Two named to Johnston term professorships

Two faculty members have been appointed to Margaret and Paul A. Johnston professorships for five-year terms beginning July 1, 1999. They are:

* John J. Boland, J.J. Hermans distinguished term professor of chemistry; and

* E. Jane Burns, L.M. Slifkin distinguished term professor of women's studies.


Boland joined the Department of Chemistry in 1994, where he teaches introductory courses in chemistry and materials science and a graduate-level course on surface chemistry.

He has received an Access Teaching Award from the University's Learning Disabilities Services office.

His research involves the use and development of microscopes that reveal how individual atoms and molecules approach each other and interact. He also studies factors that enhance and impede the flow of electricity through molecules -- reactions important in the manufacture of computer chips.

Boland serves as president of the North Carolina Section of the Materials Research Society and as a member of the executive board of the Surface Science Division of the American Vacuum Society. He is a member of the American Chemical and Physical societies.

After receiving his Ph.D. at the California Institute of Technology in 1985, Boland was a research scientist at IBM's Thomas J. Watson Research Center where he received an Outstanding Innovation Award.


Recently appointed chair of the Curriculum in Women's Studies, Burns teaches courses on women's literature and culture, women's spirituality, and feminist and gender theory.

Her scholarship revolves around feminist readings of French literary texts from the 12th and 13th centuries.

Burns is the author of Arthurian Fictions: Rereading the Vulgate Cycle and Bodytalk: When Women Speak in Old French Literature. She is currently finishing a manuscript on courtly love and clothing.

Co-founder and past editor of the Medieval Feminist Newsletter, Burns also is past chair of the Modern Language Association divisions of medieval French and medieval comparative literature.

Earlier this year, Burns received the Outstanding Faculty Woman Award for Excellence in Teaching at Carolina.

Burns earned her graduate degrees at the University of California at Berkeley after graduating from Occidental College in Los Angeles.

The Margaret and Paul A. Johnston professorships were established in 1987 by a bequest in Paul A. Johnston's will for more than $10 million to honor retired faculty living when the professorships are created.

Jan Joseph Hermans received his Ph.D. from Leiden University in the Netherlands in 1937, specializing in physical chemistry. He worked throughout Europe and North America before joining the Carolina faculty as a visiting professor in 1962.

A University distinguished professor, his honors included a fellowship from the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Program for study and research in Rome. He wrote the book Flow of Disperse Systems. Hermans retired in 1977 and died in 1997.

Lawrence M. Slifkin, who joined the faculty in 1955, is an alumni distinguished professor emeritus of physics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, which presented him with the Jesse Beams Award in Research Excellence in 1977.

Slifkin was honored with a Tanner Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He retired in 1991.

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