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Trustees honor three professors, approve department change, degree


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University board of trustees on Friday (May 18) approved the appointments of three designated professors and the creation of an independent anthropology department at the West Lafayette campus and a new bachelor's degree program at the North Central campus.

M. Katherine Banks was named the Bowen Engineering Head of Civil Engineering, Stephen G. Green is the Basil S. Turner Distinguished Professor of Management in the Krannert School of Management, and Timothy S. Zwier is the Melvin G. Mellon Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the College of Science.

The three newest appointments bring the university's total of named and distinguished professorships to 140.

"These faculty members have distinguished themselves at the top of their fields," Purdue Provost Sally Mason said. "The designation of a distinguished or named professorship is one way to honor our own, and such designations also help Purdue attract and retain the highest quality of faculty. We're very proud of what these people have accomplished in the way of scholarship, research, teaching and leadership, and we want other people to know about their accomplishments."

Zwier has been on faculty at Purdue since 1988 and has been department head in chemistry since 2004. His current research involves the development and use of laser-based methods to probe the structures and reactions of isolated molecules and small molecular aggregates. When applied to biologically relevant molecules, the methods his research group has developed can be used to select a subset of molecules with the same shape, energize them with the laser, and follow their transformation from one shape into another. He also applies these techniques to molecules and free radicals of importance in combustion processes and planetary atmospheres.

He has been a senior editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry since 2003. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and recently received the 2007 Earle K. Plyler prize in molecular spectroscopy from the