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Provosts announce 2009-10 Distinguished University Professors

The Health Science Campus and Main Campus Offices of the Provosts announced that six faculty members have been appointed new Distinguished University Professors.



The appointees chosen from nominations submitted last autumn are Dr. Karen Bjorkman, Dr. Vijay Goel, Dr. Blair Grubb, Dr. Joan Kaderavek, Dr. Alan Pinkerton and Dr. Ronald Viola.

“We are delighted to recognize these senior faculty members for their distinguished careers and contributions to The University of Toledo,” said Dr. Rosemary Haggett, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “These distinguished professors are the finest examples of excellence in learning, discovery and engagement.”

“This year’s recipients are symbolic of UT’s mission of improving the human condition,” added Dr. Jeffrey P. Gold, provost, executive vice president for health affairs and dean of the College of Medicine. “Not only are their academic achievements impressive, but their willingness to share their knowledge exemplifies the spirit of collaborative education.”

Bjorkman is professor and interim chair of physics and astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences.



A member of UT’s faculty since 1996, Bjorkman is considered a global expert in the measurement and interpretation of polarization data relative to B-type stars and related objects. She has secured extensive extramural funding, including a $500,000 NASA Long-Term Space Astrophysics Grant, which is indicative of the highest caliber research of fundamental importance to the field of astrophysics.

She has authored a book, 82 peer-reviewed articles in leading journals and 48 conference proceedings. In 2008, she was a recipient of UT’s Outstanding Teacher Award.

Goel is endowed chair and McMaster-Gardner professor of orthopedic bioengineering in the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine.

He joined UT’s faculty in 2000 and is considered a pioneer and global expert in the field of spine biomechanics. He is responsible for extensive extramural funding, including a $4.8 million grant from the Ohio Research Scholar Program.



Goel is a member of the editorial boards of several prestigious journals and has authored two major textbooks, 200 peer-reviewed articles and more than 450 scientific and clinical presentations.

A faculty member since 1988, Grubb is professor of medicine and pediatrics in the College of Medicine.

Considered one of the world’s foremost authorities regarding syncope and disorders of the autonomic nervous system, Grubb’s expertise draws patients from across the globe. He was recognized as one of America’s Top Doctors in 2002 and from 2004 to 2007.

Grubb has authored two books, more than 180 journal articles and more than 30 book chapters. In addition to his clinical writings, Grubb’s prose, poetry and artwork have appeared in several mainstream publications.



Kaderavek is professor of early childhood, physical and special education in the Judith Herb College of Education.

She joined UT’s faculty in 2000 and has emerged as an international expert in the fields of emergent literacy and language development. She also is renowned for her extensive public outreach as a humanitarian worker dedicated to education across the globe, particularly in Africa and India.

Kaderavek has secured approximately $2 million in extramural funding, including a $1.25 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to study early childhood special education.

She has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and presented at more than 100 conferences.



Pinkerton is professor and chair of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

A member of UT’s faculty since 1984, he is considered one of the best chemical X-ray crystallographers in the world. He has secured extramural funding of approximately $2.5 million, with another $2.2 million pending.

Professionally, Pinkerton has served as past president, president and vice president of the American Crystallographic Association and authored about 155 peer-reviewed articles in 32 national and international journals.

Viola is professor of chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Since joining UT’s faculty in 2000, he is responsible for $2 million in extramural funding, with another $6.7 million in progress. He has authored about 100 peer-reviewed essays.



Colleagues in the National Academy of Sciences attest to Viola’s reputation as a world-class scientist with expertise in the biosynthesis of several essential amino acids, their implications in the development of therapeutic agents, and the pathogenesis of disorders of amino acid metabolism, particularly in the fatal human neurodegenerative condition called Caravan disease.

In 2008, Viola was the recipient of an Outstanding University Researcher Award.

UT has 12 Distinguished University Professorships, which are renewable. The Academic Honors Committee considered 24 nominations for this year’s appointees, based on exemplary teaching, research, scholarship and professional service.

Each Distinguished University Professor receives an annual grant of $5,000 for five years. The grants are funded by the UT Foundation.

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