May 27, 2004
Vol. 23 No. 17

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    Two Emeritus Professors win accolades for contributions to teaching and campus life

    In 2003, Eugene Goldwasser (at right) met former NBA player Alonso Mourning, who takes the hormone that Goldwasser isolated in 1977.
    Takeshi Oka at work in his laboratory.

    The Alumni Association has selected Eugene Goldwasser and Takeshi Oka as recipients of this year’s Norman Maclean Faculty Award, an honor that goes to emeritus or senior faculty members who have made outstanding contributions to teaching and to students’ experience of life on campus.

    The two will receive the honor at the Alumni Assembly during Reunion Weekend, Friday, June 4 through Sunday, June 6.

    Goldwasser (S.B.,’43, Ph.D.,’50) is the Alice Hogge and Arthur A. Baer Professor Emeritus in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

    With nearly 60 years in service to the University, Goldwasser is one of the world’s leading biochemists. His research led to effective therapies for patients suffering anemias, especially those due to kidney failure.

    During his research career, he has carried on a role as mentor and intellectual leader on campus. He encourages students to develop their own ideas and try them out in the laboratory in order to gain confidence in their abilities and learn the details of scientific and technical methods. Students also praise him for developing strong friendships with his students.

    Oka is the Robert A. Millikan Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in Chemistry and a renowned sprectroscopist. Oka has done pioneering studies of a variety of molecular ions that are important to astrophysics, including his favorite, H3+.

    He joined the University faculty in 1981, after a distinguished career at Canada’s Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, the center of sprectroscopic studies. He came to Chicago because of a desire to teach and work with students.

    In his lectures, he is known for his ability to distill even the most complicated topics to their essences. He also is a strong supporter of women in science. His students and former students say he permits great freedom in his laboratory for student research but also provides important guidance and advice when asked.

    The award, established in 1997, is named for Professor Norman Maclean (Ph.D.,’40), who taught English Language & Literature at Chicago for 40 years.