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Professor emeritus of biology Paul Christiansen was honored for his pioneering work to preserve and restore prairies when Indian Creek Nature Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, named a seven-acre prairie for him on Earth Day weekend in April. About 250 friends, colleagues, and prairie enthusiasts—including Katrina Garner (pictured)—attended the dedication, which included a prairie planting and ceremony featuring speakers Jean Wiedenheft '98, land steward at the nature center, and Elizabeth Hicken Christiansen '79, deputy director of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Kara Beauchamp, associate professor of physics, is president of the board of directors of the Iowa Renewable Energy Association, a nonprofit organization touting renewable energy and ener gy conservation through workshops on solar and wind systems, and events at schools and other venues across the state.
Mike Duroe, hired last October as interim head wrestling coach, was named this spring as the Rams' full-time head coach after leading Cornell to a school-record 15 dual victories in his first season. He also was named by USA Wrestling to coach the 2006 U.S. Freestyle World Team at the World Championships in Guanghou, China, Sept. 26-Oct. 1.
April Elsbernd, former assistant director of residence life and assistant director of Leadership and Service (2003-06), plans to pursue a graduate degree in sports administration at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse this fall.
Professor emeritus of physics Harlan "Cot" Graber and his teammates on the 1955-56 Bethel College men's basketball team were honored at a 50th-anniversary celebration marking the school's first Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championship in any sport. The team finished 22-4 including a 19- game winning streak.
In January, Mark Hunter (theatre and communications studies) directed a critically acclaimed production of Arthur Miller's "Death of a Salesman" for Riverside Theatre in Iowa City. The production, which was mounted as part of Riverside Theatre's 25th anniversary celebration, featured Cornell Artists-in-Residence Ron Clark and Jody Hovland as Willy and Linda Loman.
Education professor Gayle Luck has been named Cornell's first faculty director of international studies. This is a three-year appointment she begins in August, and she will continue to teach four blocks a year. Her goal is to make international study a reality for more students and faculty.
Assistant professors Stephanie Mackler, education, and Craig Teague, chemistry, received the first Gaarde-Morton Junior Faculty Awards, created with a generous gift from Richard "Joe" Morton '50 and Joy Gaarde-Morton, honorary alumna. Mackler will apply the $1,000 award toward a Foundations of Liberal Arts Education course; Teague will use the award to develop an interdisciplinary course in chemistry related to environmental studies.
Former music professor Robert Thayer (1958-72) is dean of the Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. He previ ously served interim positions in music administration at DePauw University (2001-02) and the University of Connecticut (2003-05), after retiring as dean of the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University.