Barbara Gershen


Name: Barbara Gershen.

Position: Program manager in the Program in the Study of Women and Gender. Assisting the director in the day-to-day running of the office. Working with undergraduates and advising them on the requirements needed for completion of the certificate program. Organizing lectures, seminars, colloquia and conferences.

Quote: "Working with students and faculty is such a joy to me. And because of the wonderful nature of an interdisciplinary program, I am in touch with faculty, students and staff from all over the campus."

Other interests: Practicing yoga. Reading fiction and biographies. Spending time with her husband, Jonathan.

Staff retirements


Effective Jan. 1: in mechanical and aerospace engineering, academic support staff member Elizabeth Adam, after 34 years; in African-American studies, office support staff member Hattie Black, after 52 years; in electrical engineering, department manager Carol Desmond, after 27 years; in the utility plant, assistant manager Thomas Horvath, after 40 years; in molecular biology, animal technician Chris Karras, after 10 years; in administrative information services, programmer Fred Lacher, after 26 years; in housing, office support staff member Geraldine Reed, after 35 years; in the paint shop, painter Edwin Smith, after 17 years.

Effective Feb. 1: in building services, janitor Hubert Dophin, after 16 years; in planned giving, associate director Sue Hartshorn, after 12 years; in the plasma physics lab, human resources head Steven Iverson, after 26 years; in the plasma physics lab, principal managing engineer David O'Neill, after 23 years.



David Gabai, a professor of mathematics, has been awarded the 2004 Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry. The prize, one of the highest distinctions for work in geometry, is presented every three years by the American Mathematical Society.

Gabai was honored for his work in geometric topology, particularly the topology of three-dimensional manifolds. "For the last 20 years, Gabai has been one of the leading figures in this field. He has led many of the main avenues of development," the award citation said.

Gabai, who joined the Department of Mathematics in 2001, earned a Ph.D. in mathematics from Princeton in 1980.

The American Geophysical Union has awarded its 2004 Macelwane Medal to geoscientist Daniel Sigman for his pioneering work in understanding the role of nitrogen in oceans.

The award, established in 1961, recognizes "significant contributions to the geophysical sciences by an outstanding young scientist." It is the first time the award has been given to a Princeton faculty member. Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, professor of civil and environmental engineering, received the award in 1977 while at the Universidad Simón Bolívar.

Sigman, assistant professor of geosciences, came to Princeton in 1998 as a Harry Hess Postdoctoral Fellow and joined the faculty in 2000. He has developed methods for analyzing isotopes of nitrogen as a way to understand how that element cycles through the oceans and biological organisms within the oceans. He has used the measurements to help show how this cycle has changed through history.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has appointed biologist Virginia Zakian to a four-year term on its National Advisory General Medical Sciences Council.

The council is composed of leaders in the biological and medical sciences, education, health care and public affairs. Council members review grant applications and provide policy advice to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, which is part of the National Institutes of Health. The institute funds basic research and research training in the biomedical sciences.

Zakian, who is the Harry C. Wiess Professor in the Life Sciences and professor of molecular biology, studies the structure and replication of chromosomes. She joined the Princeton faculty in 1995.

Deborah Blanks, associate dean of religious life, has been elected president of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA).

ACURA is a national collegium of deans of religious life, chaplains and directors of religious affairs, and currently includes 40 institutions of higher education. The role of religion within the academy is the central focus of this ecumenical and interfaith organization.

Blanks served as a U.S. Navy chaplain for 10 years before becoming assistant chaplain at Brown University in 1994. She joined the Princeton staff in 1997. A graduate of Rutgers University (Douglass College), she earned a master of divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta and a master of theology degree from Princeton Theological Seminary. She is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.


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