Three Women Scholars Appointed to Endowed Chairs at State Universities

Laura Hedin is the new holder of the Morgridge Endowed Chair in the College of Education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Hedin, who joined the faculty in 2007 is a professor of special education and has been serving as chair of the department of special and early education at the university. She began her teaching career as a paraprofessional supporting computer-based reading and writing programs for kindergarten and first-grade students. She later taught middle school science, social studies, and language arts for 10 years.

Dr. Hedin earned a bachelor’s degree, a master’s degree in education, and a Ph.D. in special education from the University of Illinois.

Melba M. Crawford was named the Nancy Uridil and Frank Bosseu Distinguished Professor in Civil Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She also serves as the director of the Laboratory for Applications of Remote Sensing and is a member of Purdue’s Digital Forestry interdisciplinary team.

Dr. Crawford holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. She earned a Ph.D. at Ohio State University.

Julie M. Riley was named to the Hal Reed Black, M.D., Chair in Urology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. Dr. Riley, who joined the university’s faculty in 2021, serves as professor and vice chair of the department of urology. She is also the quality director for surgical services and the director of the Urology Residency Program. Earlier, Dr. Riley worked at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where she was the executive surgeon leader of surgical services.

Dr. Riley received her medical doctorate from Saint Louis University School of Medicine. She completed her residency in urology at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

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