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Two faculty members share Edgerton Award

Catherine Drennan
Catherine Drennan
Muriel Medard
Muriel Medard

Assistant professors Catherine Drennan of chemistry and Muriel Medard of electrical engineering and computer science received $8,000 honoraria and their colleagues' applause at the April 21 faculty meeting. The 2004 Edgerton Faculty Award winners thanked fellow faculty members for providing "nurturing" and "incredible opportunities" in impromptu speeches following the awards' announcement in Room 10-250.

This was the third time in its 22-year history that the award -- which recognizes exceptional distinction in teaching and research or scholarship in untenured faculty members -- has been shared by two people, said Professor Isabelle de Courtivron in making the announcement. De Courtivron herself shared the Edgerton Award with Professor Warren Seering in 1983, its first year.

"I'm very grateful and honored to be put in that group of young scientists," said Drennan. "I've had wonderful nurturing from my colleagues in chemistry, who've done everything from taking a look at my papers before I submit them to really looking out for me in every way."

"I've been given incredible opportunities ever since I was an undergraduate here," said Medard. "I left after graduate school and came back and left again and came back. But I have to say that this has been the greatest place for me." Medard added that she knew Professor Harold "Doc" Edgerton personally. "He was an incredible role model. I feel extremely honored."

Other business

Also at the meeting, Associate Provost Claude Canizares reported on research relationships between MIT and Lincoln Laboratory during the past year. He said 36 faculty members and 17 campus research staff members had participated in research partnerships with Lincoln Lab, and more than 50 research initiatives on campus had been fostered by the lab. These initiatives involved 47 students (undergraduates in UROP and graduate students doing thesis research).

Additional opportunities for research partnerships exist, Canizares said, including some new programs in homeland security.

Lee Upton, assistant director of Lincoln Lab, listed Department of Defense research categories related to homeland security, outlining areas within those categories with potential for collaboration between Lincoln Lab and the DOD. He encouraged faculty members to contact him at if they have ideas about participating in any of these research areas.

Also at the meeting, Jerrold Grochow, vice president for information services and technology, reported to the faculty on the accidental disclosure of personnel information that was reported to the community in March. Human Resources and Information Services and Technology are currently reviewing all public access directories, developing an educational program for staff, and establishing a regular review of computerized personal information. In addition, the provost is considering policy discussions regarding the establishment of rules and procedures for the systems and people handling confidential information.

For the Nominations Committee, Associate Professor Terry Knight announced the slate of 37 faculty members nominated to positions on 12 faculty committees. The faculty will vote on these nominations at the next meeting.

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