Faculty Accolades | The Pursuit 2016-17

 

LSU Physicist Gabriela Gonzalez

 

Gabriela González, professor in the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy and former spokesperson for the LIGO Scientific Collaboration (LSC) has been elected as a member to the National Academy of Sciences. González has also been named among the world’s top ten scientists by Nature, Scientist of the Year by Great Minds in STEM and one of the top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. To top off a stellar year, González was one of a select few chosen to ask Pope Francis a question as part of the Vatican’s docuseries featuring key figures in science, politics and entertainment. She has also received numerous recognitions in her native Argentina. She was awarded the Brigadier General Bustos Prize in the Province of Cordoba. She was also named an illustrious citizen of the city of Cordoba and shared with the LIGO collaboration the special breakthrough prize by Physics World. Other recognitions include the Bruno Rossi Prize from the American Astronomical Society and the Jesse W. Beams Award of the American Physical Society.

LIGO, which stands for the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory, detected gravitational waves in 2015 as predicted by Albert Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity and opened a new window of discovery to the cosmos. In February 2016, Gonzalez and other leaders of the LSC confirmed the detection of gravitational waves, which were detected on Sept. 14, 2015, at 4:51 a.m. CST by both of the twin LIGO detectors, located in Livingston, La., and Hanford, Wash. The LIGO Observatories are funded by the National Science Foundation, or NSF, and were conceived, built and are operated by Caltech and MIT.

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Rainmakers

Each year, the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, Campus Federal Credit Union and the Council on Research recognize faculty who show outstanding research, scholarship and creativity for their respective rank and discipline with Rainmakers awards. Below are the 2016 and 2017 Rainmakers for the College of Science.

RENDY KARTIKA, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Emerging Scholar Award. After conducting postdoctoral research at Yale University, Kartika joined the LSU faculty where his research program focuses on the discovery of new organic reactions that produce biologically and pharmaceutically relevant molecular scaffolds.DONGHUI ZHANG, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Mid-Career Scholar Award. Her research interests include polymer catalysis, synthesis and characterization of biomimetic, bioinspired and bio-relevant functional polymers and high precision macromolecules.KERMIT MURRAY, professor in the Department of Chemistry received the 2017 Senior Scholar Award. His current research focuses on instrument development and applications of laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry.

2016

   
LSU Physicist Catherine Deibel LSU biologist Prosanta Chakrabarty LSU biologist Marcia Newcomer

Catherine Deibel, assistant professor in the LSU Department of Physics & Astronomy, received the 2016 Emerging Scholar Award. Since joining the physics faculty in 2011, she has continued her research on the synthesis of elements in a variety of stellar explosions, including supernovae, x-ray bursts and classical novae.

Prosanta Chakrabarty, associate professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences, received the Mid-Career Scholar Award. Chakrabarty is an ichthyologist studying the evolution and biogeography of freshwater and marine fishes. He is also the curator of fishes at the LSU Museum of Natural Science.

The Senior Scholar Award was given to Marcia Newcomer, George C. Kent Professor in the LSU Department of Biological Sciences. A wish to understand how biological catalysts are able to promote the complex biochemical reactions that make life possible drives Newcomer’s research. 

     

2017

   
LSU chemisty Rendy Kartika LSU chemist Donghui Zhang LSU chemistry professor Kermit Murray

Rendy Kartika, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Emerging Scholar Award. After conducting postdoctoral research at Yale University, Kartika joined the LSU faculty where his research program focuses on the discovery of new organic reactions that produce biologically and pharmaceutically relevant molecular scaffolds.

Donghui Zhang, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, received the Mid-Career Scholar Award. Her research interests include polymer catalysis, synthesis and characterization of biomimetic, bioinspired and bio-relevant functional polymers and high precision macromolecules. 

Kermit Murray, professor in the Department of Chemistry received the 2017 Senior Scholar Award. His current research focuses on instrument development and applications of laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. 
     

 


  

LSU chemist Graca Vicente

In honor of her exceptional research and scholarship, Graça Vicente, Charles H. Barré Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, was named 2016 Distinguished Research Master, a honor presented by the LSU Office of Research & Economic Development. Vicente’s research involves the synthesis of organic materials based on the porphyrin, chlorin, phthalocyanine and boron dipyrromethene cores, their conjugation to biomolecules and their development for applications in biology and medicine. She is the program director for the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) program, funded by the National Institutes of Health.

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LSU geologist Samuel Bentley

Sam Bentley, Billy and Ann Harrison Chair in Sedimentary Geology and director of LSU’s Coastal Studies Institute, has been named the Erick and Lea Sternberg Honors Professor in the Roger Hadfield Ogden Honors College. Established in 1996, the professorship is the highest award conferred to faculty by the LSU Ogden Honors College.

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Retired LSU chemistry professor Saundra Yancy McGuire

Saundra Yancy McGuire, director emerita of LSU’s Center for Academic Success and retired assistant vice chancellor and professor of chemistry, has been awarded the 2017 American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Encouraging Disadvantaged Students into Careers in the Chemical Sciences, sponsored by the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation. A nationally recognized chemical educator, author and lecturer, she has traveled the globe promoting sure-fire strategies to help students, including those underrepresented in science and math professions, to be successful in their coursework and careers. McGuire is also a recipient of the LSU Women’s Center Esprit De Femme Award and a 2017 College of Science Hall of Distinction honoree.

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