“There are many neat celebrations that are part of the academy,” Ramsey said. “Today’s program is one of those special occasions. Today we pause to pay tribute and to honor you, our outstanding faculty who have distinguished yourselves among your peers and in your profession.

“We thank each of you for what you do for our students, our university, our community and beyond.”

The ceremony recognized

  • Recipients of the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards in the areas of excellence in outstanding scholarship, research and creative activity; service; and teaching
  • Recipient of the President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award
  • 2012 faculty winners of the Community Engagement award (see article from fall 2012)
  • New endowed chairs and professors
  • New Distinguished University Scholar and University Scholars
  • Those whose creative work has resulted in new patents, licenses and options (see separate story)

President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards

Award winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will be featured on campus banners later this year.

Outstanding Scholarship, Research & Creative Activity

Career Achievement

Somnath Datta, professor, Public Health and Information Sciences. Datta has written more than 100 research papers in peer-reviewed statistics and biostatistics journals. He develops novel statistical methods for analyzing public health, dental and medical data and his collaborative research interests include bioinformatics, spinal cord injury research, plant pathology and informatics-based materials science research. The National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency fund his research.

John Gilderbloom, professor, College of Arts & Sciences. Gilderbloom ranks as one of the world’s top urban thinkers, based on an international survey. He has published eight co-authored or edited books and journals, 40 academic articles and op-ed pieces in large metropolitan and national newspapers. He also has consulted with a U.S. president, two former secretaries of Housing and Urban Development, and mayors of several cities on urban job creation, neighborhood housing trends and university-community partnerships. He has received nearly $4 million in research and service grants from HUD, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Education.

Social Sciences

George Higgins, professor, College of Arts & Sciences. Since Higgins’ appointment to the Department of Justice Administration in 2003, he has published more than 130 peer-reviewed journal articles in the areas of criminological theory testing, racial profiling, cyber-crime and quantitative methods. His four books focus on the topics of gangs, cyber-crime, digital piracy and race and crime. He has been primary investigator or co-primary investigator for more than $1 million of external grant funding for his research.


Brian Leung, associate professor, College of Arts & Sciences. Leung has written the short story collection “World Famous Love Acts” and the novels “Lost Men” and “Take Me Home.” His books have been translated into French and Italian and he has given presentations both nationally and internationally. His poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction also appear in nationally distributed journals and in numerous anthologies. A 2012 recipient of a Lambda Literary Award for a Mid-career Novelist, Leung also has received the Mary McCarthy Award for short fiction, the Asian American Literary Award for Fiction and the Willa Award for Historical Fiction.

Basic and Applied Sciences

Craig McClain, professor, School of Medicine. McClain is a widely recognized expert in alcohol-induced organ injury, nutrition and cytokine research and environmental liver injury. He was the first to describe increased inflammatory mediators (cytokines) in alcoholic liver disease and he has made many seminal observations on liver metabolism and nutrition. A Distinguished University Scholar and associate vice president for translational research, McClain has had continuous primary investigator federal funding for his research since 1977 and is funded by the Veteran’s Administration, multiple National Institutes of Health grants and the Department of Defense.


Service to the Community, Commonwealth and Region

Karen Krigger, professor, School of Medicine. Krigger, a clinical professor in the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, has provided learning opportunities for medical and dental students in west Louisville through annual health fairs at Redeemer Lutheran Church for 20 years. For 16 years, she has been a liaison between James Graham Brown Cancer Mobile Mammography Unit and underserved women in Louisville. Krigger is a primary care provider for the Louisville SANE program (Sexual Abuse Nurse Examiners) and also has established community workshops and outreach services in diabetes, smoking cessation, legal aid, safe sex instruction, HIV testing, job skill acquisition and other social services in west Louisville.

Career of Service

Daya Sandhu, professor, College of Education & Human Development. Sandhu has served the counseling profession with distinction for more than 25 years. In addition to more than 50 refereed journal articles and 60 book chapters, he has written or edited 12 books; made more than 200 professional presentations at the state, national, and international levels; and served on several editorial boards. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear appointed him to serve on the Kentucky Board of the Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors in 2008 and again in 2013. Sandhu joined the American Counseling Association in 1986 and has actively participated in the professional and leadership activities of this world-renowned association, including serving on its Ethics, Human Rights, Research and Knowledge, and International committees.

National and International Service

Allan Tasman, department chair and professor, School of Medicine. Tasman is widely known for excellence in psychiatric education and for his advocacy for collaborative interdisciplinary care within an integrative bio-psycho-social framework. He is the only person to lead all three major U.S. academic psychiatry organizations and the only person to have served two terms as president of the Association of Chairs of Departments of Psychiatry. Tasman served six years as secretary for education of the World Psychiatric Association, where he oversaw development of an education project for primary care physicians about depression and coordinated the development and adoption of global standards for medical student and resident education in psychiatry. He leads a program for primary care clinician psychiatric education in countries with low mental health resources.

Service to UofL

Russell Vandenbroucke, professor, College of Arts & Sciences. Vandenbroucke and colleagues in 2009 initiated what has become UofL’s omnidisciplinary Peace, Justice & Conflict Transformation undergraduate certificate program. That initiative led to the university’s annual commemoration of the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, which serves as a bridge between peace and justice organizations both on and off campus. Vandenbroucke’s study of conflict and bearing witness to its history has taken him to Robben Island, Vietnam, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Northern Ireland, Jasenovac in Croatia, Sarajevo, Srebrenica, Auschwitz and the killing fields of Cambodia. He has been a Fulbright Scholar in Australia, a Rotary World Peace Fellow in Thailand and has traveled to Finland, Romania and Germany for the U.S. State Department.

Service to the Profession

Krista Wallace-Boaz, associate professor, School of Music. Wallace-Boaz was a new music reviewer for “Clavier-Companion” magazine from 1999 to 2012 and has been published in “Keyboard Companion.” She has served as the president of the Kentucky Music Teachers Association (KMTA) and chair of the Music Teachers National Association State Presidents Advisory Council. Wallace-Boaz is active as an adjudicator and collaborator. She is the KMTA certification chair and serves as the director of operations for the Chamber Music Society of Louisville, the competition director for the Macauley Chamber Music Competition and the young artist/chamber music coordinator for MTNA’s Southern Division competitions.


David Brown, professor, College of Arts & Sciences. Brown serves as the undergraduate program director for the Department of Physics and Astronomy, a post he created as an assistant professor. He was adviser for the UofL chapter of the Society of Physics Students (SPS) from 1998 through 2010. The chapter won the national SPS organization’s Outstanding Chapter distinction each of those years; Brown won the Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award in 2005. Department of Energy and National Science Foundation grants have supported Brown’s research and student training. In 17 years at UofL, he has been research mentor for almost 60 undergraduate or high school students, 17 graduate students and a post-doc. His students have won numerous awards, including three Goldwater Scholarships, the Hertz Scholarship and two Woodcock Medals.

Barry Horowitz, professor, J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Horowitz is a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and serves as its director of undergraduate and professional programs. Horowitz came to UofL in 1976 with a joint appointment in the Perceptual Alternatives Laboratory (PAL) and the Electrical Engineering Department. At PAL, his research focused on adaptive technologies for the blind and included serving as a team member on a project to adapt the freshman chemistry laboratory for blind students. Horowitz has published on innovations in teaching and he has taught in a wide variety of areas, including electromagnetics, networks, signals and systems, logic design, embedded systems and professional issues and ethics.

Ann Windchy, associate professor, School of Dentistry. Windchy began her teaching career at the School of Dentistry in 1980 as a part-time faculty member and started a tenure track in 1986. She has concentrated her career to teaching and her teaching to the area of removable prosthodontics. Windchy has been the course director for the complete denture and removable partial denture courses for several years and has taught in the temporamandibular disorders, implant and fixed partial dentures courses. A practicing dentist for her 32 years at UofL, she also provided clinic coverage to the third and fourth year students. She has been active in the Southeastern Section of the American Dental Education Association for many years.

President’s Multicultural Teaching Award

Shelley Thomas, assistant professor, College of Education & Human Development. Thomas is the primary instructor for “Developing Cross Cultural Competence,” a required course for graduate preservice teachers, and “Public Schools in America,” which is required for undergraduate preservice teachers. She has delivered professional development on cultural responsiveness to certified and classified staff in Jefferson County Public Schools and advises the inaugural group of JCPS Teacher CARDS, a partnership of JCPS, the College of Arts and Sciences and CEHD, to enable a highly select group of teachers to obtain a graduate certificate in diversity literacy while also receiving the Master of Education in Teacher Leadership. Thomas’ scholarship focuses on cross-cultural competence and social justice in teacher education and the impact of social justice perspectives on teachers and teacher candidates in their work with P-12 students.

New Endowed Faculty

Thomas L. Abell, School of Medicine. Abell was one of the founding members of the National Institutes of Health Gastroparesis Clinical Research Symposium, which is entering its seventh year of funding and holds a site at UofL. Since arriving at UofL in 2012, he has set up the Gastrointestinal Motility Clinic at Jewish Hospital/Kentucky One in partnership with the university and University of Louisville Physicians. This program follows approximately 10 percent of the world’s gastrointestinal neurostimulator patients and implants more than 80 percent of the world’s endoscopic devices. Abell holds the Arthur M. Schoen, MD, Chair in Gastroenterology in Memory of his Wife, Elizabeth Clark Gentry Schoen and Anna Lee Gentry Brown.

Lu Cai, School of Medicine. Cai is a professor in the Departments of Pediatrics, Radiation Oncology and Pharmacology and Toxicology. His recent work focuses on diabetic complications, including the diabetic cardio-myopathy, nephropathy and wound healing, for which he has made a great contribution to the understanding of the mechanisms and the potential intervention of these complications for diabetic patients. Several entities, including the Department of Defense, support his work. Cai holds the Children’s Hospital Foundation Chair for Pediatric Research.

Dena R. Howland, School of Medicine. Howland is a member of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center and has appointments in the Departments of Neurological Surgery and Anatomical Sciences and Neurobiology. In addition to her basic science work, which focuses on changing the environment of the injured spinal cord to promote new connections and support motor recovery, she also is involved in the development of a neuro-recovery-based research program for children with spinal cord injuries. Howland holds the Rebecca F. Hammond Endowed Chair for Spinal Cord Injury Research.

Kenneth Lucas, School of Medicine. Lucas is the division director of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology and Stem Cell Transplantation. The National Institutes of Health have funded his research in EBV and Hodgkin’s disease. He and his team made discoveries that led to the development of a novel chemo-immunotherapy approach in which tumor antigens are upregulated by the initial use of low doses of chemotherapy, followed by a cancer vaccine targeting the same proteins. He brought clinical research studies on this therapy to UofL in 2012. In addition to the work with pediatric cancer vaccines, Lucas’ team has launched a similar vaccine trial to prevent relapse of acute myelogenous leukemia following allogeneic stem cell transplantation in collaboration with James Graham Brown Cancer Center staff. Lucas holds the Dr. Salvatore and Kathy Bertolone Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer Research.

Barbara J. Polivka, School of Nursing. Polivka’s areas of scholarship have focused on environmental health and health systems research. She has received funding from the National Institute of Nursing Research, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and private foundations. She has authored or co-authored more than 65 peer-reviewed academic publications and presented or lectured at more than 100 conferences.

Polivka holds the Shirley B. Powers Endowed Chair in Nursing Systems Research.

Kathryn Whitmore, College of Education and Human Development. Whitmore is the director of the Early Childhood Research Center. Under her leadership, the center values interdisciplinary inquiry, research that leads to action and advocacy for children, families and educators. At the heart of the Early Childhood Research Center’s shared values are joy, curiosity, justice, family and community. Since arriving in Louisville, Whitmore has initiated relationships to build community engagement with local agencies and programs that seek to provide quality early childhood education. She holds the  Ashland Inc. Chair in Early Childhood Education in Memory of Dr. Raphael O. Nystrand.

Pavel Zahorik, School of Medicine. Zahorik is associate professor in the Division of Communicative Disorders and the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. His research interests are in spatial hearing, including the perception of sound source distance, the impact of echoes and reverberation on speech understanding and on perceptions of source direction and distance, and the effects of adaptation, training and input from other sensory modalities on spatial hearing. Zahorik holds the Heuser Hearing Research Endowed Chair.

University Scholars

The goal of the University Scholar and Distinguished Scholar Program is to recruit new faculty scholars and retain existing faculty members who demonstrate superior creativity and scholarship in their field of expertise. Since the program began in 1995, UofL has awarded 105 University and Distinguished University Scholars. Scholars are nominated by their deans, reviewed and recommended by a faculty committee and approved by the president. The Office of the Executive Vice President for Research and Innovation administers the program.

Manju Ahuja, professor, College of Business. Ahuja is in the Department of Computer Information Systems, and her research centers on the effect of information technology on work, organizations, individuals and society. She has published more than 50 articles in this area. Ahuja ranks among the top 100 researchers in the field of information systems and has received three National Science Foundation grants totaling more than $1 million for her research on IT workforce issues.

Ayman El-Baz, associate professor, J.B. Speed School of Engineering. El-Baz is in the Department of Bioengineering. He has 12 years of hands-on experience in the fields of bioimaging modeling and computer-assisted diagnostic systems and has developed new techniques for analyzing 3D medical images. El-Baz’s work related to novel image analysis techniques for lung cancer and autism diagnoses have earned him multiple awards. He has authored or coauthored more than 300 technical articles.

Distinguished University Scholar

Sanjay Srivastava, professor, School of Medicine. Srivastava is in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine. He has published more than 80 research articles in top-tier scientific journals and has received four major grants from the National Institutes of Health in the past 10 years. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to cardiovascular research, Srivastava was inducted as a Fellow of American Heart Association in 2010.