Four Women Appointed to the Faculty of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois

The Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois has appointed seven new members to its permanent faculty. CAS professors are selected based on their outstanding scholarship, and the appointments are one of the highest forms of campus recognition at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Four of the new CAS professors are women.

Here are brief biographies of the four women who are new CAS professors.

Sharon M. Donovan is a professor of food science and human nutrition. She is also the director of the new Personalized Nutrition Initiative at the university. Her lab conducts research in pediatric nutrition, childhood obesity, and picky eating by children. She is a member of the National Academy of Medicine. Dr. Donovan holds a bachelor’s degree and a Ph.D. in nutrition from the University of California, Davis. She joined the faculty at the University of Illinois in 1991.

Harriet Murav is a professor of Slavic languages and literatures. Her research focuses on Russian and Yiddish literature. She is the author of five books including Music From a Speeding Train: Jewish Literature in Post-Revolution Russia (Stanford University Press, 2011) Also, she is the editor of Slavic Review. Dr. Murav holds a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Cynthia Oliver is a professor of dance and associate vice chancellor for research in the humanities, arts, and related fields. Her work is a mélange of dance theater and spoken word, incorporating textures of Caribbean performance with African and American sensibilities. She joined the dance faculty at the university in August 2000. Dr. Oliver is the author of Queen of the Virgins: Pageantry and Black Womanhood in the Caribbean (University Press of Mississippi, 2009). She holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University.

Nancy Sottos is the Donald B. Willet Professor of Engineering and chair of the department of materials science and engineering and the Beckman Institute at the university. Dr. Sottos started her career at Illinois in 1991 after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. Her research interests include self-healing polymers and advanced composites, mechanochemically active polymers, tailored interfaces and novel materials for energy storage.

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