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ORAU Awards Research Grants to 30 Junior Faculty at Member Universities

May 11, 2007

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—In an effort to invest 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. ORAU has chosen 30 junior faculty from its member institutions to receive the award for the 2007-2008 academic year.

Each junior faculty winner will receive a $5,000 grant, which is 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 faculty members for their work in any of five science and technology disciplines: engineering or applied science; life sciences; mathematics and computer science; physical sciences; and policy, management or education. Winners 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 2007-2008 academic year are listed below:

Award Recipient Member Institution
Anne Gorden Auburn University
Rebecca Howell Emory University
Wei Yang Florida State University
Yifan Liu George Mason University
Meisha Shofner Georgia Institute of Technology
Lu Peng Louisiana State University
Michael Tolocka Louisiana State University
Tzy-Jiun Mark Luo North Carolina State University
Elon Ison North Carolina State University
Jun Lou Rice University
Mesfin Tsige Southern Illinois University at Carbondale
Brent Sumerlin Southern Methodist University
Benjamin Mohr Tennessee Technological University
Katnrari Entesari Texas A&M University
Paul de Figueiredo Texas A&M University
Douglas Spearot University of Arkansas
Sukwon Hong University of Florida
Jan Mrazek University of Georgia
Teng Li University of Maryland
Patrick Kanold University of Maryland
Elizabeth Ervin University of Mississippi
Thedford Hollis University of Mississippi
Liming Zhang University of Nevada, Reno
Tae-Youl Choi University of North Texas
Stephen Cooke University of North Texas
Megan Spence University of Pittsburgh
Frank Vogt University of Tennessee
James Tunnell University of Texas at Austin
Kristen Grauman University of Texas at Austin
Yan Mei Wang Washington University

Since the program began 17 years ago, ORAU has awarded 338 grants totaling more than $1.6 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $3 million.

The awards are named for Ralph E. Powe, who served as the ORAU councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years, participating in numerous committees and special projects during his tenure. He was elected 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 2008-2009 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 section of this site or contact Ann Farler at (865) 576-1898,

Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) is a university consortium leveraging the scientific strength of 98 major research institutions to advance science and education by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies, and private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.

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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