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ORAU Awards Research Grants to 30 Junior Faculty at Its Member Universities

May 19, 2008

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 2008-2009 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 2008-2009 academic year are listed below:

Award Recipient Member Institution
Jin Wang Auburn University
Erica Fuchs Carnegie Mellon University
Kelvin Gregory Carnegie Mellon University
Micah Luftig Duke University
David Hwang George Mason University
Francisco Hung Louisiana State University
Heather Powell Ohio State University
A. Kaan Kalkan Oklahoma State University
Michael Hickner Pennsylvania State University
Stephan Link Rice University
Emilia Morosan Rice University
Yuchun Du University of Arkansas
Daniel Buchholz University of Cincinnati
Jacob Jones University of Florida
Christopher Crawford University of Kentucky
Daphne Soares University of Maryland
Shinghua Ding University of Missouri-Columbia
John Grey University of New Mexico
Elizabeth Dirk University of New Mexico
Ana Jofre University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Xiaohui Yuan University of North Texas
Bibhudutta Rout University of North Texas
Yongtao Zhang University of Notre Dame
Megan Elwood Madden University of Oklahoma
Mathew Kane University of Oklahoma
Qiuhong Zhao University of Tennessee
Sanwu Wang University of Tulsa
Michael Philen Virginia Tech
Young-Shin Jun Washington University
Rita Rio West Virginia University

Since the program began 18 years ago, ORAU has awarded 368 grants totaling more than $1.75 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 2009-2010 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 or contact Ann Farler at (865) 576-1898,

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).

Media Contacts

Pam Bonee
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Wendy West
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Cell: 865.207.7953