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Nancy Webber
Office of the Provost

Cyndi Connelley-Eskine
Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs

Last modified: Monday, March 22, 2010

Tracy M. Sonneborn Award and Provost Professors announced

March 22, 2010

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington Provost Karen Hanson and Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs Tom Gieryn have announced that three Indiana University Bloomington professors will receive prestigious university awards.

Carmen Helena Téllez, professor, Jacobs School of Music, and director, Graduate Choral Studies and the Latin American Music Center, as well as the artistic director, Contemporary Vocal Ensemble, will receive the 2010 Tracy M. Sonneborn Award. Sara C. Pryor, professor and director, Atmospheric Science Program, Department of Geography and the Center for Research in Environmental Science; and Romualdo de Souza, professor, Department of Chemistry, will be named Provost Professors.

"I offer heartfelt congratulations to professors Téllez, Pryor and deSouza," said Hanson. "All three have made enormous contributions to their fields and to national and global conversations that have been informed by their artistic and scholarly pursuits and their commitment to higher education. Indiana University is proud of these outstanding faculty members and their service to students, the campus and the community."

"These three faculty members were selected because they are dedicated to bringing the fruits of their research and creative activity to their students," Gieryn said. "We are proud to recognize colleagues who combine excellence in research and teaching, demonstrating once again that these two valued pursuits need not compete with each other."

Carmen Helena Téllez

Téllez has been referred to by her peers as a "brilliant visionary" whose work as a conductor, scholar and interdisciplinary artist reflects a 'forward-looking perspective in her performances, teaching, leadership and goals for the art she produces,'" describes Jan Harrington, Chancellor's Professor Emeritus of Music, IU Jacobs School of Music.

Composer-in residence Cary Boyce, of the Aguavá New Music Studio of which Tellez is co-founder and music director, explains how in today's "age of fast communications, shifting artistic paradigms, evolving media and changing business models," that Téllez's approach to music and her expertise embrace and capitalize on this global change. Her innovative leadership of the IU Latin American Music Center has made it a beacon of Latin American music, as well as the Latin American Popular Music Ensemble.

"Her history of performance is not only local to the IU campus and the Bloomington community, but reaches to the most important cultural centers in North and South America, Europe, and Asia," said David Villanueva, administrative director of the Choral Conducting Department of the Jacobs School of Music. "She has blazed significant trails in performance practice, which have been emulated by others and are now the standard for contemporary music programming."

Téllez has been instrumental in numerous world premier performances at IU and through her entrepreneurial work. A sampling of her work includes the performances of the complete version of Ani Ma'amin by Chicago composer and Pulitzer winner Shulamit Ran; Unicamente la verdad / Only the Truth, a video-opera by Mexican composer Gabriela Ortiz; Music for Rollins Chapel, a site-specific work by American composer Eric Richards with Aguavá New Music Studio; Sadako for chorus, soloists and ensemble by Kevin James; and Sun-Dogs, a co-commissioned new work by Scottish composer James MacMillan. She has sought to involve students with parallel interests in new music and new forms of presentation in all her projects.

As a scholar and conductor she has won many grants and awards from the U.S.-Mexico Fund for Culture, Arts International (a consortium of the Rockefeller Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trust and the National Endowment for the Arts), the Lilly Foundation New Frontiers Award, The Indiana Arts Commission, and the U.S. Information Agency. She has been a board member of the American Composers Forum, and has served as an adjudicator for the Tomas Luis deVictoria and Otto Mayer Serra Prizes. She also serves as Series Editor for Latin American Music Genres for Oxford University Press.

Colleague Marianne Kielian-Gilbert, professor from the Jacobs School of Music, sums up Téllez as, "Her creative artistry is superb, and in her musical work and visions she is a pioneer, forging new connections between music performance, conducting, composition, teaching and scholarship."

Learn more about Téllez at

Sara C. Pryor

Pryor's research focuses on two major areas: (1) physical climatology, specifically climate change and variability, and impacts on the energy and agricultural sectors; and (2) atmospheric chemistry and biogeochemical cycling with the atmosphere-surface exchange of reactive gases and particles. In addition to her position at IU, she is also a visiting distinguished professor at the Atmospheric Environment Institute at the University of Aarhus in Denmark, and a visiting senior scientist with the Department of Wind Energy and Atmospheric Physics at the Risø National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Denmark.

Current projects involve the study of particle nucleation events in the Ohio River Valley; development of 21st century precipitation scenarios using probabilistic downscaling techniques; and the development and evaluation of downscaling techniques for near-surface wind climates. Her work is funded with support from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, Nordic Energy Research, and the European Union, among others.

Pryor has published 89 articles in internationally renowned journals, including in Tellus, Journal of Geophysical Research--Atmospheres, Climate Dynamics, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews and Geophysical Research Letters. Last year she edited the book Understanding climate change: Climate variability, predictability and change in the Midwestern U.S.

She is contributing author to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources and Climate Change Mitigation (SRREN) (Chapter 'Wind Energy'), editor for the foremost atmospheric science journal--the Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, and is currently engaged by the International Atomic Energy Authority (IAEA) for her research on links between climate change, extreme events and critical energy infrastructure. Pryor has served on numerous advisory panels for the National Science Foundation, Department of Defense and European Union.

Pryor is a current fellow of the Academic Leadership Program and past recipient of the IU Presidents Award in recognition of outstanding teaching, research and service. Pryor also holds the role of director of Graduate Studies in the Department of Geography, serves as chair of the advisory board of the Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, and serves as chair of the Midwest Assessment Group for Investigations of Climate.

Professor Scott Robeson, chair of the Department of Geography states that "she is an extraordinary professor who is among the most productive research scientists . . . she maintains the highest level of commitment to instruction, mentoring and service. She devotes an enormous amount of time, energy and vitality into her instruction and mentoring while being a productive and successful scholar."

Learn more about Pryor at

Romualdo de Souza

Romualdo de Souza

Photo by Tyagan Miller

Romualdo de Souza

De Souza is recognized by colleagues as bringing insight, ambition and energy to his area of science. His specialization is the field of nuclear reaction dynamics. He investigates nuclear reactions between heavy nuclei, from incident energies just above the Coulomb barrier to several hundred MeV/nucleon. He has made major contributions to the topic of strongly damped nuclear reactions, ternary fission and multi-fragmentation. His work on multi-fragmentation is widely recognized as some of the seminal work in this area.

He is an acknowledged leader in his field having authored 106 publications in leading journals, such as Physical Review Letters and Physical Review. He has also presented at numerous prestigious national and international meetings, and has organized both national meetings and international symposia. In 1994 he was designated an A.P. Sloan Fellow and subsequently a Gill Fellow. For his contributions to nuclear chemistry, he was awarded the 2008 Glenn T. Seaborg award by the American Chemical Society. This award, the highest award in his field of research, indicates both national and international recognition of his accomplishments.

De Souza is a prolific instrument builder who has developed cutting-edge detector arrays. As remarked by Professor James Reilly, chair of the IU Department of Chemistry. "He [de Souza] is known for not only developing some of the best detectors in this field but for then bringing them to bear on the most relevant questions. The detectors he has built have also had a significant impact on the research pursued by other groups and continue to enable new research directions."

De Souza's passion and effectiveness in teaching have been honored by designating him as a recipient of the IU Trustees' Teaching Award and the President's Award, as well as an SBC/Ameritech Fellow. These awards are reflective of his strong advocacy of the value of education and recognize in part his innovative creation of a Web-based learning environment tool called Computer Assisted Learning Module or CALM ( in 1996. This tool utilizes a Socratic approach to teach students by algorithmically generating and presenting individualized chemistry questions to students. CALM has been used by IU Bloomington freshmen chemistry students so successfully that its use has been expanded to high school students. The positive impact of this teaching aid has been experienced by 148 teachers, in 210 schools, across 17 different states.

Learn more about de Souza at or through his Many-Body Nuclear Dynamics Group at

About the Sonneborn and Provost Professors awards
The Sonneborn award was established in 1985 by the Dean of the Faculties office to honor an IU professor who has achieved distinction as a teacher and as a scholar or artist. The award is named for the late Tracy M. Sonneborn, an IU biologist who distinguished himself in both teaching and research. Sonneborn came to Indiana University in 1939 and became internationally-known for his biological studies specializing in genetics as one of three leading geneticists in the country at the time. Sonneborn was a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society, and was one of the first three Indiana University faculty members to be granted the title Distinguished Professor.

The Provost Professorship recognizes faculty who have achieved local, national and international distinction in both teaching and research. The awards have been known since their creation in 1995 as Chancellor's Professors. The change in name reflects an administrative reorganization on the Bloomington campus in 2008. These awards are supported by the generosity of IU Alumni, and over the years only 35 faculty members have earned the title.

For more information about the lecture or the awards, contact Cyndi Connelley-Eskine, Office for Faculty and Academic Affairs, at or 812-855-9973. For an application on the Provost Professors or Tracy M. Sonneborn awards, see