Norman R. Davidson, a professor at Caltech, has been named the recipient of the 1989 Robert A. Welch Award in chemistry. The $225,000 award is given to a researcher in chemistry for career contributions that benefit mankind. Davidson is a physical chemist who has contributed to the understanding of genetic materials through his research in molecular biology and genetics.
Seven faculty members at Caltech have been named Presidential Young Investigators for 1989 by the National Science Foundation, an honor that carries a research stipend of up to $100,000 annually for five years. The awards were established to help universities attract and assist outstanding young researchers who might otherwise pursue careers outside academia. The seven are Frances Arnold, chemical engineering; Harry Atwater, applied physics; Geoffrey Blake, cosmochemistry and planetary science; Melany Hunt, mechanical engineering; Andrew Myers, chemistry; Mitchio Okumura, chemical physics, and Stephen Wiggins, applied mechanics.
Carl W. Ernst, associate professor of religion at Pomona College, has received a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his translation of a 13th-Century Arabic text on yoga. Ernst teaches comparative religion and Islamic studies.
Thomas B. Robinson has been named vice president for student affairs at Cal Poly Pomona. Robinson previously was dean of student and university relations at Montana State University.
Steven S. Koblik has been appointed dean of the faculty and professor of history at Scripps College. He will be responsible for academic policies and programs.
Francis Ching, director of the county Department of Arboreta and Botanic Gardens, has won the Arthur Hoyt Scott Garden and Horticulture Award for his contributions to the science and art of gardening. Ching oversees projects at the four gardens, including the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum in Arcadia.
John Crowley, former mayor of Pasadena, has been named to the board of directors of the 2000 Partnership, a regional committee that studies critical governance issues in the Los Angeles region.
Christopher W. Smith, assistant city prosecutor for Pasadena, has been named to the State Bar Court. Smith will serve as a hearing judge in disciplinary cases involving attorneys.
Peter J. Sawires has been awarded a $1,500 scholarship by the Arcadia High School Alumni Assn. Other graduating seniors who won $1,000 scholarships are Julie O. Bars, Timothy B. Mancinelli, Hillary S. Seio and Bih-Guang Tsai.