Eleven faculty members named Kellett award winners

March 29, 2011

by Jill Sakai

Honors go to professors five to 20 years past first tenured position

Eleven outstanding faculty members have been named winners of this year’s Kellett Mid-Career Awards. The Kellett award, supported by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), recognizes outstanding mid-career faculty members who are five to 20 years past the first promotion to a tenured position. Each winner, chosen by a Graduate School committee, receives a $60,000 flexible research award.

The award is named for William R. Kellett, a former president of the WARF board of trustees and retired president of Kimberly-Clark Corp.

This year’s recipients are:

Craig Berridge, psychology, is an internationally recognized expert on the neurobiology of stress and arousal. His recent work provides new insight into the neurobiology of cognition and the neural mechanisms responsible for the cognition-enhancing effects of drugs used to treat attention disorders such as ADHD. He teaches graduate and undergraduate neuropharmacology classes.

Rachel F. Brenner, Hebrew and Semitic studies, is the Max and Frieda Weinstein-Bascom Professor of Jewish Studies and a senior fellow in the UW–Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities. She has published widely on responses to the Holocaust in the Jewish Diaspora, Israeli and Polish literature. Her current project focuses on Warsaw writers’ responses to the Holocaust.

Kenneth George, anthropology, conducts ethnographic research on the cultural politics of art, language, and religion in contemporary Southeast Asia. He is a past editor of the Journal of Asian Studies and the prize-winning author of several books and nearly 30 essays and is now undertaking a comparative project on ethics, iconoclasm and conscience.

Theodore P. Gerber, sociology, has written 42 scholarly articles and numerous op-eds, policy briefs and book reviews on social, political, economic and demographic change in contemporary Russia. He directs the Center for Russia, East Europe and Central Asia and recently received an Honored Instructor Award for his teaching in a first-year interest group core seminar.

Susan C. Hagness, electrical and computer engineering, is Philip Dunham Reed Professor and a fellow of the IEEE. She is an accomplished researcher in applied electromagnetics with an emphasis on microwave detection and treatment of breast cancer. Hagness has received numerous awards for her research and teaching and recently served as chair of the Physical Sciences Divisional Committee.

Hazel M. Holden, biochemistry, is nationally and internationally known for her structural and functional studies of proteins. Her work has been highlighted in major biochemical textbooks. She is also actively involved in science outreach and recently established Project CRYSTAL, a program that introduces local middle school students to basic chemistry and laboratory research.

Anna Huttenlocher, pediatrics/medical microbiology and immunology, studies the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell migration and how altered migration contributes to the pathogenesis of human disease. She is also a practicing pediatrician who cares for children with autoimmune disease. Huttenlocher is an editor at the Journal of Cell Biology and associate director of the UW–Madison M.D./Ph.D. program.

Jiming Jiang, horticulture, leads one of the world’s most respected plant cytogenetics labs, where he has contributed to the understanding of crop plant genomes, particularly centromeres, through the development and application of advanced techniques. He has co-authored more than 100 research papers and trained more than 30 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers.

David Mladenoff, forest and wildlife ecology, Beers-Bascom Professor of Conservation, is renowned for his work on how natural and man-made disturbances influence forested landscapes and patterns of change across space and time. He has published more than 114 papers and chapters, co-edited two books on forest landscape ecology and held editorial positions at Landscape Ecology and Ecological Applications.

Lynn K. Nyhart, history of science, is an historian of modern biology, currently researching the history of concepts of biological individuality. Her book, “Modern Nature: The Rise of the Biological Perspective in Germany,” won the 2009 Susan Abrams Prize of the University of Chicago Press. Nyhart will be president of the History of Science Society in 2012-13.

Michael Witmore, English, is a scholar of Shakespeare and early modern culture who is currently studying wisdom literature and mechanical theories of the “will.” He also uses digital counting techniques to explore what linguistic variation, at the level of words and types of words, can indicate about early modern literature, history and culture.