April 01, 2008

Faculty members honored for scholarly work

by K.C. Jaehnig


CARBONDALE, Ill. — Ten faculty members from Southern Illinois University Carbondale deemed outstanding scholars by their colleges and schools will attend the University's "Excellence Through Commitment" awards dinner April 22 at the Student Center.

Gregory J. Brewer will represent the School of Medicine; Joan M. Davis will represent the College of Applied Sciences and Arts; John D.H. Downing will represent the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts; Todd C. Headrick will represent the College of Education and Human Services; Ajay Mahajan will represent the College of Engineering; Khalid Meksem will represent the College of Agricultural Sciences; John M. Pearson will represent the College of Business and Administration; Nicholas Pinter will represent the College of Science; Mark F. Schultz will represent the School of Law; and Anthony J. Steinbock will represent the College of Liberal Arts.

Each will receive $3,000 outright plus a matching amount through the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research to support professional activities during the next fiscal year. The Alumni Association also will present each scholar with a watch.

Brewer, a professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Cell Biology at the Springfield campus, has developed new isolation techniques and media for culturing neuronal cells, thus advancing scientists' ability to experiment with new ways of treating a number of neurological diseases and brain injuries. He has received outside funding each of his 28 years at SIUC, bringing in more than $5 million. At present, he has guaranteed funding through 2011.

Brewer has published more than 87 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has presented more than 145 abstracts. He regularly presents his research at such institutions as Harvard, Yale, the National Institutes of Health and the University of Cambridge. In addition, he reviews grant applications and manuscripts for nationally and internationally known agencies and journals.

Brewer earned his bachelor's in 1968 from the California Institute of Technology and his doctorate in 1972 from the University of California San Diego.

Davis, assistant professor of dental hygiene in the School of Allied Health, has focused her research on ending tobacco use and has created a Web-based curriculum on the topic for dental hygiene students and other professionals. She has published her work in peer-reviewed literature, has collaborated with international partners to produce online textbook chapters and has presented her work locally, within the state, nationally and internationally.

Davis has received grants from national and stage agencies totaling nearly $500,000 and has served as a consultant on grants obtained both here and abroad.

Davis earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from SIUC in 1978 and 1983 respectively and maintains her professional credentials as both a registered dental hygienist and a certified tobacco treatment specialist.

Downing, professor of media studies and director of the Global Media Research Center, has research interests in media representations of race and ethnicity, small and large social movement media (Internet outlets, television, film, alternative radio stations and newspapers, and the like), Third World and former Soviet media and the relationship of each of these to political power. He has received both national and international grants and fellowships to study these topics.

Downing has 10 books to his credit (as author, co-author, editor or co-editor), 75 articles, two commissioned reports and in one year alone made 16 conference presentations in Asia, Canada, Europe, the Near East and the United States. He is on the executive editorial committee for the international journal "Global Media and Communication" and serves as an editorial advisory board member on seven other international journals.

Downing earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Oxford's Queen's College in 1961 and 1968 respectively and master's and doctoral degrees from The London School of Economics in 1968 and 1974 respectively.

Headrick, associate professor of educational measurement and statistics in the Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, concentrates on solving the sorts of problems in applied statistics, numerical analysis, computing and simulations that aid researchers in doing their own work. He currently is working on a book titled "Statistical Simulation: The Power Method Polynomial Transformations,"which summarizes much of his research.

Over the last eight years, Headrick has published 25 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings and presented 23 professional papers regionally, nationally and internationally.

Headrick earned both bachelor's and master's degrees from Eastern Michigan University in 1984 and 1986 respectively and his doctorate from Wayne State University in 1997.

Mahajan, professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes, has developed an image-guided navigation system that runs in real time and is useful in brain surgery and kidney stone retrieval. He has adapted that three-dimensional, position-sensing system in figuring out how to make heavy equipment more body friendly and less tiring to use. He also developed a computer simulation aimed at making a local coal plant more efficient; officials anticipate the results will save the company more than $1 million annually. He is now at work on a bamboo-based material that could remove mercury from coal-fired power plant flue gasses.

Since his arrival at SIUC, Mahajan has brought in grants worth $2.7 million and has received four patents, three of which have been or are being used to develop commercial products. His corporate and government partners include Formula One teams, Caterpillar, the National Science Foundation and NASA. He has published two book chapters and more than 100 refereed journal and conference proceedings

Mahajan earned his bachelor's degree in 1990 from the University of Roorkee in India and his master's and doctoral degrees in 1992 and 1994 respectively from Tulane University in New Orleans.

Meksem, associate professor in the Department of Plant, Soil & Agricultural Systems, created a physical map of the soybean's genetic makeup that scientists can use to locate specific genes and identify their purpose, thus speeding up crop improvements. He himself has developed a means to select soybean cultivars with genetic resistance to two major diseases. His current grants, nationally funded, amount to more than $700,000, and he has received three patents.

Meksem has written two books, including a textbook that has been translated into Japanese and Chinese, as well as two book chapters and has published 38 refereed articles in some of his field's top journals. He is editor-in-chief of the "Journal of Plant Genome and Systems Biology" and a co-editor of the "Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology."

Meksem earned his master's in 1990 from the University of Paris XI and his doctorate in 1995 from the University of Cologne and the Max-Planck Institute for Plant Genetics and Breeding.

Pearson, associate professor of the Department of Management and director of the University's Pontikes Center for Management of Information, looks at ways to measure the quality of information technology and examines how that quality affects user satisfaction. He also studies computing issues such as employee misuse of company Internet connections, privacy and information security.

Since arriving at SIUC, Pearson has, nearly annually, led his department in journal publications. In one year alone, he published 14 articles in refereed journals. That same year saw the publication of nine articles in national and international conference proceedings.

Pearson earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in 1977 and 1985 respectively from St. Cloud State University in Minnesota and his doctorate in 1991 from Mississippi State University.

Pinter, professor in the Department of Geology, has an international reputation for his investigations of earthquakes and floods and is widely recognized for his efforts at applying his findings toward assessing, managing and reducing these natural hazards. He regularly wins federal grants for his work and has received awards from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the international Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

Pinter has written 35 articles for some of the top journals in his field. Because he applies scientific findings to benefit society, his work often makes it into the popular press as well. In addition, he has produced 12 papers for edited books or proceedings and has given more than 69 presentations both nationally and internationally.

Pinter earned his bachelor's degree in 1986 from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., his master's in 1988 from The Pennsylvania State University and his doctorate in 1993 from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Schultz, an assistant law professor, specializes in intellectual property, trademarks and unfair competition, copyrights and legal ethics and is currently working on articles about copyright reform and intellectual property.

He has published 14 articles, review essays and other publications and has made some 40 presentations. He has been quoted on intellectual property and technology issues by such news outlets as The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters International and Wired News.

Schultz earned his bachelor's degree from The George Washington University's Elliot School of International Affairs and his law degree from that university's National Law Center in 1989 and 1993 respectively.

Steinbock, professor in the Department of Philosophy, has become a leading figure in continental philosophy both because of his original work and because of his translations of classic material produced by others. He is internationally known for three books on phenomenology (the experience of personal consciousness), the most recent of which focused on mysticism and concerned the problem of evidence in religious life. He also produced the world's most complete edition of lectures on transcendental logic delivered by Edmund Husserl, a seminal figure in phenomenology.

Steinbock, whose work has been translated into seven languages, is currently at work on two more books. He has also written four monograph-length journal editions and produced some 70 journal articles and translations. He frequently presents his research at national and international conferences. In addition, he serves as editor-in-chief of the international quarterly "Continental Philosophy Review," his field's top journal, with an article acceptance rate of between 5 and 10 percent.

Steinbock earned his bachelor's degree in 1981 from the University of Portland in Oregon, his master's in 1983 from DePaul University in Chicago and his doctorate in 1993 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

Joan Davis John Downing Todd Headrick Mahajan Ajay

Khalid Meksem John Pearson Nicholas Pinter Mark Schultz Anthony Steinbock