Intercom Online......August 20, 1998


Camille Dreyfus award
goes to assistant professor

Xumu Zhang, assistant professor of chemistry, has received the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation. The award helps young faculty members continue high levels of accomplishment in both teaching and research during the early stages of their academic careers.

Zhang's award will help him develop catalysts used in synthesizing chiral drugs and certain agrochemicals (pesticides used in connection with agriculture). A chiral drug is a medication whose effectiveness depends on the shape and configuration of its molecules in addition to its chemical composition.

Chiral drugs include antibiotics and other medicines targeted at a wide variety of diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's disease and heart disease. Industry analysts estimate that two-thirds of the new drugs being developed are chiral drugs and that the size of the global chiral drug market is about $73 billion.

One of Zhang's research goals is to develop techniques for producing chiral molecules in quantities sufficient for industrial applications in the electronics, pharmaceutical, fragrance, food additive and agrochemical industries.

Zhang joined Penn State in 1994.

Delaware County cites three

Three members of the Penn State Delaware County faculty, Asad Azemi, Arya Ebrahimpour and Alan Horwitz, have been selected as recipients of the 1998 Collaborative and Curricular Innovations Special Recognition for Engineering Applications in Mathematics. The award recognizes outstanding collaborative teaching efforts of faculty who also have demonstrated strengths as scholars and researchers. It focuses on faculty members who, as a group, have developed innovative curricular or instructional techniques or made other special contributions to undergraduate and graduate teaching.

Azemi, assistant professor of engineering, received his B.A. from the University of California, his M.S. from Loyola Marymount University, and his Ph.D. at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His research interests center on nonlinear estimation, variable structure systems, adaptive filtering, disturbance rejection, covariance assignment, fuzzy control and estimation, robotic systems, neural networks and communication systems.

Ebrahimpour, associate professor of engineering, received his Ph.D., M.S. and B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Idaho. His scholarly research interests include engineering mechanics (statistics, dynamics and strength of materials) and engineering methods and graphics and structural engineering.

Horwitz, professor of mathematics, received his Ph.D., M.S. and B.A. in mathematics from Temple University. His research interests span various areas of analysis in algebraic differential equations.

Three students win
prestigious awards

Two students in the College of Arts and Architecture at University Park, Helena Martemucci and Albert Frantz, were recently awarded Fulbright grants. A third student from that college, Cheryl Snay, a doctoral student in art history, was awarded the Carol Bates Fellowship at The Walters Art Gallery for 1998-99.

Martemucci, a graduate student, is an accomplished photographer and has participated in several exhibitions and publications during her study at Penn State. A native of Prague, Czechoslovakia, Martemucci plans to use the grant to return to her birth country and document how performing artists in the Czech Republic use their time and talent for the benefit of others. She will concentrate on photographing dancers, musicians and actors who are involved in the education of young adults with physical or mental limitations.

Frantz, an undergraduate studying piano, will use his experience abroad to aid him in achieving a doctorate in the field. With the Fulbright grant, he plans to travel to Vienna where he will study the musical history of the city at the Vienna Hochsule, concentrating on Viennese Classic and Romantic solo and chamber music.

The Fulbright Grant Program is an international education exchange program established in 1946. The Fulbright grants are awarded on the basis of academic merit and professional promise to students, teachers and scholars who will study, teach, learn and conduct research abroad.

Snay, whose fellowship carries a stipend of $15,000, will work on curatorial research projects and present public talks. The Bates Fellowship is geared toward graduate students considering a museum career. The Walters Art Gallery is in Baltimore.

Alumni Association earns
CASE excellence awards

The Penn State Alumni Association has won two 1998 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Awards for alumni relations and communications. CASE is an international association of education advancement officers who work to enhance their institutions by bringing in support -- in the form of money, alumni loyalty, public esteem or new students.

The association won a gold medal in the "Print Advertising" category for a series of ads about its new LionLink program. LionLink is a professional networking service that links Penn State students with alumni volunteers who provide valuable information and advice on jobs and careers.

The association's magazine, The Penn Stater, won a silver medal in the "Best Articles of the Year" category for its superior writing style, organization and creative story development. The article titled "Freeing the Mind," by Gigi Marino, ('88, '93) dealt with a Penn State program that, until recently, offered associate degrees to inmates at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview.

Penn College video
captures national award

A video produced by Pennsylvania College of Technology's Office of Instructional Technology and Media Services has captured an "Award of Distinction" in a national competition.

The production won its award in the education category of The Communicator Awards, an organization that recognizes outstanding work in the communications field.

Produced by Bruce E. Huffman, producer/videographer, the video focused on women in the culinary arts and featured Traci Des Jardins, one of the nation's top chefs who visited Penn College as part of its Visiting Chef Series in 1997. Also featured were faculty members Monica Lanczak and Mary Trometter and hospitality students.

The Communicator Awards is a sister organization to The Videographer Awards, which honored Penn College's marketing video with a similar award last year.

Two instructors
at Dickinson lauded

Two members of the adjunct faculty of The Dickinson School of Law were recently honored with awards for exceptional achievements:

Donald P. Arnavas and Judge Paul E. Williams, who co-teach the course on federal contract law, received the Edward C. First Jr. Faculty Achievement Award. The award recognizes the distinguished service or special contribution of a member or members of the adjunct faculty.

The First Award was established by the late Edward C. First Jr., a Harrisburg attorney, business and community leader, 1938 Dickinson Law graduate, and member of the Law School's board of trustees. First died in 1994.

Arnavas and Williams have taught together since the early 1980s. Arnavas, a graduate of Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y., and Georgetown University Law Center, is of counsel to the Washington, D.C., firm of Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Williams, a graduate of St. Anselm College, Manchester, N.H., and Boston University School of Law, is an administrative judge with the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals in Alexandria, Va.

EMS honors six
outstanding faculty members

Six faculty members in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences were recently honored for their outstanding work.

Amy K. Glasmeier, professor of geography and regional planning, and Clive A. Randall, associate professor of materials science and engineering, are the 1998 recipients of the Matthew and Ann Wilson Award for Outstanding Teaching in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. The teaching award is based on nominations from EMS students.

The 1998 Wilson Award for Achievement in Research went to Alan M. MacEachren, professor of geography, for his analysis of cartographic representation and pioneering studies of geographic visualization, and T.C. "Mike" Chung, professor of materials science and engineering, for his innovative use of boron to engineer new polyolefin materials.

Glasmeier joined the Department of Geography in 1992 and teaches a range of courses in economic geography. Both undergraduates and graduate students cited her outstanding teaching and mentoring. Glasmeier has served as the Appalachian Regional Commission's John D. Whisman Appalachian Regional Scholar since 1996, and is chair of the Economic Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers.

Randall has research interests in advanced electroceramic materials that are used in electronic devices. He currently serves as director of the Center for Dielectric Studies at the Materials Research Laboratory. He teaches courses on particles and dielectrics, though he was nominated for the Wilson Award for his teaching of an introductory materials course with a large enrollment from several disciplines.

MacEachren received the Wilson Research Award for his highly acclaimed book How Maps Work, which documents the transformation of cartography from an art to an empirically-based science that is now joining with geographic information systems and geographic visualization to create geographic information science. MacEachren joined the Penn State faculty in 1985 to direct the newly created Deasy GeoGraphics Laboratory. He has established a reputation for his work on the representation of data and reality in maps and was instrumental in building the research team that has made the geography department one of the leading academic centers for cartography in the United States.

Chung has devised a method for copolymerization through the use of boron chemistry, that allows polyolefins -- which are among the cheapest and most widely used plastics -- to possess a wide range of desirable functional attributes. His work has allowed polyolefins to be mixed with other polymers or with glass and carbon fibers, paints and pigments. Chung's research will allow polyolefins to be used in a much wider range of products. Since he joined the faculty in 1989, Chung has been awarded 24 patents for his polymer science research.

In addition, Lorraine Dowler, assistant professor of geography, received the 1998 Wilson Research Initiation Grant to carry out research on aspects of gender and politics in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and Philadelphia. The Deike Research Grant was won by David J. Green, professor of materials science and engineering, to investigate cracking of brittle materials.

Director at Shenango
wins inaugural award

Richard Lenzi, director of business and financial services at Penn State Shenango, has been awarded the campus's first Recognition Program Award.

This quarterly award, instituted at all campuses in the Commonwealth College, was established to recognize and honor a member of the faculty, administration, staff, technical services or student body who has made a significant contribution to the campus community and/or Commonwealth College during the previous quarter.

As director of business and financial services at the Shenango campus, Lenzi is responsible for human resources, physical plant, data and telecommunications, budgeting and auditing, as well as acting as liaison for the Corporate Controller's Office at University Park.

In addition to his current position, from November 1997 through May 1998 Lenzi was acting campus executive officer at the campus. In his nominations for this award, Lenzi was cited for his willingness to take on many responsibilities while still maintaining his outstanding service as director of business and financial services.

He is a graduate of Youngstown State University, Ohio, with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in business administration.

DUS advising program
called outstanding

The National Academic Advising Association has honored a Penn State program as part of its 1998 National Award Program for Academic Advising.

"Navigating the First Year: A Program for Advising Exploratory Students," from the Division of Undergraduate Studies, has been named the Outstanding Institutional Program Award winner. The program was nominated by Eric White, director of the Division of Undergraduate Studies.

"Navigating the First Year," a comprehensive advising program geared toward first-year, exploratory students, was developed to deal with the challenges of decreases in advising staff, coupled with increases in student enrollment. Under the program, students learn to become better planners and decision makers through a series of meetings, guides, worksheets and supplemental information that helps them clarify their interests, consider their abilities and explore possibilities at Penn State.

NACADA, with its 6,400 members, is a non-profit organization that promotes quality academic advising and professional development of its membership to ensure the educational development of students.

Four extension agents earn
recognition on national level

Four members of the Cooperative Extension staff were among county agents across the United States who received awards at the 1998 annual meeting of the National Association of County Agricultural Agents.

The awards, the Achievement Award and the Distinguished Service Award, honor the top 2 percent of extension agents in each state for their hard work and success.

Receiving an Achievement Award were: Thomas McCarty, Cumberland County extension agent, and Dan McFarland, York County extension agent.

Recognized for their distinguished service were: Charles Gale, Columbia County extension agent, and Richard Smith, Sullivan County extension agent.

DuBois DUS coordinator
is Penn Stater of the Quarter

Linda Enseki, coordinator of the Division of Undergraduate Studies at Penn State DuBois, was named Penn Stater of the Quarter at the campus. Enseki was honored for her service to the University, especially her work that helped launch the new Commonwealth College and for her efforts to improve the quality of the workplace.

The Penn Stater of the Quarter award recognizes, on a quarterly basis, a member of the Penn State DuBois family who has rendered particularly noteworthy service to the campus and/or the community.

Enseki's work as a member of the Academic Systems Committee, the Commonwealth College General Education Committee, and the Commonwealth College Planning Committee helped shape the structure and set the direction of the new college and its academic programs. She also is involved with the Penn State Commission for Women.

Enseki joined the Penn State DuBois staff in 1991 as an advising/counseling assistant with additional responsibilities with the Learning Center.

Enseki holds an M.A. in urban affairs from the University of Texas at Arlington and a B.A. in psychology from West Virginia University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in adult education at Penn State.

Four recognized for contributions
toward substance abuse prevention

Four Penn State staff members from various University locations were named co-recipients of an "Outstanding Contribution Award" given jointly by Student Affairs and the Penn State Commission for the Prevention of Alcohol, Tobacco and other Drug Abuse.

The award recognizes the significant contributions toward the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse and the collaborative effort among Penn State Beaver, Fayette, McKeesport and New Kensington campuses for presenting a fall program on alcohol abuse and the college student.

Recognized from those campuses were: Amy S. Gartley of Penn State Beaver; Betsy Baird of Penn State Fayette (who now works as assistant director of Adult Learner Services at University Park); Kevin Clark of Penn State McKeesport; and Theresa Bonk of Penn State New Kensington.

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