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OU Names Two Senior Associate Vice Presidents for Research, Partnerships

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September 18, 2020

OU Names Two Senior Associate Vice Presidents for Research, Partnerships

NORMAN, OKLA. – Following the recommendations of an internal search committee, the University of Oklahoma has named two senior associate vice presidents for research and partnerships. Janet Ward, the Brammer Presidential Professor of History and the founding director of the OU Arts and Humanities Forum, joined the Office of the Vice President for research and Partnerships on Sept. 1. John Antonio, who previously served as interim dean for the Gallogly College of Engineering, will join the OVPRP following the execution of a transition plan with the GCoE. Antonio currently holds the Howard and Suzanne Kauffmann Chair and is a professor of computer science.

Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for research and partnerships, said “Janet builds purposeful collaborative and transnational partnerships across multiple fields of study and John has proven leadership in identifying and developing strategic opportunities for faculty and students in the realm of high-impact transdisciplinary research and development. Together, they will bring unparalleled expertise to strengthen OU research to the benefit of the state, nation and world.”

Janet Ward
Janet Ward

In her work with the Arts and Humanities Forum, Ward helped develop research opportunities for faculty and graduate students, with a particular emphasis on community-focused events. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she is co-organizing a “Humanity and Health” webinar series that exemplifies how OU research makes meaningful contributions in the public realm. She will also serve as the president of the German Studies Association during 2021 and 2022.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to contribute to the nurturing of research convergence and collaboration across OU’s departments and colleges and with external partners,” Ward said. “The ongoing research, scholarship and creative activity of OU’s wide-ranging areas of excellence provide a strong set of foundations for further building our national and global reputation.”

After joining OU in 2011 as professor of history, Ward served as a faculty fellow for humanities and social sciences research in the College of Arts and Sciences. Previously, Ward was associate professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she also served as the director of interdisciplinary programs.

Ward is a transdisciplinary scholar of urban studies, visual culture and European cultural history and memory. She has received fellowships and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright, German Academic Exchange Service, Getty Research Institute, National Endowment for the Humanities, Summer Institute for Israel Studies and U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. 

She is completing her current book, “Sites of Holocaust Memory,” for Bloomsbury Academic. She has authored two other monographs, “Post-Wall Berlin: Borders, Space and Identity” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and “Weimar Surfaces: Urban Visual Culture in 1920s Germany” (University of California Press, 2001), as well as 35 peer-reviewed essays and articles. She is the co-editor of four additional books, with a fifth underway on “Fascism in America,” as well as journal special issues on the Oklahoma City bombing and on confronting racial hatred.

John Antonio
John Antonio

Prior to serving as interim dean, Antonio was the senior associate dean for the GCoE’s research portfolio, graduate programs and faculty development. Antonio has also served as the director for computer science; in that role, he oversaw a rapid growth in the size of the school’s faculty and research productivity.

“I am excited about working within the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships and in partnership with colleges, departments and other organizations across campus to help create opportunities and environments that support faculty in pursuing their endeavors and creative ambitions,” Antonio said.

“I am particularly interested in helping to form collaborations aimed at transdisciplinary and convergence research to tackle societies’ most challenging problems and I look forward to providing leadership in furthering the development and implementation of the OU Norman research strategic framework and plan, in support of OU’s Lead On Strategic Plan.

Antonio earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University. After graduation, he served as a faculty member at Purdue University and Texas Tech University before joining OU as professor and director of computer science.

Antonio is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and member of the Association of Computing Machinery and American Society for Engineering Education. He has been active in professional service including serving five years as the associate editor and member of the editorial board for the IEEE Transactions on Computers.

Recently, he served as the program chair (2019) and general chair (2020) for 28th and 29th Heterogeneity in Computing Workshops, sponsored by the IEEE. He has been an investigator for a number of funded research projects, with contract awards totaling over $20 million. He holds two U.S. patents and has published over 100 articles, book chapters and reports, including 83 peer-reviewed articles. Several defense agencies have supported his research, including Rome Laboratory, Air Force Research Laboratory; Navy Research and Development; Department of Defense, Defense Intelligence Agency; and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Antonio has also received grants and contracts from the industry sector, including from Boeing and RiskMetrics Group Inc. From 2011 to 2013, he was on leave from OU and worked for MSCI Inc. where he led a global team chartered with optimizing the performance and stability of the company’s massively parallel production computing platform.