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Distinguished professors named

by Karen A. Grava - February 5, 2007

Michael Neumann, professor and head of the mathematics department, John Salamone, professor of psychology, and Sandra Weller, professor and chair of molecular, microbial and structural biology at the Health Center, were named Distinguished Professors by the Board of Trustees at its meeting last week.

The designation is the University's highest academic honor, and faculty chosen to have the title have achieved exceptional distinction in scholarship, teaching, and service, said President Philip E. Austin.

Neumann, who received the Provost's Research Excellence Award for 2004-2005, is an internationally recognized scholar in theoretical and applied linear algebra and matrix analysis.

He has been at the University since 1985, and has been a key supporter of the development of the Q Center, which helps students learn math, and of collaborative efforts between the Department of Mathematics and the Neag School of Education in teaching and in research in mathematics education.

His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Air Force, as well as the National Security Agency.

Salamone is head of the behavioral neuroscience graduate training program in psychology and chair of the interdisciplinary program in neuroscience.

He is an internationally recognized expert in psychopharmacology and behavioral neuroscience, and his research has focused on the chemistry and pharmacology of the nervous system and how chemical systems in the brain are involved in motor control, motivation, stress, and cognition.

Salamone joined UConn in 1988 and has received teaching awards from the Student Athletic Association and the Alumni Association.

A member of the editorial board of Behavioural Brain Research, Salamone has had grants from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Weller has made repeated discoveries that are key to cell biology and virology, and more recently, has worked to understand the Herpes Simplex Virus.

She was awarded the Method of Extend Research in Time (MERIT) award by the National Institutes of Health, and trained two students who received the prestigious Henderson Award given at the Health Center each year for the best thesis.

In addition to serving on the Faculty Review Board, the Medical Council, and the School of Medicine Oversight Committee, she is also a member of the ESCRO committee, which oversees the ethics of stem cell research.

In other action, the trustees approved a change to the by-laws that specifies the amount of service necessary to take a sabbatical.

The requirement states that "six years of continuous full time service is defined as full-time service for at least 12 of the 14 semesters preceding the leave."

The change codifies a practice that has been used since 1998, said Suman Singha, vice provost for academic programs.

He said that maternity leaves and leaves for other major life events do not affect service time.

The trustees also approved trademarking the name National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented in the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.

Although the center has been funded through 2011, trademarking the name will ensure it can be used in perpetuity, said E. Jean Gubbins, an associate professor-in-residence of educational psychology.

Also approved by the trustees was a budget of $1.3 million to landscape the Student Union quadrangle, once demolition of the pharmacy building is completed in a few weeks; and a $3.1 million budget to repair and renovate the pool and gym at the Avery Point Campus.

The facility was seriously damage by flooding in 2005.

The trustees also approved a set of rules and regulations for the sewer system, which is owned by the University and serves not only UConn but also the town's municipal offices, the Northeast Corrections Facility, and area restaurants, shops, and homes.

Until the rules were adopted last week, agreements were informal and lacked standard terms and conditions governing duties, rights, and responsibilities of both the University and the user, said Thomas Q. Callahan, associate vice president for administration and operations.

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