Faculty and Staff Summer Accolades 2018

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

Harbir Antil, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $199,999 for Partial Differential Equation Constrained Optimization: Algorithms, Numerics, and Applications by the National Science Foundation.

Zafer Boybeyi, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $2,500 for Support for Annual George Mason University Conference on AT&D Modeling 2018 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

College of Science faculty were recognized by students for teaching outstanding Mason Core courses during the 2018 Spring semester receiving a rating of 4.75 out of 5 on the element “My Overall Rating of Teaching.” Faculty associated with courses in Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Computational and Data Sciences, Environmental Science and Policy, Geology, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Honors, Mathematical Sciences and Physics were recognized: Aslaa Ahmed, Jasmine Amirzadegan, Elizabeth Ashby, Silvia Auffret Ayala, Ernest Barreto, Ramin Basir, Peter Becker, Emily Bird, Morgan Bragg, Taryn Bromser-Kloeden, Taryn Brooks-Faulconer, Sarah Bui, Gabriele Bulancea, Susan Calderon, Zachary Combs, Paul Cooper, Anne Crowell, Aurali Dade, Desiree Di Mauro, Robert Domeyko, Rebecca Ericson, Brian Griffiths, Daniel Harrison, Keith Higginbotham, Heather Hobbs, June Kang, Nicholas King, Maction Komwa, Giuseppina Kysar-Mattietti, Chase LaDue, Charles Madden, Rupalben Mangukiya, Ryan Mays, Katherine Mireles, Margot Nelson, Mary Nelson, Eleni Nikou, Robert Oerter, Rohan Patil, Daniel Pinto, Michelle Pleet, Luis Rodriguez, Haja Razafinjatovo, Amanda Schlute, Joseph Shaheen, Dann Sklarew, Paul So, Taylor Stevens, David Verardo, Stacey Verardo, Patrick Vora, Nicholas Walker, Ian Ward, Joseph Weingartner, Georgia Williams, Sherry Young. (Includes TAs)

College of Science faculty were award winners of the 2018 Provost’s Curriculum Impact Grant (CIG) Competition. This seed grant program supports the generation of innovative cuirrcular ideas and pilot programs that enhance Mason Impact and other cross – unit, multi-disciplinary undergraduate and graduate curriculum development activities. Awarded to: Cody Edwards, Smithsonian – Mason School of Conservation,David Luther, Biology, Gwendolyn Lewis, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, Valerie Olmo, Biology, Rebecca Jones, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Jessica Rosenberg, Physics and Astronomy.

Liping Di, Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, was awarded the following grants: $2,971,012 for Joint Geolnformatics Laboratory (JGIL), Phase VI Cooperative Geo Information Research with NASA GSFC Earth Sciences Data and Information Service Center (GES DISC) by the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center and $46,000 for George Mason University Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems participation in OGC OWS-14 by Open GIS Consortium, Inc.

Timothy Desole, Center for Ocean Land Atmospheric Studies, was awarded $459,667 for Advancing Sub-Seasonal Weather Predictability through Machine Learning Techniques by the National Science Foundation.

Harold Geller, Physics and Astronomy, spoke to two classes at Thomas Jefferson High School in June. He spoke about topics regarding the concept of energy and the universe. He also hosted a public talk by a guest speaker of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Science Mission Directorate, Astrophysics Division in July. Geller was presented the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award on August 15th. He along with Peter Plavchan, Physics and Astronomy, and their students participated in the Astronomy Festival on the National Mall, in June hosted by Hofstra University and George Washington University. Geller along with Jessica Rosenberg,Physics and Astronomy,hosted summer science campers at the observatory in July. The campers observed the Sun through the George Mason University observatory solar telescope.

Xinjun Hao, Environmental Science and Technology Center, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded $12,135 for AMSU Brightness Temperature NOAA FCDR (01B-18B) and Gridded (01B-18a) and Mean Layer Temperature by the Global Science & Technology, Inc. Prime Sponsor: NOAA

Robert Hazen, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, continues to develop data-driven approaches to discovery in mineralogy. He convened the “4D Workshop: Deep-Time Data-Driven Discovery,” which brought 110 Earth, space, life, and data scientists from 12 countries in June. Hazen presented public lectures at the Colorado School of Mines in April, University of California, Los Angeles on May 8th, Rutgers University on May 22nd, Ohio State University  on June 13th, Marine Biology Lab – Woods Hole on July 27th, and the University of Sydney on August 16th. He also presented two talks at the 22nd Conference of the International Mineralogical Association in Melburne, Australia in August.

Linda Hinnov, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $2,500 for ACS Project Seed Fellowship – Maya Parada by the American Chemical Society – ACS.

Saleet Jafri, Interdisciplinary Program in Neuroscience, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $195,751 for Multiscale Spatiotemporal Modeling of Cardiac Mitochondria by State of Maryland. Prime Sponsor: NIH.

Christian Jones, Environmental Science and Policy, along with co-PIs Randolph McBride, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, and Benoit Van Aken, Chemistry and Biochemistry, were awarded $92,714 for An Ecological Study of Hunting Creek 2018 by Alexandria Renewal Enterprises. Jones, along with co-PIs Kim De Mutsert and Amy Fowler, Environmental Science and Policy, were awarded $87,285 for An Ecological Study of Gunston Cove: 2018-19 by the County of Fairfax.

James Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies,  was awarded $280,000 for Improving Week 3-4 Weather Prediction Through a Global Convection-Allowing Version of the NOAA Unified Coupled Modeling Framework by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration. He was also appointed co-chair of the Community Model Review Committee by the U.S. National Weather Service, Office of Science and Technology Integration.

Kylene Kehn-Hall, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded the following grants: $2,499,967 for EGR1 regulation of neuronal survival and inflammation following VEEV infection by the U.S. Department of Defense, and $76,510 for Mosquito Pool Testing for viruses through qRT-PCR – 2018-2019 by Prince William County Government.

V. Krishnamurthy, Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Science, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, is among this year’s honorees for the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the world’s largest Earth and space science society. Krishnamurthy will be delivering the Ed Lorenz Lecture at the AGU fall meeting this year. The lecture is named for the MIT meteorologist who discovered the “butterfly effect” in weather. This is one of AGU’s top honors, which is bestowed by the AGU Nonlinear Geophysics section.

Ryun Kwon, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $33,289 for Multi-spacecraft Observations and Modeling of Solar Energetic Particle Events by the Catholic University of America. Prime Sponsor: NASA

Sean Lawton, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded$42,000 for Experiments with Representation Spaces by the Simons Foundation.

MingKuan Lin, School of Systems Biology, was awarded $114,092 for Genetic Analysis of Complex Diseases of the Central Nervous System by Inova Healthcare.

Lance Liotta, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $99,586 for From Unidentifiable and Undruggable to the Future of Pharmaceuticals: Protein Painting Reveals High-Value Protein-Protein Interactions as Drug Targets by the Center for Innovative Technology.

Alessandra Luchini, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, along with co-PIs Lance Liotta, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine and Mikell Paige, Chemistry and Biochemistry, were awarded $350,000 for Novel anti-inflammatory drug with strong neuroprotective properties for treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) by Virginia Biosciences Health Research. She was also awarded $4,555for Lyme Disease Research Support by George Mason University Foundation.

Laura Lukes, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, has been elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. She will receive the honor at the November meeting.

Yuri Mishin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $100,000 for Neural Network Interatomic Potentials by the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Aarthi Narayanan, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded $1,868,083 for Host-Based Anti-Microbial Peptides as Therapeutic Strategies for Alphavirus Infections the U.S. Department of Defense. Narayanan along with co-PI Kylene Kehn-Hall ,School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicinewas awarded $3,455,083 for Genome wide mapping of host proteome: pan alphavirus proteome interactions for discovery of broad spectrum countermeasures by the U.S. Department of Defense. She also received $4,555 in funding through the George Mason University Foundation for Lyme Disease Research Support.

Peter Plavchan, Physics and Astronomy, was featured in a press article in Exoplanet Exploration: Planets beyond our solar system.

Philip Rubin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $502,602 for Experiments with Kaons at CERN by the National Science Foundation.

Shobita Satyapal,Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $63,434 for The Search for AGNS in Low Metallicity Dwarf Galaxies: An XMM-Newton Study by the NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center. Satyapal along with co-PI Nathan Secrest, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $39,948 for The HST View of Was 49b: An Overmassive AGN in a Merging Dwarf Galaxy by the Space Telescope Science Institute. Prime Sponsor: NASA. Satyapal was also awarded the following: $111,813 for Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 667 by the U.S. Department of the Navy, $15,150 for NASA-Keck 2018B Proposal #27, “The Search for Black Holes in Low Metallicity Dwarf Galaxies: The Power of Keck NIRES by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Prime Sponsor: NASA) and $161,253 Academic Fellowship Program for the US Naval Observatory – TO 649 the U.S. Department of the Navy.

Padhu Seshaiyer, College of Science, Mathematical Sciences, had an article appear in the Notices of the American Mathematical Societydescribing his experiences teaching high level concentrated applied mathematics courses in third world African countries.

Cindy Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $58,500 for FCPS Watershed Education AY2018-19 by Fairfax County Public Schools.

Cristiana Stan, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies, was awarded $278,850 for The Impact of ocean resolution in the Unified Forecast System (UFS) on the subseasonal forecast of extreme hydrological events by National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

David Straus, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, along with Co-PI Laurie Trenary was awarded $322,929 for Extremes of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall and their Relationship to Three-Dimensional Diabatic Heating over the Pacific and Indian Oceans by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.

Thomas Wanner, Mathematical Science, was awarded $42,000 for Topological Methods in Dynamical Systems by the Simons Foundation.

Robert Weigel, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $19,000 for Support for Artificial Intelligence Stranding Analysis by Catholic University of America. Prime Sponsor: NASA.

Chaowei (Phil) Yang,Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded the following grants: $50,691 for I/UCRC NASA Goddard NSF Spatiotemporal Innovation Center Membership – Planetary Defense by NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, $100,000 for Membership renewal for Department of State, Bureau of Intelligence & Research, Office of the Geographer & Global Issues, to the I/UCRC – Spatiotemporal Innovation Centers in support of the Secondary Cities Initiative by the U.S. Department Of State, and $249,270 for Collaborative Research: Elements: Data: HDR: Developing On-Demand Service Module for Mining Geophysical Properties of Sea Ice from High Spatial Resolution Imagery by the National Science Foundation.

Jie Zhang, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded the following grants: $81,898 for Inter-cycle Variation of the CME Occurrence Rate and Kinematic Properties by Catholic University of America, and $27,329 for Understanding the Relations between CMEs from remote-sensing observations and ICMEs from in-situ observations by Catholic University of America. Prime Sponsor: NASA.