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Class of 1965 Term Chairs: Dr. Devlin and Dr. Thompson-Schill

Mark Devlin

SAS Dean Samuel H. Preston is pleased to announce that associate professor of physics and astronomy Dr. Mark Devlin, and associate professor of psychology Dr. Sharon Thompson-Schill, have been appointed Class of 1965 Term Professors in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Devlin joined the department of physics and astronomy in 1996 as assistant professor before his promotion to associate professor in 2000. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley.

In addition to serving as a member of the astrophysics group, Dr. Devlin is a project leader in Penn's experimental cosmology group, which studies the cosmic microwave background (CMB) providing evidence for the Big Bang theory. He is specifically interested in measuring temperature fluctuations in the CMB on different angular scales to determine the mass of the universe. Dr. Devlin has led the development of groundbreaking instruments such as the Mobile Anisotropy Telescope (MAT) and the Penn Bolometer Array (PBA) to advance the scholarship of the CMB.

Dr. Devlin's pioneering research has earned him a National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award and a Sloan Foundation Fellowship, which supports promising young scholars in the scientific community. His work has been published in Astronomical Journal, Astrophysical Journal, and IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science.

Sharon Thompson-Schill

Dr. Thompson-Schill came to Penn in 1996 after earning her BA in psychology from Davidson College and her Ph.D. in psychology from Stanford University. She was a postdoctoral fellow in psychology and neurology at Penn until 1999, when she was appointed to assistant professor of psychology. She was promoted to associate professor earlier this year and has taught cognitive neuroscience since she came to the University.

In addition to her appointment in the department of psychology, Dr. Thompson-Schill serves as associate professor of psychology in neurology in the School of Medicine and is a member of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN), Institute for Research in Cognitive Science (IRCS), and Institute for Neurological Science (INS).

Dr. Thompson-Schill's areas of interest include neural bases of cognition with an emphasis on conceptual knowledge, memory, and language. Her current work involves brain imaging of volunteers performing complex cognitive tasks as well as investigations of impaired cognition in patients suffering brain injury as a result of stroke or disease. The leader of several ongoing laboratory projects, she is currently overseeing research on visual knowledge in the congenitally blind; language processing in bilingual speakers; neural systems that help regulate emotional reactions; visual imagery in normal and brain-damaged populations; and the relationship between short-term memory and language. Along with primary support from the National Institute of Mental Health, Dr. Thompson-Schill has received research grants from the McDonnell-Pew Program in Cognitive Neuroscience, National Institute on Aging, and National Science Foundation.

Dr. Thompson-Schill is the recipient of numerous honors including the National Science Foundation's Professional Opportunities for Women in Research and Education Award, Searle Scholars Award, and Young Investigator Award from the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. She was also listed in the Undergraduate Course Guide's "Professors Hall of Fame" in 2001.

In addition to co-authoring a preparation book for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) in psychology, she has contributed to scholarly publications such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Neuron, and Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition.

Her commitment to the University includes active involvement in educational initiatives for the psychology department, the neuroscience graduate group, and the Provost's Strategic Planning Committee. She also serves as co-director of the IRCS/CCN Summer Institute in Cognitive Science and Cognitive Neuroscience.

The Class of 1965 Endowed Term Chair is one of five created by the Class in 1990. This unprecedented 25th Reunion class gift funded a chair for each of the four undergraduate schools and one in honor of the College for Women.



  Almanac, Vol. 50, No. 8, October14, 2003