2013 N.C. A&T Research Excellence Awards

2013 Research Excellence Award winnersPictured above are (top row, left to right) Dr. Justin Zhan, Dr. Paula Faulkner, Dr. Osei-Agyeman Yeboah, Dr. Lifeng Zhang, and (front row, left to right) Dr. Inez Tuck, Dr. Kelly Graves, Dr. Rosalyn Lang-Walker, and Dr. Schenita Davis Randolph.

The Research Excellence Awards Committee of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is pleased to announce this year's award winners. They received their awards on April 12 at the combined Teaching Excellence and Research Excellence Awards Dinner at the Alumni-Foundation Event Center.

This year's winners

  • Senior Researcher of the Year: Dr. Osei-Agyeman Yeboah, School of Agriculture, Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education. Selection committee members singled out Dr. Yeboah's outstanding productivity -- books, articles, conference presentations, and grants -- as well as his faculty development work, interdisciplinary projects, and work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. He is an agricultural economist whose research interests include environmental economics, international trade economics, international agribusiness marketing, and international agricultural trade. In this highly competitive category, each of the nominees received at least one first-place vote.
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher: Dr. Paula E. Faulkner, School of Agriculture, Department of Agribusiness, Applied Economics and Agriscience Education. The committee cited her excellent mix of external grants, totaling $1 million, and peer-reviewed articles and conference presentations. Her research relates to teacher education, diversity/multicultural education, working with people with disabilities, and experiential learning.
  • Rookie of the Year: Dr. Justin Zhan, College of Engineering, Department of Computer Science. The committee called his research output "remarkable" -- now in his second year at A&T, Dr. Zhan has produced 34 funding proposals as a principal investigator (PI), generated $1.3 million in funding as a PI or co-PI, published 135 papers in peer-reviewed journals, and established an interdisciplinary research lab. His research is focused on information assurance, social computing, and biomedical computing.
  • Intellectual Property Award: Dr. Lifeng Zhang, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, Department of Nanoengineering. In 2012, Dr. Zhang filed two patent applications, three invention disclosures, met with 11 companies to promote invention-related new nanotechnologies, and received seed funding from two corporations to work on commercial applications of nanomaterials. His research focuses on engineered materials at the nanometer scale.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Award: Cone Health Foundation White Paper on Access to Health Care in Guilford County. Faculty members from the School of Nursing and departments of Biology and Human Development and Services, and from the Wake Forest University schools of law and medicine. A&T team members included Dr. Schenita Davis Randolph, Dr. Kelly Graves, Ms. Amanda Curry, Dr. Rosalyn Lang-Walker, Dr. Inez Tuck, and Dr. Miriam Wagner.

The nominees for the Research Excellence Awards are the winners of the research awards in the colleges and schools.  In addition to the researchers named above, these are the 2013 winners of the research awards given by the colleges and schools:

Senior Researcher of the Year

  • Dr. Wendy C. Hamblet, College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Liberal Studies
  • Dr. Lyubov Kurkalova, School of Business and Economics, Department of Economics
  • Dr. Comfort O. Okpala, School of Education, Department of Leadership Studies

Outstanding Junior Researcher

  • Dr. Narayan Bhattarai, College of Engineering, Department of Chemical and Bioengineering
  • Dr. Ibraheem Kateeb, School of Technology, Department of Computer Systems Technology
  • Dr. Jing Zhang, College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Physics

Rookie of the Year

  • Dr. Kimberly D. Erwin, School of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
  • Dr. Mahour Mellat-Parast, School of Technology, Department of Applied Engineering Technology

Intellectual Property Award

  • Dr Ellie Fini, College of Engineering, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Interdisciplinary Team Award

  • Evaluation and Mitigation of Multi Hazard Effects on Conventional Buildings, Modeling and Simulation/Analysis Tools for Infrastructure Applications, Land Management, and Adaptive Intelligence Systems Architecture, Dr. Sameer Hamoush, College of Engineering, Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. Ibraheem Kateeb, School of Technology, Department of Computer Systems Technology.
  • NASA INSTRUCT, Dr. Ajit Kelkar, Department of Nanoengineering, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and nine faculty members representing six departments and three colleges/schools.
  • NSF Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials, Dr. Jagannathan Sankar, College of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and faculty members from multiple A&T departments, the University of Pittsburgh, University of Cincinnati and Hannover Medical School in Germany.
  • NSF Mentoring of Middle Grade Science and Mathematics Teachers, Dr. David Boger, School of Education, Department of Curriculum & Instruction, with faculty members from Human Development and Services and faculty mentors from Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Arts & Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, and Technology.

About the awards

Each year, N.C. A&T honors outstanding faculty research in five categories:

  • Senior Researcher of the Year: Recognizes outstanding research and/or creative activity by tenured faculty members who have been at the university at least three years.
  • Outstanding Junior Researcher: Honors tenure-track faculty members in at least their third year of service at A&T who are currently involved in research and show promise of making a significant contribution to their field.
  • Rookie of the Year: Recognizes the work of a tenure-track faculty member in his or her second year of service at N.C. A&T.
  • Intellectual Property Award: Recognizes researchers’ work to disseminate, commercialize or publish intellectual property created in the course of their research or creative activity.
  • Interdisciplinary Team Award: Recognizes research projects that break down the traditional boundaries of academic disciplines.

The winners are selected by the Research Excellence Awards Committee, a group of faculty members appointed by Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. This year’s committee consisted of Dr. Ceola Ross Baber, chair, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Dr. Jeffrey Edwards, Department of Economics; Dr. Margaret Kanipes, Department of Chemistry; Dr. Devdas Pai, Department of Mechanical Engineering; and Dr. Leonard Williams, Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies.

Points of Pride