College of Arts and Sciences News & Updates header with snowflakes

Joseph Steinmetz


Dear ASC Colleagues—

Throughout the year, you have made me proud each day with the way you accepted and met all challenges—and opportunities—that came along. What better way to end this year than to look back and celebrate our outstanding accomplishments. Here, with pleasure, are highlights from summer and autumn 2012 semesters.
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College News
College of Arts and Sciences Forms Town and Gown Committee

Ohio State Oval with Columbus skyline in backgroundThe Ohio State University College of Arts and Sciences has established a Town and Gown Advisory Committee for the Arts. The committee will serve as a forum for collaboration between arts leaders in the city and at the university on mutually relevant issues and shared opportunities; 24 arts and community leaders will serve on the advisory council.

 



RSC's Julius Caesar Ohio State and Royal Shakespeare Company Expand Collaboration

The Ohio State University and the UK’s Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have announced a new, major expansion of their initial three-year collaboration, supporting Ohio State’s aspiration to become a destination for the innovative teaching, research and performance of Shakespeare. The new agreement will enhance innovative K-12 teacher training, expand the program’s reach, bring more of the RSC’s work to the U.S., and support the continuation of the RSC’s co-productions with some of America’s leading theater makers and artists. The first RSC production to be seen in the U.S. under this new arrangement will arrive in spring 2013 when the company collaborates with Ohio State to present the RSC’s acclaimed production of Julius Caesar



Keith and Linda Monda Commit $10 Million for Travel Scholarships

Keith and Linda MondaArts and Sciences alumnus Keith Monda (MA, Economics, 1971; BS, Economics, 1968) and his wife Linda, have committed an additional $5 million to the College of Arts and Sciences. This gift supplements the Keith and Linda Monda International Experience Scholarships fund, which they established in 2011 with a gift of $5 million, bringing their total support for the scholarships to $10 million. Within four years, the Mondas’ initial commitment will provide—annually and in perpetuity—50 arts and sciences students with funds to participate in an international experience. The additional $5 million commitment, an estate gift, is expected to roughly double the number of students when it is realized. 



Joseph E. SteinmetzArts and Sciences Dean Named Ohio State's Chief Academic Officer

Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee has named College of Arts and Sciences Executive Dean and Vice Provost Joseph E. Steinmetz to the position of Executive Vice President and Provost. Steinmetz will assume those duties on July 1, 2013.


Faculty Research
Companionship has the potential to reduce pain caused by nerve damage

Adam HinzeyAdam Hinzey, a graduate student in neuroscience, is lead author of a new study finding that companionship has the potential to reduce pain linked to nerve damage. Courtney DeVries, professor of neuroscience, was principal investigator on the study.

Companionship appears to be the key; simply having a friend nearby helps reduce stress which, in turn, allows the body to heal quicker, the study suggests.
 


Charles EmeryStrong Lungs Key to Healthy Mind

Charles Emery, professor of psychology, and an investigator in Ohio State’s Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, is lead author of a new study linking the ability to breathe well with warding off cognitive decline. Keeping the lungs healthy could be an important way to retain thinking functions that relate to problem-solving and processing speed in one’s later years.
 
 


Earth Scientist Finds Way to Measure Short-term Greenland Ice-loss

Michael BevisMichael Bevis, Ohio Eminent Scholar in Geodynamics and professor, School of Earth Sciences, and his colleagues, found a new way to measure ice-loss using GPS. Their work hints at the potential for GPS to detect many consequences of climate change including ice loss, the uplift of bedrock, changes in air pressure, and perhaps even sea-level rise.


 


Sharon AmacherMolecular Geneticist Develops Single-Cell Imaging to Watch the Cell Clock

Sharon Amacher, professor, molecular genetics, and her colleagues, developed a new way to visualize single-cell activity in living zebrafish embryos. The imaging tool fuses a protein defining the cells’ cyclical behavior to a yellow fluorescent protein that allows for visualization. This clarifies how cells line up in the right place at the right time to receive signals about the next phase of their life. The imaging shows that cell division, called mitosis, is not a random event as was once believed. Instead, division tends to occur when neighboring cells are at a low point of gene activation for signal reception – suggesting mitosis is not as “noisy,” or potentially disruptive, as it was previously assumed. 
 


Astronomers Find Distinctly Odd Pair of Planets

Two planetsAstronomy PhD candidate Thomas Beatty, his advisor Scott Gaudi, associate professor of astronomy; and colleagues at the Vanderbilt Initiative in Data-Intensive Astrophysics, found a pair of planets that in Gaudi’s words, “resets the bar for weird.”  

Using a small telescope, called KELT, in a southern Arizona backyard that has what essentially amounts to a (4-centimeter) glorified digital camera lens hooked up to it, Beatty’s team discovered not one, but two very unusual (as in, downright freaky), planets in far-away solar systems.
 


Klaus HonscheidPhysicist Leads Team in Developing World’s Most Powerful Digital Camera

Klaus Honscheid, professor, physics, led a team that developed the software to run a powerful new camera designed to answer one of the biggest mysteries in physics. The Dark Energy Camera (DECam), located on a mountaintop in Chile, recently took its first photos of the night sky. The camera will help researchers involved in the Dark Energy Survey (DES) to explore why the expansion of the universe is speeding up. Honscheid’s team also designed a web-based user interface allowing astronomers to operate DECam from around the world, along with the instrument control system that monitors and records every operating parameter of
the camera. 
 


Physicists Play Key Role in Finding the Key to the Universe

CERNA team of Ohio State physicists, their students and postdoctoral researchers played key parts in a decades long hunt for the Higgs-boson, or “God particle.”

“I’ve been working for 19 years looking forward to this day,” said Stan Durkin, an experimental high-energy physicist, who works on the Large Hadron Collider's CMS detector. “I can’t express how excited I am.” 
 


Scott Shim, Carolina Gill, Blaine LillyCreating a Safer Spray Bottle

Department of Design Professors Carolina Gill and Scott Shim, along with graduate student Thornton Lothrop collaborated with Blaine Lilly, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, to develop prototypes of spray bottles difficult for children to use but not impossible for adults to operate. Ohio State’s Office of Technology Commercialization along with Nationwide Children’s Hospital have patented the mechanism and the design and are working together to develop commercial interest in the product.
 

Honors & Awards
Arts and Sciences Faculty Named AAAS Fellows

Ten arts and sciences faculty have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world’s largest general scientific society: Heather Allen, professor, chemistry and biochemisty; Donald Dean, professor emeritus, chemistry and biochemistry; Biao Ding, professor, molecular genetics; Prabir Dutta, Distinguished University Professor, chemistry and biochemistry; H. Lisle Gibbs, professor, evolution, ecology and organismal Biology; Randy Hodson, SBS Distinguished Professor, sociology; Michael Ibba, professor, microbiology and director, Ohio State Biochemistry Program; Susan Olesik, professor and chair, chemistry and biochemistry; and, Richard Pogge, professor and vice chair, astronomy; Zhenchao Qian, professor and chair, sociology.



Ohio State Receives $9.6 Million Critical Languages Award

Galal WalkerGalal Walker, professor, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (DEALL), and Mari Noda, DEALL professor and chair, were awarded a three-year U.S. Department of State grant providing more than $3.2 million per year to administer and implement the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in East Asia. DEALL, in cooperation with the National East Asian Languages Center, will establish four intensive language institutes in partner universities in China and one each in universities in Japan, Korea, and Indonesia. Ohio State is the only university in the country to receive this award.

Ohio Third Frontier Grant to Transform Language

The Ohio Third Frontier program awarded $100,000 to Dublin-based Advanced Language Performance Portfolio System (ALPPS) Ltd. Corporation to facilitate the system Galal Walker, professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures, developed five years ago to provide more effective assessments of his students seeking employment or academic placement in China.



Stephen PetrillAward Establishes Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub

Stephen Petrill, professor of psychology, was awarded a $2,394,311 grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to establish a NICHD Learning Disabilities Innovation Hub. The four-year project, will examine mechanisms that affect variation and covariation in brain structure, brain function, math outcomes, and reading outcomes. Petrill is considered one of the country’s leading researchers in the study of genetic and environmental contributions to the development of cognitive skills related to reading and mathematics.
 


Molecular Geneticist Wins NSF CAREER Award

Keith SlotkinR. Keith Slotkin, assistant professor, molecular genetics, received the National Science Foundation’s highest award for the country’s most promising young scientists, the NSF CAREER Award. These grants are given to researchers who early in their careers have clearly demonstrated their potential for making significant discoveries in their fields. Slotkin studies transposable elements, sometimes called “jumping genes,” that are stretches of DNA that can duplicate or move from one location in the genome to another.



Koritha MitchellEnglish Professor Garners ‘Best Book’ Awards

Koritha Mitchell, associate professor, English, received the Society for the Study of American Women Writers book award for her work, Living with Lynching: African American Lynching Plays, Performance, and Citizenship, 1890-1930. Living with Lynching also was honored with the American Theatre and Drama Society's award for best book published on theatre and/or performance in 2011.
 


Researcher Wins NIH High-End Instrumentation Grant 

Chris JaroniecChristopher Jaroniec, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry, led a team of researchers at Ohio State and Case Western Reserve University to receive a $2 Million High-End Instrumentation grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to support medically-important research.


Chemist Wins Top Research/Teaching Award

Christopher Jaroniec, associate professor, chemistry and biochemistry, received a 2012 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, which supports the research and teaching careers of talented young faculty in the chemical sciences at an early stage in their careers. Based on institutional nominations, the program provides an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.



Mathematicians Named AMS Fellows

Vitaly Bergelson, Jim Cogdell, Avner Friedman, Marty Golubitsky, David Goss, Barbara Keyfitz, Steve Milne, Boris Mityagin, Henri Moscovici, Dijen Ray-Chaudhuri, Neil Robertson, and Ron Solomon were named to the inaugural class of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society (AMS), the world's largest and most influential society dedicated to mathematical research, scholarship, and education. Fellows were selected from more than 600 institutions worldwide, averaging less than two AMS fellows per institution; Ohio State leads the world with 12 Fellows.
 


Jim Beatty, Ralf Bundschuh, and Yuri KovchegovPhysicists Named American Physical Society (APS) Fellows  

Physics Professors Jim Beatty, Ralf Bundschuh and Yuri Kovchegov were elected to the 2012 class of APS Fellows: Beatty for contributions to cosmic ray astrophysics, including leadership roles in design, construction, and operation of the Pierre Auger Observatory; balloon-borne studies of cosmic ray antiprotons and positrons; and searches for high energy neutrinos using radio techniques; Bundschuh for contributions to quantitative understanding of biophysical properties of nucleic acids and use of physical approaches in biological sequence analysis; and Kovchegov for contributions to understanding the structure and dynamics of strong color fields in nucleons and nuclei at high energies. 
 


ASC Faculty Group Wins Ohio State’s First-Ever Mellon Grant

Brian JosephBrian Joseph, Distinguished University Professor of Linguistics, and the Kenneth E. Naylor Professor of South Slavic Linguistics, and a group of ASC faculty won a $175,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to organize a John E. Sawyer Seminar on the Comparative Study of Cultures. The grant will allow faculty to organize a year-long series of events to take place in 2013-2014. These will focus on the intersection of language, politics, and human expression in the Balkans and South Asia–two critical geopolitical regions.



Enam ChowdhuryPhysicist Receives Award from Air Force

Enam Chowdhury, senior research scientist, physics, received $1.5 million from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) to lead a team of researchers at Ohio State, the University of Texas at Austin, and Plymouth Grating Laboratory in Massachusetts to develop fundamental understanding of femtosecond (fs) laser-matter interaction with solids. Chowdhury will build a dedicated laser experimental station capable of generating multiple short pulse beams from UV to mid IR, and pulse widths ranging from 5-1000 fs in the Physics Research Building.



NEH Funds Summer History Institute

Scott LeviScott Levi, associate professor of history, received a $137,252 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to fund the History Department’s Central Asia in World History Summer Institute for middle and high school teachers.

Twenty-five teachers from across the country will attend the two-week program; they will get a crash course in the region’s historical connections to larger, global processes from the ancient Silk Road and nomadic empires to today’s paved highways.
 

Student News
Alexander ChaitoffSenior Named Marshall Scholar

Alexander Chaitoff, a senior majoring in microbiology and political science, has been named a 2013 Marshall Scholar. Alex will spend one year at the University of Sheffield in England obtaining a Master's of Public Health before returning to the U.S. to attend medical school. He plans to dedicate his career to improving the quality of healthcare for minorities. Alex is Ohio State’s sixth Marshall Scholar.
 


Undergraduate Wins National Nanotech Prize

Elisabeth BiancoElisabeth Bianco, undergraduate chemistry major, received the $3,000 first place award at the second annual Notre Dame Competition in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering in October. Bianco won for her exploration of the properties of a one-atom thick layer of germanium, which she synthesized and characterized for the first time.

 
 


Timothy ThurstonGraduate Student Awarded Fulbright-Hays Grant

Timothy Thurston, Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, received a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) grant to conduct research in the Qinghai, Sichuan and Gansu provinces of western China, examining Tibetan comedy and the public intellectual in A mdo via two popular forms of sketch comedy.
 
 


Actuarial Science Majors Receive Insurance Foundation Scholarships

A record number of actuarial science majors won top awards from two insurance foundations. Jacob Schuller, Alex Slivinski, Jay Hines, Corinne Miller, Sherrie Kessler, and Stewart Trego received $1000 Great American Scholarships. Evan J. George, Muzi Zhang, Zhiyan Gu, Jillian D. Pillar, Brian S. Mullins, Justin L. Mast, Andrew C. McCray, and Shan Liu received scholarships in various amounts through the Griffith Foundation. Chunsheng Ban, professor of mathematics, is director of the math department’s successful program in actuarial science. 
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