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Office of the President

May 2, 2018 – Two professors named Lantis Endowed University Chairs

To: Campus Community

From: President Gayle E. Hutchinson

I am pleased to announce the selection of biological science professor Amanda Banet and mathematics professor Sergei Fomin as this year’s Lantis Endowed University Chairs. Their selection follows a very competitive process that featured 28 outstanding faculty applications this year.

Professor David Lantis was a faculty member of the Department of Geography who understood that private giving would help to enrich the teaching and learning environment of the University. Professor Lantis and his wife, Helen, donated $2 million to endow a University chair in their name, which allows for the annual funding of two University chairs. Past recipients of the Lantis University Chair include David Colson, Michelle Neyman Morris, Stephen Lewis, Greg Kallio, Tracy Butts, Kate Transchel, Lori Beth Way, Byron Wolfe, Rachel Teasdale, Georgia Fox, Michael Ennis, Susan Roll, Eric Bartelink and Donald Miller.

Provost Debra Larson and I thank the Lantis University Chairs Selection Committee, chaired by Interim Dean of Graduate Studies Sharon Barrios and Interim Dean of Undergraduate Education Kate McCarthy, for its time and expertise in choosing the recipients for this prestigious honor. Professors Banet and Fomin each will receive a $40,000 award to advance their research and student-centered projects.

Banet and her students are currently working with the United States Bureau of Reclamation on a side channel project for juvenile salmon. She will use the Lantis funding on similar work, examining the predation of juvenile salmon and addressing more specific questions, such as which species prey on juvenile salmon, do man-made structures like water diversion facilities influence predation rates, and does predation risk vary depending on season or water flow? The project’s major goal is to help environmental managers make scientifically sound management decisions.

With the help of a handful of undergraduate students, Fomin’s research will focus on tsunami modeling, within two major projects: “Mathematical Modeling of Contaminant Transport in Complex Media” and “Mathematical Modeling of Tsunami Wave Dynamics.” Building on past research, Fomin and his team of students will utilize the Lantis funds to continue his research and to travel to conferences to present the results, and to visit Tohoku University in Japan to explore future collaboration within both projects.

Please join me in congratulating these two very worthy recipients.