5 Faculty Appointed to Endowed Professorships

In recognition of their career achievements, the following faculty members are being appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1:

Joe Knee, professor of chemistry and dean of the Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division, is receiving the Beach Professorship of Chemistry, established in 1880.

Janice Naegele, professor of biology, is receiving the Alan M. Dachs Professorship of Science, established in 2011.

Stewart Novick, professor of chemistry, is receiving the Joshua Boger University Professorship of the Sciences and Mathematics, established in 2010.

Christopher Parslow, professor of classical studies, is receiving the Robert Rich Professorship of Latin, established in 1863.

Irina Russu, professor of chemistry, is receiving the E. B. Nye Professorship of Chemistry, established in 1908.

Brief biographies appear below:

Joe Knee joined Wesleyan’s department of chemistry in 1986 after receiving his BA. from Binghamton University and his PhD from Stony Brook University. His research focuses on chemical physics in which a variety of spectroscopic methods are applied to characterize molecules in the gas phase. Recent publications include “Communication: Physical Origins of Ionization Potential Shifts in Mixed Carboxylic Acids and Water Complexes” (Journal of Chemical Physics, 2016) and “Influences of the Propyl Group on the van der Waals Structures of 4-Propylaniline Complexes with One and Two Argon Atoms Studied by Electronic and Cationic Spectroscopy” (Journal of Chemical Physics, 2015).

Janice Naegele is a developmental neuroscientist who joined Wesleyan’s department of biology and program in neuroscience and behavior in 1991. She completed her BA at Mount Holyoke College and her PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has received numerous awards including the 2017 Connecticut Woman of Innovation Award and the 2015 Louise Hanson Marshall Special Recognition Award. In 2016 she was elected to the Connecticut Academy of Sciences. Naegele has received research grants from the National Institute of Health, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Mental Health, Connecticut Stem Cell Initiative, and the Mellon Foundation. She has published extensively on applications of stem cell transplantation for neural repair.

Stewart Novick arrived at Wesleyan in 1978 after serving as a research fellow at Harvard University and as a research associate in the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics at the University of Colorado. He earned his BS from Stony Brook University, and his AM and PhD from Harvard University. Novick’s research focuses on the microwave spectroscopic study of multi-conformational molecules, weakly bound van der Waals complexes, and “exotic” molecules such as highly reactive free radicals and ions that are important in the chemistry of the interstellar medium. He has received numerous National Science Foundation grants and has published over 100 articles.

Christopher Parslow received his BA from Grinnell College, his MA. from the University of Iowa and his PhD from Duke University. He held the Samuel H. Kress Fellowship in Classical Art and Archaeology at the American Academy in Rome from 1986 to 1988. He has been at Wesleyan since 1991 and has served as the Professor-in-Charge of the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies in Rome. In 2013, he was a member in the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Parslow’s research focuses on Roman archaeology and art, Pompeii and the Bay of Naples, the topography of Rome, and Roman history. He is currently completing a book-length manuscript on the architecture, art, inscriptions and function of the Praedia (“Properties”) of Julia Felix in Pompeii.

Irina Russu joined Wesleyan’s Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry in 1987 and has been a member of the Chemistry Department since 2000. She holds a BS in physics from the University of Bucharest in Romania, an MS in biophysics, and a PhD in biophysics from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research is focused on understanding the relationship between structure and function in biological macromolecules using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Recent publications include “Site-Resolved Structural Energetics of the T7 Concatemer Junction” (Biochemistry, 2015) and “Dynamic and Energetic Signatures of Adenine Tracts in Nucleic Acid Double Helices” (Biochemistry, 2017). She is also a recipient of Wesleyan’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching.