Three College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Named SUNY Distinguished Professors
Professor Lorna Role is an internationally-known scholar in the field of neurobiology, and in addition to her novel and important research is widely recognized for her mentoring of young scholars who’ve become leaders in the field and the dramatic rise of the Department of Neurobiology at Stony Brook. Her work is on neurological disorders and the plasticity (adaptive nature) of cognition. She’s studied how cholinergic signaling influences the development and plasticity of synapses, circuits, and networks that underlie human beings’ learned behaviors such as reward and fear. Her studies have led to the identification of a novel splice of a gene considered linked to schizophrenia. Her research has also clarified the roles of cholinergic signaling in learning and memory. Her group demonstrated that activation or inhibition of fields within the amygdala can influence the formation of an indelible memory of fearful circumstances. Her work now looks in to whether manipulating cholinergic signaling can preserve positive associations or lost memories. With an h-index of 44, it’s clear that she is a very productive and highly valued member of the scientific community. Professor Role has been named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She’s been recognized with the Pioneer’s Award by the Director of the National Institutes of Health, and by NARSAD with the Sidney R Baer Prize for Innovative Research related to Schizophrenia and the prestigious McKnight Foundation Brain Disorders Award. She was elected as Fellow to The American College of Neuropsychopharmacology. Along with special invited lectureships and appointments at the Society for Neuroscience and the Ecole Normal Superieure in Paris, these honors and recognitions are ample evidence of her pre-eminent standing within the field of neurobiology and neuroscience. She’s served as as a reviewing editor of eNEURO, co-organizer of major events such as the ACNP 50th anniversary meeting, has served as an empanelled member of the NIH SRG NST2 as well as a review board for the Simons Foundation for Autism Research, and she has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Neuroscience, the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research and the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.
Professor William Chittick has a 32 year academic career in the College of Arts and Sciences at Stony Brook and has been a great member of his department and of the community of researchers studying the philosophy of religion and the nature of Islam in particular. Professor Chittick is a scholar on Islamic civilization and comparative philosophy of religious studies. He is the author, editor, or translator of over 30 monographs and nearly 200 articles on Islamic thought, Shi’ism, and Sufism. His works have been translated in to a dozen languages and have informed scholarship and teaching in the Middle East, East Asia, South Asia and Europe. His scholarship continues to grow: since being promoted to full professor in 1996, he’s complete 10 monographs (an impressive book every two years!), including his most recent work in 2013, Divine Love: Islamic Literature and the Path to God, which was given the Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2013 by Yale University Press. His works are published by renowned presses, including Yale, Harvard, Oxford, and SUNY. Professor Chittick has been the recipient of an astonishing National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships, a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Islamic Replublic of Iran honored him twice with the World Prize for the Book of the Year. Each year, scholars worldwide seek visiting appointments here at Stony Brook so that they can study and work with Professor Chittick on sabbatical. Truly, he is a sought after scholar and mentor.
Kathleen Wilson is an internationally-known historian and scholar in the field of British history, the British empire, and international workings of empire. Her first book, The Sense of the People: Politics, Culture and Imperialism in England, 1715-1785, described charted a new course for historians of Britain, leaving behind traditional research about military and political history that had been the mainstay of the field. Instead, she examined the attitudes of the non-elite and provincial peoples of the empire. Her second book The Island Race: Englishness, Empire, and Gender in the Eighteenth Century broke new ground by theorizing a new way of understanding how British domestic politics and society interacted with the overseas empire and examined roles of gender in the empire. Her next book A New Imperial History: Culture, Identity, and Modernity in Britain and the Empire, 1660-1840 brought together scholars from around the world to explore reciprocal influences of empire, movements of peoples, slavery, diaspora and British dominance. She has not stopped. Her forthcoming work appears this year with Cambridge University Press and is entitled Strolling Players of Empire: Theater, Culture, and Modernity in the English Provinces 1720-1820. Professor Wilson was recognized by the Royal Historical Society with the 1995 Whitfield Prize for British History. Additionally, the North American Conference on British Studies awarded her the 1996 John Ben Snow Award for British Studies and the Walter D. Love Prize in History. She has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She’s been awarded prestigious fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She’s received visiting appointments from the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, been named Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury, New Zealand, Visiting Professor at Princeton, Harvard, and Yale University as well as the Ecole des Haute Etudes en Science Sociale, Paris. Last year she was named the R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellow in residence at the Huntington Library. She was elected President of the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. She serves as the Director of the Humanities Institute in the College of Arts and Sciences.