Award-winning singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte delivered the keynote address for the 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series at Vanderbilt. Belafonte spoke Jan. 14 at the Student Life Center to an overflow crowd of more than 900.
Emelyne Bingham, senior lecturer of aural studies, has been named artistic director for the Young Texas Artists Music Competition.
Laura Carpenter, assistant professor of sociology, has been named a “promising future leader” by the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.
Bruce Cooil, the Samuel Richmond Professor of Management, was given the 2007 Marketing Science Institute/H. Paul Root Award by the Journal of Marketing for his paper “A Longitudinal Examination of Net Promoter and Firm Revenue Growth.”
David Ernst, professor of physics and adjunct professor at Fisk University, has been elected to the Executive Board of the American Physical Society; appointed co-chair of the Division of Nuclear and Particle Physics of the National Society of Black Physicists; and elected a member of the Programs Committee and chair of the User Relations Subcommittee of Jefferson Science Associates, LLC.
Janet Eyler, professor of the practice of education, has received the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement’s Annual Research Award. Eyler co-presented “The Impact of Service Learning on Adolescent Safety Related Behavior” at the association’s annual meeting.
J. Michael Fitzpatrick, professor of computer science, computer engineering and electrical engineering, has been named a fellow of SPIE, the international society for optical engineering.
Edward H. Friedman, Chancellor’s Professor of Spanish and professor of comparative literature, has received a grant from the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center for work on a project titled “The Fictions of Gerald Brenan.” The sixth edition of Friedman’s introductory textbook to Hispanic literature, Aproximaciones al estudio de la literature hispánica, co-authored by Teresa Valdivieso and Carmelo Virgillo, has been published by McGraw-Hill.
Debra Gibbs, director of rehabilitation services at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, will be inducted into the Roster of Fellows of the American Occupational Therapy Association at its 2008 Annual Conference and Expo to be held in Long Beach, Calif.
Lenn E. Goodman, the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of the Humanities and professor of philosophy, has written Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself, published by Oxford University Press.
Bill Ivey, director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt, and Steven Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center and professor of sociology, have co-edited Engaging Art: The Next Great Transformation of America’s Cultural Life, published by Routledge.
Mark Johnson, chief information security officer, has received a national Information Security Executive Award for outstanding leadership, contributions and innovative approaches to information security.
Gabor Karsai, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and a team of researchers have been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for a $3.4 million project adapting large-scale software systems to address emerging threats, including asymmetric warfare.
Branislav Kusy, Akos Ledeczi and Xenofon Koutsoukos, researchers at the Vanderbilt Institute for Software Integrated Systems, received the Best Paper Award for their article “Tracking Mobile Nodes Using RF Doppler Shifts” at the Association for Computing Machinery’s SenSys Conference held in Sydney, Australia.
Ronald Masulis, the Frank K. Houston Professor of Management, was given the 2007 Hana Bank Outstanding Paper Award for “Agency Problems at Dual-Class Companies” at the Second Annual International Conference on Asia-Pacific Financial Markets held in Seoul, South Korea.
Richard L. Oliver, professor of management, was given the 2008 Sheth Foundation/Journal of Marketing Award for his paper “Whence Consumer Loyalty.”
Ann Marie Deer Owens, senior public affairs officer, attended the Tennessee College Public Relations Association’s fall conference in Gatlinburg, Tenn., which attracted marketing/communications representatives from more than 20 higher education institutions.
Donna L. Pavlick has been named director of academic programs and registrar of Vanderbilt Law School.
The Peabody Reflector has received a Special Merit Award in Magazine Publishing Improvement, a Special Merit Award in Improvement in Design, and two Awards of Excellence in Illustration from the Mid-South Regional Chapter of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). The two awards of excellence will compete for the Grand Award, to be announced at the CASE conference in Atlanta in February.
Jennifer Pietenpol, the Ingram Professor of Cancer Research and professor of biochemistry, has been named director of Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Pietenpol has served as the interim director since February 2007.
Thomas Alan Schwartz, professor of history, has received Vanderbilt’s 2008 Alumni Education Award, presented annually to a faculty member for outstanding contribution to the Alumni Education Program. Schwartz also delivered the Portier Lecture at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. His talk was titled “Kissinger, Vietnam and Iraq: The Realities of American Foreign Policy.”
Tina Smith, senior director for residence life, has been named senior director for student welfare. Smith’s new duties include health and wellness planning and development and case management for troubled students.
Carol M. Swain, professor of political science and law, has been named by President George W. Bush to the National Council on the Humanities. The appointment, subject to confirmation by the U.S. Senate, is for a six-year term.
Ilija Uzelac, a graduate student in physics, won the best overall poster award at the 2008 Dynamics Days conference held in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Vanderbilt News Service was recognized with five Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards during ceremonies Jan. 26 in Nashville, including Advanced Media Documentary: The 2007 Freedom Ride, produced by Emily Pearce and Pat Slattery; Advanced Media Current Affairs: Rev. Lawson Returns, produced by Pearce, Slattery and Joe Fisher; Advanced Media Sports: More Than Just A Game, produced by Pearce and Slattery; Advanced Media Writer/Producer: Emily Pearce; and Advanced Media Photographer: Pat Slattery. In addition, Slattery was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Silver Circle, which recognizes outstanding lifetime achievement in television.
D. Don Welch, professor of law and associate dean for administration, has authored Vanderbilt Law School: Aspirations and Realities, a comprehensive account of the law school’s history. The book is available from Vanderbilt University Press.
John P. Wikswo, the Gordon A. Cain University Professor and professor of biomedical engineering, has been named an IEEE fellow.
In the News
Research finds aggression as rewarding as sex, food and drugs
New research conducted at Vanderbilt shows that the brain processes aggression as a reward – much as it does sex, food and drugs – offering insights into our propensity to fight and our fascination with violent sports such as boxing and football. The experiments, which used mice, are the first to demonstrate a link between behavior and the activity of dopamine receptors in the brain in response to an aggressive event. The research was conducted by Craig Kennedy, professor of special education and pediatrics, and doctoral student Maria Couppis, and was published online by the journal Psychopharmacology.
VUMC gets $4.4M to improve Parkinson’s drugs
A drug discovery team at Vanderbilt University Medical Center led by Jeffrey Conn, professor of pharmacology, has been awarded a $4.4 million grant by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research to jump-start development of a new class of Parkinson’s disease drugs. In previous work, Conn’s group identified molecules that increased the activity of a specific glutamate receptor, mGluR4, which in turn alleviated symptoms of Parkinson’s in an animal model. During the next three years, the researchers will use a combination of medicinal chemistry, molecular biology and animal studies to engineer these molecules into a compound that can be clinically tested for use as a drug.
Applications up by record 30 percent
Students seeking admission to Vanderbilt’s fall 2008 freshman class rose 30 percent in one year, far exceeding past undergraduate application records, according to Douglas Christiansen, associate provost for enrollment and dean of admissions. This year a record of approximately 16,800 students applied, compared to 12,911 in 2007. The university saw a comparable increase among diverse populations as well as rises in all geographic regions, with the largest increases coming from outside the region. Particularly encouraging is the academic talent of those seeking admission. “This is the most diverse, well-rounded and academically prepared applicant pool in Vanderbilt’s history,” Christiansen said.
compiled by Kara Furlong