CLAS announces 2023 faculty promotion and tenure awards

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has announced the recipients of its prestigious awards for faculty who received a promotion to associate professor, full professor, and associate professor of instruction.
Thursday, May 11, 2023

By Katie Linder  

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has announced eight faculty members will receive the college’s esteemed Dean’s Scholar, Collegiate Scholar, and Distinguished Associate Professor of Instruction awards.  

Recipients of the 2023 CLAS promotions awards


CLAS Dean’s Scholar Award  

The Dean's Scholar Award recognizes faculty candidates for promotion who excel in both teaching and scholarship or creative work. The two-year awards carry a one-time $3,000 grant. The following faculty were selected among those promoted to associate professor with tenure:  

Louisa Hall, English  
Hall is an accomplished novelist and poet. Her work involves fiction, biography, science, science fiction, and the ethics of writing about other people, animals, and things. Her novels include Reproduction, Trinity, and Speak. She was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Award and won the Langum Prize for historical fiction. Her novel Speak was a Best Book of the Year in NPR, Slate, the Washington Post, and Men's Journal.  

David Miles, Physics and Astronomy  
Miles is an experimental space physicist specializing in the development of next-generation spaceflight instrumentation. His research interests include space weather, solar-terrestrial, physics, and auroral dynamics including magnetosphere-ionosphere coupling.  

CLAS Collegiate Scholar Award 

The Collegiate Scholar Award was inaugurated in 2008 to recognize mid-career faculty for exceptional achievement. The award carries $2,000 in discretionary funds to support the recipient's teaching and research initiatives. The following faculty were selected among those promoted to full professor with tenure:  

Melissa Febos, English 
Febos is a best-selling author and has written four books, including the essay collection GIRLHOOD. She is the recipient of a 2022 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship, a 2022 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship, and the Jeanne Córdova Nonfiction Award from LAMBDA Literary. Her essays and work have appeared in a variety of esteemed publications including The Paris Review, The Sun, The Kenyon Review, New York Times Magazine, and many others.  

Ryan LaLumiere, Psychological and Brain Sciences 
LaLumiere is an accomplished researcher and academic. He and his laboratory concentrate on two lines of research: the neural circuitry underlying memory consolidation and the neurobiology underlying cocaine-seeking behavior in rats. He has also published several articles relevant to his research. 

Melissa Tully, Journalism and Mass Communication 
Tully has served as the interim director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. She studies news literacy, misinformation, and global media with a particular focus on African media studies, and engagement. She has conducted research in multiple Sub-Saharan African countries and is currently working on research about misinformation and news literacy in Kenya and Senegal. 


CLAS Distinguished Associate Professor of Instruction  

The Distinguished Associate Professor of Instruction Award recognizes candidates who excel in teaching, institutional and professional service, and their record of publications at the time of advancement. The two-year award carries a one-time grant of $2,000. The following faculty were selected among those promoted to associate professor of instruction:  

Jan Steyn, Division of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures 
Steyn is a talented translator and critic of literature written in Afrikaans, Dutch, English, and French. He holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Cornell University. His academic work focuses on translation theory, critical contemporaneity, and world literature.  

Kate Tierney, Earth and Environmental Sciences 
Tierney teaches courses in environmental science, the study of energy and the environment, and sedimentary geology, and regularly leads field trips to locations around the U.S. and internationally. Tierney also spearheaded the development of, and serves as faculty advisor for, the Environmental Sciences Student Club.  

Deb Trusty, Classics  
Trusty is an accomplished teacher and researcher. Her research interests include undergraduate pedagogy and Classics in the classroom, fringe reception of Classics and mythology, Bronze Age Greek archaeology, and material culture. She has served as a lecturer and as director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Classics. She has also directed a 10-day study abroad program to Athens.  

To view more achievements by CLAS faculty, be sure to visit

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences offers about 70 majors across the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. About 15,000 undergraduate and nearly 2,000 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by faculty at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all Iowa undergraduates through the college's general education program, CLAS CORE. About 80 percent of all Iowa undergraduates begin their academic journey in CLAS. The college confers about 60 percent of the university's bachelor's degrees each academic year.