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College of Science Accolades April 2020

College of Science professors Benjamin Dreyfus, Physics and Astronomy, Kelly Knight, Forensic Science, and Sean Lawton, Mathematical Sciences, were selected as recipients of the 2020 Teaching Excellence Award by George Mason University’s Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning.

Jaafar Ansari, Physics and Astronomy, Quantum Science and Engineering Center, was awarded a seed grant of $5,000 from the Quantum Materials and Engineering Center in amount for summer research on “Exotic Materials Predictions via Density Functional Theory for Nuclear Quadrupole Resonance.”

Harbir Antil, Mathematical Sciences, received the 2020 Career Connection Faculty Award, presented by the University Career Services at George Mason University. The Career Connection Faculty award is given annually to Mason faculty who make a positive impact on students’ career goals, employment plans, or graduate school preparation.

Martha Buckley, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $21,511 for Advancing Knowledge of the Arctic/Sub-Arctic Freshwater Cycle and its Impacts on North Atlantic Ocean Circulation by Johns Hopkins University. Prime Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Nirmal Ghimire, Physics and Astronomy, Quantum Science and Engineering Center, co-published an article titled “Giant anomalous Hall effect in quasi-two-dimensional layered antiferromagnet Co1/3NbS2” in Physical Review Research. 

Patrick Gillevet, Biology, Microbiome Analysis Center, was awarded $7,000 for Synlogic analysis of 42 fecal samples by Synlogic Operating Company, Inc.

Christian Jones, Environmental Science and Policy, published a paper titled “Recovery of a Tidal Freshwater Embayment from Eutrophication: a Multidecadal Study” in Estuaries and Coasts

Kylene Kehn-Hall, Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded $250,000 for Technology for Rapid Deployment to Improve Coronavirus Detection and Diagnosis by the George Mason University Foundation.Kehn-Hall was also awarded $6,341 for Impact of Silicon Nitride on SARS-Cov-2 by SINTX Technologies, Inc. She was also awarded $15,144 for Impact of Nano-copper on SARS-Cov-2 by Kuprion Inc.

Kelly Knight, Forensic Science, was promoted to Fellow within the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. 

Sean Lawton, Mathematical Sciences, was chosen as a recipient for the 2020 OSCAR Mentoring Award by George Mason University’s Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR). Lawton co-published a paper titled “The mapping class group action on SU(3)-character varieties” in Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems. Lawton’s PhD student, Cigole Thomas, won the Provost Summer Research Fellowship 2020. Lawton’s undergraduate research student, Matthew Kearney, won the Genevieve G. Feinstein Award in Cryptography and another undergraduate research student, George Andrew, won the Amer Beslagic Award for outstanding performance in math.

David Luther, Biology, was interviewed by television program America’s Morning Headquarters (AMHQ) on the Weather Channel for his research on bird song in urban areas.

Dhafer Marzougi, along with his co-PI Cing-Dao (Steve) Kan, Physics and Astronomy, Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, was awarded $166,123 for Testing Adequacy of an Existing Bridge Barrier by the State of Connecticut.

Igor Mazin, Physics and Astronomy, Quantum Materials Center, co-published a paper titled
“Unusual electronic state of Sn in AgSnSe2” in Physical Review B.

Aarthi Narayanan, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, was awarded $60,000 for Development of therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 by the Leidos Inc.

Mikell Paige, Chemistry and Biochemistry, along with co-PI Lance Liotta, Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, was awarded $400,000 for Protein painting of PD1/PDL1 for the discovery of new immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of lung cancer and brain metastasis by Virginia Biosciences Health Research.

Jagadish Shukla, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was an invited panelist in an April 2020 roundtable discussion on Earth System Predictability organized by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and co-sponsored by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

Cynthia Smith, Environmental Science and Policy, was awarded $5,600 for PSC Landscape CSI: Fellowship Cynthia Smith by the Landscape Architecture Foundation.

Yuntao Wu, Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, co-published a manuscript titled “PSGL-1 restricts HIV-1 infectivity by blocking virus particle attachment to target cells” in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS). Wu also received a 5-year NIH R01 grant for $1,900,000 to study PSGL-1 restriction of HIV infectivity. Wu was also awarded $1,931,087 for Mechanisms of PSGL-1 restriction of HIV virion infectivity by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

George Mason University College of Science Spring 2020 Service Award Recipients

In Atmospheric, Oceanic, and Earth Sciences, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason 2020 Service Awards -- Bohua Huang, 15 years; Mark Uhen, 10 years; Martha Buckley, 5 years; Natalie Burls, 5 years; Maria D’Souza, 5 years; Linda Hinnov, 5 years; Kathleen Pegion, 5 years; Ravi Shukla, 5 years; and Erik Swenson, 5 years.

In Biology, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Larry Rockwood, 45 years; Deborah Polayes, 15 years; Joanne Zimmerman, 15 years; Brenda Tondi, 10 years; Valerie Olmo, 5 years; and Mary O’Toole, 5 years.

In the Biomedical Sciences Program, we would like to recognize the following recipient of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- William Hahn, 5 years.

From the Center for Applied Proteomics and Molecular Medicine, we would like to recognize the following recipient of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Natasha Boddie, 5 years.

From the Center for Collision Safety and Analysis, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Robert Cole, 5 years; Michael Mosser, 5 years; Kathryn Seaton, 5 years; and Christopher Story, 5 years.

From the Center for Earth Observing and Space Research, we would like to recognize the following recipient of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Eugene Yu, 15 years.

From the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Liu Zhong, 20 years; and Min Huang, 5 years

In Chemistry and Biochemistry, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Gregory Foster, 30 years; and Elizabeth Foy, 5 years.

From the College of Science, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Justin Brown, 20 years; Melissa Hayes, 15 years; Ryan Wetter, 10 years; Ali Andalibi, 5 years; Kate Daie, 5 years; Alicia Edwards, 5 years; Jennifer Fraze, 5 years; Laura Powers, 5 years; and Nektaria Tryfona, 5 years.

In Computational and Data Sciences, we would like to recognize the following recipient of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Andrew Crooks, 10 years.

In Environmental Science and Policy, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Lee Talbot, 25 years; Susan A. Crate, 15 years; Thomas Lovejoy, 10 years; Carmen Thorndike, 10 years; and Laura Birsa, 5 years.

In Geography and Geoinformation Science, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Paul Houser, 15 years; Feras Batarseh, 5 years; Samantha Cooke, 5 years; and Sanmei Li, 5 years.

In Mathematical Sciences, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Robert Sachs, 30 years; Daniel Anderson, 20 years; Igor Griva, 15 years; and Sean Lawton, 5 years.

From the National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Yuntao Wu, 15 years; and Caitlin Lehman, 5 years.

In Physics and Astronomy, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Harold Geller, 20 years; Michael Summers, 20 years; Jie Zhang, 20 years; John Cressman, 15 years; Robert Meier, 15 years; Predrag Nikolic, 10 years; Dusan Odstrcil, 10 years; Erhai Zhao, 10 years; Tyrel Johnson, 5 years; and Patrick Vora, 5 years.

In the School of Systems Biology, we would like to recognize the following recipients of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Christopher Ryan, 20 years; Dmitri Klimov, 15 years; Fatah Kashanchi, 10 years; Kylene Kehn-Hall, 10 years; Frank Krueger, 10 years; and MingKuan Lin, 10 years.

In the Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation we would like to recognize the following recipient of the Mason Spring 2020 Service Awards -- Cody Edwards, 15 years.