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Six Faculty Named First Distinguished Professors
February 28, 2000

Six faculty members have been named the University's first Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors.

The six, Stanley Biggs, professor of accounting; Lynn Bloom, professor of English; Howard Lasnik, professor of linguistics; Joseph Renzulli, professor of educational psychology; Bruce Stave, professor of history; and Michael Turvey, professor of psychology, have been cited for achieving "exceptional distinction in scholarship, teaching and service." They will be honored at a reception on April 3, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the William Benton Museum of Art.

"The six individuals chosen have contributed an enormous amount to the University of Connecticut over a number of years," says Chancellor Fred Maryanski. "It is an honor to work with them and a pleasure to recognize them."

The program, proposed in the University's Strategic Plan, was approved in 1998 and permits the individual to use for life the title Board of Trustees' Distinguished Professor. No more than five percent of the active faculty can hold the title at any one time, however. Retired faculty may use the title but are not included in the five percent.

Although the trustees said in 1998 that there were to be no more than five people named annually to be distinguished professor, there were so many excellent candidates that they agreed earlier this month, at Maryanski's request, to name six.

Gregory Anderson, professor and head of ecology and evolutionary biology, said he has long advocated for a program recognizing outstanding teachers and scholars. "It is good for morale and it is good for the University," he says. "And it is a way to show the voters and legislators what outstanding people they have working with their children and for the state of Connecticut at its only public research university."

Stanley Biggs
Biggs joined the University in 1984 and is internationally known for his work in the behavioral audit process. During his tenure here, he has received eight research grants and has been named the KPMG professor of accounting, a title held by only 45 professors across the country. His research is frequently cited by others and two of his Ph.D. students, Jay Thibodeau in 1997 and Karla Johnstone in 1998, have won outstanding dissertation awards.

The director of the School of Business Administration's Ph.D. program from 1989 to 1992, Biggs is president of the auditing section of the American Accounting Association and author of numerous articles and monographs on financial accounting, auditing and decision-making research.

Biggs has a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, an MBA from Rutgers, an M.A. from Columbia University and a B.A. from the University of Southern Colorado. In addition to his academic experience, Biggs has worked at C.F.&I. Steel Corp. in Pueblo, Colo., and the Tandy Leather Co. in San Diego, Calif.

Lynn Bloom
Bloom, whose research on what students are reading was the subject of a Chronicle of Higher Education story earlier this year, was hired by the University in 1988 to fill the first endowed professorship - the Aetna Chair in Writing - at Storrs. Bloom, who earned a B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, is the author of numerous articles, poems, and 17 books, including a biography of Benjamin Spock; an analysis of William Faulkner's The Bear; and Forbidden Diary: A Record of Wartime Internment 1941-45.

One of Bloom's most recent publications, an article based on her book, The Essay Canon, to be published next year by the University of Wisconsin, has attracted attention nationally. It is a study of what essays college students are reading, based on five years of research. She received the Faculty Excellence Award in Research last year from the Alumni Association.

Howard Lasnik
Lasnik, who earned his Ph.D. at MIT, is widely regarded as one of the three most influential linguists in the world. He has spent his career, all of it at the University, studying deeper understanding of human language.

He is the author of numerous articles and chapters and is the author of six published books and three in press. An editor of a section of Linguistic Inquiry, the leading journal of theoretical linguistics, Lasnik is also well known for his teaching ability.

A fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Lasnik was awarded the 1988 University of Connecticut Alumni Association Award for Excellence in Research; the Excellence Award for Teaching Mentorship from the AAUP, University of Connecticut Chapter, in 1998; and the Chancellor's Research Excellence Award in 1999.

Joseph Renzulli
Renzulli, who is the Raymond and Lynn Neag Professor of Gifted Education and Talent Development, and also the director of The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, joined the University in 1966 after teaching mathematics, reading and science, in Ocean Township N.J.

Known for his Revolving Door Identification Model and Schoolwide Enrichment Model, two programs that have increased educational opportunities for children, Renzulli is widely recognized as an international authority on gifted education. His work has been adopted in many countries, including China, India, South Africa, Russia, Turkey, England, Spain, Brazil and Mexico, and has been used in school systems across the United States to revamp curricula.

The winner of the 1993 Alumni Association Excellence in Research Award, Renzulli has received more than $13.8 million in research grants from the U.S. Department of Education since 1990.

Bruce Stave
Stave has been director of the Center for Oral History since its founding in 1981. The author of 10 books, he is currently conducting oral histories of members of the African National Congress; he has also done oral histories of survivors of the Holocaust, mill workers, Europeans who migrated to America, residents of China, and others.

A Fulbright Professor of American History at Beijing University, China, in 1984-85, Stave is the editor of Oral History Review and associate editor of the Journal of Urban History.

Active in the University Senate, Stave has also served as president of the UConn Chapter of AAUP.

Michael Turvey
Turvey, a native of Surrey, England, founded the Center for the Ecological Study of Perception and Action with Professor Robert Shaw in 1987. Turvey was selected in 1998 as Distinguished Scientist Lecturer by the American Psychological Association. He also is a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Psychology.

A grant reviewer for the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Air Force Office for Scientific Research, Israeli, Canadian, and Dutch NSF, Turvey is the co-author of two books, and numerous chapters and journal articles. He is also a legendary teacher and in 1974 was cited by Baron's Profiles of American Colleges as an "especially good teacher." He was Distinguished Alumni Professor from 1994 to 1997.

Karen A. Grava