CLAS names Collegiate Scholar, Dean’s Scholars

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has named one faculty member to the honor of Collegiate Scholar, which recognizes faculty for excellence as evidenced in their promotion record at the time of their candidacy for promotion to the rank of full professor.

In addition, CLAS named three faculty members to the honor of Dean’s Scholar. Dean’s Scholar awards recognize faculty for excellence as evidenced in their promotion record at the time of their candidacy for tenure.

The 2015 Collegiate Scholar is Bob McMurray of the Department of Psychology, with appointments in the Departments of Communication Sciences & Disorders; the Department of Linguistics; and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program, a unit of the Graduate College.

The 2015-2017 Dean’s Scholars are: Melissa Duff of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders and the Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program; Blaine Greteman of the Department of English; and Keiko Kawamuro of the Department of Mathematics.

“It is my great pleasure to recognize these excellent scholars and teachers,” said CLAS Dean Chaden Djalali. “Their service to our students and our state through their world-class scholarship,  teaching, and public engagement is exemplary. On behalf of the entire College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, I offer my heartfelt thanks for their outstanding work.”

Bob McMurrayCollegiate Scholar Bob McMurray joined the faculty in 2004. He received his Ph.D. in brain and cognitive sciences from the University of Rochester in 2004. He studies language, development, perception, and learning in normal and impaired individuals, using behavioral techniques, eye-tracking, infant methods, computational modeling and cognitive neuroscience techniques. He is a member of the DeLTA Center, an interdisciplinary research center in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences that explores learning and development.

Melissa DuffDean's Scholar Melissa Duff joined the faculty in 2009, after earning her doctorate in speech and hearing science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2005 and subsequently completing a neurology postdoctoral appointment at Iowa. Her research interests include the cognitive processes and neural substrates supporting real-world learning, complex communication, and social interaction. Her work seeks to inform theoretical and neurobiological frameworks of memory and social functioning and to translate scientific knowledge into clinical application, helping to improve the lives of individuals with impairments in memory and social functioning. She is a researcher in the DeLTA Center.

Blaine GretemanDean's Scholar Blaine Greteman earned his PhD in English literature from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008, and joined the UI faculty in 2009. His teaching and research focus on early modern book history, poetry, and drama, including Milton and Shakespeare. He is currently working with information scientists and software engineers to build Shakeosphere, an online tool that is mining and mapping nearly every written record in English before 1800. He is the author of The Poetics and Politics of Youth in Milton’s England (Cambridge University Press, 2013), and regularly writes for The New Republic magazine.

Keiko KawamuroDean's Scholar Keiko Kawamuro joined the faculty in 2009, after earning her doctorate in mathematics from Columbia University in 2006, and serving in postdoctoral appointments at Rice University (2006-2009) and the Institute for Advanced Study (2009). Her research interests include geometric topology, knots, links, braids, contact geometry, Heegaard Floer homology, and Khovanov homology. She is the author of numerous published articles, and has presented at many research colloquia, seminars, and conferences.


The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Iowa is a comprehensive college offering 73 majors in the humanities; fine, performing and literary arts; natural and mathematical sciences; social and behavioral sciences; and communication disciplines. More than 17,000 undergraduate and 1,900 graduate students study each year in the college’s 37 departments, led by professors at the forefront of teaching and research in their disciplines. The college teaches all UI undergraduates through the General Education Program, and confers about 70 percent of the UI's bachelor's degrees each academic year.