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Four UW–Madison faculty honored with Hilldale Awards

March 28, 2007

Four faculty members have received the 2007 Hilldale Awards, which annually recognize excellence in teaching, research and service.

The awards honor professors in biological sciences, physical sciences, social studies, and arts and humanities.

The Hilldale Fund, which receives income from the operation of the Hilldale Shopping Center, makes the awards possible.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Klaus Berghahn, professor of German. Upon joining the university faculty in 1967, Berghahn quickly became one of the department’s rising stars. He has received numerous awards from the university throughout his career, including a Romnes fellowship, a Mid-Career Award and a Weinstein-Bascom Professorship in Jewish Studies.

    At the beginning of his career, Berghahn specialized in the 18th century, focusing on Enlightenment aesthetics and on German writer-thinkers Goethe and Schiller. Berghahn later expanded his academic focus into the relation of German-Jewish thinkers to German philosophy and the history of anti-Semitism, which later led him to also focus on interdisciplinary German studies. This shift led to Berghahn’s founding and directorship of the Center for German and European Studies.

    Berghahn also has served the university, participating in the Graduate Research Committee, the Graduate School Executive Committee and the UW Senate, and acting as department chair from 1994–97.

    Berghahn studied German literature, history and philosophy at the University of Cologne, and he also attended the University of Munster, where he earned his doctorate.

  • Robert Enright, professor of educational psychology. Enright’s research focus is the psychology of forgiveness, a field of study that didn’t exist before he began his work.

    Enright ran a weekly seminar for 17 years with students and colleagues to develop basic research questions for the field, eventually constructing a model of forgiveness. A result of Enright’s teaching was his receipt of the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1987 and the Wisconsin Student Association Teaching Award in 1991. Enright also has advised more than 40 students in the doctoral program.

    As one of the first researchers on the subject, Enright has had many “firsts” within the psychology of forgiveness, publishing the first social scientific journal article on person-to-person forgiveness and the first cross-cultural studies of interpersonal forgiveness, among many others. He also discovered forgiveness therapy, in which he and colleagues have proven that as people learn to forgive offenders for serious injustices, they reduce substantially in level of anger, psychological depression and anxiety.

    Enright earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology at Westfield State College and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

  • Perry Frey, professor of biochemistry. Frey is a leading mechanistic enzymologist and accomplished bioorganic chemist. He has directed one of the most productive labs in the field for more than 30 years, with work addressing a range of issues in enzyme catalysis, including the chemical mechanisms of cofactor-mediated transformations, the stereochemical aspects of phosphoryl group transfer reactions and the role of “short-strong” hydrogen bonds in catalysis.

    Frey’s work on phosphorothioates has led to an understanding of the bond orders between phosphorus and oxygen or sulfur in the molecules, and with many other efforts, Frey’s research has expanded knowledge of phosphate and thiophosphate chemistry, biochemistry and enzymology.

    Frey has received numerous awards for his research, including a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation professorship, a Humboldt Fellowship, the Repligen Award from the American Chemical Society and a series of distinguished lectureships. Frey also was elected to the National Academy of Science in 1998 and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

    Frey earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University.

  • Paul Sondel, a professor in the departments of Pediatrics, Human Oncology and Genetics. Sondel’s research focuses on the hypothesis that the immune system can have a beneficial impact on treating cancer. His most recent studies involve the preclinical and clinical development of a humanized antibody that recognizes a tumor antigen that is linked to human recombinant IL-2, a fusion protein now in clinical trials at the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center.

    Sondel joined the UW–Madison faculty in 1980, and since 1990 has served as head of the Division of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology. He also leads the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Program/Working Group in Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, and this spring was appointed associate director for translational research at the center.

    In the research setting, Sondel has mentored 40 full-time graduate students or postdoctoral trainees in his laboratory.

    Sondel earned his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. from UW–Madison, and earned his medical degree from Harvard Medical School.