UF Honors Program names 2013-14 Dunlevie Professors
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Four distinguished University of Florida faculty members have been appointed as Elizabeth Wood Dunlevie Honors Term Professors for the 2013-14 academic year.
Susan Gillespie of the department of anthropology, Panos Pardalos of the department of industrial and systems engineering, Jack Putz of the department of biology, and Lou Ritz of the department of neuroscience will each teach a course for the Honors Program during the academic year.
The professorships are made possible by a generous endowment gift from Elizabeth Wood Dunlevie, a UF graduate. The goal of the program is to encourage the most esteemed faculty at UF to participate in the University Honors Program as instructors and mentors. The endowment provides summer salary and support for the faculty members’ activities.
Gillespie will offer a course titled Consumer Culture. Students will attempt to answer the question, “Why do we have so much stuff?” They will be given conceptual tools to learn about the cultural patterns in which their lives are embedded and their individual consumptive practices. The course will feature participation in active learning scenarios, including in-class activities and small field research projects.
Pardalos’ course is titled Data Analysis through Data Mining. Given the explosion of data gathering in our society, this is an extremely timely course, as it will focus on taking large sets of data and converting them to information. Applications to systems analysis, biomedicine, and agriculture will be studied.
Putz will make use of the Harn Museum of Art and the Florida Museum of Natural History in his interdisciplinary course, Nature and Culture in Florida. Students will explore climate, geology and soils, vegetation, and environmental problems. The “culture” portion of the course will focus on depictions of Florida landscapes by artists, novelists and songwriters.
Ritz will teach Spirituality and the Health Sciences. Interest in the intersection of spirituality and health is rapidly growing in our society as we seek deeper meaning in our lives and a more holistic approach to our health challenges and wellness. This course will explore various aspects of spirituality as it impacts our health at the level of body, mind, and spirit.
Gillespie has been a faculty member in anthropology since 2001. Her research specialty is archaeology and the ancient cultures of Mesoamerica. Gillespie received the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Teacher of the Year Award for 2012-13.
Pardalos is a Distinguished Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He has been at UF since 1991. He is considered a world-leading researcher in the field of global optimization and its applications. He has mentored several University Scholars over the past few years and relishes his time in the classroom.
Putz has been a faculty member at UF since 1982. He is world-renowned for his research in forest conservation ecology. Over his career he has published more than 180 research papers. Putz was named UF’s Teacher of the Year in 2003-4.
Ritz arrived at UF in 1985. His work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and various other organizations. He is consistently rated highly by students and peers alike for his engaging classes.
Dunlevie Professors are selected by Kevin Knudson, director of the Honors Program, in consultation with a committee of UF faculty, from a pool of nominees submitted by department chairs.