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Faculty Awards and Achievements

Renowned faculty from across the University of Connecticut conduct forward-thinking research in the sciences and humanities while serving as mentors to the next generation of nurses, schoolteachers, and engineers. Over the past year, many have been recognized with an extensive range of awards and distinctions from prominent national and international organizations.

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

  • Assistant Professor Joshua Berning was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Communication, Top Journal Article 2011-2012, Journal of Food Distribution Research for "Examining the effectiveness of nutrition information in a simulated shopping environment." with D.E. Sprott.
  • Richard Anyah was nominated to serve on the World Climate Research Program's (WCRP), GEWEX Scientific Steering Group for a term of 3-years. He was also nominated to serve in the Steering Committee charged with organizing the first Pan-Africa Climate Science Conference in October 2013. Dr. Anyah also served as Guest-Editor for the Climate Research Journal.
  • Thijs Bosker received $1.4 million in funding for his proposal entitled: "The combined effect of environmental and anthropogenic stressors on fish health," from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative.
    Thomas Meyer was named a Fellow of the American Association for Geodetic Surveying.
  • Jack Clausen received The Soil and Water Conservation Society's Commendation Award.
  • Gary Robbins received the 2012 Licensed Site Professional Association (of Massachusetts) Contribution to Practice Award.

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

  • Professors David Benson of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Sara Harkness of Human Development and Family Studies both received Jefferson Science Fellowships to the US State Department. The award brings them to Capitol Hill for a year to consult with government officials on science and policy.
  • Assistant Professor Claudio Benzecry of the Department of Sociology received the Mary Douglas Award of the American Sociological Association for his book "The Opera Fanatic: Ethnography of an Obsession."
  • Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor Philip Marcus of Molecular and Cellular Biology received a lifetime achievement award from the International Society for Interferon and Cytokine Research.
  • Professor Emeritus David Kenny of the Department of Psychology received three major awards: the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, and both the inaugural Methodological Innovation Award and the 2012 Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.
  • Professor Francoise Dussart of Anthropology received the Faculty Mentor of the Year award from the Institute on Teaching and Mentoring, a nonprofit educational organization funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Gates Foundation.
  • Psychology Professor Blair Johnson's paper on group consensus won the Gordon Allport Intergroup Relations Prize, offered by the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues for 2012.
  • Assistant Professor Sarah Willen of the Department of Anthropology received the Virchow 2012 Award in the professional category from the Society for Medical Anthropology for her paper, "Do 'Illegal' Migrants have a 'Right to Health'? Engaging Ethical Theory as Social Practice at a Tel Aviv Open Clinic."
  • Professor Mark Peczuh of the Department of Chemistry received a 2013 Fulbright fellowship to work in Barcelona on glycosynthases, proteins that are important in metabolism.

School of Engineering

  • Dr. Yaakov Bar-Shalom, a Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Marianne E. Klewin Endowed Professor in Engineering, was awarded the 2012 Connecticut Medal of Technology for his groundbreaking contributions to the advancement of radar and sonar technology.
  • Dr. Leslie M. Shor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, partnering with Dr. Daniel J. Gage of Molecular & Cell Biology, was awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to conduct innovative global health and development research project intended to increase crop yields in developing countries through the expanded use of beneficial bacteria.
  • Dr. C. Barry Carter of Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering, was named a 2011 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dr. Carter was honored by AAAS for his distinguished contributions to engineering through his textbooks on ceramic materials and transmission electron microscopy, his editorial leadership, which includes his service as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Materials Science, and his study of crystal defects.
  • Three engineering faculty teams were awarded U.S. Dept. of Education three-year Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) sites, which provide $1.2 million for graduate student support in the areas of: sustainable energy technologies (PI: Dr. Mun Choi, Mechanical Engineering); nano-scale materials and device behavior for energy generation and storage (PI: Dr. C. Barry Carter, Chemical, Materials & Biomolecular Engineering); and computer systems security (PI: Dr. John Chandy, Electrical & Computer Engineering).
  • Dr. Ali Gokirmak, assistant professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, is a 2012 recipient of a coveted National Science Foundation Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. Dr. Gokirmak's five-year, $400,000 research project involves phase change materials and electro-thermal effects at the nanoscale.
  • Mechanical Engineering professor, Dr. Amir Faghri, was honored jointly by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) with the Max Jakob Memorial Award for eminent scholarly achievement and distinguished service in the area of heat transfer. The award represents the highest honor in the area of heat transfer that ASME and AIChE bestow.

School of Nursing

  • Carol Polifroni, professor of nursing, received a $533,064 award through the U.S. Department of Education Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) grant. She also received a grant from HRSA's Bureau of Health Professions for the Nurse Faculty Loan Program (NFLP), and was honored with The Mary Jane M. Williams Award for Lifetime Contributions to the Nursing Profession during the CT Nurse's Association Awards in October.
  • In the 2011 AJN Book of the Year Advanced Practice category, Drs. Carol Polifroni and Peggy Chinn contributed chapters to the award winning book Philosophies and Theories for Advanced Nursing Practice edited by Janie B. Butts and Karen L. Rich.
  • Jacqueline McGrath, professor of nursing, and Jeffrey Fisher, distinguished professor of psychology, are co-sponsor and sponsor respectively on a pre-doctoral individual National Research Service Grant Award (NRSA) from the National Institute of Mental Health awarded to School of Nursing PhD student, Emily Tuthill, BS, BA, RN. Ms. Tuthill's funded study aims to change the more prevalent non-exclusive breast feeding practice in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, through a well-targeted Information Motivation and Behavioral Skills (IMB) model intervention. The grant award is for $126,696 for the three year project.
  • Dr. Cheryl Tatano Beck, CNM, DNSc; Eugene R. Declercq, PhD, MBA; Carol Sakala, PhD, MSPH; and Robert K. Gable, EdD, received the Best Research Article of the Year Award for the article entitled, "Postpartum Depressive Symptomatology: Results from a Two-Stage US National Survey" published in the Journal of Midwifery & Women's Health.
  • Dr. Cheryl Tatano Beck was awarded the AJN Book of the Year in the category Nursing Research for her book Nursing Research: Generating and Assessing Evidence for Nursing Practice. She was also the recipient of the first Anne Goodrich Distinguished Nurse Leadership Award.
  • Colleen Delaney, associate professor of nursing, received a $5,000 grant from the honor society of nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International. The research study will develop, implement, and test the efficacy and feasibility of the Homecare Education, Assessment, Remote-monitoring, and Therapeutic activities (HEART) intervention.
  • Xiaomei Cong, assistant professor of nursing received a $7,499 grant from the American Nurses Foundation. The aim of the study is to examine the oxytocin mechanism in modulating infants' behavioral, autonomic, and stress responses, and parental stress and anxiety during maternal and paternal skin-to-skin contact with preterm infants.

School of Pharmacy

  • The UConn School of Pharmacy, in conjunction with the Connecticut Department of Social Services and the Connecticut Pharmacists Association, received the 2012 American Pharmacists Association Foundation's Pinnacle Award for Government Agency–Nonprofit Organization–Associations. The Pinnacle Award recognizes organizations that have demonstrated approaches to assist patients and their caregivers in achieving better outcomes from their medications. This collaboration recognizes work on the CMS Medicaid Transformation Grant "Medicaid MTM Project" that involved several UConn School of Pharmacy faculty and staff including Dr. Marie Smith, Tom Buckley, Dr. Devra Dang, Dr. Diana Sobieraj, and Lisa Bragaw, as well as Alumna Margherita Giuliano and UConn Pharmacy Alumni Association Honorary Alumnus Mike Starkowski.
  • Dr. Marcy Balunas has received the D. John Faulkner Travel Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy.
  • Dr. Kevin Chamberlin, was elected president of Connecticut chapter of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists for a two-year term, the first year as president-elect and second year as chapter president.
  • Dr. Bodhi Chaudhuri was awarded the PhRMA Foundation Award at the 2011 Annual Meeting of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
  • Dr. Devra Dang was inducted as a Distinguished Practitioner and Fellow of the National Academies of Practice, an interprofessional organization composed of elected representatives from ten different health professions.
  • Dr. Jill Fitzgerald was elected Continuing Professional Education Section chair-elect for American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy.
  • Dr. Phil Hritcko was elected as the speaker of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy House of Delegates for a three-year term, the first as speaker-elect and two years as speaker.
  • Dr. José Manautou has been elected chair of the 2013 Gordon Research Conference on Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms of Toxicity.
  • Dr. John Morris was appointed to the NIH Special Emphasis Panel for NIDCD Clinical Research Center (P50) proposal reviews.
  • Dr. Stefanie Nigro won the American Pharmacists Association One to One Patient Counseling award which is given annually to twenty pharmacists and five student pharmacists who go above and beyond in helping patients achieve optimal heath outcomes.
  • Dr. Marie Smith and Alumna Margherita Giuiliano shared the 2011 Connecticut Business Group on Health Innovation Award for the Connecticut Pharmacists Network and CMS Medicaid Transformation Grant (MTM in a Medical Home Project.)
  • Dr. Marie Smith was named the 2011 recipient of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists Research and Education Foundation's Award for Innovation in Pharmacy Practice.
  • Dr. Marie Smith was invited to become a member of the Pharmacy Workforce Center Technical Advisory Panel that focuses on developing data on pharmacy workforce size, demographics, and related research and was appointed as a member of the Health Technology Workgroup, Governor's Health Care Reform Cabinet.
  • Dr. Marie Smith, Tom Buckley, Dr. Devra Dang, and Alumna Margherita Giuliano were cited by the American Pharmacists Association as one of Pharmacy's Top Ten News Items for 2011.
  • Dr. Marie Smith was invited by American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy and the American Pharmacists Association to work on two national-level MTM and quality improvement workgroup initiatives through the Pharmacist Services Technical Advisory Coalition and Pharmacy Quality Alliance.
  • Dr. Fei Wang received the 2011 Connecticut Society of Health-System Pharmacists Meritorious Achievement Award.
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