Regents awards recognize contributions to public higher education
Friday, May 17, 2013

Six University of Iowa faculty members have won the 2013 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

Given by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, the award honors faculty members for work representing a significant contribution to excellence in public education. Each honoree will receive $1,000.

Read about this year's recipients:

Michael Flatté, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Flatté has made significant contributions to several areas of theoretical condensed matter physics. An established authority on electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of semiconductors, he pioneered the science and application of electron spin (or “spintronics”) in the design of a new generation of semiconductor electronics.

Since 2010 he has directed the Optical Sciences and Technology Center (OSTC), which fosters interdisciplinary collaboration and research with the goal of developing solutions to commercial, environmental, and health problems important to the state of Iowa and the world. His work with the OSTC is just one way he has shown leadership in fostering a cross-disciplinary community of faculty and students who can realize the potential of nanotechnology on the UI campus.

Flatté has taught at all levels, and is a committed mentor to students, postdoctoral scholars, and junior faculty. A 2002 Faculty Scholar and 2006 Van Allen Fellow, he is since 2009 an F. Wendell Miller Professor of Physics. In 2007 he was elected a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Sarah Larsen, Department of Chemistry

Larsen leads an internationally recognized research program focusing on zeolites—porous nanomaterials widely used in catalysis, adsorption and ion-exchange—that have potential applications in a broad range of areas including environmental catalysis, water purification, and drug delivery.

Passionate about bringing the world of nanoscience and nanotechnology to students at all levels, she has developed hands-on activities for outreach in local junior high and high schools; directs a successful undergraduate summer research program in nanoscience and nanotechnology; and has incorporated innovative experiments into large enrollment general chemistry courses, enriching the experience of thousands of UI students annually.

Larsen received the Collegiate Teaching Award in 2010 and the Collegiate Outreach and Engagement Award in 2012. She served as associate director of the UI Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute from 2006 to 2011, when she was named co-director. Since 2007 she has been senior editor of the prestigious Journal of Physical Chemistry. In 2012 she was elected a fellow of the American Chemical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Ann Marie McCarthy, College of Nursing

McCarthy is dedicated to advancing the quality of pediatric health care. A leading scholar in pediatric psychology and nursing, she has established a well-funded, interdisciplinary research program that studies children’s adaptation to chronic health conditions.

She is currently the founding president of the Institute of Pediatric Nursing, a pioneering national initiative to advance pediatric nursing education, research, and practice. She has also shared her expertise with state organizations such as the Iowa School Nurses Organization in order to improve the quality of pediatric health care in Iowa.

A generous mentor to students and junior faculty alike, she actively facilitates others’ academic pursuits—most recently by working in her role as associate dean for research to develop new faculty development programming in the area of advancing scholarship.

She was inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2003 and a fellow of the National Academy of School Nursing in 2011, and was named Outstanding School Nurse Educator by the National Association of School Nurses in 2007.

Gary Rosenthal, Department of Internal Medicine

Rosenthal is a major national figure for his work in defining and improving quality in healthcare, as well as an institutional leader who has brought together faculty from multiple colleges to build and sustain the UI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS).

Under his leadership as director from 1998 to 2011, the Division of General Internal Medicine grew into a key clinical and educational engine for the College of Medicine. He also established the UI as a national leader in the area of health outcomes research. He has a sustained track record of success as a research mentor, with many of his mentees moving on to leadership positions.

One of the most highly funded investigators at the UI, Rosenthal is the recipient of multiple major awards from the NIH and Veterans Administration. Since 2010 he has been principal investigator for the multi-million dollar NIH-funded Clinical and Translational Science Award, and director of the ICTS. He is a past president of the Society of General Internal Medicine (2010-11) and the Association of Chiefs of General Internal Medicine (2005-06).

Sara Rynes, Department of Management and Organizations

Rynes is internationally recognized for her research and professional service in the areas of human resource management, management education, and the research-practice gap. She is also an exceptional teacher whose students conduct service-learning projects in the areas of sustainability and organizational change.

Her professional service has included numerous prominent editorial positions, including a term as editor-in-chief of the top-tier Academy of Management Journal from 2005-2007. She received a Career Achievement Award from the Human Resources Division of the Academy of Management in 2006, and in 2011 was the first woman to receive the Society for Human Resource Management’s Michael R. Losey Human Resources Research Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement in the field.

She has been elected a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology, the Academy of Management, and the Management Education Research Institute. Earlier this year, she delivered the 30th annual UI presidential lecture on leading change.

Curt Sigmund, Department of Pharmacology

Sigmund came to the UI in 1991 as founding director of the UI Transgenic and Gene Targeting Facility, a high technology core service facility for biomedical researchers that has brought an estimated $10 million in grant funding to the College of Medicine annually.

While directing the facility for 21 years, he also established and sustained a vigorous research program on the molecular basis of hypertension. Through innovations including the use of genetically manipulated mice as a platform for studying the physiological genomics of hypertension, he has transformed investigation in the angiotensin and hypertension fields.

Many of the dozens of graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research scientists, and young faculty he has mentored have emerged as academic and scientific leaders. In 2008 Sigmund was named to the Roy J. Carver Chair in Hypertension Research, and in 2010 he was appointed head of the Department of Pharmacology. In 2009 he received the American Heart Association’s Novartis Award in Hypertension Research, the pre-eminent award given in the field.