Distinguished Research Masters and Dissertation Award Recipients Announced
March 22, 2023
BATON ROUGE – LSU Office of Research & Economic Development, or ORED, honors the exceptional research and scholarship of two LSU faculty as Distinguished Research Masters each year. Fahui Wang, the Cyril & Tutta Vetter Alumni Professor in the LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology, is recognized for his scholarship in the arts, humanities, social and behavioral sciences. Guoqiang Li, the Major Morris S. & DeEtte A. Anderson Memorial LSU Alumni Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the LSU Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering is recognized for his research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The Distinguished Research Masters will give presentations on April 20 at 3:00 p.m. in the Holliday Forum in the Journalism Building.
In addition, the LSU Alumni Association and the LSU Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School sponsor the Distinguished Dissertation Awards presented to two doctoral students whose research and writing demonstrate superior scholarship. Eunhan Cho, who received her Ph.D. in exercise physiology with a focus on exercise and immune function from the LSU School of Kinesiology, earned the LSU Alumni Association 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Science, Engineering and Technology. Kimberly Davis, who received her Ph.D. in higher education administration in the Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education, earned the Josephine A. Roberts LSU Alumni Association 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Fahui Wang, Distinguished Research Master - Arts, Humanities, Social & Behavioral Sciences
Sociology, College of Humanities & Social Sciences
Fahui Wang is associate dean of the LSU Pinkie Gordon Lane Graduate School and the Cyril & Tutta Vetter Alumni Professor in the LSU Department of Geography & Anthropology. His research has revolved around the broad theme of spatially-integrated social sciences, public policy and planning in Geographic Information Systems. He earned his B.S. in geography from Peking University, China, and M.A. in economics and Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the Ohio State University. He has been an LSU faculty member since 2007. He was a recipient of the LSU Rainmaker Award for outstanding research, scholarship and creative activity in 2015 and received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2018. His work has been supported by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Justice. He has published more than 150 articles in prestigious journals, authored four books and is ranked among the top 1 percent most cited researchers in Geography in the world.
Guoqiang Li, Distinguished Research Master — Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics
Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, College of Engineering
Guoqiang Li is the Major Morris S. & DeEtte A. Anderson Memorial LSU Alumni Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the holder of the John W. Rhea Jr. Professorship in Engineering. Hi research aims to advance knowledge and develop enabling technology in stimuli-responsive polymers and polymer composites related to engineering structures and devices. His research group has been focused on fiber reinforced polymer composite materials and composite structures, and on understanding its constitutive behavior and damage, fracture and healing based on engineering mechanics principles. One of his studies focuses on a self-healing polymer and polymer composite that can repeatedly heal wide-opened cracks in roads.
Li received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Southeast University, China and has been a member of the LSU faculty for 26 years. He received the Excellence in Innovation award and the H.M. “Hub” Cotton Award for Faculty Excellence from LSU in 2019. Li has been published in numerous academic journals and has received nearly $8 million as a principal investigator in research funding while at LSU.
Eunhan Cho, LSU Alumni Association 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Science, Engineering and Technology
Eunhan Cho started her academic career in South Korea as an undergraduate student. Upon graduation, she continued to pursue a master’s degree in exercise physiology, working at the Muscle Physiology and Plasticity lab at the University of Texas in Austin. During her graduate studies, Cho primarily studied mesenchymal stem cells and macrophages role in improving skeletal muscle recovery following volumetric muscle loss. After earning her master’s degree, Cho was hired as a research assistant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. The experience allowed Cho to expand her understanding of the interaction between immune function and cancer. The experiences during her master’s and subsequent research endeavors led her to pursue a doctorate in exercise physiology with a focus on exercise and immune function. Cho joined the LSU School of Kinesiology under the mentorship of Guillaume Spielmann.
During her doctoral studies, Cho received American College of Sports Medicine doctoral student research grant in 2020. Cho has expanded her laboratory skills, and also conducted multiple exercise-based studies on diverse populations focused on adaptations of the immune system in response to exercise. Since receiving her doctorate, Cho is completing a post-doctoral fellowship at LSU.
Her dissertation, “The Effects of Exercise on Innate Lymphoid Cells Metabolism and Function in Cancer” investigated the effects of exercise on Natural Killer, or NK, cells bioenergetics and cytotoxic functions when NK cells are activated by aggressive breast cancer subtypes under a hypoxic tumor microenvironment. This is the first study to show that a single acute bout of exercise reuses the NK cell function lost due to hypoxic conditions. Further, activated NK cells by triple-negative breast cancer cells showed increased mitochondrial oxidative capacity and decreased Reactive Oxygen Species following exercise, both known to being associated with improved and impaired functions respectively. This study advocates beneficial acute effects of exercise on the metabolism and function of NK cells, in addition to the documented mobilization of cytotoxic cells into the peripheral blood compartment. Overall, this dissertation provides new insights into for understanding NK cell function in response to exercise, playing a powerful role to enhance immunosurveillance and protect from cancer incidence.
Kimberly Rogers Davis, Josephine A. Roberts LSU Alumni Association 2023 Distinguished Dissertation Award in Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Kimberly Rogers Davis serves as a Data Analyst for the Timothy J. Piazza Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research and Reform at Penn State University. She is primarily responsible for maintaining and reporting on data gathered through the center, including providing institutional and aggregate reports, as well as contributing to key research projects related to the Piazza Center mission. Davis received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in August 2022. She also holds an M.A. in Applied Research, Measurement and Evaluation in Higher Education Administration from LSU, an M.S. in College Student Personnel from Arkansas Tech University and a B.A. in Spanish from Mercer University.
Before beginning her doctoral studies, Davis worked professionally in housing and residence life, student conduct, fraternity/sorority life and Title IX. While at LSU, she served as the Graduate Assistant for Title IX and a Graduate Assistant in the Lutrill & Pearl Payne School of Education. She has presented research on fraternity and sorority life, hazing, community college students and career and technical education at national and regional higher education and student affairs conferences. Additionally, she was a co-author of the 2020-2025 National Leadership Education Research Agenda.
Her dissertation “Not Nearly What It Used to Be: A Mixed Methods Study on Hazing and Organizational Culture in Historically White Fraternities” employed an explanatory sequential mixed methods design utilizing both surveys and interviews. Analysis of the survey data examined how students’ backgrounds, beliefs and historically White fraternity, or HWF, chapter characteristics and culture contribute to experiences with hazing. The level of hazing experienced as new members negatively impacted members’ perceptions of their chapter culture, whereas chapter size had a positive impact. In addition, the chapter culture scales impacted members’ attitudes toward hazing differently. Chapter size and the level of hazing experienced as new members had positive relationships with member attitudes toward hazing.
In the second and qualitative phase, participants described their chapters as supportive environments, but felt that the institution did not view HWFs positively. Additionally, participants discussed the effectiveness of hazing prevention policies and the state of the institution’s hazing culture following a student death due to hazing in 2017.
Following the analysis of the interviews, the researcher integrated the findings of both phases to understand better how chapter culture and institutional culture contribute to hazing in HWFs. Finally, the study concludes with implications for theory and practice and recommendations for future research to continue hazing prevention efforts.