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ORAU Awards Research Grants to 25 Junior Faculty at Its Member Universities

May 30, 2006

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—As an investment in the future of science education, Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) has made its annual selection of Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award winners. For the academic year 2006-2007, ORAU has chosen 25 junior faculty from its member institutions.

The junior faculty will receive $5,000 grants, which are intended to enhance their research and professional growth and result in new funding opportunities during the early stages of their careers. Each recipient’s institution matches the ORAU award with an additional $5,000, making the total prize worth $10,000 for each winner.

The awards recognize work in five science and technology disciplines: engineering or applied science; life sciences; mathematics and computer science; physical sciences; and policy, management or education. Winning faculty members may use the grants to purchase equipment, continue their research or travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards for the 2006-2007 academic year are listed below:

Award Recipient Member Institution
Yongli Gao East Tennessee State University
Jill Nelson George Mason University
Eduardo Farfan Idaho State University
Chen-Yu Liu Indiana University
Laura Hurley Indiana University
Fernando Galvez Louisiana State University
Guoping Zhang Louisiana State University
Keisha Walters Mississippi State University
Salil Desai North Carolina A&T State University
Scott Grayson Tulane University
Sulin Zhang University of Arkansas
Tamer Kahveci University of Florida
Chad Fertig University of Georgia
Awdhesh Kalia University of Louisville
Miao Yu University of Maryland
Min Ouyang University of Maryland
Yu Wang University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Pinliang Dong University of North Texas
Brian Gorman University of North Texas
W. Vincent Liu University of Pittsburgh
Jie Wu University of Tennessee
Guadalupe Carmona University of Texas at Austin
Stephen Fong Virginia Commonwealth University
Montasir Abbas Virginia Tech
Y.H. Percival Zhang Virginia Tech

In the 16 years since the program began, ORAU has awarded 308 grants totaling more than $1.5 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $2.9 million.

Ralph E. Powe, for whom the awards are named, served as the ORAU councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years, participating in numerous committees and special projects during his tenure. His fellow councilors elected him as chair of ORAU’s Council of Sponsoring Institutions prior to his death in 1996.

ORAU plans to offer the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award program again for the 2007-2008 academic year. Faculty members at ORAU member institutions who are within two years of their initial tenure-track appointments as assistant professors are eligible for the grants.

For more information on fellowships, awards and grants offered by ORAU, visit the Faculty and Student Programs page, or contact Ann Farler at (865) 576-1898 or by e-mail at

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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