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ORAU awards 37 research grants for 2017-2018 academic year to junior faculty at its consortium member universities

Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards now in 27th year

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—ORAU has awarded competitive research grants totaling $185,000 to 37 junior faculty from its member institutions. The annual grants are made through the company's Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards program that provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty.

The recipients, each of whom is in the first two years of a tenure track position, will receive $5,000 in “seed money” for the 2017-2018 academic year to enhance their research during the early stages of their career. Each recipient's institution also matches the ORAU award with an additional $5,000, making the total prize worth $10,000 for each winner. Winners may use the grants to purchase equipment, continue research or travel to professional meetings and conferences.

Since the program's inception, ORAU has awarded more than 662 grants totaling more than $3.3 million. Including the matching funds from member institutions, ORAU has facilitated grants worth more than $6.6 million.

“The Powe awards recognize the research and professional growth of young faculty and help them to identify new funding opportunities,” said Arlene Garrison, ORAU vice president. “ORAU is proud to support the future of science through these emerging academic leaders.”

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.

The awards, now in their 27th year, are named for Ralph E. Powe, who served as the ORAU councilor from Mississippi State University for 16 years. Powe participated in numerous committees and special projects during his tenure and was elected chair of ORAU’s Council of Sponsoring Institutions prior to his death in 1996.

Recipients of the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards for the 2017-2018 academic year are listed below:

2017-18 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award Winners
Award Recipient Sponsoring Institution Discipline
Jie Xiong Appalachian State University Policy, Management or Education
Majid Beidaghi Auburn University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Bridgett King Auburn University Policy, Management or Education
Sara Haravifard Duke University Physical Sciences
Erin Field East Carolina University Life Sciences
Mainak Mookherjee Florida State University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Lei Chen Mississippi State University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Eric Chi North Carolina State University Mathematics/Computer Science
Phillip Alderman Oklahoma State University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Jing Du Penn State University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Maria Okuniewski Purdue University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Corey Thompson Purdue University Physical Sciences
Teng Zeng Syracuse University Engineering/Applied Sciences
David Powers Texas A&M University Physical Sciences
Maria Pour University of Alabaman in Huntsville Engineering/Applied Sciences
Hugh Churchill University of Arkansas Physical Sciences
Ben Livneh University of Colorado, Boulder Physical Sciences
Brett Scheffers University of Florida Life Sciences
Xiaonan Shan University of Houston Engineering/Applied Sciences
Raju Gottumukkala University of Louisiana at Lafayette Engineering/Applied Sciences
Taylor Woehl University of Maryland Engineering/Applied Sciences
Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman University of Maryland Engineering/Applied Sciences
Yue Fan University of Michigan Engineering/Applied Sciences
Thai Hoang Le University of Mississippi Mathematics/Computer Science
Sang Lee University of New Mexico Engineering/Applied Sciences
Diana Berman University of North Texas Engineering/Applied Sciences
Bayrammurad Saparov University of Oklahoma Physical Sciences
Mostafa Bedewy University of Pittsburgh Engineering/Applied Sciences
Leanne Gilbertson University of Pittsburgh Engineering/Applied Sciences
Sindhu Jagadamma University of Tennessee Life Sciences
Rachel McCord University of Tennessee Life Sciences
Feng Bao University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mathematics/Computer Science
Ill Ryu University of Texas at Dallas Engineering/Applied Sciences
Kelsey Hatzell Vanderbilt University Engineering/Applied Sciences
Feng Lin Virginia Tech Physical Sciences
Rohan Mishra Washington University in St. Louis Physical Sciences
Christopher Dy Washington University in St. Louis Policy, Management or Education

About ORAU

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 150 colleges and universities, 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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