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HONORS & . . . Other Things

To Head the IEEE

Dr. Kenneth R. Laker, Alfred Fitler Moore Professor of Electrical Engineering, has been elected 1998 president-elect of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc., the world's largest technical professional society. He will take office as president on January 1, 1999, to head the organization of more than 310,000 members in some 150 countries. Through its members the Institute is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace, computers and telecommunications to biomedicine, electric power and consumer electronics.

Honors to Young Scientists

Dr. Andrew M. Rappe, an assistant professor of chemistry whose work involves the quantum-mechanical prediction of the properties of molecules and solids, has been named an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow for the coming two years, and two assistant professors in the biology have won major awards:

Dr. Ted Abel has received a Klingenstein Fellowship Award in Neurosciences, which carries a $120,000 prize and will support his work on understanding the molecular basis of learning and memory.

Dr. Paul Sniegowski, Assistant Professor of Biology, is a recipient of the $100,000 Young Investigator Award in Molecular Studies of Evolution sponsored by the Alfred Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation. His work centers on evolutionary and population genetic theory as a framework for understanding the evolutionary significance of mutation rates and mutational phenomena.

Honors for Books

Dr. Peter Conn's 1997 book from Cambridge Press, Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Biography, won this year's Literary Award of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia. This award goes to the outstanding book published in the prior year by a Philadelphia-area author. Dr. Conn is the Andrea Mitchell Professor of English and will be chair-elect of the Faculty Senate in the coming year.

To coincide with last month's world conference on the Arabic novel, held in Cairo, the second edition of Dr. Roger Allen's influential book on the Arabic Novel was reissued there in Arabic by the Egyptian Ministry of Culture. In addition to presenting a paper as part of the week-long conference, he was asked to represent all international participants in the opening ceremonies (see photograph). Dr. Allen is both professor of Arabic in SAS and director of Wharton's Huntsman Program in International Studies and Business.

A belated note on a similar international honor: last year a day was declared in Guam for Bruce Montgomery, the Penn Glee Club director, who was named Honorary Ambassador at Large in a special bill of the Legislature. The occasion was the unveiling of Guam's first "Award for Excellence in Scholarship and the Arts," which will be given each year to two high school seniors. Mr. Montgomery was chosen on the basis of his lifelong work with the arts in academia.

Honors in Health Sciences

At Council March 4, President Judith Rodin summed up piecemeal information that has been released on federal funding this year and applauded that Penn ranks10th in the nation, up from 12th the year before: "Our health schools have had great news in this area: the School of Nursing is number one in the nation, the Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine both rank number three, and the School of Dental Medicine is number four. So congratulations to an outstanding faculty who are garnering these awards in a peer-reviewed, merit-based system."

Some individual honors to those in health:

The 1997 Virginia Apgar Award in Perinatal Pediatrics has been given to Dr. Maria Delivoria-Papadopoulos, emeritus professor of pediatrics and physiology, given to "an individual whose career has had a continuing influence on the well-being of newborn infants."

Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, director of the Institute on Aging, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, recognizing "outstanding achievements in recommending public health care policies." She is a member of President Clinton's Advisory Commission on Consumer Protection and Quality in the Health Care Industry.

An M.D. who is also a Ph.D. student in cell and molecular biology at PennMed, Dr. Carmen J. Williams, has received Burroughs Wellcome Fund Career Award. Dr. Williams is also the winner of an NIH Physician Scientist Award, and before joining Penn she received the Resident Teaching Award at The Pennsylvania Hospital.


A Sixth Thouron Fellow

Soon after Interim Provost Michael Wachter's announcement that the Class of 1998 would have five Thouron Scholars (Almanac February 24), a sixth was named: Dr. Wachter noted at Council March 4 the selection of Andrea Ritchie, a senior in The College, who is an applicant to study international relations at Oxford.


Almanac, Vol. 44, No. 28, April 7, 1998