CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Five professors at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign have been named scholars in recognition of their excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Since an in-person celebration was not possible a year ago due to COVID-19 precautions, a gathering in honor of two years of Urbana campus scholars is taking place today . The prize is awarded by the University of Illinois System to faculty members at the Universities of Chicago, Springfield and Urbana.
The group of university scholars announced a year ago to include five from the Urbana campus.
Launched in 1985, the Scholars Program recognizes excellence in faculty and provides $15,000 to each Scholars for each of three years to enhance their academic career. Money can be used for travel, equipment, research assistants, books, or other purposes.
“A diverse contingent of world-class faculty is critical to maintaining the University of Illinois’ preeminent position as a leader in public education,” said Avijit Ghosh, interim executive vice president and vice president. of Academic Affairs of the University of Illinois System. “This select group of educators has demonstrated exceptional excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Each deserves recognition from scholars for their outstanding efforts in extending the University of Illinois’ mission to provide an education accessible to all students and to drive innovation to lead the state, nation, and world. world into the future.
The five Urbana campus recipients recently announced:
Francina Dominguez is a teacher of atmospheric science with a background in civil engineering hydrology. Her unique blend of disciplinary training and research experiences led her to become a world-renowned hydroclimatologist. Dominguez seeks to understand how water is cycled and recycled through the Earth system, and how this may change due to human activities. As many vulnerable communities face increased hydrological risk due to droughts and floods, Dominguez seeks to improve the models used to predict these extreme events. His work impacts decisions related to water resources management, agricultural production and human risks due to hydroclimatic extremes.
Tania Ionin, professor of linguistic, is an internationally renowned linguist whose reputation attracts graduate candidates from around the world. Ionin is a world-renowned researcher in the fields of second language acquisition and formal semantics, two very different subfields of linguistics. Formal semantics, a field that studies meaning in relation to language structure and use, is informed by mathematics, logic, and philosophy, while ALS has intellectual connections to psycholinguistics, language development, pedagogy and classroom practice, and requires significant expertise in experimental and quantitative methods. Of research. It would take most individuals a lifetime of work to build a reputation in just one area, but Ionin has international exposure in both areas.
Yong-Su Jin, teacher of food science and human nutrition, applies food biotechnology to meet the needs of a rapidly growing global population. Jin uses metabolic engineering and synthetic biology approaches to optimize genetic and regulatory processes within cells to increase production of target products while minimizing by-products and waste. The various modified microbial strains he has developed enable the economical and sustainable production of biofuels, biochemicals, food ingredients and nutraceuticals from renewable biomass. His research program aims to develop computational and experimental tools for the rapid and precise engineering of microbial cells, to construct optimized microbial strains with these tools, and to use the engineered microorganisms to promote human health and well-being. .
Svetlana Lazebnik, teacher of computing, is a recognized global leader in computer vision. Its global research program aims to understand images by recognizing and describing their content. Lazebnik produced seminal results like the 2006 Spatial Pyramid Matching method, which won the Longuet-Higgins time test award in 2016. Other notable Lazebnik awards include the NSF CAREER Award (2008), Microsoft Research Faculty Fellow ( 2009), Sloan Researcher (2013) and IEEE Fellow (2021). She served as program chair for the flagship computer vision conferences ECCV in 2012 and ICCV in 2019, and will serve for CVPR in 2023. She is also currently editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Computer Vision, the premier journal of computer vision.
Supriya Prasanth, teacher of cell and developmental biology, makes fundamental contributions to the fields of DNA replication, cell cycle regulation, and chromatin regulation. The molecular mechanisms of DNA replication have been intensely studied for decades, and it is a very crowded field. Prasanth has established an innovative research program that has distinguished itself from other research groups studying DNA replication. She did this by tackling a long-standing conundrum in the field: how are different types of heterochromatin related to DNA replication? In just a few years, Prasanth’s research group has identified several novel regulators, providing unprecedented insight into the molecular coupling between DNA replication, heterochromatin formation, and cell proliferation.