Faculty & Staff Accolades: Summer 2016

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades are from this past summer from June-August 2016.

Dieter Bilitza, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $251,873 by Catholic University of America, NASA for SPDF Science Support – 2016-2017.

Martha Buckley, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $270,251 by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration for The Western Transition Zone as a Gatekeeper for the North Atlantic MOC Throughput.

Robin Couch, Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded $616,606 by the US Department of Defense for Metabolic Signatures of Antimicrobial Resistance.

Roslyn Cress, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded the June 2016 Employee of the Month award by The Employee of the Month Selection Committee presented by President Cabrera.

Kevin Curtin, Geography and Geoformation Science, was awarded $737,609 by the US Department of the Navy for Operational-Level Optimization of Autonomous Logistics Enterprises.

Timothy Delsole, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $287,680 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Fingerprints of AMOC Variations Derived from Machine Learning Methods.

Paul Dirmeyer, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $349,883 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for North American Heat Wave Predictability: Assessing the Role of Land Surface Initialization on S2S and NMME Model Forecasts.

Maria Emelianenko, Math, was awarded $18,200 by the US Department of Commerce for SURF Gaithersburg: Experience for Mason Undergraduates.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, in June spoke about the exploration of Mars and Pluto at the Thomas Jefferson Symposium for Technology and Research; presented the George Mason University Observatory at the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall literarily in the shadow of the Washington Monument; served on a NASA post-doctorate program review committee in the category of astrobiology; and, organized the George Mason University festivities for Asteroid Day for which the keynote speaker was Dr. Thomas Jones, former NASA astronaut. In July, Geller hosted a meeting of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club. In August, Geller was a guest of the State Department at a dinner celebrating Arctic exploration and science research; hosted first graders from the Minnieland Day School at the George Mason University Observatory; and, spoke about the 40th anniversary of the Viking Mars Lander at the Astronomical League Convention in Arlington, Virginia.

Zhichang Guo, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $392,302 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Improving sub-seasonal to seasonal forecast skill of North American precipitation and surface air temperature using multi-model strategy.

Xianjun Hao, Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute, was awarded $33,333 by Global Science and Technology, Inc. for AMSU Brightness Temperature NOAA FCDR (01B-18B) and Gridded (01B-18a) and Mean Layer Temperature.

Min Huang, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, was awarded $431,070 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for Integrating Satellite Soil Moisture into Weather, Emission, and Air Quality Modeling.

Christian Jones, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $4,309 by the City of Fairfax for City of Fairfax Monitoring Program: 2016/17; also awarded $67,561 by the County of Fairfax for An Ecological Study of Gunston Cove: 2016-17; and awarded $4,271 by Alexandria Renewal Enterprises for Ecological Study of Hunting Creek: Research Assistantship – Summer 2016.

Cing-Dao (Steve) Kan, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $147,479 by Pratt and Whitney for a Research Proposal in Response to the Statement of Work by Pratt and Whitney, A United Technologies Company – Development of a Material Model for Ti6Al 4V Plate; and awarded $259,648 by the US Department of Transportation for SHRP2 Research Support.

Fatah Kashanchi, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $380,000 by the US Department of Health and Human Services for HIV neuropathogenesis related to exosomes containing HIV non-coding RNAs.

Kylene Kehn-Hall, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $59,670 by the Prince William County Government for Mosquito Pool Testing for viruses throughout qRT-PCR; also awarded $19,952 by Bio Scientific Corporation for Targeted Therapeutic Antibody Molecules Against Viral Encephalitis; and awarded $73,205 by Ceres Nanosciences, Inc. for Ceres/Patnaik J-1 VISA.

Younsung Kim, Environmental Science and Policy, received the “Best Journal Article Award for 2015” at the 2016 Academy of Management annual meeting for the article entitled “Business as a Collaborative Partner: Understanding Firms’ Sociopolitical Support for Policy Formation” that was published in Public Administration Review.

Dmitri Klimov, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $40,492 by Parabon NanoLabs Inc. for Molecular Modeling Approaches to Design and Test Replica Exchange.

Ryun Kwon, College of Science, was awarded $189,403 by Johns Hopkins University, and NASA for Investigate the Three-Dimensional Structure and Kinematics Of Shock Waves from Coronal Mass Ejections And Their Implications for the Properties of the Sub-Alfvénic Solar Wind.

Lance Liotta, School of Systems Biology, Center for Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $67,564 by Sentara Healthcare for Sentara Surgery Specialists Teaming Agreement.
Randolph McBride, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $35,997 by the National Park Service for A four-dimensional analysis of the influence of the former Sinepuxent Inlet along Assateague Island National Seashore, MD.

Mikell Paige, Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded $2,393,448 by the US Department of Health and Human Services for Discovery of New Anti-Inflammatory Agents to Treat COPD.

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, co-authored with Larry Rockwood, Biology, “NGO and Government Agencies main factor in cultivating residents’ positive attitudes toward sea turtle conservation,” published in Human Dimensions in Wildlife. He also co-authored “Evaluating support for shark conservation among artisanal fishing communities in Costa Rica,” published in Marine Policy. Parsons was a member of the Scientific Committee meeting of the International Whaling Commission and was co-convener of the Environmental Concerns sub-committee, which took place in Bled, Slovenia. Parsons was also a member of the Organizing Committee for the 4th International Marine Conservation Congress, the largest academic conference on marine conservation, held in St John’s, Newfoundland. Parsons was Chair of the Publication Committee as well as a member of Fundraising Committee and the Scientific Program Committee. He was on the Organizing Committee of the Oceans Online conference, also held in Newfoundland.

Kathleen Pegion, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $102,344 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Sub-Seasonal Prediction with CCSM4; also awarded $239,134 by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for Developing a Real-Time Multi-Model Sub-Seasonal Predictive Capability.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, co-published a paper titled “National Cancer Moonshoot,” through the Inova-George Mason University Center for Clinical Proteomics. Petricoin was also awarded $80,000 by Thomas Jefferson University for Analysis of pancreatic cancer samples for the RAN-AACR supported clinical trial.

John Qu, Global Environment and Natural Resources Institute, was awarded $40,977 by ERT, Inc. for Satellite Data Reprocessing in Support of NOAA Sensor Data Records (SDRs) Program.

Edwin Schneider, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $451,075 by the National Science Foundation for Collaborative Research: The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and Internal Climate Variability.

Reid Schwebach, Biology, STEM Accelerator, was awarded $643,925 by the National Science Foundation for The RADSS program (Rural and Diverse Student Scholars).

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Math, STEM Accelerator, was on Good Morning America July 14th to talk about FOCUS (Females of Color Underrepresented in STEM), a week-long camp for middle-school girls. 100 girls attended this summer.

Hongwei Sheng, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $345,602 by National Science Foundation for Quantification of the Devitrification Process of Metallic Glasses through Simulation and Experiment.

Anthony Stefanidis, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Center for Geospatial Intelligence, gave a talk on “Accuracy of User-Contributed Image Tagging in Flickr: A Natural Disaster Case Study” at the 7th International Conference on Social Media and Society, in London, UK. The accompanying conference proceedings publication was co-authored by Arie Croitoru of Geography and Geoinformation Science, and Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences, both with the Center for Geospatial Intelligence, as well as two alumni of Geography and Geoinformation Science. Stefanidis was also awarded $190,000 by GeoDecisions for Geospatial Services.

Michael Summers, Physics and Astronomy, gave a talk at the Alexandria Library Annual Reading Festival on “New Horizons at Pluto” in May and gave a talk at the annual National Asteroid Day event at GMU on “New Results from the New Horizons Mission.” He served on a panel discussion on the importance of asteroid research and exploration; he led three Astrobiology Workshops at GMU for students from Korea. In addition, Summers led the NASA New Horizons Pluto-Charon Atmospheres Theme Team session and gave a talk on “Production and Sedimentation of Hazes in Pluto’s Atmosphere” at the New Horizons 34th Science Team Meeting in Arizona. He was interviewed by Al Jazeera Europe about the 40th Anniversary of the NASA Viking Mission to Mars and gave a series of talks to the Fairfax Community Church on Science and Faith in the Age of Modern Science. He gave an invited review talk of “The New Horizons mission to Pluto and Charon” to the Astronomy League National Conference on in August. Summers is a co-author on the paper “Charon’s Dark Places” accepted for publication in Nature and “Charon’s Atmosphere” accepted for publication in Icarus.

Patrick Vora, Physics and Astronomy, co-published the first-all GMU article entitled “Phonon anharmonicity in bulk Td-MoTe2” in Applied Physics Letters.

Edward Wegman, Computational and Data Sciences, has been selected to receive the SDNS Distinguished Achievement Award.

Robert Weigel, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $59,999 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for Value Added Services for VxOs: Time Series Data Server.

David Wong, Geography and Geoinformation Science was awarded $12,000 by the US Geological Survey for Student Services.

Ruixin Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded $83,000 by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for Commodity Data System and Lifecycle Development; was also awarded $100,000 by Spatiotemporal Information Systems for Cloud Computing and Big Data Partner.

Erdal Yigit, Physics and Astronomy, received The 2016 Zeldovich Medal for COSPAR, Scientific Commission C. This medal is given to young scientists who have demonstrated excellence and achievement in their field of research by the International Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) and the Russian Academy of Science; specifically recognized for significant contribution to the study of coupling between the lower and upper atmospheres of Earth and Mars by gravity waves. Yigit was also awarded $30,000 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for Earth and Space Science Fellowship.

Peter Young, College of Science, was awarded $45,634 by Catholic University of America for Operations and science data support for the IRIS mission – 2016 to 2017.

Jie Zhang, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $70,918 by Catholic University of America for Solar and Heliospheric CAN with CUA and NASA/GSFC.

Read the full University Accolades