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McKnight Presidential Fellows

The McKnight Presidential Fellows Program is a three-year award given to exceptional faculty who have recently been considered for tenure and promotion to associate professor, to recognize their accomplishments and support their ongoing research and scholarship.  Candidates are considered for these awards as part of the regular promotion and tenure review process each year.

2018-19 to 2020-21


Daheia J. Barr-AndersonDaheia J. Barr-Anderson
College of Education & Human Development

Daheia Barr-Anderson's research focuses on physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and obesity prevention in children and adolescents, especially African-American females. Her research examines multi-level factors that influence physical activity among youth and is testing the efficacy of community- and family-based interventions designed to increase physical activity and improve nutrition among sedentary individuals. Professor Barr-Anderson is also exploring how factors within the home activity and food environments interact with individual and interpersonal factors to contribute to overweight and obesity in children, adolescents, and their families.

Gordon BurtchGordon Burtch
Information & Decision Sciences
Carlson School of Management

Gordon Burtch does pioneering work on the topic of online crowdfunding. His research explores and quantifies the influence and economic impact of social mechanisms on individual participation in, and contributions toward, online venues. His work has explored the antecedents and economic consequences of peer influence and individual anonymity amongst contributors, as well as the impact of supplying users with website anonymity features. His work on user-generated content (UGC) has explored the impacts of platform policy and design interventions that interact with social mechanisms, like social norms and social presence, to influence the volume and characteristics of UGC, such as online reviews.

David J. FlanniganDavid J. Flannigan
Chemical Engineering & Materials Science
College of Science & Engineering

David Flannigan is the leading inventor and pioneer of time-resolved, ultrafast electron microscopy (UEM), a technique that is revolutionizing our understanding of the atomic scale structure of materials. One of his important breakthroughs is the direct imaging of lattice phonons (vibrations) in semiconductors. Phonons are responsible for acoustic and thermal energy transport in materials. Flannigan’s UEM allows them to be visualized for the first time, opening up the possibility of directly probing how nanoscopic defects such as dislocations, inclusions, and grain boundaries – which are ubiquitous in real materials – impact the flow of energy.

Michael GallopeMichael Gallope
Cultural Studies & Comparative Literature
College of Liberal Arts

Michael Gallope has established a distinguished record of academic achievement for his work in the areas of music, philosophy, and the cultural history of the avant-garde. Professor Gallope’s recent book, Deep Refrains: Music, Philosophy, and the Ineffable (2017), has been described as an “impressive tour de force” and as reframing “music's contribution to critical discourse and humanistic inquiry.” By examining modern European philosophers’ writings on music in a way that spans traditional boundaries, Professor Gallope’s work elucidates the surprising centrality of music and sound to twentieth-century critiques of modern life.

William C. K. PomerantzWilliam C. K. Pomerantz
College of Science & Engineering

Will Pomerantz’s research addresses a longstanding question in chemical biology, which is whether protein-protein interactions (PPIs), which play an essential part in biological processes and human disease, can be affected by drugs.  His research program seeks to understand the details of PPIs, with a focus on improving our knowledge of macromolecular recognition events. Professor Pomerantz uses a multi-pronged approach to inhibit PPIs and develop new synthetic molecules to both image and disrupt harmful PPIs, with applications to the treatment of cancer.


2017-18 to 2019-20

Rafael Fernandes
Physics & Astronomy, CSE
John R. Fieberg
Fisheries, Wildlife & Conservation Biology/CFANS
Tania Mitchell
Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development/CEHD
Francis X. Shen
Law/Law School
Chun Wang


2009-10 to 2011-12

Jacques Finlay Ecology, Evolution & Behavior/CBS
Timothy Griffin
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology & Biophysics/CBS
Nathan Kuncel
Frances Vavrus
Organizational Leadership, Policy & Development/CEHD
Hui Zou


2008-09 to 2010-11

Michael Gaudio Art History/CLA
Joseph Gaugler Nursing
Lee Penn Chemistry/IT
Kathleen Vohs Marketing & Logistics Management/CSOM
Yuhong Xiang Psychology/CLA


2007-08 to 2009-10

Wilma Koutstaal Psychology/CLA
Chris Leighton Chemical Engineering & Materials Science/IT
J. Michael Oakes Epidemiology & Community Health/Public Health
Marco Peloso Physics & Astronomy/IT
Andrew Scheil English/CLA


2006-07 to 2008-09

Ezra Miller Mathematics/IT
Ben Munson Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences/CLA
Beth Stadler Electrical & Computer Engineering/IT
Kathleen Thomas Institute of Child Development/CEHD
David Treuer English/CLA
George Weiblen Plant Biology/CBS


2005-06 to 2007-08

Michael Goldman Sociology/CLA
Krishnan Mahesh Aerospace Engineering/IT
Fernando Porte-Agel Civil Engineering/IT
Claudia Schmidt-Dannert Biology, Molecular Biology, & Biophysics/CBS
Theodore Schoen Music/UMD


2004-05 to 2006-07

Paulo Kufiji Neuroscience/Medical School
Erika Lee History/CLA
Tian-jun Li Mathematics/IT
Melanie Wall Biostatistics/Public Health


2003-04 to 2005-06

Paul Crowell Physics & Astronomy /IT
Robert Krueger Psychology/CLA
Kariuki Njenga Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences/VetMed
Yong-Zhong Quian Physics & Astronomy/IT
Kirt Wilson Communication Studies/CLA


2001-02 to 2003-04

Cathy Carlson Veterinary Population Medicine/VetMed
Wei Chen Cancer Center/AHC
Mats Heimdahl Computer Science /IT
Richa Nagar Women's Studies /CLA
Chris Uggen Sociology/CLA