Liberal Arts and Sciences Named Faculty

Allen Essman Faculty Fellowship

Jay Newell

Jay Newell’s research focuses on the use of mediated communication to enhance educational experience in large-scale university courses and media saturation. He’s the editor of the Journal of Advertising Education, and he has shared his expertise in political advertising with national publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, USA Today and Huffington Post. Newell’s academic life follows a 20-year career helping create television networks including CNN, TNT and Nickelodeon.

Angela B. Pavitt Professorship in English

John Levis

John Levis, professor of English and applied linguistics, studies second language pronunciation and speech intelligibility, with a focus on how second language pronunciation research affects the teaching of pronunciation. He is the founder of the annual Pronunciation in Second Language Learning and Teaching conference and is the founding editor of the Journal of Second Language Pronunciation. He is co-editor for the Phonetics & Phonology section of the Encyclopedia for Applied Linguistics, and two books, Social Dynamics in Second Language Accent (DeGruyter, 2014) and the Handbook of English Pronunciation (Wiley, 2015).

Barbara J. Janson Professorship in Mathematics

Steve Butler

Steve Butler specializes in spectral graph theory, enumerative combinatorics, and discrete geometry. He is an accomplished scholar, publishing research in the top mathematical journals. In 2015, he earned the sought-after Erdos number of 1. His enthusiasm for mathematics is contagious among undergraduate math majors at Iowa State and has helped transform the department’s undergraduate community. He continuously provides students with intriguing mathematics opportunities, whether it is teaching a special course on the mathematics of juggling, assisting with the department’s many outreach activities, or encouraging students to get involved in undergraduate research experiences.

Barbara Janson of Dedham, Mass., a 1965 Iowa State mathematics graduate, established the professorship to reward a research mathematician who also has a commitment to undergraduate teaching, including encouraging students to major in mathematics.

Carlyle G. Caldwell Endowed Chair in Chemistry

Davit Potoyan

Davit Potoyan’s research interests are in the areas of information processing and regulation in complex biological networks, self-assembly of bio-molecular and active matter and meso-scale stochastic dynamics of biochemical reactions in structurally heterogeneous environments.

Cassling Family Professorship

Mayly Sanchez

Mayly Sanchez is an experimental particle physicist. Her research is focused on measuring the properties of neutrinos, subatomic particles that rarely interact with matter and play a prominent role in our understanding of the universe. Sanchez is leading studies on how these particles change flavors in flight using neutrinos generated at powerful accelerators outside of Chicago. These studies ultimately seek to understand the matter vs antimatter asymmetry of the universe. Sanchez is a leader within several international collaborations, including the accelerator-based neutrino experiments NOvA and DUNE. In addition to studying neutrinos, Sanchez also works on the application of new photodetector technologies to particle physics experiments such as the ANNIE experiment which she is co-leading. She has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER grant and recognized by the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and numerous other achievement awards.

Charles and Mary Sukup Endowed Artist in Organ

Miriam Zach

Miriam S. Zach is an internationallly celebrated multi-lingual organist-musicologist-harpsichordist-author of books and audio/visual recordings who has performed concerts, taught at universities in Europe and the United States, and encouraged curious people to become involved in interdisciplinary research experiences at universities world-wide. Her research, teaching, and service interests include music and health, music by women composers—especially organ, harpsichord, chamber and vocal music—and music and architecture. Through collaborative research she continues to transform how music, health, and architecture are taught and practiced.

She has presented her research on Italian, French, and German Baroque music in three organ recitals at ISU: Roma Suono, Terpsichore: Danses pour l’Orgue et Clavecin, and Luther als Knoten. She is founder and creative director of the [International Festival of Women Composers]( She is also charged with developing the organ and harpsichord program, teaching an honors seminar on Music and Health, and directing the St. John’s Singers. Her numerous awards include being named Professor of the Year at the University of Florida in 2000 where she founded and taught the honors course Music and Health for sixteen years. She recorded the CD Hidden Treasures: 300 Years of Organ Music by Women Composers (1998) at Princeton University, and can be heard on National Public Radio (2007, 2010, 2013).

The Charles and Mary Sukup Endowed Artist in Organ award provides a named faculty position for a world-class organ musician and instructor in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Charles T. and Ivadelle Cobb Cownie Professor of Music

Tin-Shi Tam

Tam is a carillonneur member of the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America and a fellow of the Trinity College of Music (London). A celebrated artist on carillon and organ, she has performed recitals in Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States. She has given master classes, lectures and education programs extensively. Her recent invited lectures include bells and bell music in China, music for carillon and orchestra, and organ: the king of the instrument. Her carillon compact disk “The Bells of Iowa State” was released in 2004.

Dale D. Grosvenor Chair

Karin Dorman

Karin Dorman holds joint appointments in the Department of Statistics and the Department of Genetics, Development and Cell Biology. She works in the new (this century) discipline of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, building mathematical and statistical models to address a variety of problems related to genetics and biology. One main focus has been the development of models to extract information from pathogen genomes. She received the LAS Award for Early Achievement in Research in 2007.

Dio Lewis Holl Chair in Applied Mathematics

Leslie Hogben

Leslie Hogben specializes in linear algebra, graph theory, and applications. She is an internationally recognized scholar and is the editor of the “Handbook of Linear Algebra,” which was recognized as the 2008 Outstanding Academic Title by “Choice” magazine, published by the Association of College and Research Libraries. She particularly enjoys introducing students to mathematical research, including supervising 20 doctoral students and 40 undergraduate researchers. She has a long-standing commitment to teacher education, was instrumental in redesigning the current core courses in the undergraduate program for future teachers, and has acted as adviser to eight teachers in the Master of School Mathematics program. Since 2007 she has been associate director for diversity of the American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), an NSF-funded national institute.

Frances M. Craig Chair

Mark Gordon

Gordon’s research areas include theoretical and computational chemistry. He is a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Director of Applied Mathematics and Computational Sciences division of Ames Laboratory. In the field of computational chemistry, Gordon and his colleagues develop mathematical models that allow them to predict chemical behaviors. They translate this into a computer program so others can use it, and they apply it to chemistry problems. Gordon also leads the group that develops GAMESS (The General Atomic and Molecular Electronic Structure System), a program at the forefront of writing highly parallel codes. GAMESS is developed in Ames and has approximately 150,000 users in 100 countries, including universities and government entities.

Frances M. Craig Professor of Physics and Astronomy

Costas Soukoulis

Soukoulis’ research interests include the development of theoretical understanding of the properties of disordered systems, with emphasis on electron and photon localization, photonic crystals, random lasers, metamaterials, left-handed materials, random magnetic systems, nonlinear systems, and amorphous semiconductors. The theoretical models developed are often quite sophisticated to accurately reflect the complexity of real materials.

Jean Bacon Louis Faculty Fellowship in Instrumental and Keyboard Music

George Work

George Work, professor of music, has performed throughout the United States and Canada as well as in Russia, Austria, South Africa, France, Taiwan, and Cuba as a cellist with the Amara (formerly Ames) Piano Quartet. He is also a member of the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra and the Belin String Quartet. He has travelled to Europe, the Far East and throughout America as a soloist with the orchestra and recitalist, and has recorded 16 commercially released CDs. He has been honored with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013, the State of Iowa “Arts Build Communities” Award in 2002, and the Iowa State University Award for Excellence in Artistic Achievement in 1999.

John D. Corbett Professorship in Chemistry

Kirill Kovnir

In July 2017 Kirill was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Kirill’s research interests are in the broad field of solid state and materials chemistry. Research in his group is focused on synthesis of novel thermoelectric, superconducting, magnetic, catalytic, and low-dimensional materials and exploring their crystal structure, chemical bonding, and physical properties. Understanding the structure-property relationship is a key to the rational design of such materials.

Lucken Faculty Fellowship

Jonathan Hassid

Hassid is a China specialist, with research interests mainly around the politics of the Chinese news media and ways to measure symbolic power around the world. He has published articles in Comparative Political Studies, China Quarterly, the Journal of Communication, Journalism, and elsewhere.

The Lucken Faculty Fellowship was established by Kent A. Lucken to support a faculty member who is advancing students’ understanding and appreciation for China and its expanding role in shaping international affairs and the global economy.

Lucken Faculty Fellowship

Tao Wang

Wang studies modern Chinese history, U.S. foreign relations and the Cold War international history. His research, which primarily focuses on U.S. relations with China during the Cold War period, is supported by a Bou Family Foundation Special Grant, a Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation Doctoral Fellowship and a Henry Chauncey Jr. ’57 Postdoctoral Fellowship from Yale University’s International Security Studies program. His first book, “Isolating the Enemy: U.S.-China Interactions, 1953-1956,” will be published in spring 2021 by Columbia University Press. In it, Wang puts Sino-American interactions into the broader context of their relations with allies and explores the two countries’ perceptions and misperceptions of each other.

The Lucken Faculty Fellowship was established by Kent A. Lucken to support a faculty member who is advancing students’ understanding and appreciation for China and its expanding role in shaping international affairs and the global economy.

Lucken Professorship in Political Science

Steffen Schmidt

Schmidt has researched comparative politics and women in politics with special emphasis on Latin America and developing countries. He teaches Introduction to American Government and Politics, Latin American Politics, and other courses. He has served on the University Lectures Committee since its founding as well as chairing the International Program in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He has also served the State of Iowa as Chair of the Governor’s Spanish Speaking Commission.

The Lucken Professorship in Political Science was established by Kent A. Lucken to reward faculty in the Department of Political Science who demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and service.

Lucken Professorship in Political Science

David Peterson

Peterson’s commitment to teaching and service is showcased in the numerous department, college and university awards he has earned, most notably several Dean’s High Impact Awards for Undergraduate Research, an Outstanding Teaching Award and a University Honors Committee Award for Excellence in Honors Mentoring. He has also served as a chair, lead organizer and committee member for multiple political science conferences, committees and associations.

The Lucken Professorship in Political Science was established by Kent A. Lucken to reward faculty in the Department of Political Science who demonstrate excellence in teaching, research and service.

Kingland Data Analytics Faculty Fellow

Stephen Vardeman

Vardeman’s research interests span many areas in statistics. For the last decade he has been particularly interested in data analytics and statistical machine learning. These methods are used to find and quantify patterns or relationships in datasets large enough to require computer implementation. As “big data” grows, these methods are important in many applications such as identifying potential efficiency improvements in manufacturing plants, assessing the likelihood of an individual developing a medical condition based on patient records, applications in voter and marketing analytics, and more.

The Kingland Data Analytics Faculty Fellowship is part of a $1.5 million donation to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Engineering by Kingland, a global leader in data quality control, development and risk management, and from a personal donation by its owners, David and Deb Kingland, to support several areas in data science.

Kingland Professor of Data Analytics

Hridesh Rajan

Rajan is the director of the Laboratory for Software Design in the Department of Computer Science at Iowa State. Through invention and refinement of shared cyberinfrastructures for data-driven sciences, Rajan’s research on the Boa project, a software language and infrastructure that makes data mining easier, is decreasing the barrier to entry in data-driven science. He founded the Midwest Big Data Summer School to deliver broadly accessible data science curricula and serves as a Steering Committee member of the Midwest Big Data Hub (MBDH).

The Kingland Data Analytics Professorship is part of a $1.5 million donation to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, and the College of Engineering by Kingland, a global leader in data quality control, development and risk management, and from a personal donation by its owners, David and Deb Kingland, to support several areas in data science.

Laurence H. Baker Chair in Biological Statistics

Daniel Nettleton

A national leader in statistical genomics, Nettleton has developed statistical methodologies for gene expression research used by plant and animal science researchers. He strives to understand the relevant scientific problems and then seeks to develop appropriate statistical methods before using those methods to solve problems. Through collaborative research, Nettleton has had a direct impact on the success of many plant and animal researchers at Iowa State.

Louise Moen Chair in Music

James Rodde

Rodde conducts the Iowa State Singers, the 140-voice Iowa Statesmen, and teaches choral conducting and literature. Choirs under his direction have toured internationally and have been honored with performances at several distinguished music conferences, including the 1993, 1997, 2005, and 2009 ACDA National Conventions and the 2008 NCCO National Convention. Upon his arrival at Iowa State in 2000, Rodde instituted the ISU Honor Choir, a highly select ensemble of high school students, chosen annually through live auditions across the state.

Meredith Professional in Residence

Deb Gibson

Deb Gibson, a senior lecturer in journalism, directs the Meredith Apprentice Program. The program, created in 2004, allows students from both the Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication and the College of Design to work as entry-level professionals for Meredith Corporation brands in Des Moines. In the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication, Gibson teaches classes on reporting and writing techniques. She also serves on the school’s curriculum committee and on the ISU Performing Arts Council. In 2016, she received the ISU Alumni Association’s Faculty-Staff Inspiration Award.

Monsignor James A. Supple Chair of Catholic Studies

Anne Clifford

Clifford’s research interests include Christianity and Science, Ecology and Theology, and Feminist Theology. She is a former consultant for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Environmental Justice Program and has written on the topic of Catholicism and environmental stewardship.

Robert Allen Wright Professorship

Paul Canfield

Canfield, Distinguished Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences and professor of physics, has spent a career in condensed matter physics, earning an international reputation for developing new metals or improving existing ones. Canfield is specifically interested in the properties of conducting and magnetic materials.Once a material has been designed or discovered, his experimental group measures its ability to carry electricity or be magnetized under different extremes in temperature or magnetic field.

Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Amy Andreotti

Andreotti is a world-renowned structural biologist and molecular immunologist, and her approach is a blend of investigations that include structure determination, biochemistry, and molecular and cell biology.

The Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology was established to support research by outstanding scholars in the area of biomolecular structure and function.

Roy J. Carver Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Kristen Johansen

Johansen has been an Iowa State faculty member since 1992; she served 11 years in the previous Department of Zoology and Genetics, and as a member of the BBMB faculty since 2003. Her research focuses on the regulation of nuclear organization and function, which involves identifying molecules and the signal transduction pathways that regulate chromatin structure and gene expression. Her work has garnered significant funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and many other organizations.

The Roy J. Carver Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology was established to support research by outstanding scholars in the area of biomolecular structure and function.

Roy J. Carver Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology

Reuben Peters

Peters and his group study biosynthetic pathways for terpenoid natural products, focusing on the biomolecular enzymatic structure-function relationships underlying the relevant catalytic activity, as well as the biological activities exhibited by the resulting compounds. His research impacts both human and plant health, improving both crop production and protection, including natural antibiotics for plants, as well as terpenoids of pharmaceutical interest.

The Roy J. Carver Professor of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology was established to support research by outstanding scholars in the area of biomolecular structure and function.

Scott Hanna Faculty Fellowship

Michael Young

Young’s expertise in combinatorics and graph theory has resulted in three National Science Foundation (NSF) awards: An individual $60,000 grant, a $300,000 NSF INCLUDES grant and a $1.5 million NSF Core Research grant. Young is also a co-principal investigator and key player in the math department’s $1.5 million Research Training Group award. He recently won the 2019 LAS Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Research as well as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Advancing One Community Award.

Scott Hanna Faculty Fellowship

Bernard Lidicky

Lidický, associate professor of mathematics, is an accomplished mathematician with expertise in combinatorics, in particular extremal graph theory and graph coloring. He serves as associate chair for research and faculty development in the Department of Mathematics. Lidický is an editorial board member for the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics Journal on Discrete Mathematics. He cofounded the postbaccalaureate math certificate program which has helped many undergraduate mathematics degree holders smoothly transition into the rigors of graduate mathematics. Lidicky is the principal investigator for two National Science Foundation awards totaling $610,000. He is also a co-principal investigator for several NSF-funded research projects. Lidický also played a key role in helping the math department secure a $1.5 million Research Training Group award.

Scott Hanna Faculty Fellowship

Jason McCullough

Jason McCullough is an associate professor and nationally recognized mathematician with expertise in the areas of commutative and computational algebra, algebraic geometry and coding theory. He’s published 26 papers in several leading mathematics journals, including the Journal of the American Mathematical Society and the Journal of Algebra. He is an editorial board member for the International Journal of Algebra and Computation and co-principal investigator on a successful NSF conference grant.

Scott Hanna Professorship

Shlomo Gelaki

Gelaki is an internationally recognized mathematician with expertise in the areas of Hopf algebras, quantum groups, representation theory and tensor categories. Gelaki’s research has made broad impacts with more than 1,000 citations on the American Mathematical Society database MathSciNet and 2,300 on Google Scholar.

Smith Family Foundation Departmental Chair in Geology

Kristie Franz

Franz is a professor and the interim chair of the Department of Geological and Atmospheric Sciences. Her expertise is in surface water hydrology and her research focuses on advancing hydrologic modeling for improving predictions of streamflow on the short-term and climate and land use impacts on the long-term. Recent projects include investigating ensemble precipitation forecast applications for streamflow forecasting, and improving representation and assessment of human influences on hydrologic processes through agent-based modeling.

Walter E. and Helen Parke Loomis Professorship of Plant Physiology

Diane Bassham

Bassham has received international recognition for her research in the field of plant cell biology. Her research focuses mainly on how autophagy (self-digestion by a cell) is activated when plants encounter environmental stress conditions so that, in the long term, the plant’s tolerance can be increased. Improving plant tolerance is a major agricultural goal.

Wendy and Mark Stavish Chair in Social Sciences

Gary Wells

Distinguished Professor Wells’ research on the reliability of eyewitness identification has led to improvements in the accuracy of eyewitness testimony. His findings have been incorporated into standard textbooks in psychology and law. In addition, his research-based proposals on lineup procedures are being increasingly accepted in law enforcement practices across the United States.

Whitaker-Lindgren Faculty Fellow in Political Science

David Peterson

David Peterson studies American politics, particularly election, public opinion, and research methods. He has written 3 books, most recently the forthcoming Ignored Racism: White Animus Toward Latinos (Cambridge University Press) and has received multiple grants from the National Science Foundation, totalling over $1 million. He is also the former editor of Political Behavior.