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May 18, 2007

Purdue Notebook

Appointments and promotions:

- Adriela Fernández has been named an associate dean in the College of Liberal Arts. Fernández, who was an associate professor of social sciences, Latin American and Latino studies, and integrative studies at Governors State University in Chicago, will oversee academic programs and online learning in the College of Liberal Arts. Her appointment was effective May 1. She earned her bachelor's degree in economics from the Universidad de Chile in Santiago, and her master's degree in applied economics and doctorate degree in international relations and comparative politics from Purdue. Her expertise includes Latin American studies and multicultural education.

- Leonard Harris, professor of philosophy, has been named the chair of the Philosophy and Literature Program in the College of Liberal Arts. The program is one of 11 interdisciplinary studies areas in liberal arts. Harris is an expert in American philosophy and African American philosophy.

- Carol Willoughby is the new director of advancement in Purdue's School of Veterinary Medicine. Her responsibilities include working with donors and matching their philanthropic interests with the needs of the school. She also will work with Kevin Doerr, director of alumni relations and public affairs, in the marketing and branding of the school, which is the only veterinary school in Indiana and one of only 28 in the country. Willoughby was most recently vice president for external affairs with Planned Parenthood of Indiana, where she worked with development, marketing and communication and public policy. She also has held positions with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the American Heart Association.

 • Faculty and staff honors:

- Karthik Ramani, a professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue, has received a 2007 Faculty Award of Excellence, a research award issued by the university's College of Engineering. The award cited Ramani for his "achievements in discovery, learning, and entrepreneurship, and for his innovative research in information and shape sciences." Ramani led researchers who developed the first system capable of searching a company's catalog of three-dimensional parts created with computer-aided design software. Shape-search engines could save time and millions of dollars annually by making it easier for companies to "reuse" previous designs, reducing redundancy and streamlining a company's supply chain. The method has been commercialized by Imaginestics LLC, a company in the Purdue Research Park. Ramani is chief technology adviser for Imaginestics, which has developed products based on the research.

- Michael G. Rossmann, Hanley Professor of Biological Sciences, and Richard J. Kuhn, head of the Department of Biological Sciences, have been elected as fellows in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. There are now more than 2,500 fellows representing all subspecialties of microbiology, including basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service. Rossmann has made many fundamental contributions to microbiology through his investigation of structures of proteins and viruses, using crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy. He revealed mechanisms of viral assembly, evolution, attachment to cells, interactions with antibodies and pathogenesis. Rossmann pioneered many of the approaches used to examine structure and function in living systems. Kuhn's research combined molecular virology with structural biology and provided insights into interaction of viruses with cellular receptors, and viral replication and assembly. 

- Mark French, assistant professor of mechanical engineering technology, received Purdue's Teaching for Tomorrow Award. Made possible by the classes of 1944 and 1945, the award recognizes the demonstrated talents for teaching of up to 12 assistant professors or recently promoted associate professors. These faculty work together in teams to address topics which can enhance the learning environment for students across the campus.

- Helen McNally, assistant professor of electrical engineering technology, received an Instructional Innovation Award of $70,000 from the provost during the spring 2007 semester to support a scanning probe microscope for nanotechnology curriculum development.

- John Deely, a continuing lecturer in statistics; Rebecca Doerge, a professor of statistics and agronomy; and Chuanhai Liu, a professor of statistics, have been elected to fellowship in the American Statistical Association. Fellows of the association are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-reviewed process based on their professional contributions and leadership in the field of statistical science. Individuals are nominated for the honor by fellow members and must have an established reputation and made outstanding contributions to the field. Deely has researched empirical Bayes and Bayesian methods and is a specialist in statistics education. Doerge, who also is the director of Purdue's Statistical Bioinformatics Center, has forged new ground in the areas of statistical genomics, quantitative genetics and bioinformatics. Liu is known for his work in statistical modeling and computation.

- Valentine Moghadam, director of women's studies and professor of sociology, will present the opening remarks at the Nobel Women's Initiative first International Women's Conference in Galway, Ireland. The conference, "Women Redefining Peace in the Middle East & Beyond," is May 29-31. The initiative was established in 2006 by six female recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize to strengthen work being done in support of women's rights around the world. Twelve women in the Nobel Peace Prize's more than 100-year history have been recognized with this award.

 • Alumni honors:

- Kimberly Ply McDonough, president of Advanced Pharmacy Concepts in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, has been named Rhode Island's Small Business Person of the Year. The award is part of the annual Rhode Island Salute to Small Businesses celebration co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Rhode Island Chambers of Commerce.  McDonough received her doctor of pharmacy degree from Purdue in 1982. Advanced Pharmacy Concepts provides consulting, auditing and operational support to companies and organizations that provide pharmacy-benefit programs. The company was established 10 years ago and has 25 employees.


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