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Murphy, Thomas H. (ed.) / Wisconsin alumnus
Volume 86, Number 4 (May 1985)

The news,   pp. 5-6


Page 6


The News
  continued
American Studies department and in 1970,
the regents approved its establishment. To-
day it is thriving. Says its chairman, Prof.
William L. Van Deburg, "We enroll 600 to
1,000 students per semester." The average
class contains about half Afro-American
students, and the most popular are courses
in black literature, history, economics and
the Afro-American family.
   "We speak to black students' need to
know about their heritage and culture, and
we try to better prepare them for survival in
a society that does not always recognize
black contributions," he said. "We also try
to sensitize and introduce non-black stu-
dents to the valid aspects of black culture
and to counter racist attitudes.
   "Our approach to black history is Pan-
African. We study the black experience not
only in the U.S. but also in West Africa,
South America and the Caribbean. That
differs from some other programs that fo-
cus on art or culture in general." Enroll-
ment peaked in the mid-'70s when interest
was at its height nationwide and has re-
mained stable ever since, Van Deburg said.
The discipline added its first master's de-
gree three years ago.
Eight Profs Win
National Research Awards
Eight professors, including three from one
department, have won the National Sci-
ence Foundation's Presidential Young In-
vestigator Awards. Each award provides a
base grant of $25,000 annually, with an ex-
tra $37,500 possible in matching grants
from NSF and industry. Winners may re-
ceive research support of up to $100,000 a
year for five years.
    Cited were professors Deborah A. Jo-
 seph, Udi Manber and Mary K. Vernon,
 computer sciences; Michael Renardy,
 mathematics; Sangtae Kim, chemical engi-
 neering; Thomas F. Kelly, metallurgical
 and mineral engineering; William Darasov,
 wildlife ecology; and Paul Ahlquist, plant
 pathology and biophysics.
 UW Designated 'Center Of
 Excelience' In Land
 Information Science
 The UW has been named one of three
 North American centers of excellence in
 land information science in recognition of
 our teaching and research leadership in the
 field. The designation, made on the recom-
mendation of the National Research Coun-
cil, came from the Institute for Moderniza-
tion of Land Data Systems.
   Cited were the College of Agriculture
and Life Science's work on the automation
of highway and electrical transmission loca-
tions; the Land Tenure Center's efforts on
land registry and property systems as part
of agrarian reform in Central and South
America; the nationally recognized output
of the geography and cartography depart-
ments; and the Institute for Environmental
Studies' environmental remote sensing pro-
gram to assess land use patterns in Wiscon-
sin.
Biotech Center Could Attract
$30 Million Over Next Decade
Using the UW's international reputation in
the biological sciences as a springboard, the
new Biotechnology Center could draw an
additional $30 million in federal grants over
the next ten years, according to its director,
Richard Burgess. Already the third most
successful grant-getting institution in the
nation, the UW is expected to increase its
federal biotech funding by several million
dollars a year despite a restricted climate.
In addition to increased federal money, pri-
vate grants and contracts are also likely to
grow substantially as the center evolves and
can more actively support scientists.
   Biotechnology, based on several spec-
tacular advances in molecular biology and
genetics, describes a spectrum of new tech-
niques such as gene-splicing, embryo ma-
nipulation and transfer and the growing of
living cells outside of their host organisms.
Once developed, the new technology could
result in disease- and frost-resistant plants,
improved lines of cattle, faster growing
                          continued on page 20
6 / THE WISCONSIN ALUMNUS
Jerry isock                           jppie i-euerer
Joyce Carol Oates
HONORARY DEGREES at spring commencement on May 18 will go to Jerry Bock
x'49, composer of the musical scores of Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello!;
Eppie Lederer
(Ann Landers); novelist Joyce Carol Oates MA'61; and George Tipler, executive
secretary of the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.


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