Tuesday, April 27, 2021

The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, honored six University of Iowa faculty members for their exceptional contributions and sustained record of excellence. Each recipient received $1,000 and will be honored at a special awards celebration.

The recipients were selected by committees appointed by shared governance in collaboration with the UI administration and confirmed by the Board of Regents.

Charles Connerly

charles connerly

Connerly joined the UI School of Urban and Regional Planning in 2008 as professor and director. Under Connerly’s guidance, the program’s reputation and visibility increased locally and nationally largely due to the creation of the new Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program offered in conjunction with the Department of Political Science and support of the University of Northern Iowa and Iowa State University. Connerly is an accomplished writer with many published books and research papers in numerous top journals. In 2009, Connerly founded the Iowa Initiative for Sustainable Communities and, from 2011 to 2013, served as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. His contributions to the state of Iowa are meaningful and enduring, while his leadership style allows him to work well with faculty, staff, and students alike.

Claire Fox

claire fox

Fox is a 20-year member of the University of Iowa community who is a professor of English. Fox began her career in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford before moving to English when she arrived at Iowa in 2001. Fox anchors the Postcolonial Studies area in the department. Her scholarship focuses on the nuances of power and resistance in literature and art of the Americas. Her first book, The Fence and the River, was influential in examining the US/Mexican border and its ramifications on literature and art, and her second, Making Art Panamerican, focused on cultural policy and the visual arts in the Americas. With backgrounds in both Spanish and English, Fox also conducts research in Latinx studies and has made it possible for more Latinx students to thrive at Iowa. She responded to the need in 2013 by creating a distinctive undergraduate track in the field—the undergraduate minor in Latina/o/x Studies. As chair of the Department of English from 2017 to 2020, Fox reinforced the department’s status within the Writing University.

Brian Hand

brian hand

Hand arrived at the University of Iowa in 2005 as a professor in the College of Education. Hand displays a remarkable commitment to service, and his teaching style is both an extension of his research and an opportunity to develop equitable learning opportunities for all students. One conversation with him is all that’s needed to gain a sense of the enthusiasm and passion he has for his work. Hand challenges his students but allows them to be valued and develop their own ideas. That perspective has been engrained in all the students he encounters, whether they are undergraduates, graduates, or in-service teachers. Hand has published more than 100 articles, books, book chapters, and journals. Hand says his most important contribution is the number of students he has mentored. He is not only committed to his own work but to setting up future generations to be successful as well.

Jeffrey Murray

jeffrey murray

Murray joined the University of Iowa in 1984 and is a emeritus professor in the Department of Pediatrics and has a long record of service to the university. In 1994, Murray and collaborators published the first complete genetic linkage map of the human genome, and his lab subsequently discovered the genetic basis for many craniofacial anomalies, eye diseases, and preterm birth complications. His work gained international recognition and, from 2014 to 2018, he was the deputy director of discovery and translational sciences at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Under his leadership, trainees from across the country and world come to his lab at Iowa where he trains the next generation of physicians and scientists. On top of his professional accomplishments, Murray gives freely of his time in service to the UI and the scientific world and health communities.

Stanley Perlman

stanley perlman

Perlman, a 39-year member of the University of Iowa, is a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, where he holds the Mark Stinski Chair in Virology with a secondary appointment in the Department of Pediatrics. Perlman is one of the world’s leaders in coronavirus research and was poised to make important contributions to the global pandemic. In a recent article in Nature, his lab—in conjunction with the lab of Dr. Paul McCray Jr., a longtime collaborator in pediatrics—developed a model that will allow scientists to gain a better understanding of COVID-19 and develop and test treatments. Perlman has been a national voice during the pandemic, being interviewed by ABC News, CBS This Morning, NPR, The New York Times, and many others. In addition to his international spotlight, Perlman remains a role model in the department for research, education, and academic service. He has served on the graduate thesis committee of 74 trainees and mentored 22 PhD students and more than 14 postdoctoral fellows.

Michelle Scherer

michelle scherer

Scherer joined the UI in 1998 and is a professor in the College of Engineering. Scherer is an environmental engineer and is a leader in discovering new ways to keep water safe by shedding light on fundamental processes in soils and, more recently, leading a campaign to assess Iowans' exposure to lead in their drinking water. She has published more than 70 journal articles and is internationally recognized for her work. As departmental executive officer of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for nearly eight years (2010 to 2018), Scherer led the effort to create the first environmental engineering Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree offered in Iowa. In addition, she helped develop a new, innovative graduate research training program focused on sustainable water development. She has served as a member of Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Engineering Scientific Advisory Board and as associate editor of the journal Environmental Science & Technology.