Faculty & Staff Accolades: April and May 2018

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The following accolades are published for the months of April and May, 2018.

Nitin Agrawal and Estela Blaisten-Barojas, Computational and Data Sciences, as co-PIs were awarded $40,000 by George Mason University for Understanding the Physics of Elastically-Induced Turbulence in Micro-Fluidic Systems.

Daniel Anderson, along with Co-PIs Fatah Kashanchi and Maria Emelianenko, Mathematical Sciences, were awarded $40,000 by George Mason University for Experimental and Mathematical Discovery for HIV.

Peter Becker, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $9,937,230 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for Solar Physics, Space Weather, Computational Physics, Computational Astrophysics, and Associated Scientific Fields. Becker, along with co-PI Cristiana Stan, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, were awarded $20,116 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for Solar Physics, Space Weather, Computational Physics, Computational Astrophysics, and Associated Scientific Fields.

Dieter Bilitza, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $219,032 by the Catholic University of America for Space Physics Data Facility (SPDF) Science Support.

David Carchedi, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $142,742 by the National Science Foundation for Collaborative Research: Derived Differential Geometry and Field Theory.

Robin Couch, Chemistry & Biochemistry, was awarded $1,822 by Virginia Commonwealth University for Mason Metabolomics Facility (MMF) to perform metabolomics analysis on samples on Metabolomics Facility.

Kim De Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, co-authored an article entitled “Rethinking the River” in Earth & Space Science News.

Maria Emelianenko and Padhu Seshaiyer, Mathematical Sciences, co-PIs, along with three University colleagues, were awarded $33,000 by George Mason University for Modeling Prospects of Malaria Elimination in Haiti.

Gregory Foster, Environmental Science & Policy, along with co-PI Randy McBride, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, and a University colleague, were awarded $37,676 by Alexandria Renewal Enterprises for Survey of Micropollutants in Fluvial Sediments and Water from Hunting Creek and the Freshwater Tidal Potomac River.

Amy Fowler, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $57,657 by George Mason University OSCAR with a Summer Impact Grant: Potomac River.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, participated in a NASA Postdoctoral Proposal review the first week of April. In April 2018 he hosted the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club at the George Mason University Observatory, and monitored the George Mason Rocketry Club participation in the Battle of the Rockets near Culpepper, Virginia and The Rocketry Club won the targeted altitude competition. Geller also presented to the Chesapeake Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting in Charlottesville, Virginia. He also spoke about the teaching of renewable energy concepts. Geller participated in the Thomas Jefferson High School Symposium for Technology and Research on May 30, 2018. He spoke to two classes about the universe of energy, focusing on various physical aspects of energy and the environment; and, how the universe consists of energy, although mostly dark energy.

Geraldine Grant, Biology, was awarded $42,438 by George Mason University OSCAR with a Summer Impact Grant: Mass Data.

Robert Hazen, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, delivered a keynote planetary lecture at the Southeast Regional meeting of the Geological Society of America. He also gave lectures at the University of Cambridge, UK, and at the Philadelphia Geological Society at Bryn Mawr. Hazen also led data science workshops and presented two public lectures on data science in mineralogy and economic geology at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.

R. Christian Jones along with co-PI Cindy Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, were awarded $3,793 by Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority for Deploy River Mile Markers for Occoquan River Trail. Jones, along with co-PIs Randy McBride, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Amy Fowler and Kim De Mutsert, Environmental Science and Policy, and a University colleague, were awarded $92,714 by Alexandria Renewal Enterprises for An Ecological Study of Hunting Creek 2018.

Steve Kan, Computational and Data Sciences, Center for Collision, Safety and Analysis, was awarded a $25,000 Materials Science Grant by Big River Steel. Kan along with co-PI Chung-Kyu Park, Center for Collision, Safety and Analysis, was awarded $600,000 by the U.S. Department of Transportation for Material Model Development and Its Application Using Finite Element Methods in Engine Failure Analysis.

Kylene Kehn-Hall, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, along with co-PIs Estela Blaisten-Barojas, Computational and Data Sciences, and a University colleague, were awarded $40,000 by George Mason University for an Integrative Multidisciplinary Approach to Unravel and Target Virus Replication.

Younsung Kim, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award for her teaching strategy on “Flex Learning, via ‘Real- Time-Based’ Student Feedback”. The award recognizes faculty members who devote significant work to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring. Kim was also awarded $16,876 by George Mason University OSCAR with a Curriculum Impact Grant: MS Enviro.

Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, was invited to address the Sierra Club of Northern Virginia in April 2018 where he gave a talk entitled, “Commonwealth at Risk: Predicting and preparing for the New Normal.” He also has been appointed co-chair of the Modeling Advisory Committee for the Office of Science and Technology Integration of the U.S. National Weather Service. Kinter, along with co-PIs, Ben Cash, Natalie Burls, Kathleen Pegion, and David Straus, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies were awarded $200,000 by INNOVIM, LLC for Investigating the attributes of Predicting Western U.S. Hydrological Response to Tropical Forcing During the Winters of 2015-2016 and 2016-2017.

Lingxia (Alicia) Li, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded an Adjunct Teachers of Distinction Award for her featured teaching strategy “An Example of Calculus Function: Height and Age”. The award recognizes adjuncts across the George Mason University campus for their exceptional teaching and their commitment to teaching-related activities.

Thomas Lovejoy, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded the Beck Family Presidential Medal for Faculty Excellence in Research and Scholarship. The medal is part of the Presidential Awards for Faculty Excellence at George Mason University.

David Luther, Biology, was awarded $47,604 by the National Science Foundation for Workshop: Linking remote animal detection and movement data and macrosystem environmental datasets and networks. 

Julia Manganello, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies along with Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic & Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, presented a paper at the European Geophysical Union annual meeting in April 2018 entitled, “Climatology and Predictability of Mid-Atlantic Tropical Cyclone Landfalls in a High-Resolution Seasonal Prediction System.”

Alexandra Masterson, Biology, was awarded a Teaching Excellence Award for her featured teaching strategy on “Dramatizing the Heart”. The award recognizes faculty members who devote significant work to course planning and preparation; curriculum development; and innovative teaching, advising, and undergraduate and graduate mentoring.

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded the Teachers of Distinction Award. The award recognizes faculty members across the George Mason University campus for their exceptional teaching and their commitment to teaching-related activities.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $125,000 by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Austere Environment Consortium for Enhanced Sepsis Outcomes (ACESO) – 2018.

Peter Plavchan, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $100,000 by Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation for Telescope for MINERVA-Australis, a Southern Hemisphere dedicated exoplanet observatory.

Matthias Renz, Computational and Data Sciences, along with co-PIs Dieter Pfoser, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Nektaria Tryfona, College of Science, and two University colleagues, were awarded $37,000 by George Mason University for DIVES: Discovering Indicators for Interactions in Finance and Government Sector.

Pritha Roy, Chemistry and Biochemistry, was awarded an Adjunct Teachers of Distinction Award for her featured teaching strategy “Flipped and Active Learning in Large Chemistry Lectures.” The award recognizes adjuncts across the George Mason University campus for their exceptional teaching and their commitment to teaching-related activities.

Shobita Satyapal, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $11,750 by Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA-Keck 2018 A Proposal #34, the search for Black Holes in Low Metallicity Dwarf Galaxies: The Power of Keck NIRSPEC. She was also awarded $122,553 by the U.S. Department of the Navy for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 405.

Reid Schwebach, STEM Accelerator, was awarded $33,000 by the Virginia Department of Education for The Biology Teacher Academy: Hands-on Teaching Strategies that Promote Rigor and Engagement in Biology Classes.

Dann Sklarew, Environmental Science and Policy, Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center, was awarded a George Mason University OSCAR Mentoring Excellence Award. The award recognizes and rewards outstanding George Mason community members who mentor undergraduate students on research and creative activities and who foster a culture of student scholarship.

Cindy Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, was nominated and awarded a Prince William County 2018 Green Community Award for an individual that serves as a dedicated environmental steward in the community.

Joris Van der Ham, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $34,904 by George Mason University OSCAR with a Summer Impact Grant: Eco Effects.

Robert Weigel, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $95,000 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for API and Tools for a Time Series Data API.

Peter Young, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $521,815 by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center for Coronal heating of plumes and fan loops.