June 11, 1998
Vol. 17, No. 18

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    Two top business executives, noted physicist join Board of Trustees

    The co-founder of U.S. Robotics, a top executive with Pfizer Pharmaceuticals and a physicist who is a former recipient of a MacArthur "genius award" have been elected to the University's Board of Trustees.

    At its annual meeting on June 5, the board elected as new trustees Casey Cowell (A.B.'75), co-founder of U.S. Robotics and chairman and president of Chicago-based Durandal Inc.; Karen Katen (A.B.'70, M.B.A.'74), executive vice president of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group in New York; and physicist and former MacArthur Fellow Frank Wilczek (S.B.'70), a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton.

    Cowell launched his career in 1976 by co-founding U.S. Robotics, a leading world supplier of data communications products and systems, just one year after receiving his A.B. in economics from the University. He headed the company until its merger with 3COM in June 1997, then went on to preside over the newly formed Durandal firm. His business accomplishments led Business Week to name him one of the "25 Top Managers" in the world in 1995 and Crain's Chicago Business to name him "Executive of the Year" in 1996.

    Cowell serves on the boards of several charitable organizations, including the Chicago Public Library Foundation, the Illinois Coalition and the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Corporation. He is a trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology, the Field Museum of Natural History and the Golden Apple Foundation.

    Katen has worked for Pfizer since 1974, when she began her career as a marketing associate. She has risen through the ranks and currently holds several top-level corporate positions within the company, serving as president of Pfizer U.S. Pharmaceuticals, executive vice president of the global Pfizer Pharmaceuticals Group, corporate vice president and a member of Pfizer's corporate management committee.

    Named USO Woman of the Year in 1996, Katen serves as a member and leader of many health and pharmaceutical organizations, including the National Pharmaceutical Council and the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations. Katen also serves on the board of both General Motors and the Harris Corp.

    Wilczek began his academic career as a member of the Physics Department faculty at Princeton in 1973, where he taught for eight years before joining the Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California-Santa Barbara. He returned to Princeton in 1989, where he is currently a professor at the Institute for Advanced Study in the Department of Natural Sciences.

    Wilczek's broad range of research has focused on "pure" particle physics; the behavior of matter at ultra-high temperature; the application of insights from particle physics to cosmology; the application of field theory techniques to condensed matter physics; and the quantum theory of black holes. He is the author of Fractional Statistics and Anyon Superconductivity (1990) and the co-author of Longing for the Harmonies: Themes and Variations from Modern Physics (1989). Wilczek received his S.B. from the University in 1970, and his M.A. (mathematics) and Ph.D (physics) from Princeton University. He is a former Sloan fellow and a 1982 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship.