Betts Announces 2012 Dean’s Excellence Awards

Russell Betts, dean of the College of Science and Letters and professor of physics, announced the winners of this year’s Dean’s Excellence Awards at a holiday gathering at the Bog. He named winners in four categories: junior faculty, research; senior faculty, research; teaching; staff.

Zack Sullivan, assistant professor of physics, won the award for junior research. His theoretical particle physics focuses on phenomenology of the strong and weak interactions and physics beyond the Standard Model. Peng-Jun Wan, professor of computer science and engineering, won the award for senior research. He focuses on wireless networks, optical networks, and algorithm design and analysis.

Vida Winans, senior instructor of computer science and graduate coordinator, won for teaching, including in the summer camp for middle-school girls that is designed to help to increase the number of women and underrepresented in computer science. Margaret Power, professor of history, won for teaching, including about Latin America (Chile and Puerto Rico), women, and human rights.

Anne Marie LoPrieno received the award for staff excellence. She is the research administrator for CSL and psychology and, as Betts, noted, although she is relatively new, she made a major positive impact on grants and contracts in the colleges right from the start.

Betts also gave a special award to Donald Finan, an alumnus who has helped CSL become dominant over other colleges in the annual Pumpkin Launch, won this year by two teams of physics students.