Regents awards recognize contributions to public higher education
Friday, May 16, 2014

Six University of Iowa faculty members have received the 2014 Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

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

This year’s recipients are:

Charles Brenner, Biochemistry, Carver College of Medicine

Portrait of Charles Brenner
Charles Brenner

Brenner, Roy J. Carver Chair and departmental executive officer of biochemistry, and professor of internal medicine, is one of the Carver College of Medicine’s most internationally visible faculty members in the areas of scholarship, teaching, and service.

A distinguished molecular scientist whose work has had a broad influence in proteolysis, molecular oncology, and metabolism, Brenner also is deeply committed to mentoring trainees and young faculty. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the high throughput screening facility and the creation of the Obesity Research and Education Initiative (OREI).

In addition to hiring new faculty, OREI has created a nexus of interdisciplinary research, helped launch new coursework and an undergraduate minor, and catalyzed extensive outreach across the university and state.

Brenner is a leader at Iowa and nationally in advocating curricular renewal, and—with the introduction of biochemistry to the 2015 Medical College Admissions Test—has been at the forefront of developing recommendations to improve undergraduate preparation for biomedical research and medical training.

Kim Brogden, Periodontics, College of Dentistry

Portrait of Kim Brogden
Kim Brogden

Brogden’s research, which focuses on peptides in saliva and their role in oral inflammation and immune response, has drawn acclaim from collaborators and peers around the world and has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Since 2012 he has served as director of the Dows Institute for Dental Research, and he is highly regarded as an effective administrator. He led the planning for a recent renovation of the College of Dentistry’s research laboratories, which has greatly improved the utility and flexibility of those spaces.

He teaches a range of pre- and post-doctoral microbiology courses, and his guidance as a mentor has resulted in many students winning awards locally and nationally. He has twice received the College of Dentistry Mentor of the Year award, and in 2012 he received the American Academy of Periodontology’s Educator Award in recognition of outstanding teaching and mentoring.

Charles Lynch, Epidemiology, College of Public Health

Portrait of Charles Lynch
Charles Lynch

A professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health and pathology in the Carver College of Medicine, Lynch serves as director of the Iowa Cancer Registry—part of the National Cancer Institute’s prestigious Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program—which is considered one of the best in the world, generating outstanding research. He has also been the principal investigator for multiple landmark epidemiologic studies, such as the Agricultural Health Study and the Iowa Radon Lung Cancer Study.

As a teacher Lynch is best known for the course Principles of Epidemiology, which he has taught to thousands of students since 1988. He has mentored almost 60 masters and doctoral degree students, many of whom have transitioned to successful academic careers in outstanding institutions.

Among his many contributions to collegiate and university service has been longtime membership on the Presidential Committee on Athletics (PCA), where he has helped ensure stability and integrity in the interface of academics and athletics. He has twice received the PCA’s Distinguished Service Award.

John Beldon Scott, Art and Art History, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Portrait of John Beldon Scott
John Beldon Scott

Scott, Elizabeth M. Stanley Professor of the Arts, has served as director of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences School of Art and Art History since 2009 and has provided leadership during the difficult period of rebuilding the arts campus devastated by the flood of 2008.

He is a prolific researcher in the field of art and architecture of early modern Italy and of twentieth-century totalitarian regimes, and has earned an international reputation as a pre-eminent scholar in his field. He has been a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the National Humanities Center, the Institute for Advanced Study, and the Stanford Humanities Center.

He has taught an array of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, mentored undergraduates, and has participated in many graduate degree committees. Scott is co-author (with Rodney P. Lehnertz) of The University of Iowa Guide to Campus Architecture and, since 2010, has been chair of the Campus Planning Committee.

Larry Weber, Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering

Portrait of Larry Weber
Larry Weber

Weber is Edwin B. Green Chair in Hydraulics in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering, and director of IIHR-Hydroscience and Engineering. His leadership of that world-renowned institute has advanced it to even greater prominence, almost doubling its number of graduate students and tripling its grant- and contract-supported research.

Weber has been one of the university leadership’s most important advisors during the campus renewal following the flood of 2008, serving as co-chair of the UI Flood Mitigation Task Force. In 2009 he co-founded the Iowa Flood Center, which has provided superb services to the state to help Iowans prepare for flooding events more effectively. The center has taken on a national profile, sharing valuable knowledge with communities and institutions across the country.

Recently, Weber led a collaborative process that brought the Iowa Geological Survey to IIHR, broadening its research, outreach, and educational programs to cover groundwater to surface water, studying conditions from drought to flood.

Mary Wilson, Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine

Portrait of Mary Wilson
Mary Wilson

Wilson is a joint professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases in the Carver College of Medicine Department of Internal Medicine and the Department of Microbiology, with an additional secondary appointment in the Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health.

Her research focuses on visceral leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease prevalent in many underdeveloped countries. The international, collaborative research program she has built serves as an inspiration for the next generation of basic and clinical scientists with interests in parasitology and international health, and contributes greatly to the strength of her division, departments, and colleges.

She has been a member of 55 doctoral degree committees and has mentored well over 100 students. Deeply committed to international study, she has sponsored dozens of students, residents, and fellows for international clinical or research rotations, and has hosted visiting students and scientists.

Her efforts have made an immeasurable contribution to the university’s international reputation. In 2010 she was appointed the UI Carver College of Medicine Professor of Global Health.