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IU Bloomington announces Sonneborn Award recipient, Provost Professors

  • April 8, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – John Louis Lucaites, professor of English and associate dean for arts and humanities and undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the 2016 Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, which honors an Indiana University professor for outstanding research/creative activity and teaching.

Lucaites has also been named a Provost Professor along with three other IU Bloomington faculty members: Michael Adams, professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences; Jane D. McLeod, professor of sociology and associate dean for social and historical sciences and graduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences; and Gregory Waller, professor and chair of cinema and media studies in The Media School.

"It will be a pleasure to honor John Lucaites, Michael Adams, Jane McLeod and Gregory Waller on behalf of the entire campus," said Lauren Robel, provost and executive vice president. "All are renowned scholars in their respective fields, as well as venerable teachers and mentors. They exemplify all that is great about our faculty."

Lucaites will present the annual Sonneborn Lecture during the fall 2016 semester, and the four Provost Professors will be honored at a campus reception at that time. The award and lecture are named for the late IU biologist Tracy M. Sonneborn, a renowned geneticist who was also known for his teaching.

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

"Professors Lucaites, Adams, McLeod and Waller have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to excellence in teaching and research," said Eliza Pavalko, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "They are truly deserving of this recognition."

John Louis Lucaites

Lucaites is among the most influential scholars involved in the emergence of visual rhetoric as a new field of study. He has received numerous awards, including the National Communication Association's Distinguished Scholar Award and Douglas W. Ehninger Distinguished Rhetorical Scholar Award.

His 2007 book "No Caption Needed: Iconic Photographs, Public Culture, and Liberal Democracy," written with Robert Hariman, argues that iconic photographs can serve as resources to right the imbalance between liberalism and democracy. The book earned numerous awards and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He is also the co-author of "The Public Image: Photography and Civic Spectatorship" (forthcoming, 2016) and "Crafting Equality: America's Anglo-African Word." He also co-hosts the blog No Caption Needed, which focuses on the relationship between photojournalism and public culture.

Lucaites proposed and chaired the 2010-11 College of Arts and Sciences Themester program, "Making War, Making Peace." He has directed 26 dissertations to completion, chairs six dissertation committees and serves on another eight. More than 22 of his former students hold tenured or tenure-track faculty positions, and they have produced 13 books and won major national awards.

Michael Adams

Adams is a lexicographer and a historian of English language and English words. He also has a strong interest in slang and jargon, including language of television programs and invented languages, and his writings reach both academic and general audiences.

He is the author of "Slayer Slang: A 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' Lexicon"; "Slang: The People's Poetry"; and "From Elvish to Klingon," the first academic survey of invented languages. His new book, "In Praise of Profanity," will be published this summer. He has also worked on dictionary projects and was for several years editor of the Journal of the Dictionary Society of North America. He is currently writing a book about the "Dictionary of American English," which became a diplomatic icon in World War II, and working on another about restaurant jargon, tentatively called "The Server's Lexicon."

In the classroom, he has created and taught highly rated graduate seminars in lexicography and literature and popular undergraduate courses on slang and aspects of popular culture.

Jane D. McLeod

Jane D. McLeod is admired for her work in exploring social disparities in children's physical and mental health, re-envisioning the stress model of mental health research, and promoting the integration of social psychology into research on inequality.

McLeod is among the few sociologists who have published in all of the top-ranked journals in the discipline, including the American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology and Social Forces. For her work, she received the American Sociological Association's Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health. In addition, she has co-edited the volumes "Mental Health, Social Mirror" and the "Handbook of the Social Psychology of Inequality," both of which are used in graduate courses.

The recipient of several teaching/mentor awards, McLeod has taught undergraduate and graduate research methods, sociology of mental health, medical sociology, and other courses with distinction but says she especially values her one-on-one mentorship of students.

Gregory Waller

Waller is a film historian with a strong publication record and an international reputation. He is also a committed teacher and has had a major impact on film studies at IU through administration and service.

His books include the prize-winning "Main Street Amusements: Movies and Commercial Entertainment in a Southern City, 1896-1930" as well as "Moviegoing in America: A Sourcebook in the History of Film Exhibition." He has written numerous journal articles and book chapters across a range of topics in cinema studies, serves as editor of the journal Film History, and has organized events such as the Midwest "Orphan" film conference and the museum and online exhibit "Japan-in-America."

Waller chaired the Department of Communication and Culture for several years, 2003-10. He helped plan renovations leading to the construction of the IU Cinema and chaired both the director search committee for the cinema and a faculty advisory board that vets programming ideas.

The Sonneborn Award carries a $3,500 cash award and a $1,000 grant to support research or creative activity by a student. 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.

Lists of 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.

Related Links

John Louis Lucaites

John Louis Lucaites

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Michael Adams

Michael Adams

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Jane D. McLeod

Jane D. McLeod

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Gregory Waller

Gregory Waller

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Media Contacts

Steve Hinnefeld