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Last modified: Monday, April 23, 2012

Sonneborn Award recipient, Provost Professors named at IU Bloomington

April 23, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Richard B. Miller, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions, has been selected to receive the 2012 Tracy M. Sonneborn Award, which honors an Indiana University Bloomington faculty member who has achieved distinction as a teacher and a scholar.

Miller also has been named a Provost Professor along with two other IU Bloomington faculty members: Jerome Busemeyer, a professor in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences and in the Cognitive Science Program; and Daniel Perantoni, a professor in the brass department in the Jacobs School of Music.

Miller will deliver the annual Sonneborn Lecture in the fall 2012 semester. The award and lecture are named for the late Tracy M. Sonneborn, an IU biologist who became internationally known for his studies of genetics and also was highly regarded as a teacher.

"Professors Busemeyer, Miller and Perantoni have brought international distinction to Indiana University through their many accomplishments," said Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Lauren Robel. "They exemplify the broad range of excellence in research, scholarship, creativity and teaching that we enjoy at IU Bloomington. We are proud to have them as colleagues and look forward to celebrating their future achievements."

As the Sonneborn Award recipient, Miller will receive a $3,500 cash prize, and $1,000 will be awarded for the purpose of supporting the research or creative activity of one or more of his students. Provost Professors will carry the title for the remainder of their careers at Indiana University. Each will also be given a $2,500 award for each of the first three years and a $5,000 grant to be used on a project of their choice to demonstrate the ways in which teaching and research are mutually reinforcing.

The designation of Provost Professor recognizes faculty who have achieved local, national and international distinction in both teaching and research.

"The selection of Provost Professors recognizes faculty members who combine exemplary teaching with outstanding research and creative activity," added Thomas Gieryn, vice provost for faculty and academic affairs. "It's a great pleasure to honor these three professors and to thank them for their efforts on behalf of faculty colleagues, students and the university."

Richard B. Miller

Miller, Richard

Richard B. Miller

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Miller works in religious thought and ethics. His research examines the normative implications of Western religious belief and practice, ranging across controversies in religion, politics, war and peace, bioethics, and moral theory.

In 2010-12, Miller was principal investigator for "Virtuous Empathy: Scientific and Humanistic Perspectives," a two-year, multidisciplinary project funded with a $199,617 grant from the University of Chicago through an initiative supported by the John Templeton Foundation. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, along with four books: "Terror, Religion, and Liberal Thought," "Children, Ethics, and Modern Medicine," "Casuistry and Modern Ethics: A Poetics of Practical Reasoning" and "Interpretations of Conflict: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition."

"Professor Miller has been an outstanding member of IU's faculty for over 20 years," said Constance M. Furey, associate professor and associate chair of the Department of Religious Studies. "His exemplary record of research, teaching and service was recognized early on, when he received the Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 1989, and he has continued to do exceptional work in all three areas."

Miller is an adjunct instructor in the American Studies Program and an affiliate faculty member with the IU Center on Bioethics. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago and has taught at IU since 1985.

Jerome Busemeyer

Jerome Busemeyer

Jerome Busemeyer

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Busemeyer works in theories and studies of decision-making, with research that centers in psychology but extends into economics, business, marketing, political science, engineering, computer science and other areas. He is the author of more than 100 articles in leading peer-reviewed journals in several fields and books on decision-making and cognitive modeling. His research has been continuously funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

He also served for two years as the manager for the Cognition and Decision Program at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. He is a fellow of the Society for Experimental Psychology and a past editor of the Journal of Mathematical Psychology.

He is best known for his development of a model of decision-making known as Decision Field Theory. Together with James Townsend, Rudy Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at IU Bloomington, he advanced the field with a theory that is based on cognitive processing mechanisms that take into account the variability over time of human preferences. More recently he has been developing a new approach to decision-making based on the use of quantum dynamic and probabilistic systems.

Busemeyer came to IU Bloomington as a full professor in 1997. He has a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of South Carolina. As a teacher, he has trained many Ph.D. students and postdoctoral researchers, many of whom have gone on to high positions at leading research institutions.

"Jerry is the complete academic -- a superb scholar, teacher and mentor," said Richard Shiffrin and Linda Smith, Distinguished Professors in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Daniel Perantoni

Daniel Perantoni

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Perantoni is a tuba artist, teacher and solo recitalist, an innovator in a variety of genres including chamber music and jazz. He has appeared as the featured artist at Carnegie Hall, the Monterey Jazz Festival, the Spoleto Festival USA, the Adelaide Festival in Australia, the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada and the Montreux Brass Congress in Switzerland, and as a soloist throughout Japan.

He was a founding member of Summit Brass and a member of Symphonia, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet and the Matteson-Phillips Tubajazz Consort. He has produced numerous solo and chamber music CDs and was given the Lifetime Achievement Award by the executive board of TUBA (Tubists Universal Brotherhood Association). Along with Robert Tucci, he designed the "Perantucci" line of low brass instruments and mouthpieces.

Perantoni has degrees from the Eastman School of Music and Catholic University of America and has been an IU faculty member since 1994. He is highly regarded as a teacher, with his students holding prestigious positions in major performing ensembles and music schools around the world.

"The Perantoni studio is in high demand," said M. Dee Stewart, chair of the Brass Department at the Jacobs School of Music. "There are many students from outside of IU and even around the world who pass through our hallway just to get a word with 'Mr. P.'"

The Sonneborn Award was established in 1985 to honor Tracy M. Sonneborn, who joined the faculty in 1939, became one of the leading geneticists in the country and was one of the first three IU faculty members to be granted the title Distinguished Professor. The position of Provost Professor was created in 1995 and was originally called Chancellor's Professor; the name was changed in 2009.

A reception to honor Busemeyer, Miller and Perantoni will be scheduled in the fall 2012 semester.