CAPE award recognizes six University staff members

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

The Chancellor’s Academic Professional Excellence awards, approved by Chancellor Robert Jones, recognized six academic authorities Thursday for their contributions to the University.

The recipients will receive cash awards of $2,000 and a $1,000 increase in their salaries, as well as an additional departmental reward of $1,000 for workplace improvements, according to a University press release.

Associate Director of Interdisciplinary Initiatives in the College of Engineering Irfan Ahmad was recognized for his leadership roles.

Ahmad said in an email he is very humbled to be receiving this award.

“I believe the highlight of my work, which has been, all along, a team effort, is creating [email protected] multidisciplinary network through the Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology,” he said.

Ahmad said he acknowledges all the support from those around him.

Principal Research Specialist in Agriculture Lowell Gentry was recognized for his investigative approaches in maximizing crop yields and solving agricultural conflicts.

Director of La Casa Cultural Latina Gioconda Guerra Perez was acknowledged for her inclusive appreciation for diversity and cross-cultural engagement.

Allyson Purpura, senior curator and curator of global African art at the Krannert Art Museum, was recognized for her implementation of public events and exhibition at the museum.

Clinical psychologist at the Division of Disability Resources and Educational Services Jonathan Thomas-Stagg was recognized for his several initiatives with the University’s DRES program, as well as for providing direct mental health and academic counseling for students in need.

Professor and Assistant Chair of Astronomy Bryan Dunne was awarded for his astronomy lectures.

“I am honored to have been nominated for the 2018 CAPE Award and humbled to be among the awardees,” Dunne said in an email.

He said he is most proud of his outreach work and teaching.

“I love to be in the observatory, showing students the wonders of the sky,” Dunne said. “It’s an amazing thing to share with others.”

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