Two faculty members of the College of Letters & Science have been awarded Hilldale Professorships, while three more have received Bascom Professorships from the Named Professorship Advisory Committee.
Carol Ryff, professor of psychology, and Susan Stanford Friedman, professor of English and women’s studies, have received Hilldale Professorships, which are given to faculty who excel in scholarly activity, have records of outstanding research or creative work, and show promise of continued productivity.
The five-year appointments may be renewed until the individual leaves the university or retires. New Hilldale appointees will receive $15,000 per year for research support.
Steven Nadler, professor of philosophy, Janet Shibley Hyde, professor of psychology and gender and women’s studies, and John S. Gallagher, professor of astronomy, have been awarded named Bascom Professorships. The awards honor distinguished scholars and former UW President John Bascom, and are funded by the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
The professorships may be awarded in areas or to individuals designated by the donor. The support provides a reasonable income for teaching and scholarly activities, including books, computers, research assistants and travel. The professorship usually has a five-year term; most are renewable.
Ryff studies psychological well-being — things like whether people feel that their lives have purpose and meaning, and whether they are making the most of their talents and potential — and its effects on promoting good physical health. She also directs a major national study of health and well-being, known as MIDUS (Midlife in the U.S.), which has been running for two decades and involves more than 10,000 adults from their mid 20s to their mid 90s.
Friedman directs the Institute for Research in the Humanities. She publishes widely on modernism, narrative, feminism, migration/diaspora, world literature and psychoanalysis. Her publications include Mappings: Feminism and the Cultural Geographies of Encounter. She is at work on a book on religion, post/secularism, and Muslim women's diasporic writing.
Nadler works on the history of early modern philosophy and medieval Jewish philosophy. He has written books on Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz and other seventeenth-century thinkers. He is also affiliate faculty in art history. His book “Rembrandt’s Jews” was a finalist for the 2003 Pulitzer Prize.
Hyde specializes in research on the psychology of women, including the development of gender differences in depression in adolescence. She is known for her gender similarities hypothesis, which asserts, based on massive evidence, that women and men are very similar on most psychological variables. She is also the author of an undergraduate textbook, “Understanding Human Sexuality.”
Gallagher focuses on observational studies of the structure of galaxies and their evolution, especially in terms of stellar population characteristics. A second area of interest is the evolution of close binary stars and related phenomena.
To see the full list of recipients from across campus, read this story from University Communications.