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August 06, 2015

Personal Mention

Allen RobinsonMechanical Engineering Department Head and Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor Allen Robinson (right) is the recipient of an Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award. This award is given annually to four exceptional, mid-career scientists in the atmospheric and climate sciences fields for demonstrating excellence in research and leadership. Robinson is the co-founder of the university’s Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS). His research includes combustion-generated air pollution, organic aerosols, atmospheric chemistry, energy systems, global climate change and environmental education. Watch videos highlighting his work

Andy NormanAndy Norman (left), special faculty in the Department of Philosophy, wrote an opinion piece on his humanist self-discovery. “The Cowboy, the lesbian and the humanist" appeared in Scientia Salon and Machines Like Us. Norman also has become one of the most widely read authors on, where more than seven million academics publish their work. He has risen into the top 1 percent of contributors. See his profile.

Jonathan Cagan, mechanical engineering professor and co-director of the Integrated Innovation Institute, and Ph.D. student Chris McComb won two Reviewers’ Favourite Awards at the 2015 International Conference on Engineering Design in July in Milan, Italy. One paper, co-authored by Psychology Professor Ken Kotovsky, was titled “Heterogeneous Simulated Annealing Teams: An Optimizing Search Algorithm Inspired by Engineering Design Teams.” The second paper, co-authored with Ph.D. student Kosa Goucher-Lambert, was titled “Fairness and Manipulation: An Empirical Study of Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem.”

Assistant English Professor Kevin A. González’s piece, “Palau," was published in the Summer 2015 issue of Ploughshares. The issue features wildly imaginative fiction stories selected by acclaimed novelist and short story writer Lauren Groff, who said that she was looking for work that "is written with blood or bile or choler, not necessarily sweat alone.” González received his bachelor's degree in creative writing from CMU. The issue is available in print and on Kindle and Nook. Find out more.

Gail Tooks, who has worked for the History Department for 27 years, retired at the end of July. Tooks started as the receptionist for the department, then took over the graduate coordinator position before becoming business manager.

Mara Harrell, associate teaching professor of philosophy, was featured in a CBS Detroit article about her fall course on the popular TV show "The 100." 80105 Freshman Seminar: Philosophy and The 100 will be offered to Dietrich College first-year students and will examine philosophical issues raised in the science fiction show. The show’s creator and executive producer Jason Rothenberg noticed the course and Harrell invited him to guest lecture. While it’s unclear if he will in fact come to campus, the CW show has another CMU connection: alumnus Javi Grillo-Marxuach is a writer. Find out more.

Haixia WangGang LiuSue-mei WuSue-mei Wu, teaching professor of Chinese Studies, and fellow faculty members Gang Liu, assistant teaching professor of Chinese Studies, and Haixia Wang, adjunct faculty of Chinese Studies, (l-r), participated in the 2015 summer Chinese pedagogy workshop for the University of Pittsburgh’s Confucius Institute. The workshop (July 27-31) helped to train and orient 35 new teachers from China who will teach Chinese language and culture in K-12 and college level programs in Pennsylvania. Wu presented on technology-enhanced language teaching and showcased her CMU OLI Chinese online project and some Chinese language and culture learning modules. Liu talked about the integration of cultural content with language teaching, and Wang organized the workshop and helped the new teachers from China get settled. Throughout the workshop, the new Chinese instructors engaged in many discussions and hands-on activities, and were provided with many tips and suggestions related to foreign language education and teaching Chinese in the U.S.