biomass into energy, fuels and chemicals. Evidence of ISU's international stature in this arena was ConocoPhillips' decision last year to establish a seven-year $22.5 million partnership with ISU. Brown is the Bergles Professor of Thermal Sciences, and is a professor in the departments of mechanical engineering; chemical and biological engineering; and agricultural and biosystems engineering.

Anumantha Kanthasamy, Clarence Hartley Covault Distinguished Professor in Veterinary Medicine

An internationally renowned neuroscientist, Kanthasamy's research focus is the cellular and molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders, and the development of novel therapeutic agents to treat such disorders. He also studies mechanisms underlying prion diseases such as Kuru and Jacobs/Kreutzfelt disease. His laboratory has become a major site for training of Ph.D. students in the field of neurotoxicology. Kanthasamy holds the W.E. Lloyd Chair in Neurotoxicology and is director of the Iowa Center for Advanced Neurotoxicology.

Joseph Sebranek, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Life Sciences

Sebranek is recognized as one of the world's top scientists working in the field of meat processing technology. Through his research, he has significantly improved the safety of cured meat. He also facilitated industrial use of irradiation technology by determining the irradiation doses necessary for controlling microbial pathogens in processed meats. Sebranek has published more than 450 peer-reviewed papers and technical communications, and has received numerous university and professional society awards for teaching. He is a University Professor of animal science, and food science and human nutrition.

Jack Girton, University Professor

Girton is a 22-year veteran instructor and research scientist who helped shape ISU's genetics curriculum, earning teaching excellence awards along the way. He is a professor in the department of biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology. Girton has held many faculty leadership positions, including Faculty Senate president, and served on numerous committees and task forces.

Douglas Jacobson, University Professor

A professor of electrical and computer engineering, Jacobson also is director of the Information Assurance Center. He has developed curricular programs, research centers, and engages current and future students through learning communities, student groups and competitions. Jacobson is an accomplished researcher and entrepreneur, specializing in computer engineering and technology transfer.

Barbara Licklider, University Professor

Licklider, a professor in educational leadership and policy studies, created Project LEA/RN, a tool that improves teaching and learning campus wide. Her service record is lengthy and includes work at every level, both at ISU and in national organizations. Licklider has been honored for her teaching excellence multiple times, and continues to mentor current and future educators.

Gail Nonnecke, University Professor

An award-winning educator, Nonnecke is a champion of learning communities. The horticulture professor impacts student engagement from the introductory to advanced levels through instruction, advising and curriculum development. She promotes global study and service-learning initiatives for students, and faculty mentoring and development for her peers. Nonnecke is recognized nationally for her research of small fruit crops and sustainability.


Seven Iowa State faculty members have been awarded the titles of Distinguished Professor or University Professor. They will be honored at the fall university convocation and awards ceremony.