Eight faculty members receive Office of Research awards

By Karen Hunt, Office of Research

The Office of Research presented awards to eight faculty members for their outstanding achievements in research, as part of the opening ceremony for WSU Research Week 2018.

“Our outstanding individual faculty and staff are the ‘bedrock’ of the creative activity, research and scholarship exercise,” said Chris Keane, vice president for research. “It’s very important to take time to recognize the achievements of our individual outstanding faculty and staff engaged in creative activity, research and scholarship, whether in research, service to the Office of Research, or other activities.”

Recipients received awards in five categories that celebrated individual and team achievements for their research projects and grant awards.

Largest New Grant Award for FY2018

  • Jingru Sun

    The individual award winner was recognized for receiving a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health for her project “Neuronal and molecular mechanisms underlying neural regulation of innate immunity”. Dr. Sun (Sunny) is a faculty member in the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

  • Noel Schulz

    The team award winner was recognized for receiving a $7.5 million grant from the Department of Energy for her project “UI-Assist: US-India collaborative for smart distribution system with storage,” with Co-PI Anurag Srivastava. Other team members include Anjan Bose, Christine Horne and Adam Hahn. Schulz is a faculty member in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a Deputy Director of the Energy Systems Innovation Center in the Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture.

Creative Activity, Research and Scholarship Award

  • Kim Christen

    The winner of this award is a professor in the Department of English, director of the Digital Technology and Culture Program, director of the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation, and director of digital initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences. Christen has generated more than $4 million in external funding, including WSU’s first ever institutional grant from the Mellon Foundation. She has leveraged this support to create and sustain truly interdisciplinary projects and workspaces, most prominently establishing in conjunction with WSU Libraries the new Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation (CDSC). She directs several digital humanities projects, including the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, a collaboratively curated site of Plateau cultural materials; Mukurtu CMS, a free and open source content management system and community digital archive aimed at the unique needs of indigenous communities; and the Sustainable Heritage Network, an online community of people dedicated to making the preservation and digitization of cultural heritage materials sustainable, simple and secure.

Pacesetter Award

This award recognizes a promising WSU pre-tenure faculty, who has excelled in sponsored projects activity, taken the lead and set new standards of achievements.

  • Steven Roberts

    Winner of this award is a faculty member in School of Molecular Biosciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine since 2014. He has already generated more than $3.3M in research funds from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense (Army), and published 17 journal articles that have been cited 390 times.

Technology with Impactful Contribution to Society Award

This award recognizes researchers for creating technologies that lead to societal impact and high licensing revenue for WSU. Award winners are:

  • Bruce Barritt and Kate Evans

    Apple cultivar (WA 38) “Cosmic Crisp®.”

  • Katrina Mealey

    For her development of the Test for identification of dogs sensitive to Ivermectin.

Exceptional Service to the Office of Research Award

  • Tammy Barry

    College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Psychology

  • Babu John-Mariadoss

    Carson College of Business, Department of Marketing and International Business

As co-chairs of the Research and Arts Committee & the Centers, Institutes or Laboratories (CILs) task force Barry and John-Mariadoss have gone above and beyond their duties in providing support for the many Office of Research initiatives, including providing extra support and advice in the screening and selection of New Faculty Seed Grant and other internal awards, as well as taking on the extra duties associated with chairing the CILs task force.

The award ceremony also included a prize for submitting the best idea to The National Science Foundation’s 2026 Idea Machine, a competition to help set the U.S. agenda for fundamental research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and STEM education. The winner of this award is Peter Reilly, a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences for his idea “Ultra-High Mass Spec. The Next Frontier”.

Research Week runs Oct. 15-19 with a variety of events taking place throughout the week. For more information about the schedule and events, see the Research Week website.

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