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UTD’s Heelis and Sherry Appointed As Cecil and Ida Green Honors Chairs in Physics and Chemistry, Respectively

RICHARDSON, Texas (Jan. 31, 2002) - Drs. Roderick “Rod” Heelis, a nationally recognized leader in space physics research, and A. Dean Sherry, the recipient of numerous distinguished university and regional awards, have been appointed as Cecil and Ida Green Honors Chairs in Physics and Chemistry, respectively, at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD).

Heelis is director of UTD’s William B. Hansen Center of Space Science and a long-time member of the university’s physics faculty, and Sherry is a professor of chemistry at UTD and a professor of radiology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Appointments of faculty members to named and endowed chairs and professorships are made in recognition of extraordinary professional excellence and achievement. In addition to the honor attached to such recognition, the holders of these appointments receive special budgets for the support of their research that augment the general level of university support for such faculty activities. In the case of the Green Honors Chairs, these funds are derived from an endowment created in 1973 by Cecil and Ida Green, who, along with Eugene and Margaret McDermott and Erik and Margaret Jonsson, were the founders of The University of Texas at Dallas.

UTD Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Hobson Wildenthal said Heelis’ and Sherry’s appointments were well deserved. “Dr. Heelis and Dr. Sherry have contributed significantly to UTD - and to the scientific community - through their vigorous research and subsequent discoveries,” he said.

About Heelis

Heelis serves as chair of UTD’s Physics Department as well as director of the Hanson Center for Space Sciences. He also is as a graduate advisor for students working on observational and modeling efforts devoted to various aspects of ionospheric electrodynamics and teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in electromagnetic waves, as well as graduate courses in ionospheric electrodynamics, space science and space flight instrumentation.

Heelis joined UTD’s Center for Space Sciences in 1973, after graduating from the University of Sheffield with a Ph.D. in applied and computational mathematics.

Outside UTD, Heelis serves as principal investigator for grant and contract research sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the National Science Foundation and the Republic of China and has published more than 140 articles and presented numerous papers at national and international meetings.

About Sherry

Sherry is a professor of chemistry at UTD, where his research group develops novel applications of lanthanide complexes as molecular imaging agents, and is a professor of radiology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, where he specializes in research related to applications of 13C metabolic tracers.

Sherry has a long history with UTD. He began his career at the university in 1972 after completing a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at New Mexico State University. He joined UTD as the fourth member of the chemistry faculty and was promoted to professor in 1982. He later served as the department chair from 1979 to 1990.

In 1990, Sherry won the Wilfred T. Doherty Award from the Dallas-Fort Worth division of the American Chemical Society. In 1994, he received the Chancellor’s Outstanding Teaching Award at UTD.

Sherry has published more than 200 peer-reviewed research articles, and his research has been funded by a variety of federal agencies, private companies and foundations. He received a Ph.D. in physical/inorganic chemistry from Kansas State University.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor , enrolls more than 7,000 undergraduate and 5,000 graduate students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at

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August 15, 2002