Assistant Professor of Communication Sharde Davis is the 2018-19 recipient of the American Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research Leave awarded by the American Association for University Women (AAUW). The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. This fellowship is designed to assist the candidate in obtaining tenure and further promotions by enabling her to spend a year pursuing independent research.
Robert Thorson, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, is one of two geologists elected to the American Antiquarian Society this millennium.
Thorson was chosen for his work on Anthropocene stone walls, public education, and geo-journalism, and joins only eight other geologists elected since the end of the 19th century.
Membership in the Society, which is at present 1039, is by election and is limited to 1250.
The society, located in Worcester, Massachusetts, doubles as a learned society and library which collects, preserves and houses an extensive archive of “what is now the United States from 1640-1876”. Founded in 1812, the society is recognized as the third oldest historical organization in the United States and the first to curate a collection that is national in scope.
Thorson joins fourteen U.S. presidents who have been AAS members as well, in addition to notable historical actors such as as Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, Alexander Graham Bell, and more contemporary members such as Ken Burns, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Walter Cronkite and Henry Louis Gates.
Professor of Sociology and Asian & Asian American Studies Bandana Purkayastha is among the American Sociological Association 2019 award recipients, the highest honor bestowed by the Association.
Each of the eleven awards honors leaders in the discipline for their work in a certain category. Purkayastha was awarded the Jessie Bernard Award, which is given in recognition of work that has broadened the scope of sociology to recognize the role of women in society and honors individuals who have exhibited “significant cumulative work throughout a professional career”. Her previous research on ethnicity, racism, gender, violence and peace has been published internationally, and Purkayastha was awarded American Sociological Association/Asian American section’s Contributions to the Field award in 2016.
Purkayastha served as head of the University of Connecticut’s Sociology department from 2011-2016 and at present serves as the American Sociological Association’s national representative to the International Sociological Association. Her current research centers around human rights/human security, migration and migrants, intersectionality, and violence.
Awardees will be honored during a ceremony on August 11 at the Association’s 2019 Annual Meeting in New York City.
Fifteen student-faculty teams were selected to receive SHARE program awards for Spring 2019, and 12 of the teams are part of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. The program supports undergraduate research projects in the social sciences, humanities, and arts.
The awards are geared towards introducing students, who are in the primary stages of their college careers, to research in their chosen field and helping them develop transferable skills for future research projects. Throughout this this research apprenticeship, students work closely with their faculty mentor on a project and assist with tasks ranging from conducting library research, assisting in experiments, coding and analyzing data, and conducting and transcribing interviews.
The goal of the program is to foster a relationship that will continue past the spring semester, allowing the project to continue and result in a more independent role for the student. During the initial Spring semester, student apprentices will receive a $1,500 stipend, and faculty mentors will receive a $500 professional development stipend.
The 2019 CLAS recipients are:
Project Title: Exploring the Upper Crust of Mesopotamian Society: An Archaeological Study of Bread Production at Tell Leilan
Student Apprentice: Stephen Baker, Anthropology and Physiology & Neurobiology
Faculty Mentor: Alexia Smith, Anthropology
Project Title: Head vs. Heart Beliefs: Comparing Intuitive and Rational Cognitive Judgments
Student Apprentice: Erin Blake, IMJR: Mental Health & Well-Being
Faculty Mentor: Crystal Park, Psychological Sciences
Project Title: Study of Language and Math – Mapping Abilities and Math Fluency in Hearing and Deaf Children
Student Apprentice: Caroline Hebert, Speech, Language & Hearing Sciences and Cognitive Science
Faculty Mentor: Marie Coppola, Psychological Sciences
Project Title: “Advice and Consent” or “Search and Destroy?”: The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Review of U.S. Supreme Court Nominations in the Era of Party Polarization
Student Apprentice: John Kelly, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Bergendahl, Political Science
Project Title: The Scholio Project: Designing Online News Comments to Promote Intellectual Humility in Public Discourse
Student Apprentice: Addison Kimber, Political Science and Biology
Faculty Mentor: Michael Morrell, Political Science
Project Title: Justice in the Dark: How Secretively Funded Campaign Advertisements Shape Judicial Campaigns
Student Apprentice: Hollianne Lao, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Virginia Hettinger, Political Science
Project Title: The PRISM Project: A Mindfulness Intervention on Substance Abuse
Student Apprentice: Kasey Macedo, Psychological Sciences and Human Development & Family Studies
Faculty Mentor: Beth Russell, Human Development & Family Studies
Project Title: Patterns of African American Life in Post War Hartford (1940-2010)
Student Apprentice: Chloe Murphy, Africana Studies
Faculty Mentor: Fiona Vernal, History and Africana Studies
Project Title: Puerto Rican Heritage Trail
Student Apprentice: Alejandro Rodriguez, History
Faculty Mentor: Anne Gebelein, Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Project Title: Digitizing the Paper Trail: Enslaved and Freedpeople in The Spanish Empire
Student Apprentice: Jenifer Rojas Orellana, Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Ricardo Salazar-Rey, History
Project Title: Can Inclusive Education Programs Reduce Racial and Gender Discrimination in the Labor Market?
Student Apprentice: Mary Vlamis, Economics and Political Science
Faculty Mentor: Jorge Aguero, Economics
Project Title: Stratified Model Minorities: Educational Experiences and Social Mobility of Chinese Immigrants from Taishan and Fuzhou
Student Apprentice: Jingya Zhu, Sociology and Communication
Faculty Mentor: Simon Cheng, Sociology
David Kenny, a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, will receive the 2019 American Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions for his research paper “The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological-research — conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations.” His research paper, co-authored by Reuben Baron who is also a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Connecticut, ranks number 33 among the 100 most highly cited research papers of all time. Citations are the primary way by which authors give credit to the source of their methods, ideas, and findings and are sometimes used to help estimate a paper’s significance. Kenny’s paper has been cited over 20,000 times since its publication. Kenny joins UConn psychology faculty Jules Rotter and Al Liberman, who are past recipients of this award from the APA.
Gene Likens, a professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been awarded the 2019 Benjamin Franklin Medal in Earth and Environmental Science for his work in educating the public and U.S. government about acid rain and its effects, as well as his extensive research on forests, lake and stream ecosystems. Likens served a key role in solving the acid rain puzzle that categorized the 1970’s and 80’s. In the 1960s, after discovering unusually high acidity in the rainwater that fell over Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Likens began to travel the globe installing rainwater analysis stations in some of the most obscure places on Earth. Likens found that stations located in areas untouched by human industry and its pollution reported normal levels of rainwater acidity. After collecting various air samples from the skies over Ohio, Likens and his team unearthed the process by which “industrial emissions combined with water vapor create acid rain,” which had been responsible for damage to city infrastructure and environmental ecosystems. Likens and his team also discovered that the effects weren’t exclusive to cities, and could spread miles from the emissions source. This lead to his education and advocacy efforts which helped inform the 1990 Clean Air Act which led to dramatic improvements in reducing the effect of acid rain. Likens joins distinguished past recipients, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Rudolf Diesel, Pierre and Marie Curie, Orville Wright, Albert Einstein, Frank Lloyd Wright, Jacques Cousteau, and Stephen Hawking.
Fumiko Hoeft, professor of psychological sciences and director of the Brain Imaging Research Center, was named the Society for Neuroscience’s Science Educator of the Year. The $5,000 prize, supported by The Dana Foundation, recognizes neuroscientists who have made significant contributions to educating the public about neuroscience through outreach, policy, and education. By studying the neurobiological mechanisms responsible for individual differences in learning to read, brain maturation, and how the two interact, Hoeft aims to find the causes of learning disabilities and to implement that knowledge to improve education. As her model system, she studies dyslexia, a neurobiological condition that affects five to 10 percent of children.
Connor Occhialini ’18 (CLAS), was named a finalist in the 2018 LeRoy Apker Undergraduate Achievements Award competition for his research in the Physics department. The distinction is awarded not only for the research achievements of the student, but also for the department that provides the supportive environment and provides opportunities for students to excel in research. During his time here, he developed theoretical models, helped build a pump-probe laser system, and carried out advanced analysis of X-ray scattering data which revealed a new context for an unusual phenomenon – negative thermal expansion.
Human development and family studies doctoral student Emily Simpson received the Society for Research in Child Development Dissertation Funding Award. The award is given for dissertation research proposals that merit special recognition and display the strong potential to contribute to the field of child development.
Sumarga Suanda, assistant professor of psychological sciences, has received a six-year grant of $600,000 from the James S. McDonnell Foundation for his grant titled “How the Dynamics of Early Interactions Shape Word Learning” under the program “Understanding Human Cognition.” The central aim of his research over the next several years is to investigate how early learning experiences shape word learning. Although there is general agreement that experience matters for later learning and development, through what mechanisms those experiences lead to robust learning is not well understood.
Katherine Whitaker, assistant professor of physics, has won a grant to start an International Research Experience for Students that will send cohorts of US students to Copenhagen for an 11-week internship at the Cosmic Dawn Center.
Director and Professor of Psychological Sciences Fumiko Hoeft will receive the International Mind Brain and Education Society (IMBES) Translation Award on 9/28 in Los Angeles, California. The award is designed to recognize senior scholars who have made significant progress towards strengthening the links between research and practice in Mind, Brain, and Education.
The National Endowment for the Arts has announced that PhD Candidate in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies Kristina Reardon will receive an NEA Literature Translation Fellowship of $12,500. Reardon is one of 25 Literature Translation Fellows for 2019. Reardon has published dozens of translations, short stories, and essays. Her translations of Slovenian and Spanish stories and poems include works by Jimena Néspolo, Nina Kokelj, Suzana Tratnik, Silvija Borovnik, and survivors of the Dachau concentration camp in World War II.
Debanuj Dasgupta, assistant professor of geography, received the Trans Regional Studies in Inter-Asian Linkages Fellowship for 2018-2019 from the Social Science Research Council. The fellowship will fund his work, Queering Inter-Asian Linkages. The work proposes a newer way of conceiving South and South-East Asian geopolitics by highlighting how the question of transgender recognition across the region is ushering a new kind of global-local linkages.
Keith Bellizzi, associate professor of human development and family studies, received a grant award from the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative (CTBHI) for his project titled “Genetic Counseling for BRCA ½ mutations: Preferences and outcomes of counseling”. The project seeks to examine preferences for individual-based or family centered genetic counseling as well as capturing patient reported outcome data on quality of life, overall health and perceived cancer risk following a positive genetic test result.
Veronica Herrera, assistant professor of political science, has been named the winner of the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association Dennis Judd Best Book Award for her book, “Water and Politics: Clientelism and Reform in Urban Mexico.”
Associate Professor of Political Science Prakash Kashwan was awarded a $25,000 grant from the American Political Science Association (APSA) for his project, “Avoiding ‘Day Zero’ in the U.S. & Global South: Climate Justice in Teaching & Policy Action.” The grants support excellence in political science scholarship and teaching as well as informed discourse about politics, policy, and civic participation.
The Sociologists for Women in Society 2018 Feminist Mentoring Award winner is Professor of Sociology Bandana Purkayastha. The mentoring award was established in 1990 to honor an SWS Member who is an outstanding feminist mentor. In establishing the award, SWS recognized that feminist mentoring is an important and concrete way to encourage feminist scholarship. Purkayastha has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, books, and chapters on these subjects. Purkayastha has served in several editorial positions and on international expert committees including, most recently, on the World Health Organization’s initiative on female migrants and health.
Amanda Denes, associate professor of communciation, has won the 2018 Early Career Award from the Interpersonal Communication Division of the National Communication Association (NCA). She will receive the award at the Interpersonal Communication Division’s business meeting at the NCA’s annual convention in Salt Lake City, Utah in November 2018.
UConn Librarian Jennifer Snow‘s “Puerto Rico Citizenship Archives Project” won the Center for Research Libraries 2018 Award for Research. The PRCAP project shines a light on the convoluted history of Puerto Rico’s status, as part of a larger project by Associate Professor of Political Science Charles Venator-Santiago, exploring the nature of U.S. territorial law and policy.The PRCAP is part of a collaboration between the University of Connecticut’s Libraries and El Instituto. The 2018 CRL Primary Source Award for research goes to Jennifer Snow for her contribution to this project.
Ofer Harel, professor of statistics, has been elected the Chair-Elect for the Council of Sections Governing Board of the American Statistical Association, effective January 2019. The objective of the Council of Sections is to support the goals and interests of the ASA’s sections. The Council of Sections encourages the development of sections, assists in the promotion of section activities, fosters member involvement in functions of the association, and promotes communication and cooperation among the sections.
Ann Bucklin, professor of marine sciences, received an award for service from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) Council, Science Committee, and Secretariat. The Service Award was given to Bucklin in recognition of her leading role in the ICES community, including contributions to ICES as Chair of the Working Group on Integrated Morphological and Molecular Taxonomy (WGIMT) from January 1st, 2012 to December 31st, 2017. Bucklin remains an active member of WGIMT and ICES.
Assistant Professor of Communication Sharde Davis is the 2018-19 recipient of the American Fellowship for Postdoctoral Research Leave awarded by the American Association for University Women (AAUW). The primary purpose of the Postdoctoral Research Leave Fellowship is to increase the number of women in tenure-track faculty positions and to promote equality for women in higher education. This fellowship is designed to assist the candidate in obtaining tenure and further promotions by enabling her to spend a year pursuing independent research.
Graduate Student in History Marc Reyes has won a Boren Fellowship to India, following his Fulbright Research Award and Critical Language Scholarship, both of which took place in India. Reyes will conduct research to study scientific cooperation between the U.S. and India, with regard to atomic energy and nuclear weapons programs.
Graduate Student in Physics Benjamin Andrew Commeau has been awarded a 2018 Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science Graduate Student Research Fellowship. Commeau will work at Los Alamos National Laboratory in Basic Energy Sciences on predictive materials science and chemistry.
During its annual meeting in Sacramento, California, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) announced that Ph.D. Candidate in History Marc Reyes received a 2018 Presidents’ Travel Fund for Emerging Historians Grant. The fund provides travel stipends for up to five graduate students and recent Ph.D.s in history whose papers or panels/sessions have been accepted by the OAH Program Committee for inclusion on the annual meeting program.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Lan-Hsuan Huang is one of the 2018 Simons Fellows in Mathematics. The Simons Fellowship will provide additional sabbatical funding to support Professor Huang’s research proposal “Geometry of General Relativity,” allowing her to extend her sabbatical leave to the full academic year 2018-2019.
Associate Professors of Mathematics Lan-Hsuan Huang and Damin Wu have been appointed as members of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton during the academic year 2018-2019. The membership will provide support for them to spend a sabbatical year participating in the IAS special year program on Variational Methods in Geometry. Professor Huang’s tenure at IAS will be supported by a von Neumann Fellowship, which is a highly selective fellowship program that supports early-career mathematicians as members at IAS for a year.
The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning has announced the 2018-2019 award winners for their excellence in university teaching awards. Seven of the eight honorees are CLAS faculty and graduate students. The winners are: for Teaching Fellow Awards, Associate Professor of Human Development and Family Studies in Waterbury Laura Donorfio and Associate Dean and Associate Professor in Residence of Engineering Undergraduate Programs Daniel Burkey. For Teaching Innovation Awards, Assistant Professor in Residence of Psychological Sciences at Avery Point Jamie Kleinman. For Outstanding Adjunct Awards, Adjunct Faculty of English in Hartford Ron Glaz. For Outstanding Graduate Teaching Awards, Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy Alycia LaGuardia-LoBianco and Ph.D. Candidate in Mathematics Phanuel Mariano.
The American Political Science Association (APSA) has named Leann Mclaren, third year undergraduate in political science and history, a 2018 APSA Ralph Bunche Summer Institute (RBSI) Scholar. The Ralph Bunche Summer Institute Program (RBSI) is an annual, intensive five-week program held at Duke University designed to introduce to the world of doctoral study in political science those undergraduate students from under-represented racial and ethnic groups or those interested in broadening participation in political science and pursuing scholarship on issues affecting underrepresented groups or issues of tribal sovereignty and governance. Participants in the RBSI are drawn from a competitive national applicant pool.
The Scientific Council of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Coimbra in Portugal has selected Professor of Philosophy Lewis Gordon for the 2018-2019 Boaventura de Sousa Santos Chair. This is an honorary position and will involve a series of high-profile activities, such as public lectures, seminars, and even a musical performance in Coimbra.
The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) named six CLAS professors among its 2018 UConn-AAUP Excellence Awards. The winners are: for early career teaching excellence, Assistant Professor-in-Residence Physiology and Neurobiology John Redden; for career teaching excellence, Associate Professor of English Rachael Lynch; for teaching innovation, Associate Professor of Literatures, Cultures and Languages Manuela Wagner; for early career excellence in research and creativity, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jie He; for career excellence in research and creativity, Professor of English Regina Barreca; and for service excellence, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Eric Schultz.
Communications Major Megan Ennis ’18 (CLAS) was selected to be this year’s recipient of the $3000 New England Direct Marketing Association (NEDMA) Foundation Scholarship, which offers a three-part Scholarship Opportunity to students who are interested in careers in Direct Marketing. It includes a monetary award and an internship.
Wanjiku Gatheru ’20 (CLAS) has been named a 2018 Newman Civic Fellow. The Newman Civic Fellowship is a yearlong program that recognizes and supports community-committed students who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country. The fellowship is named in honor of Frank Newman, one of Campus Compact’s founders, and is supported by the KPMG Foundation and by the Newman’s Own Foundation. More information can be found here.
Professor of English Wayne Franklin’s latest book, “James Fenimore Cooper: The Later Years” (Yale University Press, 2017) has won the 2017 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title. It is the second volume of his definitive biography of James Fenimore Cooper; the first volume of his book, “James Fenimore Cooper: The Early Years”, won the 2008 Outstanding Academic Title Award as well. Cooper’s papers are held closely by several of his descendants, and Wayne was able to secure access to the papers through the family, revealing new information that no other biographer had ever seen before.
Frank Costigliola, distinguished professor of history, has been awarded over $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities to write a book on how emotional reactions are inextricably linked to the cognitive processes used by foreign policy actors, with a focus on one such strategist in particular. George F. Kennan was America’s foremost Soviet strategist during the early Cold War. He authored the containment doctrine, which became the lodestar of U.S. policy during the half-century long struggle with the Soviet Union. Ironically, Kennan also had great love for the people, culture and land of Russia. Professor Costigliola’s book explores the contradictions and the consistencies between Kennan’s Russophilia and his policies directed against the Kremlin.
Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology Akiko Nishiyama has been named a member of the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering. Election to the Academy is based on scientific and engineering distinction achieved through significant contributions in theory or applications, as demonstrated by original published books and papers, patents, the pioneering of new and developing fields and innovative products, outstanding leadership of nationally recognized technical teams, and external professional awards in recognition of scientific and engineering excellence.
Distinguished Professor of History Frank Costigliola has been awarded over $50,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities, an independent grant-making agency of the United States government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities, to write a book on how emotional reactions are inextricably linked to the cognitive processes used by foreign policy actors.
Professor of Statistics Nitis Mukhopadhyay has been awarded the Honorary Fellowship from the Institute of Applied Statistics, Sri Lanka (IASSL), which is part of the Parliament of Sri Lanka. Mukhopadhyay accepted the award at the Third International Conference of the Institute in Colombo in December 2017.
Eric May, assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, has just been named as one of four recipients of “The OpenEye Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in Computational Chemistry” by the American Chemical Society (ACS). The award provides $1,000 to up to four outstanding tenure-track junior faculty members to present their work in at the Spring 2018 New Orleans, LA ACS National Meeting.
Ohio State University maintains a reputation-based ranking of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) programs. In 2014, UConn’s HDFS program was ranked 20th out of about 50 programs. In 2017, UConn HDFS rose to 10th place, and within 0.2/5.0 points of the six programs above it. This is a true testament to the hard work of the deparment’s faculty, staff, and students, as well as recent efforts to spread the word about the excellence of the program.
On October 23, Professor of Chemistry Challa Vijaya Kumar was selected for the 2018 Council of the Chemical Research Society of India (CRSI) Medal by the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore. The medal is awarded to chemists of Indian origin who are working outside of India and have contributed extensively to the promotion of research in chemistry.
Manisha Sinha, the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor in American History, has been selected as the winner of the 2017 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for her book “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition” (Yale University Press). The Douglass Prize was created jointly by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. It is awarded annually by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the best book written in English on slavery or abolition. The $25,000 prize will be presented to Sinha at a reception sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute on Feb. 22.
Kenneth M. Noll, professor of molecular and cell biology, has been awarded a Provost’s Excellence in Public Engagement award in the Tenure-Track Faculty category.
The American Mathematical Society (AMS) has announced its 2018 Class of Fellows. There are sixty three new Fellows, and among them is Professor of Mathematics Guozhen Lu, who is the only member of his faculty to have received this honor.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Vasileios Chousionis has been awarded a Simons collaboration grant to support his research on sub-Riemannian analysis and dynamics. Sub-Riemannian geometry, or “geometry of constrained motion”, provides mathematical models for any physical situation in which allowed motion is subject to a priori nonholonomic constraints. Chousionis’ research will focus on geometric harmonic analysis and conformal dynamics in local models of sub-Riemannian geometry, which are poorly described by Euclidean language.
Professors of Mathematics Emiliano Valdez and Jeyaraj Vadiveloo and Assistant Professor of Mathematics Guojun Gan have been awarded a Center of Actuarial Excellence (CAE) research grant for $157,300 from the Society of Actuaries. The grant will support a three-year (2017-2020) research project on “Applying Data Mining Techniques in Actuarial Science”, which aims to examine and evaluate data mining tools and approaches for analyzing data in actuarial science and insurance.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Matthew Badger received a $410,000 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for his work on “Analysis and Geometry of Measures”. The five-year grant (2017–2022) will support research by Dr. Badger and UConn postdocs and graduate students into fundamental questions about the structure of measures in Euclidean spaces in relation to canonical families of lower-dimensional sets. On the educational front, the award also supports two conferences for junior scientists.
Maria Gordina, professor of mathematics, has been awarded the 2017 National Science Foundation grant for $210,000, entitled “Probabilistic Methods in Geometry and Analysis”, which will support research in several directions combining probability, geometry, analysis and representation theory.
Damir Dzhafarov, assistant professor of mathematics, has been awarded a Simons collaboration grant to support his research on computable combinatorics and reverse mathematics, with a focus on computationally weak variants of Ramsey’s theorem. The basic objective is to characterize how close a mathematical problem is to being algorithmically solvable, and to understand the axioms and techniques needed to prove various results concerning it.
Kenneth Pugh, professor of psychological sciences, president and director of research at Haskins Laboratories, and director at the Yale Reading Center, is the recipient of the prestigious Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award, bestowed by the National Institutes of Health. The award, which provides support for research for five years, recognizes Pugh’s contributions to the understanding of reading disabilities.
The Southern Historical Association has announced that James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History Manisha Sinha has been awarded its 2017 James A. Rawley Award for the best book on secession or the sectional crisis published in the past two years, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition”.
Marie Shanahan, assistant professor of journalism, is one of four new members elected to the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government (CFOG) Board of Directors. CFOG is a broad-based, nonpartisan organization intent on preserving and protecting the people’s right to know in the conduct of the public’s business.
Sarah S. Willen, associate professor of anthropology, has been awarded a $699,960 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for a two-phase, mixed methods study of how Americans of diverse socioeconomic, professional, and racial and ethnic backgrounds think about equity and deservingness in the health domain. She will collaborate with co-investigators from Cleveland State University and Trinity College.
Regina Barreca, professor of English and Engagement Fellow, will be on the lead float at this year’s New York City Columbus Day Parade in a celebration of Italian-American Authors alongside Connecticut resident and novelist, Wally Lamb. Additionally, she has been selected as one of the winners of Connecticut’s National Abortion and Reproductive Rights (NARAL) Roraback award this year for her work on women’s reproductive rights and freedoms, and has also accepted the Reed Fellowship from UConn.
Carolyn Teschke, professor of molecular and cell biology and associate department head for undergraduate education, received the Alice C. Evans Award from the American Society of Microbiology for her contributions toward the full participation and advancement of women in microbiology.
This August, Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Emeritus Lawrence Hightower was presented the Cell Stress Society International’s 2017 Medallion by its President, M. Gabriella Santoro, at the Eighth International Congress of the society in Turku, Finland. He received this distinguishing honor for his lifetime contributions to the science of cellular stress.
James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History Manisha Sinha has been named a finalist for the 19th annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize for her publication, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition”. The winner of the award, which is selected by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center at Yale University, will be announced on February 22, 2018.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, J. Peter Gogarten, and Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, R. Thane Papke, received a grant from the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences and the Office of International Science and Engineering at the US National Science Foundation and the Israeli Binational Science Foundation Program for the amount of $817,279. Their project is a collaboration with Lilach Hadany and Uri Gophna (Tel Aviv University) and is titled “Rare Genes and Alleles in Halophilic Archaeal Populations and Communities”.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry Harry Frank was named a Fellow of the International Carotenoid Society and was awarded the distinction and a medal at the 18th International Symposium on Carotenoids held this summer in Lucerne, Switzerland. The medal depicts the image of Paul Karrer who was awarded the Nobel Prize for establishing the formula of beta-carotene and demonstrating its transformation in the body into vitamin A. This award recognizes Professor Frank’s longstanding and consistent contributions to research on how carotenoids function.
Monnica Williams, associate professor of psychological sciences, received a Presidential Citation from the Society for the Psychology of Women for, in part, “Her courageous and outstanding contributions toward using psychological science to better understand those who are marginalized, underserved, and in distress.”
Lewis Gordon, professor of philosophy, has been named the Honorary President of the Global Center for Advanced Studies. His first address in the position, given on Aug. 19, was titled “A Statement on Charlottesville.”
Draper Chair in American History and Professor of History Manisha Sinha has been awarded the SHEAR Best Book Prize for 2017. This prize is annually awarded by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic for the best original monograph on any aspect of American history between 1776 and 1861. Sinha has received the award for her book “The Slave’s Cause.”
Sinha’s book was also honored by the Southern Historical Association as the winner of the 2017 Rawley Award for the best book on secession or the sectional crisis published over the last two years, and was named a finalist for the19th annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize by the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center.
Mike Robillard and BJ Strawser, two Ph.D. alumni from the Department of Philosophy, have been named as winners of the APA’s 2017 public philosophy op-ed contest for their ethical war blog: “Are Soldiers Morally Exploited?” The APA committee on public philosophy sponsors this annual contest, which includes a $100 monetary award per essay, for the best opinion-editorials published by philosophers. The goal is to honor five standout pieces each year that successfully blend philosophical argumentation with an op-ed writing style.
“Speakers of the Dead,” a debut novel by English alumnus J. Aaron Sanders Ph.D. ’08, has won the Lambda Literary Award for best gay mystery of 2016. Lambda Literary is the nation’s leading organization advancing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) literature.
Associate Professor of Sociology Bradley Wright was awarded a $214,399 grant from the John Templeton Foundation for his project, “Transforming the Study of Religion and Spirituality by Promoting the Use of Field Experiments.” The project will advocate for field experimentation that directly tests causality to offer a deeper understanding of the antecedents, consequences, contexts, and participants involved with religion and spirituality. Activities will include creating a network of scholars who use field experiments to study religion and spirituality, cataloging the field experiments that have already been done, conducting one field experiment (or more) as a demonstration study and produce training materials from it, and administering a small-grant program to fund several field experiments.
The CLAS Business Services Center was honored with the 2017 UConn Team Award, which recognizes a department, group, or team whose collaboration has demonstrated success and overall contributions to the University. The Center’s team consists of Kane Lynch, Michelle Cahill, Amanda Cobb, Melissa Gugliotti, James Ouellette, Caroline Jadovich, Beth Bernobich, Allison Goldsnider, Francesca D’Antonio, Gabrielle Fish, Kyle Lewis, Nick Franconi. They were recognized during a campus-wide UConn Spirit Awards ceremony on April 25.
Professor of Chemistry Challa V. Kumar has received phase 1 funding from NASA’s Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program to enhance advanced solar cells used in space exploration. When a solar-powered space craft travels away from the sun, its exposure to sunlight drops significantly, requiring solar cells that use lenses to focus the existing solar energy. But focusing light sometimes causes solar cells to overheat, which reduces functionality.
Working with principal investigator Mark O’Neill of MarkONeill LLC (Texas), Kumar will develop thermal dissipation devices that will help offset the heat from advanced solar cells. These radiators will be built using graphene, a unique carbon material that Kumar produces in his lab using a simple and inexpensive method of production. If successful, the radiators will be used by NASA in outer planetary missions.
Professor and Head of Journalism Maureen Croteau has been elected to the Connecticut Journalism Hall of Fame by the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists. She will be inducted at an awards ceremony on May 25.
Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Rachel M. Theodore has received a three-year, $464,000 grant from the NIH NIDCD to examine speech perception in individuals with and without specific language impairment (LI). LI is a common child learning disorder that can persist into adulthood and puts individuals at risk for other disabilities, including learning disability, reading disability, and failure to thrive in academic environments. Her research will use fMRI neuroimaging and behavioral methods to compare speech perception in individuals with and without LI, with respect to how phonetic category structure is represented in the brain and how phonetic category structure is dynamically modified as a consequence of exposure to phonetic variation. These findings will result in improved specification of the etiology of LI, which can be used to develop more targeted rehabilitation protocols. The title of the grant is “Determinants of Phonetic Category Structure in Language Impairment.”
Assistant Professor of Political Science Veronica Herrera has received the 2017-2018 Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, administered by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and the 2017-2018 American Association of University Women Postdoctoral Fellowship. Professor Herrera will be in residence at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard during this research leave to work on her new book project, “The Politics of Pollution, Environmental Inequality, and Collective Action in Latin American Cities.”
The Organization of American Historians presented Professor of History and James L. and Shirley A. Draper Chair in American History Manisha Sinha with the 2017 Avery O. Craven Award for her book, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition” (Yale University Press). This annual award is given to the author of the most original book on the coming of the Civil War, the Civil War years, or the Era of Reconstruction, with the exception of works of purely military history.
Professor of Anthropology Merrill Singer received the Career Achievement Award from the Society for Medical Anthropology at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association in the fall of 2016. This award honors an individual who has advanced the field of medical anthropology through career-long contributions to theory or method, and who has been successful in communicating the relevance of medical anthropology to broader publics.
Associate Professor of History Micki McElya has been named a finalist for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction for her publication, “The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery” (Harvard University Press). McElya’s book investigates how policies and practices at Arlington National Cemetery have mirrored the nation’s fierce battles over race, politics, honor, and loyalty.
The Connecticut Writing Project at Storrs, directed by Jason Courtmanche, has been selected to receive two grants from the National Writing Project for 2017-2018. The first is a $15,000 Invitational Leadership Institute Grant, which will be used to invest in 12 or more K-university teacher-leaders who are new to the Writing Project community from diverse educational settings, including high-need schools. The second is a $20,000 SEED College-Ready Writers Program (CRWP) Professional Development in a High-Need Middle or High School grant, which will provide funding for 45 hours of intensive, CRWP professional development in a high-need school.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emerita Ruth Garrett Millikan is the 2017 winner of The Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy. Established by the University of Pittsburgh in 2009, the Nicholas Rescher Prize for Systematic Philosophy rewards and showcases the work of philosophers who have addressed the historical “big questions” of the field in ways that nevertheless command the respect of specialists. It bears comparison with other prestigious cultural prizes such as the Pulitzer prize for journalism and the creative arts administered by Columbia University.
Research Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Gene Likens received the BBVA Foundation’s Frontiers of Knowledge Award for ecology and conservation biology. The award recognizes Likens for his pioneering work on the discovery of causes of acid rain and his long-term experimental studies of the it’s impacts on ecosystems.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of History Frank Costigliola was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for the 2017-2018 academic year. Costigliola published an edited book, The Kennan Diaries (W. W. Norton), in 2014. The award will now enable him to complete a biography that analyzes the inner life and emotional connections with Russia of America’s Chief Cold War Strategist George F. Kennan.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Mike Willig has been elected as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). AIBS is the national scientific organization that promotes the use of science to inform decision-making that advances biology for the benefit of science and society.
Janet Barnes-Farrell, professor and associate department head of psychological sciences, has been selected as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Sciences. This award recognizes Barnes-Farrell’s outstanding contributions to the advancement of psychological sciences.
Professor of Psychological Sciences Colin Leach has been awarded a European Association for Social Psychology Kurt Lewin Award for 2017. Kurt Lewin Medals are mid-career awards meant to recognize outstanding scientific contributions among members of the European Association of Social Psychology.
Assistant Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology Jianjun Sun has been awarded a Grand Challenge Explorations Phase I grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for research on how to make safer contraceptives. The Grand Challenges Explorations grant supports innovative thinkers to explore how to solve persistent global health and development challenges. Sun’s grant, titled “Develop Novel Platforms to Accelerate Contraceptive Drug Discovery,” has the potential to provide effective contraception while eliminating associated mental health side effects, such as depression.
UConn Physiology and Neurobiology Graduate Student Brock Chimileski has been named a 2016-2017 Beckman Scholar. This honor is given to young scientists who are carefully selected by their Beckman Scholars Program (BSP) institution. The scholars will be performing research at their institution over the next 15 months under the guidance of their BSP mentor, and they will present their findings at the 2017 Annual Beckman Symposium.
Professor and Department Head of Sociology Manisha Desai was named the 2016 Faculty Mentor of the Year by the Compact for Faculty Diversity Institute on Teaching and Mentoring. She received the award at a ceremony held on Saturday, October 29 in Tampa, Florida.
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Ken Campellone has been awarded a $754,675 grant from the NIH’s Department of Health and Human Services and National Institute on Aging. Campellone’s grant is titled, “Cytoskeletal Functions in Cell Aging and Disease.”
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Charles Yarish has received an award from the Sea Grant Association. This award for Yarish and his colleagues recognizes the success of their basic and applied research on seaweed cultivation. The President of the Sea Grants Association said, “The award recipients exemplify the strength and value of integrated research, outreach and education programs supported by the Sea Grant network, and clearly demonstrate the importance of translational research in supporting science-based management.”
Tomoyasu Mani, new assistant professor of chemistry, is the 2016 Blavatnik Regional Award Winner in Chemistry category. He is recognized for: Advances in the understanding of electron transport occurring in Organic Photovoltaics used in solar energy capture and conversion. The award is given by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and the New York Academy of Sciences. The Blavatnik Regional Awards acknowledge and celebrate the excellence of outstanding postdoctoral scientists from institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Winners are awarded $30,000 each.
Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Jill Wegrzyn is co-PI on a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to establish a network sharing comprehensive tree health and genetic data between scientists and the public. The program, called Tripal, will enable scientists and the public to easily access information about trees, tree genetics, sequences of tree genomes and other information housed in specialized tree breeding and research community databases. The principal granting institution is Washington State University; others involved are the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee and the U.S. Forest Service.
Manisha Sinha, a professor of history and Draper Chair of American History, has been nominated for a National Book Award. Sinha has received the award for her latest book, “The Slave’s Cause: A History of Abolition.” Sinha is currently at the University of Massachusetts Amherst for the 2016-2017 academic year.
Julie Shoults ’15 PhD (CLAS) just received the prestigious “Women in German Dissertation Prize” this year from the Coalition of Women in German. The Coalition of Women in German provides a democratic forum for all people interested in feminist approaches to German literature and culture or in the intersection of gender with other categories of analysis such as sexuality, class, race, and ethnicity. Shoults is currently a lecturer in German studies at Moravian College.
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Eldridge Adams has been awarded the 2016 Faculty Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award. This honor is presented by the UConn Foundation and the Office of Alumni Relations.
Associate Department Head of Psychology Janet Barnes-Farrell has just been elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA). Fellow status is an honor bestowed upon APA members who have shown evidence of unusual and outstanding contributions or performance in the field of psychology, and whose work has had a national impact on the field beyond a local, state, or regional level.
Vena Haynes, a graduate student in Marine Sciences, has recently been awarded a three-year EPA STAR Award. The EPA’s Science to Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship program supports both masters and doctoral candidates in environmental studies, and it is one of the most competitive national environmental fellowships. Students can be pursuing degrees in traditionally recognized environmental disciplines as well as other fields such as social anthropology, urban and regional planning, and decision sciences.
Associate Professor of History Micki McElya‘s new book, “The Politics of Mourning: Death and Honor in Arlington National Cemetery,” has just been published by Harvard University Press. Her next book, “Liberating Beauty: Feminism, the Civil Rights Movement, and Miss America,” is being funded by a UConn Scholarship Facilitation Fund Award for 2016-17 from the Office of the Vice-President for Research.
Professor of Psychological Sciences Colin Leach has recently been named a fellow of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology. Fellows are recognized for their extraordinary and distinctive contributions to the science of personality and social psychology.
Associate Professor of English Clare Costley King’oo is a member of the Tyndale Project, which is preparing five critical editions of the influential Reformation thinker William Tyndale’s (ca. 1495-1536) prose works. The Tyndale Project has recently been awarded a Scholarly Editions and Translations Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) in the amount of $335,000 over the next three years. The PI for the grant is Mark Rankin of James Madison University and the Project Director for the Independent Works of William Tyndale is Susan Felch of Calvin College. King’oo is co-editing Tyndale’s “Obedience of a Christen Man” (1528) along with Felch.
Stephanie Del Tufo, who recently completed her Ph.D. at UConn, has been awarded the 2016 Isabelle Y. Liberman Award in recognition of two of Del Tufo’s research publications on dyslexia.Isabelle Liberman, the late professor of educational psychology at UConn, was a central figure in the cognitive science of reading. Part of the Liberman Award includes a stipend of $2500, as well as recognition of the quality and promise of Del Tufo’s research. Del Tufo will begin a postdoctoral fellowship at Vanderbilt University this fall.
Chad Jewett has been awarded the 2016 Melvin E. Bradford Dissertation Prize of the St. George Tucker Society for his dissertation, “Aesthetic Activism: Race, Ethnicity, Literary Experimentalism, and the U.S. South.” This prize is an annual competition that recognizes the best dissertation written on any aspect of the American South. Jewett’s dissertation committee consisted of his major advisor Veronica Makowsky, Professor of English Clare Eby, and Associate Professor of English Cathy Schlund-Vials.
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Barbara Mellone has received the 2016 Women in Cell Biology Junior Award for Excellence in Research from the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB). Mellone will be given the award at the American Society of Cell Biology’s annual meeting in December in San Francisco, where she will also be presenting a talk on her research.
Associate Professor of Scoiology Matthew Hughey has been named editor for Sociology Compass-Race & Ethnicity (SOCORE), starting in January 2017. SOCORE publishes an annual collection of of 10-14 peer-reviewed essays. Each essay covers the varied literature within sub-topics of the sociology of race and ethnicity.
The Department of History has received a Career Diversity for Historians Departmental Grant from the American Historical Association. The department will receive $3,000 to fund a variety of activities aimed towards broadening career horizons and opportunities for graduate students. Associate Professors of History Mark Healey and Sylvia Schafer are working together to fund three “Career Pathways” roundtable discussions. “Digital Pathways” introduces students and faculty to practitioners of digital history, “History as Enterprise” examines contract and consulting work, and “Public History at Multiple Scales” explores careers in public history. The funds will also support a regular discussion series and formal career network and website.
English undergraduates Shannon Hearn and Danilo Machado will have their poetry included in Plain China 2016, which is a national literary anthology that showcases the best undergraduate writing from across the country. Hearn’s poem “Devotions” and Machado’s poem “Dear Michael” were both originally published in the Long River Review last year.
The Humanities Institute has just announced the 2016-2017 Residential Faculty and Dissertation Fellowship awards. UConn Faculty Fellowships have been awarded to Associate Professor of English Anna Duane, Associate Professor of History Mark Healey, Assistant Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Daniel Hershenzon, Assistant Professor of Philosophy Daniel Silvermint, Professor of Political Science Christine Sylvester, and Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dimitrios Xygalatas. UConn Dissertation Fellowships have been awarded to Jeffrey Egan for his work in history, Melanie Meinzer in political science, Troy Messick in linguistics, and George Moore in English.
Eldridge Adams, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has received the 2016 Faculty Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award from the UConn Foundation Alumni Office. Each year, this award honors an individual’s commitment to rise above good instruction, engage students thoroughly in their learning process, and significantly contribute to intellectual life at UConn.
Associate Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology Daniel Mulkey, working with Michelle Olsen from the University of Alabama, has received a grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institute’s of Health. The award is for Mulkey’s work “Glial chemosensitivity and control of breathing in Rett syndrome,” and totals $1,522,374 for four years.
Two CLAS faculty and one graduate student have all been recipients of awards from the UConn Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning for 2016-2017. These awards honor educators that have been recognized for their excellent teaching. Marianne Cavanaugh, an adjunct professor of mathematics, received the Outstanding Adjunct Award, the University Teaching Fellow Award was given to Professor of Mathematics Amit Savkar, and Ph.D. student in Linguistics Aida Talic received the Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.
English PhD Candidate Miller Oberman has won the prestigious 2016 Discovery Poetry Contest, run by the 92nd Street Y and the Boston Review. The contest has launched the careers of major poets, like John Ashbery, Mark Strand, Lucille Clifton, Mary Jo Bang, and Eduardo C. Corral, for over 60 years. Miller was selected by poets Thylias Moss, Paul Muldoon, and Ellen Bryant Voigt, who served as the final judges in the competition. Miller will read with three other selected winners in New York this April.
John Mangeri, a PhD student in the Physics Department, has been awarded the prestigious Graduate Student Research Award (SCGSR) from the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. This award is very competitive, the DOE selects students with outstanding academic accomplishments with research that reflects their potential to advance in their studies to make important contributions to the DOE Office of Science.
Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Erika Skoe has been awarded $20,000 from the American Hearing Research Foundation for her work on Neurophysiological Indices of Hidden Hearing Loss in Musicians. The American Hearing Research Foundation has awarded eight grants totaling $201,000 for its 60th anniversary.
Elizabeth Charash has been named the 2016 Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is named in honor of Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Contact and a tireless advocate for the role of higher education in preparing students for active and engaged citizenship. This award honors undergraduate and graduate students who have taken action in the pursuit of long-term social change and who engage and inspire others in their communities. The students are nominated by their institution’s president or chancellor. The Newman Civic Fellows Award is generously supported by the KPMG Foundation and by Newman’s Own Foundation.
Crystal Park, a professor of psychological sciences, has been named this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award from the Spirituality and Health SIG of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. The award will be presented to Park this week at the society’s meeting in Washington, D.C.
Program Assistant of Chemistry Aneesa Bey was the recipient of the 2016 UConn Rising Star Award. This award is given to a UConn staff member who has contributed significantly to his/her department and University community with enthusiasm, strong work ethic, superior leadership, and reliability. Recipients are those who have enhanced the UConn brand through their ideas and actions. Aneesa was recognized during a campus-wide UConn Spirit Awards ceremony held on Tuesday, March 8th.
Maria (Masha) Gordina, professor of Mathematics, has been named a 2016 Fellow of the Simons Foundation. The Simons Foundation Fellows Program, in its Division for Mathematics, provide funds to faculty for a semester to focus on basic research, with the intention of increasing creativity and intellectual stimulation.
Professor of Physics Robin Côté was presented with the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics at the Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics, an annual conference that attracts the world’s experts in laser physics and quantum electronics. Côté received the medal for his pioneering work in the field of ultracold atomic and molecular gases.
The American Association of University Professors has honored five CLAS faculty with its annual awards. The awards showcase academic excellence in research and teaching. For Early Career Teaching Excellence: Amanda Denes, Assistant Professor of Communication. For Career Teaching Excellence: Etan Markus, Professor of Psychology and Margaret Rubega, Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. For Early Career Excellence in Research and Creativity: Marie Coppola, Assistant Professor of Psychology. For Career Excellence and Research and Creativity: Zeljko Boskovic, Professor of Linguistics.
Department Head and Professor Larry Renfro and Associate Professor in Residence Xinnian Chen from the physiology and neurobiology department have received a 2016 Beckman Scholars Program Award from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation. Renfro and Chen are from one of 12 institutions in the United States to received the award, which will support six undergraduate researchers and mentors for a sustained research experience that will span two summers and one academic year.
Jerzy Weyman, a professor of mathematics, has been awarded the 2016 Sierpinsi Medal for his outstanding work. The award is given out annually to recognize Polish mathematicians for their scientific achievements in their field.
Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos, a professor of chemistry, is the recipient of a ~$2.5 million award from DOD, Army, MedicalResearch, and Materiel Command for his project, “Tracking the Health of Soldiers with Advanced Implantable Nano-Sensors.”
Graduate Student Brunah Otieno has received the Sensors Travel Award, which recognizes research accomplishments and the potential for future success in the field of biosensors. This award will support Otieno’s travel to any academic conference during 2016, at which Otieno will be able to interact with other researchers and share her research results.
Mark Peczuh, an associate professor of chemistry, has received a grant for a project proposal where they will be developing a version of a second semester organic chemistry course that is altered from the typical version of the course. Lecture content will be delivered online and class meeting times will be dedicated to problem solving and group work. They will also supplement the group work being done with weekly recitations led by undergraduate peer-leaders.
Veronica Herrera, Assistant Professor of Political Science, was awarded a 2016-2017 Career Enhancement Fellowship by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation. The award provides a sabbatical year to pursue research on Herrera’s project, “The Politics of Pollution, Environmental Inequality, and Collective Action in Latin American Cities.” The Career Enhancement Fellowship Program, with funds from the Mellon Foundation, seeks to increase the presence of faculty members committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and sciences, and is awarded annually to approximately 20 junior faculty nationwide.
Kenneth Foote, professor and department head of geography, has been selected for the AAG Susan Hardwick Excellence in Mentoring award for his dedication throughout his career to mentoring and teaching others to be mentors as well. He has participated in the AAG’s Enhancing Departments, Graduate Education (EDGE), and has hosted the Graduate Faculty Development Alliance (GFDA) and the Department Leadership Workshops, making him a prime recipient of this year’s award.
Professor of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages Anne Berthelot is being awarded the medal of ‘Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques’ (Knight of the Order of Academic Palms) on February 4 in New York City. This award is one of the highest distinctions that the French government gives to individuals of outstanding academic and intellectual achievement who have made great contributions in the fields of education and culture.
Connecticut-based medical device startup, Biorasis, founded by UConn Professor of Chemistry Fotios Papadimitrakopoulos and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Faquir Jain, were recently awarded the MassChallenge’s top prize at their annual awards ceremony. The company was one of only four “Diamond Winners,” receiving a cash prize of $100,000. They were also one of two teams to receive the Sidecar Award, providing an additional $200,000 in non-dilutive funding.
El Instituto: Institute of Latino/a, Caribbean, and Latin American Studies, was awarded a three-year, $30,000 Tinker Foundation Field Research Grant for a total of $60,000 with matching funds. The grant will provide graduate students from all disciplines across the university with funds for travel to and within Latin America and the Caribbean to conduct pre-dissertation research. The awards will allow students to acquire a comprehensive knowledge of language and culture, familiarize themselves with information sources relevant to their studies, conduct pilot studies and preliminary investigations, and develop contacts with scholars and institutions in their respective fields.
Researchers Erika Skoe, Jennifer Tufts, and Christine Hare of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences have been awarded a research grant from the American Hearing Research Foundation to study the early warning signs of noise-induced hearing loss in college musicians. This collaboration seeks to identify biomarkers of hearing loss before the loss becomes clinically significant.
Jelani Cobb, associate professor of history and director of the Africana Studies Institute, has been selected as the 2016 Justice Trailblazer, an award given annually by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and The Crime Report to honor individuals in the media or media-related fields who have advanced national understanding on the 21st century challenges of criminal justice. The awards committee chose Cobb for a body of work that spans books, journalism and scholarship exploring the inequitable impact of the justice system on African Americans.
Matthew McKenzie, Associate Professor of History at the Avery Point Campus, has been named to the History Working Group of the United States Delegation to the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas, based in Copenhagen. As an environmental historian with interests in coastline, maritime, and fisheries matters Matt will contribute to the Working Group’s task of developing meaningful ways to use historical information to inform contemporary marine resource analyses, management research, and policy development.
Undergraduate student Sarah Camera received a $5,000 award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation Graduate Student Scholarship during the recent 2015 Convention of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, held Nov. 12 to 14 in Denver, Colorado. The Graduate Student Scholarship program supports master’s and doctoral students in the field of speech-language pathology, or audiology, who demonstrate outstanding academic achievement.
Camera completed her honor’s thesis on the impact of musical training on the auditory system under the direction of Assistant Professor of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences Erika Skoe and is now enrolled in the master’s program in the Department of Psychological Sciences.
The Modern Language Association of America announced the winner of its 52nd annual William Riley Parker Prize for an outstanding article published in PMLA, the association’s journal of literary scholarship. The author of this year’s winning essay is UConn student Gordon Fraser. His article, “Troubling the Cold War Logic of Annihilation: Apocalyptic Temporalities in Sherman Alexie’s The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven,” appeared in the May 2015 issue of PMLA.
Professor Carolyn Teschke and Professor Emeritus Philip Yeagle, both of Molecular and Cell Biology, and Professor Hans Dam of Marine Sciences, have been elected as 2015 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The Council also elected Professor Reinhard Laubenbacher of UConn Health and Jackson Laboratories. The Council elects members whose efforts on behalf of the advancement of science or its applications are scientifically or socially distinguished. The winners will be honored at the February 2016 AAAS meeting.
Graduate student in the Department of Psychological Sciences, Lauren Long, has received the American Psychological Foundation’s Council of Graduate Departments of Psychology 2015 Ruth G. and Joseph D. Matarazzo Scholarship. The Foundation provides financial support for innovative research programs that enhance the power of psychology to elevate the human condition and advance human potential.
Professor of Marine Sciences Senjie Lin has received a$166,709 one-year research grant from the from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop experimental model systems in marine microbes. The project is titled “Screening marine microeukaryotes for their amenability for genetic tool development.” Co-investigators on the grant include Huan Zhang in the Department of Marine Sciences, Marco Villanueva of the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Jacquin Niles of the Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Professor of Marine Sciences Senjie Lin has received a grant from the from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop experimental model systems in marine microbes. The total award, titled “Screening marine microeukaryotes for their amenability for genetic tool development,” is $166,709 for one year of research. Co-investigators on the grant include Huan Zhang of the Department of Marine Sciences, Marco Villanueva of the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, and Jacquin Niles of the Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Associate Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology Daniel Mulkey, along with co-PI’s Associate Professor Anastasios Tzingounis and Associate Professor in Residence Xinnian Chen, were awarded $301,406 from the State of Connecticut’s 2015 Biomedical Trust Fund. Their project, “KCNQ2 channels in chemosensitive RTN neurons regulate breathing and are potential targets for treatment of stroke-induced respiratory dysfunction,” is the only grant awarded to researchers at the Storrs campus this year.
Associate Department Head in the Department of Psychology, Janet Barnes-Farrell, was elected a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. SIOP is Division 14 of the American Psychological Association and an affiliate of the Association for Psychological Science. A brief profile of Barnes-Farrell on the SIOP website can be found here.
Emeritus Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Philip Yeagle has been named as the recipient of the Biophysical Society’s 2016 Avanti Award in Lipids. Yeagle is being honored for his innovative applications of NMR to important problems of biological interest that have altered thinking in the area of membrane biophysics research. Avanti Polar Lipids, Inc. established this award to recognize investigators for their outstanding contributions to our understanding of lipid biophysics.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jing Zhao recently received a $280,000 NSF grant as a co-PI from the division of Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) for a project entitled, “Collaborative Research: Injectable, Biocompatible, Programmed-Bioresorbable Nanosensor Array for Continuous Glucose Monitoring.” The PI is Asscoiate Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Lei Yu and the co-PI is Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences Xiuling Lu.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Alexandru Asandei is the recipient of a three-year NSF grant for Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization of Dienes. The$405,000 grant was awarded by the NSF’s Macromolecular, Supramolecular, and Nanochemistry (MSN) program.
Professor and Department Head of Chemistry Amy Howell is a co-PI with PI Kevin Shannon from the University of California San Francisco and Ben Cravatt, a co-PI from Scripps, for a 5-year, $2.6 million grant from NIH targeting oncogenic NRAS in cancer.
Professor and Department Head of Linguistics, Jonathan Bobaljik, has been named a 2016 Fellow of the Linguistic Society of America, which recognizes fellows for their outstanding contributions to the field of linguistics.
Assistant Professor of Mathematics Ovidiu Munteanu received a three-year NSF of $166,545 for his project called, “The Geometry of Ricci Solitons.”
Associate Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology Li Wang was granted $1,777,500 from the NIH National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences for her project titled, “Molecular Basis of Metabolic Cancer Cell Reprogramming.”
Professor of Physics Vernon Cormier was awarded a three-year Air Force grant of $440,439 for his project entitled, “Full Waveform Modeling of High Frequency Regional Phases for Optimization of Regional Monitoring.”
Associate Professor of Physics Richard Jones was awarded a 3-year NSF grant of $405,000 for his project entitled, “Research and Education with GlueX.”
Associate Professor of Chemistry Mark Peczuh received a three-year National Science Foundation award of $420,000 for his project entitled, “Development of Glycosynthase Enzymes to Construct Septanosyl Glycosides.”
Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Kenneth Noll received a two-year, $220,264 award from NASA for his project, “A Pilot Study Examining Interspecies Sharing of Chromosomal Genes Among Extreme Thermophiles.”
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Robertson Papke has been awarded $699,718 from NASA for his project, “Epigenetics, DNA Uptake, and Phosphorus Cycling are Intertwined Processes in the Hypersaline Adapted Archaeal Class Halobacteria.”
Professor of Psychology Hart Blanton is the co-Principal Investigator on a new grant with Professor Peter Luh in the School of Engineering. The NSF grant, titled “Virtual Building Emergency Evacuation, is for $680,875 over three years.
The leading South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo has named Professor of History Alexis Dudden as the recipient of the 2015 Manhae Peace Prize. This prestigious prize is awarded in several categories in memory of Manhae, pen name of the Korean poet, Buddhist reformer, and independence activist Han Yong-un (1879–1944).
Associate Professor of Marine Sciences Julie Granger received $691,032 from NSF, along with co-PI’s at UMass Dartmouth and Brown University, for the project, “Collaborative Research: GEOTRACES Arctic Ocean Section, Constraining Nitrogen Fluxes and Transformations Using Natural Stable Isotpe and Dissolved Gas Tracers.”
Director and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Steven Suib received one of the five awards from Fraunhofer totaling approximately $205,400. Suib also received one of the five awards from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection from Fraunhofer also totaling approximately $205,400.
Assistant Professor of Physics Jason Hancock has been awarded a three-year NSF grant for his project, “Lattice dynamics of strong negative thermal expansion materials,” totaling $381,979.
Assistant Professor of Physics Andrew Puckett has received a Department of Energy Early Career Award for his project, “Three-dimensional structure of the nucleon.” The award is for $750,000 over five years.
Professor of Psychology Felicia Pratto has received 15,390 from the CHF and $15,990 from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, for her academic mentoring project, “From inclusive identities to inclusive societies: Exploring complex social identity in Western Balkans.”
Assistant Professor of Psychology Kimberly Cuevas recieved an $79,000 from the NIH for her project, “EEG Mu Rhythm Analysis of Infant Social Information Processing.”
Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Carolyn Teschke has been selected as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the Department of State for 2015-2016. The 2015-2016 Jefferson Science Fellows (JSF) is the 11th class of fellows selected since the program was established in 2003 as an initiative of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. It is designed to further build capacity for science, technology and engineering expertise within the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the School of Engineering, A. F. M. Anwar, was also chosen as a fellow.
Jennifer Crocker, Associate Professor of Psychology Diane Quinn received a $343,805 from NIH project called, “Understanding the role of interpersonal processes in mood disorders.”
Four CLAS faculty were recipients of 2015 American Association of University Professors (AAUP) awards in March. The winners were:
Teaching Excellence, Early Career: Barbara Gurr, Assistant Professor in Residence of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies
Teaching Excellence, Career: Paula Philbrick, Lecturer in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Excellence in Research and Creativity, Early Career: Barbara Mellone, Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology, and Emily Myers, Assistant Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences
Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Political Science, Melanie Meinzer, has received a 2015 Boren Fellowship to study Arabic at An Najah National University in Nablus, West Bank, and complete my dissertation field research in the West Bank this coming fall. The Boren Fellowship is part of the government’s National Security Education Program, which funds students who are studying topics/languages of strategic importance.
Associate Professor of History and Director of the Africana Studies Institute Jelani Cobb has won the 2015 Hillman Prize for Opinion and Analysis Journalism. From his citation, “Combining the strengths of an on-the-scene reporter, a public intellectual, a teacher, a vivid writer, a subtle moralist, and an accomplished professional historian, Cobb met the challenge of describing the turmoil in Ferguson in a way that cut through the frantic chaos of ‘breaking news’ and ‘deepened readers’ understanding of what they were seeing, hearing, and feeling.”
Professor of Statistics Nalini Ravishanker has been elected as president of the International Society for Business and Industrial Statistics for 2015-2017. ISBIS is an international society that is dedicated to the promotion of business and industrial statistics worldwide, including financial and health services, among others.
Assistant Professor of Marine Sciences Kelly Lombardo just received a three year National Science Foundation award entitled “Toward a Further Understanding and Improved Forecasting of Coastal Quasi-Linear Convective Systems” for the amount of $291,988.
Professor of Physics Vernon Cormier has been awarded $300,000 from the National Science Foundation for his project, “Characterization of Small-scale Heterogeneity in the Deep Earth.”
Researchers in CLAS were awarded $593,806 in Research Excellence Program funding given by the UConn Office of the Vice President for Research. Projects with PI’s from 10 departments across the sciences, social sciences, and humanities were funded.
Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Mark Urban, in collaboration with the Marine Biological Laboratory at Woods Hole, has received a $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant for his project, “Adaptability of a key Arctic freshwater species to climate change.” The study will evaluate the relationship between climate change and the movement, plasticity and adaptation of the Arctic grayling, a keystone species in Arctic streams.
Michael Robillard, a graduate student in the Department of Philosophy, has been chosen as one of three research fellows at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership located at the United States Naval Academy. The Fellows program is a unique and multidisciplinary effort that brings together academics and military professionals to study a specific topic in the field of military ethics and leadership. Next year’s topic will be on civil/military relations. Research accomplished by the Fellows makes a significant impact on education at the Naval Academy and policy making within our national government. Michael will begin his residency at the Center in September of 2015.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Kimberly Cuevas received new grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This $158,000 award is for a study of the brain EEG rhythms of very young infants as they process facial gestures, and the data have implications for theories of cognitive and social development as well as for a better understanding of the neural mirroring system.
Student Khrystyna Serhiyenko has been awarded a National Science Foundation Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. She will use her fellowship to work with Professor Lauren Williams at the University of California in Berkeley starting next fall. The purpose of the Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (MSPRF) is to support future leaders in mathematics and statistics by facilitating their participation in postdoctoral research environments that will have maximal impact on their future scientific development.
Associate Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Jennifer Tufts received a grant from Department of Defense and Creare, Inc., titled “Hearing Fitness for Duty and Return-To-Duty Assessment and Validation,” for an amount of $161,170.
Distinguished Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Janine Caira just received a NSF grant to work on the project, “Collaborative Research: Developing novel methods for estimating coevolutionary processes using tapeworms and their shark and ray hosts” for the amount of $395,925 with the University of Kansas.
Professor of Physics Niloy Dutta has published a book titled “Fiber Amplifiers and Fiber Lasers.” The book provides a comprehensive treatment of design and applications of rare earth doped fiber amplifiers and fiber lasers.
Associate Professor of Geography Carol Atkinson-Palombo and Ben Hoen, her colleague from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, have received the Marc Louargand Best Research Paper Award in 2014 from the American Real Estate Society for their work on the impact of wind turbines on property values in Massachusetts.
Matthew Guberman-Pfeffer, a graduate student in the Department of Chemistry, has been selected to receive a Learning Ally National Achievement Awards. Guberman-Pfeffer, who is blind, is one of only three students nationwide to win the top Mary P. Oenslager Scholastic Acheivement Award. Guberman-Pfeffer ultimately would like to become a chemistry professor.
Neil Oculi, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography, has been selected for a Diplomacy and Diversity Fellowship by Humanity in Action, an international educational organization headquartered in New York City. The fellowship program offers 24 American and European graduate students the opportunity to explore the changing international dynamics of diplomacy and diversity in Washington, Berlin, Paris and The Hague.
Human development and family studies/human rights double major Emily Eaton ’15 and biological sciences major Michael Nocera ’16 are two of 800 American undergraduate students selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the spring 2015 academic term. Gilman scholars receive up to $5,000 to apply toward their study abroad or internship program costs. The program aims to diversify the students who study and intern abroad and the countries and regions where they go and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Eaton is currently studying abroad in South Africa and Nocera is studying abroad in Australia.
Li Wang, associate professor of physiology and neurobiology, has received a $1,713,380 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Institute for her project, “LncRNA as a New Mediator of Bile Acid Homeostasis.”
Serkan Görkemli, associate professor of English, has won the 2015 Conference on College Composition and Communication’s (CCCC) Lavender Rhetorics Award for Excellence in Queer Scholarship in the book award category for his book “Grassroots Literacies: Lesbian and Gay Activism and the Internet in Turkey.” The CCCC is an association within the National Council of Teachers of English.
Lan-Hsuan Huang, assistant professor of mathematics, has received a $400,648 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her work, titled “Geometric Problems in General Relativity,” which investigates the geometrical mathematics used to describe the shape of the universe.
Assistant Professor of Linguistics Magdalena Kaufmann received a fellowship award from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and will collaborate with Yukinori Takubo of Kyoto University on her project, “Formal semantic approach to performative modality.”
Associate Professor of Literature, Cultures and Languages Anke Finger has received a research stay grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (the German Academic Exchange Service) for archival research at the University of the Arts in Berlin for the summer of 2015. Finger will work on her book project, titled, “Flusserian Creativity: Innovation in the Digital Age.” The project connects the media philosopher Vilém Flusser’s writings to larger debates on post-humanism and contemporary aesthetics, particularly sensory perception, and engages current issues in creativity research.
Associate Professor of Chemistry Yao Lin has been awarded a Humboldt Research Fellowship for Experienced Researchers. The award, given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, enables highly qualified scientists and scholars from across the globe to spend extended periods in Germany working on research of their choosing. Lin’s research focuses on polymer chemistry and nanochemistry.
Christopher Field, Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has achieved the high honor of being selected as a Switzer Environmental Fellow by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. This year, the Switzer Foundation awarded 20 Fellowships for emerging environmental leaders who are pursuing graduate degrees and are dedicated to positive environmental change in their careers. Field studies salt marsh bird population biology and conservation in the lab of Associate Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Christopher Elphick.
Cathy Schlund-Vials, associate professor of English and Asian and Asian American studies, has been elected president of the Association for Asian American Studies. She will serve as president-elect from 2015-2016 and as president from 2016-2018.
Jason Hancock, assistant professor of physics, received a grant from Pratt and Whitney for his project, “Computational and Experimental Studies of Laser-Powder Interactions for Additive Manufacturing.” This is a multi-PI effort with Institute of Materials Sciences and School of Engineering faculty and staff, and is being used to contribute to activities at the Additive Manufacturing and Innovation Center on the Depot Campus.
Associate Professor of History Daniel Caner has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for 2015-2016 for his project, “The Early Evolution of Christian Philanthropy.”
Julianne Norton (CLAS ’15) was awarded the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, which allows American leaders to study in Ireland. While abroad Norton plans to earn a graduate degree in creative writing and work on her graphic novel, which examines “cross-cultural comparison with postmemory of the Holocaust and the Irish Famine.”
Professor of Psychology Harvey Swadlow received a three-year, $1,165,983 grant from National Institutes of Health titled “Thalamocortical Architecture of a Visual Cortex Without Orientation Columns.”
Associate Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Nathan Alder has been awarded a five-year, $1,487,892 grant from National Institutes of Health titled “Investigation of the Subunit and Lipid Interactions of the Mitochondrial Protein Import Machinery.”
Professor of Chemistry Challa V. Kumar was the moderator for a panel discussion at the Benton Art Museum on Nov. 7 for the exhibit entitled, “CHEM 101: The Science of Photography,” which explores the combination of photography as the “the science of image-making with the aesthetics of art making.” The exhibit is on display from Oct. 23 through Dec. 14.
Professors Chemistry James Rusling and Challa V. Kumar, alongside Associate Professor of Chemistry Mark Peczuh and student Amit Joshi have developed a new test to diagnose the severity of peanut allergies. The ultra-sensitive procedure spots anti-peanut antibodies by measuring carbohydrate and peptide epitopes from glycoprotein Arachis hypogaes h2 (Ara-h2). Their work was highlighted in Chemistry World and has also appeared in the journal entitled Analyst.
A paper by Emeritus Professor of Psychology Reuben Baron and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology David Kenny was named one of the top 100 papers cited in science by Nature magazine. The paper ranks No. 33 overall and No. 2 in the field of psychology and psychiatry. The paper, “The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological-research — conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations,” was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology’s Behavioral Neuroscience Division Jennifer Corriveau has been selected as a 2014 recipient of the American Psychological Association Dissertation Research Award. The award will help support her dissertation work entitled “Investigating the impact of age and behavioral experience on parvalbumin expression in normal and chronically ketamine-treated male Sprague-Dawley rats.”
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor John Salamone has been awarded the Joseph V. Brady Significant Research Contribution Award for his 2012 paper in the Journal of Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Salamone will receive the award next May at the annual meeting of the Society for the Quantitative Analysis of Behavior.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Steve Suib is co-investigator on a project, “Metal Oxide Nano-Array Catalysts for Low Temperature Diesel Oxidation,” which was recently awarded a $1.5 million, two-year grant from the Department of Energy.
Amy Howell, professor of chemistry and principal investigator, and Jose Gascon, associate professor of chemistry and co-investigator, were awarded a $1.95 million, multi-institutional, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health for their project, “Harnessing NKT Cell Activation by Glycolipids.”
Professor of Psychology Maxim Volgushev received the Humboldt Research Award and was invited to spend a period of up to one year at a research institution in Germany with specialist colleagues cooperating on a long-term research project. The award recognizes scholars whose fundamental discoveries, new theories or insights had significant impact in their own discipline and who are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements in the future.
Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Barbara Mellone was awarded a three year continuing grant of $510,000 through the National Science Foundation Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences for her project “Characterization of a novel, evolutionarily distinct chaperone for centromeric histone H3”.
Professor and Head of the Department of Journalism Maureen Croteau was named 2014 New England Journalism Educator of the Year by the New England Newspaper and Press Association.
Assistant Professor of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Emily Myers was awarded a $1.9 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Myers project “The Role of Frontal and Temporal Brain Areas in the Perception of Phonetic Category Structure” will investigate the neural bases of speech processing using an fMRI and data from individuals with aphasia. The fMRI scanning will initially be done at Brown University via a subaward. The fMRI data collection is projected to begin at UConn in spring 2015 when the scanner is online. Myers said,”It’s so exciting to me to be part of our own ‘cognitive revolution’ at UConn, and I look forward to being among the first users of our MRI center.”
Assistant Research Professor and Facility Scientist of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Jill Wegrzyn received a $1,485,021 grant from the National Science Foundation Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure for her project “Tripal Gateway, a Platform for Next-Generation Data Analysis and Sharing.”
Nancy A. Naples, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies received the 2014 Lee Founders Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP). The award was established in 1981 in recognition of significant achievements that, over a distinguished career, have demonstrated continuing devotion to the ideals of the founders of the Society and especially to the humanist tradition of Alfred McClung Lee and Elizabeth Briant Lee. She received the award at the SSSP Annual Meeting in San Francisco on August 16.
Associate Professor of English and 2013-2014 UConn Humanities Institute Faculty Fellow Greg Kneidel was awarded a $270,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of a project of which he is a co-PI, “The Variorum Edition of the Poetry of John Donne.” Kneidel is associate general editor and textual editor for the Donne Variorum, an international collaborative research project involving over 40 scholars that has been described as “one of the most important scholarly ventures in English literature.”
Professor of Molecular and Cell Biology Rachel O’Neill established and chaired the first Gordon Research Conference on centromere biology. The event attracted a hundred researchers and high-profile speakers from across the globe, and took place in Waltham, Massachusetts from July 27-August 1.
Professor of Chemistry C. V. Kumar was selected to receive a two-year, $174,000 NSF EAGER (Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research) award, which supports exploratory work in its early stages on untested research ideas. The award funds research projects that relate to NSF’s partnership in President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Marine Science William Fitzgerald has been selected as a fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He will be celebrated during the honors ceremony and banquet at the 2014 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
Assistant Professor of Geography Debarchana Ghosh has received a Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse for her project, titled ‘Connecting People, Places, and Barriers: The effect of these connections on adherence and retention in care for HIV positive drug users.’ The award will provide support and protected time (five years) for an intensive, supervised career development experience in behavioral health research.
Dipak Dey, CLAS associate dean for the physical sciences, was named a fellow of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis (ISBA) – an honor that recognizes ISBA members for outstanding contributions to the development, dissemination, and application of Bayesian statistics throughout the world and excellence in teaching and service to the profession. He received the fellowship in July at the 2014 ISBA World Meeting in Cancun, Mexico.
A science brief featuring research by Professor of Psychology Colin Leach was featured in the July issue of the American Psychological Association’s monthly newsletter, Psychological Science Agenda.
On Thursday, July 10, Professor of History and 2014-2015 UConn Humanities Institute Faculty Fellow Frank Costigliola gave an invited talk at the Truman Building in Washington, D.C. to an audience of past and present officials from the U.S. State Department. During the talk, Costigliola read from and commented on sections of his recent book, The Kennan Diaries (W.W. Norton, 2014). Afterward, he was invited to consult privately with State Department’s Policy Planning staff, a small group of officials charged with medium and long range planning for U.S. Foreign Policy.
Research Professor of Chemistry Flavio Maran won the Heyrovsky Prize in Molecular Electrochemistry from International Society of Electrochemistry.
Professor of Chemistry James Rusling was awarded the Bioelectrochemistry Prize of the International Society of Electrochemistry Division 2 in recognition of his research activity on thin biosystems for bioelectrochemical applications, direct electron transfer with proteins, bioelectrochemical catalysis, and detection of cancer biomarkers.
Harry A. Frank, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry received the 2014 Otto Isler Award for Chemistry from the International Carotenoid Society for a lifetime of achievement in research on carotenoids and for dedicated service to the carotenoid field. The award was presented on July 3 at the Seventeenth International Symposium on Carotenoids in Park City, Utah.
UConn’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology was awarded a $56,520 scientific research grant by the Richard P. Garmany Fund at The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The funds will allow Greater Hartford schoolchildren to study the legendary White Witch moth. The grant will support three years of research, fieldwork and educational programming under the direction of Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology David Wagner, a UConn professor who has written four books and more than 70 scientific papers on Lepidoptera, the study of butterflies and moths, and their caterpillars.
Matthew Hughey, associate professor of sociology, will receive the “Distinguished Early Career Award” from the Section for Racial and Ethnic Minorities from the American Sociological Association. This is an award offered every two years that recognizes exceptional achievement and scholarly contribution to research on the sociology of race and ethnicity.
Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Steven Suib has been promoted to Field Chief Editor of the Frontiers in Chemistry journal. He is also Specialty Chief Editor of Green Environmental Chemistry for the publication.
Professor of Chemistry James Rusling and Co-PI John Schenkman (UCHC) have received an ~$1.9M award renewal from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS). The project, entitled “Electrocatalytic Studies of Enzyme Toxic Activation of Pollutants,” begins June 1, 2014 for a period of 5 years.
Bandana Purkayastha of Sociology has been nominated by the American Sociological Association to represent American Sociology at the International Sociological Association, which has members from more than 160 countries, for 2014-2018.
The Association of Gerontology in Higher Education has named Laura Donorfio, associate professor of human development and family studies, a new Fellow. Donorfio is recognized for “outstanding leadership in gerontology and geriatric education.”
Barbara Mellone, assistant professor of molecular and cell biology, has been awarded a $1.4 million dollar grant over 5-years from the National Institutes of Health to investigate neocentromere formation and inactivation in animal cell division.
Chemistry Professor James Rusling is primary investigator on a project to accurately establish stage and grade of prostate cancers through detection of select biomarkers. The project, funded at $2.2 million by the National Institutes of Health, includes researchers from the University College Dublin Medical School, National University of Ireland at Galway, George Washington University and University of Ulster.
Dipak Dey, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean of Physical Sciences, has been recognized by the Connecticut chapter of the American Statistical Association for outstanding contributions to the field of statistics and its applications in the state.
Alexander Jackson, assistant professor in the Department of Physiology and Neurobiology, has been awarded $250,000 from the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute of Mental Health for his study on how the nervous system and hypothalamus control vigilance and cognitive function.
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Steve Suib was elected as chair of the National American Chemical Society Division of Inorganic Chemistry Solid State Subdivision.
Professor Nora Berrah, new head of the Department of Physics, has won the Davisson-Gerner Prize in Atomic or Surface Physics by the American Physical Society. The award recognizes and encourages outstanding work in the fields of atomic and surface physics.
W. Penn Handwerker has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) for contributions to the field of Anthropology. Handwerker’s research focuses on the evolution of choice, social justice, violence and human rights, and the origin of cultures.
Professor and head of linguistics Jonathan Bobaljik has been awarded the 2014 Leonard Bloomfield Book Award by the Linguistic Society of America for his book, “Universals in Comparative Morphology: Suppletion, Superlatives, and the Structure of Words.” Bobaljik’s work was recognized as the most outstanding contribution to the development of linguistics this year.
Ken Campellone, assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology, has been awarded $1.4 million over 5 years from the National Institutes of Health for his project, Cytoskeletal Control of Membrane Remodeling. The research investigates the formation of the cytoskeleton, a scaffolding which supports and holds cells together. Abnormal formation of the cytoskeleton has implications for the development of neurological deficiencies.
In honor of his contributions to the field of geochemistry, professor emeritus of marine sciences Bill Fitzgerald has been named a 2014 Geochemical Fellow by the Geochemical Society and the European Association of Geochemistry. Fitzgerald will be honored at the 2014 Goldschmidt Conference in Sacramento, CA, USA.
Professor of Chemistry Vijay Kumar has won a 2014 Fulbright-Nehru award for his project, “DNA-based light harvesting complexes for solar energy capture and conversion.” The award is given by the United States-India Educational Foundation and the U.S. State Department. He will be working in affiliation with the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalor, and the National Institute of Interdisciplinary Science and Technology, Trivandrum, while in India.
Philosophy student Casey Johnson has been awarded a Dissertation Completion Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation for the academic year 2014-2015. Johnson plans to pursue her dissertation project on the “social dimensions of knowledge, testimony, and assertion.”
Professor Emeritus of Geography Jeffrey Osleeb has been awarded the Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography for 2013 by the Association of American Geographers. This is the highest U.S. honor in the field of applied geography.
Nitis Mukhopadhyay, professor of statistics, has been elected to the Connecticut Academy of Arts & Sciences at Yale University. The Academy has disseminated scholarly information for over 200 years.
Robin Chazdon, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, has been recognized for her research innovation and leadership and named one of the 2014 Women of Innovation by the Connecticut Technology Council. Chazdon has recently focused on the ecology of the tropics and reforestation.
A NASA Group Achievement Award has been awarded to associate professor of marine science Heidi Dierssen for her part in the PRISM Instrument team. The project, which was funded by the NASA Ocean Biology and Biogeochemistry program, has delivered a new type of imaging device to enhance coastal ocean science data collection
Mark Overmyer-Velázquez, associate professor of history and director of El Instituto, has won this year’s Latin American Studies Association Latino Studies Section Outstanding Article Award, the principal national article prize in Latina/o Studies. The award will be presented at the LASA conference in Chicago in May.
Ruth Millikan, professor emeritus of philosophy, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She joins only two other UConn professors, Robert Colwell of ecology and evolutionary biology, and David Kenny of psychology, in this national honor.
The Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) has chosen sociology Ph.D. student Barret Katuna as one of “40 Women [to Watch] for the Next 40 Years.”
Geography Professor Thomas Cooke has been awarded a Fulbright grant to work in the Department of Demography at the University of Groningen in Fall 2014. Cooke will be lecturing on internal migration, and will be researching the effect of child custody arrangements on the migration of non-custodial parents.
Kenneth Gouwens, associate professor of history, has been granted a fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities for his project “Defining the Human in the Renaissance.” The term of the fellowship will be August 2014 through July 2015.
Associate Professor of Mathematics Ralf Schiffler has been awarded $400,000 through the National Science Foundation’s Early Career Development Program. Co-funded by the Foundation’s Combinatorics and Algebra Number Theory programs, Schiffler plans to use the award to explore fundamental problems in cluster algebras.
Thomas Cooke of the Department of Geography received the Research Excellence Award from the Population Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. This award is given to an early- or mid-career scholar for research excellence in the field of population geography, either in the form of a single piece of published work or a continuing record of high accomplishment.
The American Association of University Professors honored many CLAS faculty in 2013. Teaching Mentorship: William Bailey, Chemistry; Teaching Innovation: Xinnian Chen, Physiology and Neurobiology; Amit Savkar, Mathematics; Andrew Pask, Molecular and Cell Biology; and Ming-hui Chen, Statistics.
Professor or Philosophy JC Beall received the 2013 Ed Marth Mentorship Award, established by the UConn AAUP chapter to encourage and reward outstanding mentoring of graduate students by UConn Graduate Faculty members.
Ken Couch, professor of economics, was chosen to be the next Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. The journal, which will now be hosted at UConn, is a top 3 outlet for public administration scholarship, and is also highly regarded within economics.
The book Human Rights in our Own Backyard, by sociologists Davita Silfen Glasberg, Bandana Purkayastha and former UConn graduate student Bill Armaline (now a professor at San Jose State University) has won the 2013 Hirabayashi Book Award from the American Sociological Association. The book was developed to be taught in the course Human Rights in the United States, by Glasberg and Purkayastha.
Mark Healy, associate professor of history, and Susan Schneider, associate professor of philosophy, have received American Council of Learned Societies fellowships. Healy and Schneider will spend the year working on Waterscapes of Power in the Dry Lands of Argentina, 1880-1980 and The Mind-Body Problem: Rethinking the Solution Space, respectively.
James Dixon and Till Frank of the Department of Psychology have received $800,000 from the National Science Foundation under their INSPIRE program (Integrated NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education). The INSPIRE awards program was established to address some of the most complicated and pressing scientific problems that lie at the intersection of traditional disciplines.
Bernard Goffinet, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was presented with the 2013 Richard Spruce Award in recognition of 25 years of outstanding research in bryology. The award was given at the International Association of Bryologists conference in July 2013 at the Natural History Museum in London.
Professor Ken Foote, head of geology, has recieved the 2013 Education Award from the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, as well as a Distinguished Mentor Award from the National Council for Geographic Education. He is recognized for leadership in developing effective learning technologies in higher education, particularly in regards to geographic information science.
Professor Emeritus Michael Turvey received two awards: The Career Achievement Award from the Ohio State College of Education and Human Ecology, which honors alumni who have proven records of career accomplishments and have made outstanding contributions to their professions; and the Association for Psychological Science the Inaugural APS Mentor Award.