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Kudos, April 2019

Alan Flurry

Honors week, new grants and a Guggenheim Fellowship headline the accolades for Franklin faculty announced during the month of April:

The 2019 CURO symposium’s first day also included a keynote address by Jennifer McDowell, professor and chair of the Behavioral and Brain Sciences Program in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, on the topic of “Minding Your Brain.” McDowell spoke to a packed house about the interconnectedness of brain health and everyday living, encouraging students to get consistent amounts of sleep and to exercise regularly in order to lead healthier lives 

Harry and Jane Willson Professor in Humanities Bill Kretzschmar has been selected as the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Humanities and Social Sciences at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, for their Fall semester (October 2019 through February 2020). AMU is the site of the largest English-language teaching unit in Europe

Scott Nelson, Georgia Athletic Association Professor in Humanitiesin the department of history, has been awarded a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship. Nelson, who specializes in 19th-century American social history in the department of history, has authored or co-authored five books, most recently “A Nation of Deadbeats: An Uncommon History of America’s Financial Disasters”

Fausto Sarmiento, professor of mountain science in the department of geography, received the 2019 Barry Bishop Career Awardin April during the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. The award recognizes exemplary research productivity, professional contributions and teaching excellence in montology, the study of mountains

Jody Clay-Warner, Josiah Meigs Professor of Sociology is associate director on a project that received a $4 million award from the U.S. Department of State to reduce the prevalence of human trafficking in targeted communities of West Africa. Researchers at UGA formed an international consortium, the Africa Programming and Research Initiative to End Slavery (APRIES), which is overseen by the State Department’s Office to Combat and Monitor Trafficking in Persons and is part of its Program to End Modern Slavery

UGA Distinguished Research Professor of Genetics Jessica Kissinger is a co-principal investigator on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation award that funded the development of the Clinical Epidemiology Database,, which aims to address these barriers by not only providing access to huge volumes of data, but also providing tools to help interpret complex global epidemiologic research studies

A group of University of Georgia researchers led by associate professor of genetics Douglas Menke has become the first in the world to successfully produce a genetically modified reptile—specifically, four albino lizards—using the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing tool. The team’s results, which appeared online March 31, have been submitted for peer review

Athletic Association Professor of Arts and Sciences in the department of marine sciences Samantha Joye was named Regents’ Professor, effective July 1

The first two bilingual (English and Spanish) issues of Carbon Comics, created by current and former staff of the Center for Applied Isotope Studies focus on exposing new generations of students to radiocarbon dating and on archaeometallurgy. The UGA Junior Archaeologist Workbook, inspired by the National Park Services Junior Ranger program, is another new tool from this team for sharing science with young students

The National Institutes of Health announced a Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award (MIRA) granted to UGA Foundation Distinguished Professor Jorge C. Escalante-Semerena of the department of microbiology

MIRA grants are designed to increase the efficiency of NIH funding by providing investigators with greater stability and flexibility, thereby enhancing scientific productivity and the chances for important breakthroughs

Professor of Spanish Elizabeth Wright is the recipient of the 2019 Albert Christ-Janer Creative Research Award, recognizing “an outstanding body of nationally and internationally recognized scholarly or creative activities in the creative arts and humanities”

Kelly E. Happe, associate professor in the Department of Communication Studies and the Institute for Women’s Studies, is one of three recipients of the 2019 UGA Creative Research Medal. Happe blends the insights of rhetorical research and feminist science studies to address genomic science

Assistant professor in the Department of Psychology Justin A. Lavner, who has advanced our understanding of how marriages change and why some relationships succeed and others struggle, received the 2019 Charles B. Knapp Early Career Scholar Award

Liza Stepanova, assistant professor of piano and a prolific performer and teacher in the Hugh Hodgson School of Music, received the 2019 Michael F. Adams Early Career Scholar Award

Professor of microbiology Diana Downs, professor of chemistry Jon Amster, and professor of plant biology John Burke were each awarded the title of Distinguished Research Professor, awarded to faculty who are internationally recognized for their original contributions to knowledge and whose work promises to foster continued creativity in their discipline


Image: Professor Jennifer McDowell at the CURO symposium on April 8, 2019.



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