Faculty & Staff Accolades: May 2015

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The deadline for submissions to be included in the June column is May 31st to tfede@gmu.edu. Accolades submitted over the summer will be posted to the College news page, and sent to the University for inclusion in September issue of University-wide accolades recognition.

Alonso Aguirre, Environmental Science and Policy, co-wrote several peer-reviewed papers, including “Crossing the Interspecies Barrier: Opening the Door to Zoonotic Pathogens,” published in PLoS Pathogens; “Infection of California Sea Lions (Zalophus californianus) with Terrestrial Brucella spp.,” published in The Veterinary Journal; “Trace Elements in Blood of Sea Turtles Lepidochelys olivacea in the Gulf of California, Mexico,” published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology; and “Metacommunity and Phylogenetic Structure Determine Wildlife and Zoonotic Infectious Disease Patterns in Time and Space,” published in Ecology and Evolution.

Kirk Borne, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences, participated in discussions related to big data for national security and gave an invited briefing, “Data Science and Big Data Analytics at George Mason University,” for the president’s National Security for Telecommunications Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on April 7. He also gave the invited conference keynote talk, “Data Literacy Is More Than Big Data Hype” at the Big Data Innovation Summit in San Jose, Calif., on April 28.

Rebecca Ericson, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Science, received a 2015 Mason Teaching Excellence Award.

Abul Hussam, Chemistry and Biochemistry, co-wrote the paper “Development of an Equilibrium Headspace Gas Chromatographic Method for the Measurement of Noncovalent Association and Partitioning of n-Alkylbenzenes at Infinite Dilution in Fulvic Acid Pseudophase,” which was published in the Journal of Chromatography.

Under the leadership of R. Christian Jones and Dann Sklarew, Mason’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center received Fairfax County, Va.’s 2014 Environmental Excellence Award in the organization category.

Cing-Dao Kan, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Science, and the Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $180,000 from Hyundai America Technical Center Inc., for his research project HATCI/CAE Modeling for IIHS Small.

Younsung Kim, Environmental Science and Policy, was an invited speaker at the Leaders 2015 Forum: Leadership, Competition, and Strategic Business Development, Washington, D.C., and gave a presentation “Unraveling the Puzzle of Sustainability, Business Innovation, and Environmental Regulations.”

David Luther, Biology, was awarded the Mason OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award. His Animal Behavior Laboratory Course was awarded a Scholarship Development Grant by the Faculty and Curricular Activities Subcommittee.

Germana Manca, Environmental Science and Policy, wrote the paper “Modeling European Agrienvironmental Measure Spatial Impact in the Region of Sardinia, Italy, Through Fuzzy Clustering Means,” which appeared in the journal EAA, Enconomia Agroalimentare.

Deborah Polayes, Biology, hosted the second annual American Society of Microbiology regional meeting.

Larry Rockwood, Biology, was a co-author of the paper “Using Fecal DNA and Spatial Capture-Recapture to Characterize a Recent Coyote Colonization,” which was published in Northeastern Naturalist. In addition, the second edition of his book titled “An Introduction to Population Ecology” was also recently published.

Reid Schwebach, Biology, was awarded a Mason OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award.

Dann Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, co-wrote the CUR Quarterly fall 2014 cover page article, “Up the Pyramid, Around the Loop—Action Research Cultivates Sustainability Scholars to Green the Campus,” with Andrew Wingfield of New Century College. He recently presented America’s sustainable development lessons to Chinese officials on two occasions, first focusing on environmental protection for U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program and then focusing on the low-carbon economy and the energy sector to the Shandong Province Economic Structure Transformation and Industrial Upgrading Program. Sklarew and Cindy Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, along with a doctoral candidate and their crew of Mason field interpreters, successfully concluded a four-year National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration-supported project, “Spatially Connecting Kids to the Bay,” which provided meaningful watershed educational experiences to more than 19,000 Fairfax County seventh-graders.

Michael Summers, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences, is a part of the New Horizons space exploration team that sent a probe into space and is now starting to receive pictures of Pluto.

Nektaria Tryfona, Geography and Geoinformation Science, received a 4-VA grant award for her research titled “Investigating Phage Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Summer Research Experience for Undergraduate and Governor’s School High School Students.”

Monique van Hoek, School of Systems Biology, received a 4-VA grant award for her research titled “Discovery of Antimicrobial Peptides in Bedbugs.”

Ian Ward, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded a 2015 Mason Adjunct Teaching Excellence Award.

Gerald Weatherspoon, Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded a 2015 Mason Teaching Excellence Award.

Andrea Weeks, Biology, received a National Science Foundation grant to support her graduate student’s dissertation titled “Reassessing the Role of the Great American Biotic Interchange in the Evolution of the Raccoon Family: Early Immigrants, Museomics and Biogeographic Modeling.”

Robert Weigel, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences, was awarded $51,000 from NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for his research project “NASA/VxOs Time Series-Data Server.”

Peter Young, School of Physics, Astronomy, and Computational Sciences, was awarded $449,000 for his research project “NASA/VxOs Time Series-Data Server” and $450,000 for his research project “NASA/Major Updates to the CHIANTI,” both funded by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center.

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The deadline for submissions to be included in the May column is April 26th to cosnews@gmu.edu or tfede@gmu.edu. Submitted accolades will be sent to the University for inclusion in University-wide accolades recognition.