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Provost Professors, recipients of Sonneborn and Burgan awards named

Three IU Bloomington faculty members have been named 2022 Provost Professors, and winners of the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award and the Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award have been announced.

Provost Professors are Amanda Diekman, in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences; Betsi Grabe, in The Media School; and John Salzer, in the Department of Astronomy. Each department is part of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Winner of the Tracy M. Sonneborn Award is Sanya Carley, a professor in the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs and director of the Master of Public Affairs Program and the O’Neill Online MPA Program.

Liese van Zee, professor in the Department of Astronomy, has been awarded the 2022 Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award.

“Professors Diekman, Grabe, Salzer, Carley and van Zee have brought honor and prestige to Indiana University through their research and related work, and have enriched the lives of their students through their devotion to teaching and mentorship,” Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Eliza Pavalko said. “It is truly a pleasure to see them receive this recognition, which is so well deserved.”

Carley will present the annual Sonneborn Lecture at a time and location to be announced later. All honorees will be celebrated at a reception in the coming academic year.

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. The Provost Professor position, originally called Chancellor’s Professor, was created in 1995, to honor those who have achieved local, national and international distinction in both teaching and research/creative activity. The Mary Burgan Distinguished Service Award, first presented in 1986, recognizes faculty who exhibit distinguished service to the university, a profession, a discipline or the public.

Recipients of all these awards are chosen by a faculty committee sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Amanda Diekman Amanda DiekmanAmanda Diekman: Provost Professor

Diekman joined IU’s Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in 2018 as professor and has served as associate chair from 2019 to present. She also started an affiliate position with the Cognitive Science Program in 2019 and currently serves as the director of the Social Roles Laboratory.

Her longstanding research interest is in gender roles and how gender roles have remained stable and changed over time. She explores how motivation intersects with social structure to produce entry into or exits from specific social roles. Her primary approach employs role congruity theory to understand why women opt out of STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Diekman has collaborated with the Office of the Provost and with faculty and administrators across campus to propose a comprehensive set of programs, strategies and evaluation methods to advance institutional transformation and organization change for gender equity in STEM academic professions.

Additionally, Diekman recently received a grant to partner with 3M to develop an online program aimed at women – especially minority women – in IU STEM college classes to provide examples and pathways to realizing communal aspects of their future STEM work. This work will involve IU undergraduate and graduate students, who will receive course credit.

Betsi Grabe Betsi GrabeBetsi Grabe: Provost Professor

Maria Elizabeth “Betsi” Grabe joined IU’s School of Journalism as an assistant professor in 1995 and was promoted to associate professor in 2001. She then joined the Department of Telecommunications in 2006 and was promoted to professor in 2009. Grabe was director of graduate studies from 2007 to 2010 and, when The Media School was established in 2015, she was the first associate dean, from 2015 to 2019.

Most of Grabe’s research focuses on the cognitive processes that are central to democratic life: informed citizenship and political participation. She used experimental methods to investigate how news message reception varies among different demographic groups and across different modalities and styles of news packaging.

Her current research efforts support the growing momentum to illuminate the intricate interaction of cognitive, social and algorithmic biases that mediate exposure to information via social media. As a principal investigator on the Knight Foundation-funded Observatory on Social Media at IU, Grabe recently has been collaborating with colleagues in the Luddy School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering to find innovative ways to study media and technology networks that drive the diffusion of misinformation. Their goal is to develop tools to sharpen the detection of vulnerabilities in the media ecosystem and increase the resilience of citizens and democratic systems to media manipulation.

After The Media School was established, Grabe helped shape the school’s curriculum, as well as the school graduate program’s required courses. Several years ago, she revamped – and then taught – the school’s required introductory course, taken by 500-plus students each semester.

John J. Salzer John J. SalzerProvost Professor: John J. Salzer

Salzer joined IU as a visiting research scientist in 2007, then joined the Department of Astronomy as professor in 2009.

Salzer has broad research interests in extragalactic astronomy. His current research focuses on the abundances in galaxies and star-formation in the nearby universe. His abundance research involves studying the metal content of hundreds of galaxies to understand the demographics of chemical enrichment, as well as to measure the evolution of abundances to modest lookback times.

He is currently leading a major long-term survey of emission line galaxies to study star-formation across cosmic time. He and his students are discovering 50 to 100 emission line galaxies per square degree of sky. Using these data, Salzer can measure the rate of star formation through the history of the universe with unprecedented precision.

Salzer also teaches a general education course, where discussions of his research help students with little scientific background understand the scientific method as used in astronomy and to engage in the course in a more personal way.

For 12 years, Salzer served on the Board of Directors of the WIYN Observatory, which operates a 3.5-meter telescope in Arizona. Under his leadership, the observatory partnered with NASA to obtain an extreme precision radial velocity spectrometer for the study of exoplanets.

Sanya Carley Sanya CarleyTracy M. Sonneborn Award: Sanya Carley

Carley joined O’Neill as an assistant professor in 2010. She was promoted to associate professor in 2014 and to professor in 2019. Carley was chair of policy analysis and public finance from 2016 to 2019 and has been director of the Master of Public Affairs Programs since 2019.

Her research focuses on energy justice as well as on policies aimed at advancing the innovation of low-carbon and efficient energy technologies in both the electricity and transportation sectors. In her most recent projects, she and collaborators are studying the incidence of energy insecurity among U.S. households and the equity and justice dimensions of the U.S. energy transition.

Recently Carley secured grants from the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Office of the Vice President for Research and the Environmental Resilience Institute to study rates of energy insecurity among low-income American households during the COVID-19 pandemic. The early findings suggest that energy insecurity is a wide-spread and growing problem, especially among households of color and those with small children. Carley and her co-authors worked swiftly to release findings and offer solutions to current federal policy discussions through timely reports, op-eds, articles and other media submissions.

During Carley’s time at IU, she has taught classes for undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students. These courses focus on energy economics, markets, policy, and justice, research design, and project-based capstones. As director of the MPA program, she directs both the online and residential programs, serving up to 500 students and working with over 70 teaching faculty. She is also leading the effort to revise the core MPA curriculum and working with the faculty to expand the represented diversity within their courses and add several more course options on topics of racial inequity and social justice.

Liese van Zee Liese van ZeeMary Burgan Distinguished Service Award: Liese van Zee

Van Zee joined the Department of Astronomy as an assistant professor in 2001 after postdoctoral work at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and the Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics. She was promoted to associate professor in 2007 and to professor in 2016. Her research interests include galaxy evolution and star formation, with expertise in multi-wavelength astronomy. This field of astronomy’s reliance on radio-quiet skies for observations with radio telescopes is what sparked her public service contributions and subsequent nomination for the Distinguished Service Award.

She is a lead international expert and U.S. spokesperson on protecting the use of the radio spectrum for scientific research. Remote sensing of radio emissions supports scientific research from climatology to archeology to black hole imaging. But most commercial fields have expanded their reliance on radio emissions, from medicine to transportation to broadband services. Radio spectrum management has become an international, multi-sector responsibility.

Her international service in this area includes chairmanship for the past four years of the Committee on Radio Frequencies, under the National Academy of Sciences. She also serves on U.S. international delegations on world radio communications, speaks frequently to the media, participates in federal agency rulemaking and contributes technical publications on radio spectrum management. Her work has contributed directly to U.S. regulations on the use of the radio spectrum as well as U.S. positions on changes to international rules and has positively impacted the public’s understanding of the need to manage radio frequency allocations.

Her nomination was supported by letters from collaborators at the National Science Foundation, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.