Iowa State awards University Professorships to three professors

Matthew Rezab

Iowa State has awarded three faculty members — Steven Freeman, Gloria Jones-Johnson and Arvid Osterberg — University Professorships beginning in the 2014-15 academic year.

The recipients will be honored Sept. 22 at the annual faculty and staff award ceremony.

The University Professorship recognizes faculty whose professional work has focused on creating positive, significant institutional change at Iowa State.

Recipients were originally nominated by department colleagues before a lengthy university review process, including letters of support from experts in the field along with input from the Faculty Senate and past recipients of the award.

“The University Professor award, bestowed by President [Steven] Leath, is among the very top honors an Iowa State faculty member can receive,” said Jonathan Wickert, senior vice president and provost.

Freeman, professor of agriculture and biosystems engineering, focuses on agricultural workplace safety and improving the process and environment of learning.

“For me, it’s about being able to make a difference to a larger number of people,” Freeman said. “It’s very rewarding, [students] are going to protect a whole lot people than I could ever do alone.” 

Jones-Johnson, professor of sociology, has been the director of graduate education for the department of sociology since 2004.

“[The award] chronicles a crescendo in my career and highlights the contributions I’ve made across the university,” Jones-Johnson said.

Jones-Johnson’s research focuses on how macro-level forces in society impact the individual. Self-emloyment, criminality and violence in society have all been focuses of her career.

“It’s a great honor because it allows you to show and appreciate the multiple impacts [you] have had over a period of time,” said Jones-Johnson, who began her career at Iowa State in 1986.

Osterberg, professor of architecture, is conducting research in accessibility for Facilities Planning and Management at Iowa State. He has been a professor of architecture for 16 years.

Osterberg’s research interests include safety issues, design standards, code compliance and space usage.

He is nationally recognized as an expert on the design standards and requirements of the Americans with Disabilities act and has completed 25 conversion assessments of museums and art centers.

Osterberg has written or co-written five books about the discipline of design in his career.

In addition to the recognition, each recipient will receive a $6,000 raise to his or her base salaries.