A Cut Above:
LSU and Campus Federal Credit Union Name 2010 Rainmakers
Being a faculty member at a large university is no easy job. In order to succeed, one must cover demanding teaching loads, research and publication quotas, and departmental responsibilities, in addition to fieldwork, post-doctoral experience and sustained excellence within an individual's field.
But, faculty do all this and more out of passion for both their area of study and for the students they impact. While there’s no reward like a job well done, LSU’s Office of Research & Economic Development, or ORED, and Campus Federal Credit Union believe that there’s also nothing wrong with acknowledging superior performance. Together, they recently announced this year’s LSU Rainmakers, those faculty members who are nationally and internationally recognized for innovative research and creative scholarship, compete for external funding at the highest levels, and attract and mentor exceptional graduate students.
“Being a part of the rich tradition at LSU means we [Campus Federal] look for creative ways to support distinguished faculty and their efforts toward improving the quality of education for students,” said Ron Moreau, vice president of business development and community relations. “Understanding the importance research plays in the success and differentiation of the university means Campus Federal should be a part of the Rainmakers event.”
Emerging Scholars Award
This award recognizes junior faculty members exhibiting success at the assistant professor level as measured by significant contribution to the faculty member’s field of research or creative activity including publication in a high impact journal(s); a highly cited piece of work; external awards; invited presentations at national and international meetings; high journal publication productivity; critically-acclaimed book publication, performances or exhibits; or high grant productivity.
This year’s recipients of the Emerging Scholars Award are:
Graham Bodie, assistant professor of communication studies. Bodie’s recent accomplishments include being named 2011 Researcher of the Year by the International Listening Association; receiving the top paper award for the Communication Theory Division for “The Role of Thinking in the Comforting Process: Evidence for a Dual-Process Theory”; and recently being funded by the Louisiana Board of Regents Pilot Funding for New Research grant for the study “A Multitrait-Multimethod Validity Assessment of the Active-Empathic Listening and Attitude of Active Listening Scales.”
Bryan Carstens, assistant professor of biological sciences. Carsten’s recent accomplishments include significant publications in such prestigious biological journals as Molecular Phylogenics & Evolution, Systematic Biology, Applied and Environmental Biology, and several others.
Bodie and Carstens were each awarded a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a plaque in recognition of their achievements.
Mid-Career Scholar Award
This award recognizes a faculty member at the associate professor level or recently promoted to full professor who exhibits a sustained program of excellence as measured by the criteria set forth in the emerging scholar category. Award winners in the Mid-Career Scholar category have been at LSU for 7-10 years.
This year’s recipient is Bijaya Karki, associate professor of computer science. Karki’s recent accomplishments include a grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, for “First Principles Computational Study of Defects, Diffusion and Grain Boundaries in Mantle Materials,” a study that aims to apply a combination of computational and visualization methods to further promote the understanding of key relevant properties in order to develop a firm theoretical basis to understanding the rheological properties of the silicate and oxide materials at high pressure-high temperature conditions.
Karki was awarded a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a plaque.
Senior Scholar Award
This award recognizes a faculty member whose work is comparable to the quality of that considered for the Distinguished Research Master award or Boyd Professor designation. This award is typically reserved for a faculty member who has been promoted to full professor and has exhibited a sustained program of excellence as measured by significant contributions to the faculty member’s field of research or creative activity in the previous criteria.
This year’s recipient is Kalliat Valsaraj, chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Valsaraj’s recent accomplishments include a perspective on a model to predict the environmental fate and impact of both the oil and dispersants in the Gulf of Mexico. The program is described in an article, “Marine Oil Fate: Knowledge Gaps, Basic Research and Development Needs: A Perspective Based on the Deepwater Horizon Spill,” published in Environmental Engineering Science.
Valsaraj received a one-time stipend of $1,000 and a plaque.
“We are proud to recognize those faculty members who are so integral to our success as an institution,” said Thomas Klei, LSU interim vice chancellor of research and economic development. “These researchers and creative scholars truly exemplify what it means to be an LSU Rainmaker. We couldn’t do this without the support of Campus Federal Credit Union, and we thank them for their support of our commitment to scholarly excellence.”