The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has selected 11 recipients for the 2013 Distinguished Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Awards, which celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of outstanding individuals in each category.
Following the college’s 50th anniversary in 2009, the awards were established as an annual event.
Dean Christopher McCord will present the 2013 awards Friday, Oct. 11, at a reception, dinner and program held in Altgeld Auditorium on NIU’s DeKalb campus.
Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
John A. Cline – BA, Political Science, 1981
A former director of the Office of Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Department of Transportation and special assistant for intergovernmental affairs for President George H.W. Bush, Cline owns C2 Group, a prominent transportation lobbying firm whose clients include Porsche Cars of North America, Comcast Corp., eBay, 7-Eleven, Los Angeles County Metro Transportation Authority and PepsiCo.
Todd F. Davis – MA and Ph.D., English, 1991 and 1995
Davis is a professor of English at Penn State’s Altoona College, where he teaches American literature, environmental studies and courses in poetry for the Master of Fine Arts Program in creative writing. Davis received the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Prize, and his poetry has been featured by Garrison Keillor on the Writer’s Almanac and in Ted Kooser’s syndicated newspaper column, American Life in Poetry.
Srisompob Jitpiromsri – Ph.D., Political Science, 1997
Jitpiromsri is a faculty member at Prince of Songkla University in Pattani, Thailand, where he also serves as director of the Center for Conflict Studies and Cultural Diversity. He is an internationally recognized expert on the issues of the Southern Thai conflict and is often featured by Thai and western media, including NPR and PBS.
Arthur Jongsma – M.A. and Ph.D., Psychology, 1969 and 1972
Jongsma was a member of NIU’s first Ph.D. program in clinical psychology and has developed TheraScribe®, a series of clinical practice “planners” widely used by practitioners to develop integrated, empirically-based treatment plans.
Thomas J. Schall – B.S., Biology, 1983
Schall is founder, president, CEO and chairman of ChemoCentryx, Inc., which focuses on ethical drug development and making effective medicines as widely available as possible, specializing in treatments for MS, arthritis and other inflammatory diseases. Schall is hailed as one of the primary discoverers of chemokine biology.
Ging P. Smith – M.A., Journalism, 1973
Smith taught journalism and served as dean of college development at Kishwaukee College, where she played key roles in passing bond referenda totaling more than $30 million. At NIU, Smith served as a major gift officer for University Libraries, leading successful fundraising drives before retiring in 2006. An Athena Award recipient, Smith helped guided the public relations campaign for the Kishwaukee Hospital building campaign.
Distinguished Faculty Award Recipients
W. Elwood Briles – Professor Emeritus, Department of Biological Sciences
Briles was head of immunogenetic research at DeKalb Agriculture Association before joining the NIU faculty in 1970. Working with his wife, Clara Ruth Wilson, and others, he made significant discoveries about poultry diseases and disease resistance. He received the Poultry Science Research Prize and the Merck Award for Research Achievement in Poultry Science. Both he and his wife were elected to the Poultry Science Hall of Fame.
Sanford J. Dean – Former Chair and Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology
Dean taught at Stanford, Syracuse and the University of Connecticut before coming to NIU. When Dean arrived, NIU’s psychology department was one of the country’s newest doctoral programs; within 10 years, it ranked in the top quartile of all doctoral psychology departments nationwide. Dean is credited with establishing best practices and a culture driven by quality, high standards and objective measures of performance.
James E. Erman – Former Chair and Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Erman conducted research for Chevron and the Johnson Research Foundation before joining NIU’s chemistry department. A Presidential Research Professor, he chaired the chemistry department from 1998-2006. Under his leadership, research funding exceeded $1 million per year, and the number of chemistry majors soared. In retirement, Erman continues to mentor students, publish and serve in key leadership positions, including that of Interim vice president for Research and Graduate Studies and interim director of the Institute for Nano Science, Engineering and Technology.
Lois Self – Former Chair and Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication; Former Director and Professor Emeritus, Women’s Studies
Self specializes in gender and communication. At NIU, she served as professor and chair of the Department of Communication, director of Women’s Studies, coordinator of speech communication skills and acting director of the College Communications Office. She also chaired the Provost’s Task Force on Multicultural Curriculum Reform and the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women. Self guided the merger of the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Journalism into the Department of Communication, serving two terms as the department’s chair. Self received NIU’s first Wilma D. Stricklin Award for enhancing the campus climate for women.
Distinguished Staff Award Recipient
Andy Small – Chemistry Laboratory Manager, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
As Laboratory Manager for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Small maintains the research labs, oversees chemical waste disposal and ensures adherence to safety protocols. He wrote the first departmental safety manual, now in its 22nd edition and still cited as a model of best practices. Small served on two presidential search committees, is president of the Operating Staff Council and is the Employee Advisory Council representative to the State University Civil Service System. In 1997, he received NIU’s Outstanding Service Award.