7 selected for university professorships

UNL has conferred university professorships on seven faculty members. They will be recognized at Honors Convocation on April 22. Terms for the new professorships begin this summer.

Three faculty — Amy Burnett, Edgar Cahoon and David Hage — have earned named university professorships. These professorships carry a $15,000 stipend supported by endowed funds at the University of Nebraska Foundation. The professorships are conferred for five-year terms renewable upon review.

Burnett, history, received Paula and D.B. Varner University Professorship. The Varner professorship honors the late D.B. Varner, former president and chancellor of the University of Nebraska and former chairman of the NU Foundation, and his late wife, Paula.
Cahoon, biochemistry, received the George W. Holmes University Professor of Biochemistry. Holmes was a prominent Lincoln businessman, civic leader and philanthropist.

Hage, chemistry, is the James Hewett University Professor of Chemistry. This professorship was established in 1998 by a gift from James and Kathryn Hewett. After earning his bachelor’s degree from NU and his master’s degree and doctorate from Purdue, James Hewett worked at DuPont for the majority of his career.

Four additional faculty — Rick Bevins, Srikanth Iyengar, Judy Walker and Jaekwon Lee — earned named professorships supported by the Office of the Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Bevins, psychology, and Iyengar, mathematics, were named Willa Cather professors.

The Willa Cather or Charles Bessey professorships, which carry a $5,000 stipend, are awarded for five-year terms and appointments may be renewed following review in the fifth year. The recipient may elect either the Bessey or Cather name as the criteria are identical. The professorship recognizes two individuals associated with the early University of Nebraska. Willa Cather, an NU alumna and winner of the 1922 Pulitzer Prize, is widely recognized as one of America’s premier authors. Botanist Charles Bessey joined the faculty in 1884 and is recognized for his pioneering science.

Walker, mathematics, was named Aaron Douglas professor.

The professorship honors NU alumnus Aaron Douglas (1899-1979). He was the first African American to earn a degree in art from the University of Nebraska and is considered a pre-eminent artist of the Harlem Renaissance movement. The professorship is a five-year renewable appointment and carries a $5,000 annual stipend.

Lee, biochemistry, was named Susan J. Rosowski associate professor of biochemistry.

The Rosowski professorship recognizes faculty who show exceptional promise for future excellence. It is named in honor of the late Susan J. Rosowski (1942-2004), who at the time of her death was the Adele Hall Distinguished Professor of English at UNL. The five-year appointment carries a $3,000 annual stipend.