Three New Boston University Faculty Tapped for Peter Paul Career Development Professorships

Contact: Richard Taffe, 617-353-4626 |

(Boston) — Three new Boston University professors have been selected by Provost Jean Morrison as this year’s recipients of the prestigious Peter Paul Professorships, providing $40,000 each for three years for unrestricted support for their scholarly and creative work as they launch their academic careers.

The 2011 honorees are Prof. Colin Fisher, an assistant professor of organizational behavior in the BU School of Management; Prof. Xue Han, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in the BU College of Engineering; and Prof. Johannes Schmieder, an assistant professor of economics in the BU College of Arts and Sciences.

The professorships were established in 2006 with a gift of $1.5 million by entrepreneur, philanthropist and BU Trustee (and alumni, Graduate School of Management ’71) Peter T. Paul, president of Paul Financial, LLC, and owner and chairman of Grove Street Winery. Over the course of five years, the gift will have supported 10 appointments, each having three-year terms. All must have been at BU no more than two years and have held no prior professorships.

“The Peter Paul Professorships really serve to highlight the caliber, potential and continued vitality of Boston University’s diverse faculty,” said Morrison. “This year’s recipients have been cited for their expertise in their areas of study, their passion for the creation and transmission of knowledge, and their efforts to enhance the student experience.”

Fisher studies the role of improvisation on the development of teams in the areas of leadership, creativity and group decision-making. In addition to recently receiving a Ph.D. from Harvard Business School, his background includes a master’s degree in music from New York University and a bachelor’s in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music.

Han develops highly interdisciplinary and translational neuroengineering approaches to treat neurological and psychiatric diseases. Her most recent postdoctoral work was at the McGovern Institute and Media Lab at MIT, preceded by work at Stanford University. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin and a bachelor’s degree at the University of Beijing.

Schmieder works in two different areas: he studies the interaction of labor market practices with macroeconomic factors to generate employment fluctuations; and he studies the relationship between environmental pollution and infant health. He recently received his doctorate from Columbia University where he also earned two master’s degrees. His undergraduate degree was from the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

Founded in 1839, Boston University is an internationally recognized institution of higher education and research. With more than 30,000 students, it is the fourth largest independent university in the United States. BU contains 17 colleges and schools along with a number of multi-disciplinary centers and institutes which are central to the school’s research and teaching mission.