IU Bloomington names Sonneborn Award recipient, Provost Professors

  • May 8, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Don Hossler, professor of educational leadership and policy studies in the IU School of Education, will receive the 2015 Tracy M. Sonneborn Award. The award honors an Indiana University Bloomington faculty member for outstanding research and teaching.

Also, three faculty members have been selected as Provost Professors: Randall Beer in the Cognitive Science Program, Kari Ellen Gade in the Department of Germanic Studies and Stephanie A. Sanders in the Department of Gender Studies.

Hossler, a widely known authority on higher education policy, will present the annual Sonneborn Lecture at a time to be arranged during the fall semester. He, Beer, Gade and Sanders will be honored at a campus reception at that time.

The Sonneborn Award and Lecture are named for the late IU biologist Tracy M. Sonneborn, a renowned geneticist who was also highly regarded for his teaching.

"Don Hossler is an asset to the IU Bloomington community as well as to national policy-makers in higher education,” said Tom Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. “Don is an important part of the conversation on research, policies and procedures in higher education in the United States. I look forward to hearing his Sonneborn lecture this fall and expanding this discussion to include the campus and community.”

Faculty who are designated Provost Professors have achieved local, national and international distinction in both teaching and research. The position was created in 1995 and was originally called Chancellor's Professor. The name changed in 2009.

"Professors Beer, Gade and Sanders exemplify faculty whose original research and scholarship are matched by their engagement with and support of the university, students and faculty colleagues,” Gieryn said. "I am so pleased to recognize their dedicated efforts to advance the university, its students and their faculty colleagues. I hope that this award will support them each to delve further into projects that enhance their teaching and research."

Don Hossler

Hossler’s research interests include student college choice, college persistence, enrollment management and higher education finance in the context of the United States but also from a comparative education perspective. He teaches courses in graduate programs in higher education and student affairs.

He is director of the Center for Postsecondary Research at IU Bloomington. He was executive director of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center from 2010 to 2012 and has been IU Bloomington vice chancellor of enrollment services and IU associate vice president of enrollment services.

He has consulted with dozens of colleges, universities and organizations, presented more than 130 papers and lectures, and wrote or co-wrote 12 books and monographs and more than 65 articles and book chapters. His work has been recognized by the American College Personnel Association, the Association for Institutional Research and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. He provided testimony to the U.S. Department of Education on a proposed college ratings system.

Randall Beer

Beer is a professor in the Cognitive Science and Neuroscience programs in the College of Arts and Sciences and a professor in the School of Informatics and Computing. His research areas include artificial intelligence, artificial life, cognitive science, complex networks and systems, and robotics.

His primary interest is in understanding how coordinated behavior arises from the dynamical interaction of an animal’s nervous system, body and environment. Toward this end, he works on the evolution and analysis of dynamical “nervous systems” for model agents, neuro-mechanical modeling of animals, biologically inspired robotics and dynamical systems approaches to behavior and cognition.

He directs the National Science Foundation-funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program in the dynamics of brain-body-environment systems in behavior and cognition within the Cognitive Science Program. In addition to his role in graduate training, he teaches undergraduate courses, including a popular robotics course.

Kari Ellen Gade

Gade is a professor of Germanic studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. Her fields of interest include Old Norse-Icelandic language, literature, culture and history. She teaches courses in Old Norse-Icelandic sagas and poetry, older Germanic languages, and Norse history.

She is one of the world’s two foremost experts on Old Norse-Icelandic poetic meter and skaldic poetry, which was composed in Scandinavia from the ninth to the 14th century and gave contemporary testimony to heroic feats in battle, religion, history and culture in Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe.

An IU Bloomington faculty member since 1986, Gade is the longtime director of graduate studies for the Department of Germanic Studies and has twice served as chair of the department. She has received university awards for teaching at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Stephanie A. Sanders

Sanders is professor of gender studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and associate director of the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. She has been a faculty member at IU Bloomington for over 30 years and has served as interim director of the Kinsey Institute three times.

Her research addresses sexual behavior; sexuality, sexual identity and gender relations; sex differentiation; gender difference in psychological and physical development; effects of prenatal hormones and drugs on human development; women's health and well-being, menstruation, menopause and the life cycle; and bio-psychological perspectives on debates in feminist theory.

She has served as president of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, the oldest professional society dedicated to the advancement of knowledge about sexuality. She was awarded the society’s Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award in 2007 and received its Distinguished Service Award in 2014. She has been a principal or co-principal investigator on research grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse; the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and the National Institute of Mental Health.

The Sonneborn Award carries a $3,500 cash award and a $1,000 grant to support research or creative activity. Provost Professors receive an annual award of $2,500 for three years and a $5,000 grant for a project that demonstrates how teaching and research are mutually reinforcing. A reception to honor the four faculty members will be scheduled in the fall 2015 semester.

Past winners of the Sonneborn Award and faculty members who have been designated Provost Professors can be seen at the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs website.

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Stephanie A. Sanders

Stephanie A. Sanders

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