People: awards and honors

Marcia Lausen

Marcia Lausen, director of the School of Design, was awarded the AIGA Medal, considered the highest in the field.


Marcia Lausen, director of the School of Design, was awarded the AIGA Medal from AIGA, the professional association for design. The medal, awarded since the 1920s, is considered the highest in the field; previously winners include Josef Albers and Charles and Ray Eames. Lausen will receive the medal at the annual AIGA Awards Gala May 14 in New York City.


Paul Brandt-Rauf, dean of the School of Public Health, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at the organization’s annual meeting in Baltimore May 3. Brandt-Rauf will receive the Rosenfield Alumni Award for Excellence from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health June 4. The award is Mailman’s top alumni honor.


Bo Shen, a Ph.D. student in pharmacology working in the laboratory of Xiaoping Du, professor of pharmacology, received the Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-financed Students Abroad with Special Award for Excellence.

The award from the Chinese government is given for outstanding research and academic achievement. No more than 500 of the over 400,000 Chinese graduate students studying abroad in 29 nations are honored each year. Shen is one of seven to receive the Special Award for Excellence.

Shen’s research focuses on exploring the molecular mechanisms of integrin signaling, critical in many pathological and physiological processes. He and his colleagues developed a class of anti-thrombotic drugs with potential for treating thrombotic diseases with minimal bleeding complications, a major drawback of current treatment. Part of his thesis work was published in Science and Nature.


A paper by Phil Ashton, associate professor of urban planning and policy in the College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs, was selected by editors of the Journal of Economic Issues as Outstanding Article of 2014. Published in December, the paper focuses on the recent wave of litigation against large subprime mortgage lenders. It was based on Ashton’s research as a visiting scholar at the American Bar Foundation in 2013-14.


Mina Tanaka, a fourth-year medical student at Rockford, and Amy Christison, assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at Peoria, received the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award from the Arnold P. Gold Foundation.  The award is presented to graduating medical students and faculty for compassion in delivery of health care; respect for patients, their families and health care colleagues; and clinical excellence.


Wai-Yee Keung, professor of physics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, was named an American Physical Society fellow “for his influential contributions to elementary particle theory, including CP violation and electric dipole moments, Higgs physics and collier phenomenology.” Election to the fellowship is limited to no more than one-half of 1 percent of the membership.


Jelena Spanjol, associate professor of marketing in the College of Business Administration, was named vice president for academic development of the Product Development and Management Association. Her responsibilities will include the association’s annual research conference, dissertation competition and research competition.


Two graduate students were selected to participate in the Alternative Academic Career Summer Workshops for Pre-doctoral Students, sponsored by the Humanities Without Walls Consortium. Kei Hotoda, philosophy, and Tyler Miller, history, are among 30 graduate students from Midwest universities chosen for the three-week summer program.

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