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University Recognizes Outstanding Achievements in Research

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We, the Office of Research, Innovation and Economic Development, were pleased to re-institute the Research Recognition Reception this fall. It was an opportunity to recognize our most active researchers who are helping us to move forward in our goals.  Modern universities stand on 3 pillars: research, scholarship and mentorship and Dr. Kolluru reminded us that there are many people not present who contribute to our “Research for a Reason” and deserve to be thanked. President Savoie thanked the researchers for their efforts and presented the awards with the assistance of Provost Danahar.  

Outstanding Achievement in Externally Funded Research
This year the university recognized 13 people who had at least $500,000 in external funding in one of the last 2 years:
Dr. Henry Chu, Informatics Research Institute
Mr. Robert Carmouche, Special Services
Dr. Francois Villinger, New Iberia Research Center
Dr. Natalia Sidorovskaia, Physics
Dr. Terrence Chambers, Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy
Ms. Kara Farmer-Primeaux, Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development
Dr. DeWayne Bowie, Enrollment Management
Dr. Raymond Biggar, Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development
Mr. Brent Yantis, Regional Application Center
Dr. Peter Sheppard, Educational Curriculum and Instruction
Dr. Vijaya Gopu, Department of Civil Engineering
Dr. Durga Poudel, Geosciences
Dr. Raju Gottumukkala, Center for Visual and Decision Informatics

The efforts of all our researchers have increased the total Research and Development expenditures to 77.8 million dollars in 2015 which moved us to the rank of 160 out of 640 universities (as ranked by NSF), an increase of 7 steps.  Continued success in obtaining external funding will move us into the top 100 research universities in the United States.  This prestige that comes with that rank will make us more attractive to partners that provide funding for research and innovation, which will help us provide more ground breaking information and innovation to improve our lives!

Research Excellence Awards
The Research Excellence Awards recognize people who have achieved exceptional scholarship in their field.  They are nominated by the Deans of their colleges who evaluated peer reviewed articles, citations, conference proceedings, books, grants, and honorific awards for the faculty in their colleges.  Eight people were recognized with Research Excellence Awards: 
Mr. Corey Saft, College of the Arts
Dr. Ram Thakur, B.I Moody College of Business Administration
Dr. Dianne Olivier, College of Education
Dr. Emad Habib, College of Engineering
Dr. Do Kyun Kim, College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Jennifer Lemoine, College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions
Dr. Vijay Raghavan, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences
Dr. Radhey Srivastava, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

Rising Star Awards
The Rising Star Awards recognize junior faculty members showing great promise in research, scholarship and mentorship.  Each Dean chose a person from their college to be recognized as a Rising Star Award.  Seven People were recognized with Rising Star Awards:
Ms. Sarah Young, College of the Arts
Dr. Colleen Wolverton, B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration
Dr. Shuichi Sato, College of Education
Dr. Joshua Vaughan, College Engineering
Dr. Shelley Ingram, College of Liberal Arts
Dr. Denise Linton, College of Nursing and Allies Health Professions
Dr. Brian Schubert, Ray P. Authement College of Sciences

Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentors
One mentor from each college was honored as an Outstanding Doctoral Student Mentor for exceptional productivity in the support of graduating doctoral students over the last two years.  The College of Education, offering the Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.), honored Dr. Dianne Olivier who had 9 doctoral students graduate in the last 2 years.   The College of Engineering, offering a Doctorate of Computer Engineering and a Doctorate of Systems Engineering, honored Dr. Mohammad Khattak who had 2 students graduate with a Doctor of Systems Engineering.  The College of Liberal Arts, offering three doctorate programs (Ph.D): English, Francophone Studies, and Applied Language and Speech Sciences, honored Dr. Jack Damico who graduated 9 students with a Ph.D. in Applied Language and Speech Studies. The College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, offering a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), honored Dr. Donna Gauthier who graduated 3 students with DNPs. And the Ray P. Authement College of Sciences, offering 3 doctoral programs: Environmental and Evolutionary Biology, Computer Science, and Mathematics, honored Dr. Magdy Bayoumi who graduated 7 students with a Ph.D. in Computer Science.   In total, these 5 individuals graduated 30 doctoral students, 26% of the all the doctoral graduates in the last 2 academic years.

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentors
Eight people were recognized as Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentors for their continued commitment to providing undergraduate students with opportunities to perform research: Mr. Brian Kelly, Dr. Vanessa Hill, Ms. Aimee Barber, Dr. Terrence Chambers, Dr. Sun-A Lee, Dr. Deedra Harrington, Dr. Patricia Mire-Watson and Dr. Craig Forsyth. We applaud their efforts, because early exposure to research shines new light on learning and lights the fire that leads to life long research endeavors. 

Innovator Award
The Innovator Award recognizes people who disclosed technology with the potential for economic success during the last 2 years.  Six awards were presented to innovators who developed patents, secured funding and/or started new companies to develop their innovation. Dr. Radhey Srivastava developed a patent, received NSF funding and has commercial interest in his improved method to produce certain pharmaceuticals. Dr. David Bellar developed a patent on a method to develop individualized athletic training based on respiratory compensation measurements.  Dr. Emad Habib developed a patent and secured an NSF Innovation CORP grant to develop the commercialization of his HydroViz software for educating students about hydrology and water resources.   Dr. Arun Lakhotia developed a patent for comparing malware and computer programs to identify similarities and is beginning a start-up company. Dr. Vijay Raghavan developed 2 patents: a system, method and computer program for information sorting and retrieval, and a method, interface and apparatus for expressing data objects. And he is the leader of the National Science Foundation Center for Visual & Decision Informatics. Dr. Joshua Vaughan developed a patent for a near-real time mapping of workspaces where cranes operate to improve safety.

Certificate of Achievement in Innovation
Another ten innovators, currently in the process of submitting patent applications, received a Certificate of Achievement in Innovation.  A majority of these innovators are from the College of Engineering.  The Louisiana Accelerator Center, Center for Advanced Computer Studies (CACS), and Chemistry Department also had investigators receiving Certificates of Achievement in Innovation.

Certificate of Achievement in Sponsored Research
The Certificate of Achievement in Sponsored Research was awarded to 33 people who had externally funding in the amount of $100,000-$500,000 during the 2014-2016 academic years.  These people are from a wide array of departments: Architecture, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, Kinesiology, 4 of the 6 Engineering Departments, Sociology and Anthropology, the Gaines Center, Biology, CACS, Geosciences, Mathematics, 4 research centers, our KRVS radio station, and 3 administrative units.

Certificate of Appreciation for Service
A Certificate of Appreciation was also awarded to each member of the research compliance committees: Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, Institutional Biosafety Committee, Institutional Review Board and the Radiation Safety Committee.  The 44 people on these committees review research proposals to ensure that the research performed by us aligns with federal and state regulations and guidelines and keeps our researchers and community safe.  We thank them for their tireless efforts!

Following the presentation of awards, the attendees enjoyed delectable nibbles provided by Baileys Catering in the lobby of the LITE Center.  The attendees not only celebrated their achievements but also began making new contacts for future research.  We thank everyone who attended and made this event a success.  Let’s keep Research for a Reason rolling as we look forward to our next annual celebration of our successes!