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CMNS e-News September 2011

Vol. 1, No. 10
Please submit items to the editor, Mary Kearney.


In Memoriam

Professor E. G. K. (Ken) Lopez-Escobar (Mathematics) died on September 1, 2011. Lopez-Escobar worked in several areas of logic, including model theory and proof theory, and was especially interested in intuitionistic proof systems. He also had a deep interest in the history of mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in 1965 at the University of California, Berkeley, and came to Maryland in 1966 after a Moore instructorship at MIT.


ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture: Dr. Meg Urry, Israel Munson Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Chair of the Department of Physics and Director for the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Yale University
Topic: Women in Science: Why So Few?
Date and Time: October 5, 4:00pm-5:00pm, reception following.
Location: 2400 Computer & Space Science Building.

Many people agree there are too few women and minorities in science but disagree about why, and what to do about it. Fortunately, social science research has addressed this issue extensively. Urry will review some gender statistics in different STEM (science, engineering, math and technology) fields, highlighting differences in critical points along the career path. She then describes some of the social science experiments, especially those relating to unconscious bias, and shows how their results pertain to minority groups in science. Dr. Urry concludes with a set of steps for improving gender equity in STEM fields.

PRANGE Lecture: Daniel C. Tsui, Princeton University,
Topic: More is Indeed Different: An Example from Electron Physics in Semiconductors.
Date and Time: October 25, 2011, 4:00pm
Location: Room 1412 John Toll Physics Building

Nobel laureate Daniel C. Tsui of Princeton University has been named the 2011 recipient of the Richard E. Prange Prize and Lectureship in Condensed Matter Theory and Related Areas. Tsui was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in physics with Horst Stormer for experimental work in 1982 leading to the discovery of the fractional quantum Hall effect in semiconductors. The Prange Prize, established by the UMD Department of Physics and Condensed Matter Theory Center (CMTC), honors the late Professor Richard Prange, whose distinguished professorial career at Maryland spanned four decades (1961-2000).

Gene Ferrick ('84 alum) has been appointed the Director of Operations for the College, effective September 26. Gene has been a member of the Dean’s Office staff since 1997 and been employed at Maryland in some capacity since graduating in 1984. He has substantial knowledge of the College and campus, acted as the Equity administrator, taught UNIV 100, advised students, and helped organize events. As Director, Gene will be responsible for the overall operations of the College and will assist with advice and support for Dean Jayanth Banavar.

Honors and Awards

College Park Scholars held an Awards Ceremony on September 23, recognizing exceptional recent alumni of their various programs, and acknowledging students for achievements in both their own colleges and the Scholars community. The following CMNS undergraduate students were among those recognized:

BETH & JOHN PATTISON AWARD FOR CREATIVITY: Honors a scholar who has exhibited exceptional creativity and innovation in the arts, architecture, science, research or service that has had a positive impact on the community.
Adrian Francisco, Computer Science and Linguistics

NANCY & IRA SHAPIRO EXCELLENCE IN UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AWARD: Honors a Scholar who demonstrates excellence through a Discovery Undergraduate Research Project, involving active collaboration between a faculty mentor and the student and fulfilling the mission of Discovery.
Steffi Yen – Astronomy

COLLEGE PARK SCHOLARS OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD: Recognizes model scholars who have exhibited scholarly attitudes as well as excellence in academics, research and other scholarly activities:
Elaine Bylis, Biological Sciences: Physiology and Neurobiology
Sayi Lindeire, Biological Sciences: Physiology and Neurobiology
Fredrick Hindman, Chemistry
Dereck Paul, Biological Sciences: Physiology and Neurobiology and Music
Jason Wong, Mathematics and Environmental Economics
Austin Wood, Physics
Stephen Yu, Biochemistry

COLLEGE PARK SCHOLARS OUTSTANDING CITIZENSHIP AWARD: Recognizes students who have left a mark on their program by contributing significant amounts of time, effort and support to their Scholars community:
Bethany Schofield, Biological Sciences: Cell Biology and Genetics
Alexandra Stott, Computer Science and Psychology

CMNS Faculty and Staff will be recognized for their contributions to the University at the 28th Faculty and Staff Convocation being held on October 4, 3:00pm, in the Memorial Chapel:

    Fletcher Kinne, Department of Mathematics
    Avis Cohen, Department of Biology and ISR
    Lawrence Washington, Department of Mathematics
    Raman Sundrum, Physics
    Richard Walker, Department of Geology

Elisabeth Gantt (Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics Emeriti) was this year's recipient of the Phycological Society of America’s Award of Excellence for scholarly contributions in the field of phycology throughout her career. Gantt discovered the phycobilisome and is a leading researcher on both phycobilins and carotenoids. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a former President of both PSA and ASPB.

Katherine Manfred (Undergraduate Student, dual Chemistry and Physics major) who is doing research in the laboratory of Professor John Fourkas, has been named one of three finalists for Best Chemistry Student in the 2011 American SET (Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year) Awards, based on her work in the nonlinear spectroscopy of liquids. Manfred’s scholarship has been recognized with several awards including an ACS Analytical Chemistry Award and a 2010 scholarship by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation.

Jay Pujara, (Graduate Student, Computer Science) won a best paper award at the 8th Annual Collaboration, Electronic Messaging, Anti-Abuse and Spam Conference (CEAS 2011) for the paper Using Classifier Cascades for Scalable E-Mail Classification. The conference was held in Perth, Australia, September 1-2.

Joe Redish (Physics) has been selected to receive the International Commission of Physics Education (ICPE) Medal for 2012, only the fourth American to win the award in the past 20 years. This medal is awarded by the International Commission of Physics Education (IUPAP Commission C-14) "…to recognize outstanding contributions to physics teaching of a kind that transcends national boundaries. The ICPE medal recipient should have fulfilled two criteria: the contributions to physics education should have extended over a considerable number of years; and the contributions should be international in their scope and influence." Redish will receive the medal at the World Conference on Physics Education, Istanbul, July 2012.

Nicholas Sharp (Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Student, co-advised by Alice Mignerey and Bill McDonough, Geology), was selected as a presider of the "Young Investigators Research in Nuclear and Radiochemistry" session, in the Division of Nuclear Chemistry and Technology at the 242nd ACS National Meeting in Denver, August 28-September 1, 2011.

Steffi Yen (Astronomy Undergraduate has won the College Park Scholars program's 2011 Nancy and Ira Shapiro Excellence in Undergraduate Research Award. This award is conferred upon the Scholar who most exhibits excellence through their Undergraduate Research Project.

Michael Zachariah (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is the 2011 recipient of the David Sinclair Award, presented by the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR), in recognition of the sustained excellence of his work in aerosol research and technology.


Richard Achterberg (Astronomy), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $136,145, "Zonal Mean Meridional Circulation on Titan and Saturn."

Norma Andrews (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics), NIH-National Institute of General Medical Sciences, $375,000, "Regulated Exocytosis of Lysosomes."

Radu Balan (Mathematics and CSCAMM), NSF, $247,484, "Nonlinear Signal Processing and Distributed Optimal Control Using Frames and Operators Algebras."

David Doermann (UMIACS), NSF, $266,275, "Support of the Laboratory for Language and Media Processing (LAMP)."

Ramani Duraiswami (Computer Science and UMIACS), NSF, $164,999, "Learning the Relationship Between the Anatomy and Spatial Hearing."

Daniel Falvey (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NSF, $407,311, "Photorelease of Stable Molecules Through One- and Two-photon Electron Transfer Mechanisms."

David Fushman (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NIH-National institute of General Medical Sciences, $358,099, "Recognition of Non-Ubiquitin Signals by the Proteasome."

William Goldman (Mathematics), NSF, $245,656, "Geometric Structures and Representation Varieties."

Carter Hall (Physics), DOE-Chicago, $150,000, "Early Career: The Search for Weekly Interacting Dark Matter with Liquid Xenon."

Jeff Hollingsworth (Computer Science and UMIACS), DOE, $215,000, "Sustained Performance, Energy, and Resilience (SuPER)."

Vadim Kaloshin (Mathematics and IPST), NSF, $100,000, "Arnold Diffusion, Quasi-ergodic hypothesis, Instabilities for the Planar 3 Body Problem, and Central Configurations."

Jonathan Katz (Computer Science and UMIACS), Update: NSF, $1,000,000 over 5 years, "TC: Large: Collaborative Research: Practical Secure Two-party Computation: Techniques, Tool and Applications."

Sujay Kaushal (Geology and ESSIC), NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $105,000, "Understanding and Forecasting Impacts of Climate Change and Land Use on Terrestrial Carbon Fluxes in Coa."

Xin-Zhong Liang (AOSC and ESSIC), NOAA, $160,500, "CWRF Downscaling Prediction of USA Seasonal-Interannual Climate Variations."

Xin-Zhong Liang (AOSC and ESSIC), DOE, $490,190, "Optimizing the Cloud-Aerosol-Radiation Ensemble Modeling System to Improve Future Climate Change Projections at Regional to Local Scales."

Amy Mullin (Chemistry and Biochemistry), NSF, $271,900, "Spinning Molecules into Reactive States with an Optical Centrifuge."

Ricardo Nochetto (Mathematics), NSF, $277,386, "Adaptive Finite Element Methods for Multiscale Geometric PDE: Modeling, Analysis and Computation."

Ho Jung Paik (Physics), NSF, $158,410, "Null Test of Newton's Law of Gravitation on a 100-m Scale."

Mihai Pop (Computer Science, Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and UMIACS), Office of Naval Research, $2,150,999, "Personalized Medicine Initiative."

Mihai Pop (Computer Science, Cell Biology & Molecular Genetics and UMIACS), NSF, $492,809, "Genome Assembly Using Sparse Sequence Information."

James Porto (Physics), NSF, $140,000, "Engineering Quantum Dissipation in Cold Atom Systems."

Steven Rolston (Physics and JQI), NSF, $150,000, "Disordered Ultracold Atomic Systems."

Ray St. Leger (Entomology), USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture, $374,303, "Assessing the Impact of Genetically Modified Metarhizium Anisopliae."

Ben Shneiderman (Computer Science and UMIACS), Computing Research Association, $127,500, "Postdoctoral Research Grant Renewal for Jae-Wook Ahn."

V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS), Army Research Office, $175,426, "Policy Analytics Generation Engine."

Gregory Sullivan (Physics), NSF, $630,820, "Neutrino Physics at the University of Maryland."

What's New

Ben Bederson (Computer Science and UMIACS) participated in a panel, September 21, to provide briefings to Senate and Congressional groups representing the Computing Research Association (CRA) in an effort led by the Taskforce on American Innovation. The goal was to help the government understand why it is so important that they continue to support basic and long-term research. The event was centered around the iPad - showing how the "innovative" features of it are all largely based on decades of federally funded research. Other speakers included Nobel laureate William Phillips (Physics, JQI, IPST and NIST) and Martin Izzard from Texas Instruments. The briefing was hosted by Congressmen Randy Hultgren (IL), Michael McCaul (TX) and Ben Quayle (AZ).

Steve Halperin (Mathematics and ESSIC) has been appointed Director of the university's initiative on Climate Information Responding to User Needs (CIRUN). This initiative is intended to build links between the user community and scientists from a wide range of disciplines, to provide actionable information about future environmental change.

George Helz (Chemistry and Biochemistry Emeritus) gave the Leonard A. Wood Lectures at Minnesota State University, September 19. Leonard A. Wood, a long-time faculty member at Minnesota State, endowed this annual lecture series which consists of one scientific lecture and one public lecture (as well as a radio interview). The titles of Helz’ two lectures were, “Making Chlorine Greener” and “Environmental Chemistry in the Half Century Since SILENT SPRING. Helz also gave a keynote lecture entitled “Thioanions of the Heavier Metals and Metalloids; Three Geochemical Puzzles,” at the Goldschmidt 2011 Conference in Prague, August 18, 2011.

David Inouye (Biology) was invited by the Korean Ministry of Environment to talk at a conference in Seoul about the role of the new Ecological Institute in climate change research. He visited the site of the new 100ha Ecoplex that will open in 2012 and house almost 300 researchers, and also gave a seminar at Seoul National University.

Lyle Isaacs and Jeffrey Davis (both Chemistry and Biochemistry) are co-organizers of the International Symposium on Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC) to be held in the summer of 2013, the first time this meeting will be held in the U.S. since 2007. The ISMSC conference, which attracts 300-350 participants, brings together leaders in supramolecular chemistry that make contributions to the core areas of chemistry, biological chemistry, nanoscience and materials science.

Christopher Jarzynski (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST) taught a five-lecture course on nonequilibrium statistical physics at the Summer School on Statistical Physics of Complex and Small Systems, in Mallorca, Spain, September 19-23, 2011. Jarzynski also gave an invited talk at an exploratory workshop on "Nonequilibrium Fluctuation Relations in Quantum Systems" in Mallorca.

Jonathan Katz (Computer Science) will give an invited presentation at Indiana University's Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research - Security Seminar Series, at the Maurer School of Law, November 3.

Jimmy Lin (Information Studies, Computer Science and UMIACS ) briefed the Advisory Committee for the Congressional Research and Development [R&D] Caucus, hosted by Congressman Rush Holt (NJ) and Congresswoman Judy Biggert (IL), on cloud computing, September 15. The Advisory Committee is comprised of public interest and private sector organizations from the science, engineering, technology and educational sectors dedicated to informing Congress and the public on important national and global issues regarding research and development affecting the United States.

Art Popper (Biology) organized a symposium on “Effects of Anthropogenic Sounds on Animals” at the 10th meeting of the International Bioacoustics Congress in La Rochelle, France, September 13, 2011. Popper also presented the opening paper to the symposium. On August 2, Popper gave an invited talk entitled “Effects of Noise Pollution on Fish Behavior and Physiology” at the joint meeting of the Animal Behavior Society and International Society for Ethology in Bloomington, IN.

Jan V. Sengers (IPST), on behalf of an international research team, presented a new formulation for the thermal conductivity of water and steam at a meeting of the International Association for the Transport Properties (IATP) in Thessaloniki, Greece, September 1-2, 2011, and at a meeting of the International Association for the Properties of Water and Steam (IAPWS) in Pilzen, Czech Republic, September 4-9, 2011. At the latter meeting this formulation was adopted by IAPWS as the new international standard for the thermal conductivity of H2O subject to subsequent endorsement by the (20) membership countries of IAPWS.

In The News

The Maryland Cybersecurity Center was the subject of a Gazette article, September 8. The article discussed the MIT Lincoln Laboratory strategic partnership, research projects, summer programs, and it’s Cybersecurity Club which has 300 student members.

Ashok Agrawala (Computer Science and UMIACS) was mentioned on WTOP, September 15, in a segment on the new app for smartphones that can connect students to campus police with a push of the button. M-Urgency, developed by Agrawala and his team and in collaboration with the university’s Department of Public Safety, allows students, faculty and staff to share emergency information with dispatchers via video and audio. Media coverage included PoliceNews, Phandroid and Fox5.

Bonnie Dorr (Computer Science and UMIACS) was the subject of an article in SIGNAL Magazine, September issue. Dorr, who is serving an IPA tour of duty, is the Program Manager, Information Innovation Office, DARPA, oversees four programs: Robust Automatic Transcription of Speech (RATS); Multilingual Automatic Document Classification, Analysis and Translation (MADCAT), Global Autonomous Language Exploitation (GAL) and Broad Operational Language Translation (BOLT).

James Gates (Physics) took part in a panel “Stephen Hawking: The Power of Ideas” videotaped and broadcast by, Ontario, Canada's public educational media organization. The panel was one of the scheduled events celebrating the opening of the new Stephen Hawking Centre, Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, Canada. Gates is a visiting Distinguished Research Chair.

Research conducted by Daniel Gruner (Entomology) et al. was published in Science, September 23. The research was undertaken by an international team of scientists that pooled its resources to re-evaluate the relationship between species numbers and habitat productivity. Their innovative, standardized global sampling of 48 sites on five continents yielded an unprecedented data set. The study shows no clear relationship between productivity and the number of plant species in small study plots. The team of ecologists tackled this problem as part of a distributed global research network, called the Nutrient Network. The idea for the network emerged some five years ago, out of a working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, co-organized by Gruner and collaborators.

Tom Holtz (Geology) was quoted in NatureNews, September 15, in an article on recently published research in Science reporting that 11 non-avian feathers have been identified, as well as their range of structures, preserved in amber from the site “Grassy Lake” in western Canada. Holtz was also quoted in the Gazette, September 13, on the discovery of an infant dinosaur fossil in College Park in 1997, and only recently published in the Journal of Paleontology. After “Dinosaur Revolution” aired in early September (August edition of CMNS News), media coverage of the show included Fox News, The Seattle Times, Sky Valley Chronicle and the East Valley Tribune.

David Inouye (Biology) was interviewed on the Hill & Dale Show (LA Talk Radio), September 14, about pollination biology and his research on bumble bees.

Nathan Kraft (Biology) et al., had his article “Disentangling the Drivers of ß Diversity Along Latitudinal and Elevational Gradients” featured on the cover of Science, September 23. Kraft was a member of an international team that found that measurements of variation in biodiversity from place to place, called beta diversity, are similar as you move from the tropics to the poles when you account for the number of species present in the first place.

Tim Livengood (Astronomy) was quoted in, September 29, in an article about telescopic observations of Venus in infrared light at about 68 miles above the planet's surface, in cold, clear air above the acid clouds, in two layers called the mesosphere and the thermosphere. The observations showed that Venus does have interesting weather. The original article, co-authored by Livengood and a team of international scientists, was published in Icarus, July 23. Media coverage included Bioscholars News, PhysOrg, Universe Today, the International Business Times and Popular Mechanics.

Robert Park (Physics) was quoted on Public Radio International, September 14, on electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS) and Green Bank, West Virginia becoming a haven for people who believe they suffer from EHS. Green Bank is within the 13,000 square miles surrounding the National Radio Astronomy Observatory which have been designated the National Radio Quiet Zone. Media coverage included MSNBC, New Zealand Herald, BBC and Discovery Magazine.

Michael Raupp (Entomology) was quoted in the Baltimore Sun, September 1, on the Fall invasion of stink bugs. The Winnipeg Free Press, September 14, quoted him on the stink bugs’ threat to U.S. fruit and vegetable crops. A follow-up article appeared in the Baltimore Sun, September 17. Raupp was also quoted on WTOP, September 14 and the Washington Post, September 27 on the booming mosquito population.

Joe Redish (Physics) was interviewed by American Radio Works, early September, for a radio documentary on rethinking the way college students learn. In the print version of the program, Redish is quoted extensively in the segments “Rethinking the Way College Students are Taught” and “Inventing a New Kind of College.”

Derek Richardson (Astronomy) was quoted in ScienceNow, September 20, in an article on recently published research in The Astrophysics Journal by the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) team challenging the claim that the Baptistina family of asteroids was responsible for the dinosaur extinction.

Steven Rokita (Chemistry and Biochemistry) was quoted in Chemical & Engineering News, September 14, in an article on recent research published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society showing that the common oxidative damage product 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanine (OG), when incorporated into a DNA or RNA strand in proximity to a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer, can mimic the function of a flavin in photorepair.

Ross Salawitch (AOSC, Chemistry and Biochemistry) was quoted in a CBC-Canada article on Canada’s decision to shut down 17 ozone monitoring stations and the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre which will create a gap in international data needed to monitor the ozone layer.

Research conducted by V.S. Subrahmanian (Computer Science and UMIACS) and his team was featured in The Telegraph-India, September 12. The team, using mathematical models and multi-player game theoretic models to make forecasts based on terrorist behavior patterns, has shown that the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) group is unlikely to stop its attacks unless India and the US launch covert action and coercive diplomacy.

Dave Thirumalai (Chemistry and Biochemistry and IPST) with Changbong Hyeon (2005 Ph.D. Chemical Physics, advisor D. Thirumalai) published an article in Nature Communications, September 27, describing recent advances in the use of coarse-grained theoretical models to describe dynamic processes in biology.

Mathieu Touboul (Geology) was quoted in ScienceNews, September 7, in an article on recent research published in Nature suggesting that stony meteorites, called chondrites, that struck the Earth billions of years ago may have deposited many of the precious metals mined today.

Maria Tzortziou (ESSIC and 2001 M.S., 2004 Ph.D. Meteorology) was interviewed for a feature article that appeared under NASA's "Latest Earth Science News and Features," focusing on NASA's future satellite mission Geostationary Coastal and Air Pollution Events (GEO-CAPE) and the Chesapeake Bay Oceanographic campaign with Deriving Information on Surface Conditions from Column and Vertically Resolved Observations Relevant to Air Quality (DISCOVER AQ) in the Chesapeake Bay during summer 2011. Dr. Tzortziou and Dr. Antonio Mannino (NASA-Goddard) led the campaign as Chief Scientists. More than 20 scientists from University of Maryland, NASA-Goddard, NOAA and other research centers and universities participated in the campaign. A follow-up article appeared in PhysOrg.

Konstantin Vinnikov (AOSC) was quoted in the LA Weekly, September 15, in an article on the future construction of the Farmers Field football stadium (Los Angeles) and the claims that it will be “carbon-neutral.”

Scott Walsh (Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics and IBBR) was featured in the August issue of International Innovation, highlighting his groundbreaking research on signaling pathways that are triggered in T cells, the white blood cells essential for cell-mediated immunity.

Genevieve Spanjer Wright (Biology Graduate Student, advisor Gerald Wilkinson) was featured on BBC Nature News, September 12. Wright led the research on big brown bats learning to hunt by eavesdropping on the sonar of other bats.

Alumni News

Join the Maryland Alumni Association for the ultimate gameday experience at this year's Homecoming Backyard Bash, a special part of Capital One's Terp Town, on October 15.

STAY CONNECTED: College Alumni Association ChapterChange of AddressCMNS Alumni Association FacebookCMNS LinkedinCMNS Monthly E-Newsletter

Jill Hepp (2005 M.S. Conservation) is the Manager, Global Shark Conservation, Pew Environment Group. Hepp, who oversees a team of regional and country-based organizers around the work, helped establish the Maldives shark sanctuary announced in 2010. Prior to joining Pew, she researched international fisheries management and wildlife trade for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Philip Kijak, (1987 Ph.D. Chemistry, advisor George Helz) is the Director of the Division of Residue Chemistry at the FDA. Kijak’s group has released a study of arsenic levels in chicken which has resulted in FDA action.

David Levitt (1973 B.S., 1977 M.S. Physics) has been appointed CSC’s Vice President, North American Public Sector Health Services Division of Health Information Technology Solutions (HITS). Levitt, who has over 30 years of experience with CSC, will be responsible for developing new business with key federal health agencies.

Paul Mantica (1990 Ph.D. Chemistry, advisor William Walters) was among the 10 people recently awarded a University Distinguished Professorship from Michigan State University. Mantica’s research focuses on using beta-assisted Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (ß-NMR) spectroscopy to deduce ground state moments to track such changes in short-lived, radioactive nuclei produced at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory. He is involved in the BECOLA end-line station, capable of spin-polarizing beam lines in a controlled way via laser optical pumping at low velocities (< 60 keV). Mantica was also named a 2011 Fellow of the American Chemical Society in recognition of his outstanding achievements and contributions to science, the profession and the Society.

James Wigand (1978 B.S. Zoology) was featured in Business Week, September 28. Wigand is head of the FDIC’s newest division, the Office of Complex Financial Institutions, with the authority to dismantle the country’s 22 largest banks. Prior to accepting this position, Wigand was deputy director of the agency’s resolution division for 13 years.