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NEW HEAD OF FACULTY
Professor Jennifer Windsor from the University of Minnesota has been appointed to lead the faculties of Humanities and Social Sciences and Education. Professor Windsor is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programmes and a member of the senior leadership team in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, a position she has held for the past six years. In this role, she oversees all aspects of undergraduate education for the College, which has 14,000 undergraduate students. A professor of speech-language-hearing sciences, she studied a Bachelor of Applied Science at Cumberland College of Health Sciences in Australia before embarking on a Master’s and then PhD study at Purdue University in the US. Professor Windsor will take up the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Education on 20 January 2015.
LECTURER GETS FELLOWSHIP
Dr Jonathan Halpert, a lecturer in Victoria’s School of Chemical and Physical Sciences and an associate investigator at the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, has received funding of up to $800,000 over five years to support his research into solar cells and LEDs (light-emitting diodes).
The Fellowships, announced by Minister of Science and Innovation Steven Joyce, support and foster the development of future leaders in the New Zealand science and innovation system by encouraging their career development and enabling them to establish a solid track record for future research. Dr Halpert joins five other MacDiarmid Institute investigators to be awarded a Rutherford Discovery Fellowship in the five-year history of the scheme. He follows in the footsteps of Dr Eric Le Ru (Victoria University of Wellington), Dr Martin Allen (University of Canterbury), Dr Tim Woodfield (University of Otago), Dr Justin Hodgkiss (Victoria University of Wellington) and Dr Geoff Wilmott (the University of Auckland).
Research by three Victoria University of Wellington undergraduate students has been published in Biotechnology Letters, a highly ranked international peer-reviewed journal. As part of a supervised programme of study, Madeleine Parker, Kate Walmsley and Jack Sissons, each in the final year of a Bachelor of Science majoring in Biotechnology, worked to develop an efficient system to help scientists artificially evolve enzymes in the lab. The original idea for this work was developed by Victoria PhD graduate Dr Gareth Prosser. Jack, Madeleine and Kate performed the key proof-of-concept experiments to validate Dr Prosser’s idea under the supervision of Dr David Ackerley, Biotechnology Programme Director, and Dr Elsie Williams, a postdoctoral fellow in the School of Biological Sciences.
“It is rare for undergraduate research to be published at all, let alone in a well-regarded journal like Biotechnology Letters,” says Dr Ackerley. “Kate, Jack and Madeleine worked hard and intelligently on this project, and really deserve their success.”