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Eight appointed to named professorships

September 22, 2020
Named positions celebrate the work of Rochester’s faculty.

Several faculty members at the University of Rochester have been awarded named professorships. An honor designed to recognize the national stature of a professor’s work, the named positions are part of a long-standing tradition to celebrate the work of Rochester’s faculty as researchers, scholars, and teachers. 

Recent appointments include:

  • Lisa Beck, a professor of dermatology, has been jointly appointed as the Carol A. and Lowell A. Goldsmith Professor in Dermatology. She retains her joint appointments as professor of medicine and as professor of pathology and laboratory medicine. Beck brings more than 20 years of experience to the treatment of atopic dermatitis and eczema. She is currently involved in an NIH—funded study to determine why certain patients are susceptible to the herpes simplex and Staphylococcus aureus viruses. The professorship is named for lead donors Lowell Goldsmith ’02M (MPH) and his wife, Carol. Lowell Goldsmith, founding chair of the Medical Center’s Department of Dermatology, also served as dean of the School of Medicine Dentistry from 1996 to 2000.


  • Mujdat Cetin, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been jointly appointed as the Robin and Tim Wentworth Director of the Goergen Institute for Data Science. Cetin’s research interests are within the broad area of data, signal, and imaging sciences, with crossdisciplinary links to several other areas in electrical engineering, computer science, and neuroscience. The position is named for Rochester natives Robin and Tim Wentworth, who endowed the directorship. Tim Wentworth has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013. Two of the Wentworth’s three daughters are Rochester graduates.


  • Jill Cholette, a professor of pediatrics, has been jointly appointed as the Gordon Family Professor. Cholette has research interests in thrombosis and use of blood products in critically ill pediatric patients, particularly those undergoing cardiac surgery. She is working to clarify the role of inflammation in the development of thrombosis, and to determine the optimal anticoagulation regimen for the pediatric post-op cardiac surgery patient. Her other work involves blood utilization in the pediatric ICU patient, and she is developing a transfusion strategy for the pediatric post-op cardiac surgery patients. The professorship, established in 2019, is supported by a gift from the estate of Shirley P. Gordon in honor of Gordon and her family members.


  • Stephen Dewhurst, a professor of microbiology and immunology, has been jointly appointed as the Albert and Phyllis Ritterson Professor. Dewhurst retains his joint appointments as chair of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, as a professor of oncology, as vice dean for research, and as associate vice president for health sciences research. Dewhurst has more than 25 years of experience as a molecular virologist, working mainly on HIV/AIDS, with an emphasis in recent years on vaccine development. He serves as director of the University’s NIH—funded Development Center for AIDS Research, in addition to his own research. Dewhurst is internationally recognized for his expertise and is also a former NIH Study Section Chair and a former member of the NIH Recombinant Advisory Committee (RAC). The position was established through the estate of Phyllis Ritterson ’55M (MS) to support a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology.


  • Adam Frank, a professor of physics and astronomy, has been jointly appointed the Helen F. and Fred H. Gowen Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Frank’s research is in the general area of theoretical astrophysics, and in particular, the hydrodynamic and magneto-hydrodynamic evolution of matter ejected from stars. His current research topics include jets from young stellar objects and bipolar outflows from evolved stars such as planetary nebulae and massive stars. He is an active member of the department’s plasma physics program, which is part of the University’s interdisciplinary program in high-energy density plasmas. The Board of Trustees established the professorship in honor of longtime supporters Fred Gowen ’32, who served as a University trustee from 1968 until his death in 1978, and his wife, Helen Gowen.


  • Jill Halterman, a professor of pediatrics, has been jointly appointed as the Dr. Elizabeth R. McAnarney Professor in Pediatrics Funded by Roger and Carolyn Friedlander. Halterman’s primary research interest is to improve the delivery of preventive care for underserved children with asthma. She is principal investigator for the Preventive Care Program for Urban Children with Asthma, which focuses on decreasing the burden of asthma for children in the Rochester area. The professorship is named in honor of Elizabeth McAnarney, a Distinguished University Professor, whose work has improved the way that health care providers care for pregnant teens and their babies. The professorship is funded by University Life Trustee Roger Friedlander ’56 and his wife, Carolyn Friedlander ’68 PNP.


  • Steven Silverstein, a professor of psychiatry, has been jointly reappointed as the George L. Engel Professor in Psychosocial Medicine. He also serves as associate chair of research for the Department of Psychiatry. Silverstein’s research interests are in the development of the condition, perceptual and cognitive changes found in schizophrenia, and prediction of treatment response and relapse. George Engel, for whom the professorship is named, was a faculty member in the Department of Psychiatry. He is the creator of the biopsychosocial model, an interdisciplinary model that looks at the interconnection among biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors.


  • Sevin Yeltekin, dean of the Simon Business School, has been jointly appointed as the Frontier Communications/Rochester Telephone Professor of Business Administration. She retains her joint appointment as professor of business administration with tenure. A highly respected macroeconomics scholar, she is well-known for her research in the design of sustainable monetary and fiscal policies in environments where policymakers and the public have informational asymmetry. Her research spans fiscal policy design, social insurance design, computational economics, and asset pricing implications of macro policy. The professorship was created by Rochester Telephone Corp. in 1986 to support business leaders of the next generation.


Read more

Ten appointed to named professorships
In May 2020, appointed to named professorships were Michael Apostolakos, Marjorie Arca, Michael Burritt, Gilbert (Rip) Collins, Diane Dalecki, Jack Downey, Richard Kaeuper, Kevin McFarland, Mical Raz, and Ying Xue.

Five appointed to named professorships
In August 2019, appointed to named professorships were Rudi Fasan, Steve Georas, B. Paige Lawrence, Elizabeth Marvin ’89E (PhD), and Nimish Mohile.

Campaign tops fundraising goal
The Meliora Challenge campaign surpassed its goal of raising support for at least 100 named professorships.


Category: University News