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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Seven chosen to receive distinguished professorships

W.R. Kenan Jr. Professors

Michael Emch, professor and chair of the Department of Geography, is a health geographer. He is also professor of epidemiology and a fellow of the Carolina Population Center. He has published widely in the subfield of disease ecology, mostly on infectious diseases of the developing world. He directs the Spatial Health Research Group.  He is also a member of the UNC Infectious Diseases, Epidemiology and Ecology Lab. Many of the courses he teaches are about spatial components of health and disease.  Emch is an associate editor of Health & Place and an advisory editor of Social Science and Medicine.

Mark Zylka, director of the UNC Neuroscience Center and professor of cell biology and physiology, in the UNC School of Medicine, is the principal investigator of a vibrant and highly competitive research laboratory. One focus is the identification and study of novel molecules and signaling pathways for the treatment of chronic pain. His lab has made several key discoveries – including the identification of the enzymes that generate adenosine, which reduces pain – that have garnered national and international recognition. Another important focus for Zylka’s research has been autism. He is using genome-wide approaches to study transcriptional regulators linked to autism and to identify environmental risk factors for autism.

Kenan Professors

Ruth Anderson, professor and social gerontologist with expertise in care systems and trajectories of chronic illness and care outcomes for older adults, is the School of Nursing’s associate dean for research. She is nationally distinguished as a former recipient of the National Institute of Nursing Research Path Paver Award, a Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame member and one of “100 Nursing Professors to Watch.” Her extensive body of scholarship is seen in Geriatric Nursing, Implementation Science, Nursing Research and Qualitative Health Research and other peer-reviewed journals. She is in her 13th consecutive year of NIH funding.

Jacqueline Hagan, professor in the Department of Sociology, has as her central research area international migration, with a
special focus on undocumented and transit migration in the U.S.-Latin America migratory system. Within this broad interdisciplinary area, she has conducted high impact research on gender and migration, race and ethnic relations, migration and international labor markets, religion and migration and immigration policy effects. She is one of the world’s leading scholars on processes of U.S. immigration and their consequences, for which recent events have made her a much sought-after policy expert and commentator on immigration bans and deportation.

Fabian Monrose, professor in the Department of Computer Science, is a computer security researcher extraordinaire. He is an internationally recognized leader in the field and known for the unusual creativity in, and interdisciplinary approach to, his research. He has become a “go to” authority for federal policy makers and federal cyber-crime investigators, and his work has influenced how products such as Skype are designed. He is an award-winning researcher and teacher, inventor and entrepreneur. Moreover, as a member of an underrepresented minority, he gives back to his community of origin through educational outreach and mentoring of junior scholars. In his spare time, he works with the UNC-Chapel Hill ITS security group to help protect the campus’ networks from newly emerging threats and attacks.

Alumni Professor

Robert Babcock, professor in the Department of Classics, is a scholar of medieval literary and intellectual culture. His particular area of expertise lies in medieval Latin, the transmission of classical texts and learning in the Middle Ages and Latin palaeography, the study of medieval manuscripts. As a scholar, he has an outstanding international reputation, and as a teacher and mentor, he plays a vital role both in the department and in the interdepartmental program in Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

Burton Craige Distinguished Professor

Lissa Broome, director of the School of Law’s Center for Banking and Finance, serves as faculty adviser to the North Carolina Banking Institute Journal. She also heads the school’s Director Diversity Initiative, which works to increase gender, racial and ethnic diversity on the boards of directors of publicly traded corporations in North Carolina and throughout the United States. She joined the Carolina faculty in 1984 and is a member of the North Carolina bar. Her teaching interests include commercial law and banking law.