Saturday, January 28, 2006

Faculty Status: Celebrating Tenure and Achievement

Each year the College of Natural Sciences at UT-Austin hosts a dinner to recognize faculty who have achieved promotion. My partner chaired the promotion/tenure committee for the college this year and so we attended this event this evening. Sixteen faculty members were honored along with four faculty in non-tenured positions who were promoted to Senior Lecturer. We were especially pleased to celebrate the achievements of two friends: Dr. Ed Marcotte and Dr. Inderjit Dhillon. Ed is now a full Professor at UT-Austin and will continue and expand his work in bioinformatics. His work has been featured as the cover article in "Nature" and you can find out more through his Open Pronomics Database. Inderjit is investigating how to organize large sets of data such as those related to human genome projects. Other faculty were recognized for their work in astronomy (work on dark energy), chemistry & biochemistry (work on solid/liquid interfaces), human echology (work on dietary fats), biological sciences ('farming insects,' and global warming), mathematics (DNA appplications and geometry), physics (plasma physics, neutrinos, inflation, laser-plasma interactions), and molecular cell and developmental biology (eye development, genomes, DNA repair). It is exciting to hear how young scholars are devoting their careers to furthering developments that will potentially improve humanity.

Wellness Circle

One of my ALA presidential platform issues is workplace wellness. Dr. Joanne Marshall, past President of the Medical Library Association, is helping me realize how this platform issue can benefit ALA members. I will start to introduce some issues that might relate to everyday health concerns of library workers. Of course, each reader should review such topics with his or her health care providers. While I worked as a medical radiologic technologist (X-ray tech), I know that any communication I provide is not prescribed medical care.

Do you ever experience foot pain or fatigue?
About nine-months ago my orthopedic specialist, Dr. Barbara Bergin, advised me to switch from wearing tennis shoes to wearing shoes with hard soles. She pointed to the pair Dansko shoes that she wears everyday and told me that she wears red patent leather Danskos when she is operating. While I was reluctant to leave my days of wearing tennis shoes behind, I am now an avid champion of hard-soled shoes. I broke a toe some twenty years ago and was starting to feel the effect. Now, I wear a hard soled shoe daily and very rarely feel joint pain in that toe. Talk it over with your physician. I opted for the Dansko shoes and am now a Dansko advocate and have 7 pairs of the enclosed clog style with colors ranging from basic black to silver, green, and lilac. My campaign manager, Beth Hallmark, calls these 'chef shoes.' Take care of your feet, library workers!