Faculty Awards

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Recognizing outstanding faculty, staff & students in the ODU College of Sciences

Each year, the faculty and staff of the College choose to recognize the extraordinary contributions of their colleagues to the College's research and creativity, teaching, and service missions. Recipients of the following awards represent the best traditions of scholarship, including discovery and the advancement of new knowledge; integration of knowledge across disciplines; engagement with the broader community within the University, the Hampton Roads area, the Commonwealth, and the world; and transformative teaching and learning for traditional and nontraditional students alike.

The College recognizes that each awardee's successes depend upon the inspiration, dedication and sacrifice of many others in the College. For this reason, the following awards celebrate our academic community as much as the distinguished individuals we choose to honor.

Nominate a College of Sciences Faculty, Staff or Student!

Recognize the extraordinary contributions of one of your fellow College of Sciences faculty or staff members by nominating them for one of the awards below. Most nominations should go through the department chair by March 15th. Only one nomination per department is allowed. Click on the award and scroll down to see nomination details for that award.

Awards

The Above and Beyond Award started in 2019 and is funded by the College of Sciences Advisory Board to recognize those faculty who, through their teaching, research, or service, go above and beyond their usual role. These faculty serve the educational mission of ODU in many ways, some of which are not recognized through the usual teaching or research awards.

Award Winners

2021 Above and Beyond Award Winner

Raul Briceno

Assistant Professor

Department of Physics 

 

 

 

 

 2019 Above and Beyond Award Winners

2019 Winners
Dr. Bala Ramjee

Dr. Bala Ramjee

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

   

Dr. Christina Steel

SENIOR LECTURER

Department of Biological Sciences

   

Dr. Desmond Cook

PROFESSOR

Department of Physics

   
Dr. Gordon Melrose

Dr. Gordon Melrose 

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AND DEPARTMENT CHAIR

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

   
Jennifer Younkin

Jennifer Younkin

MASTER LECTURER AND CHIEF DEPARTMENTAL ADVISOR

Department of Psychology

   

Kalpana Mahadevan

LECTURER

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

   
Kayla Culbertson

Kayla Culbertson

ADJUNCT PROFESSOR

Department of Biological Sciences

   
Dr. Przemek Bogacki

Dr. Przemek Bogacki

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

Department of Mathematics and Statistics

   

Dr. Shannon Wells

LECTURER

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

   

Dr. Steve Zeil

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR

Department of Computer Science

 

2018 Above and Beyond Award Winners

Charles Sukenik

PROFESSOR

Department of Physics

   
Rich Whittecar

Rich Whittecar 

UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR EMERITUS

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

 

     

 

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the College of Sciences are invited to submit proposals for the Cheng Fund for Innovative Research grant competition. Created through a generous endowment from Dr. Richard Cheng, the purpose of the Cheng Fund is to support federal grant applications with a strong emphasis on original and innovative research. (Learn more)

Award Winners

2021-2022 Cheng Fund For Innovative Research Award Winner

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Xiang Xu

Department of Mathematics & Statistics 

2020-2021 Cheng Fund For Innovative Research Award Winner

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Yuan Zhang

Department of Physics 

2019-2020 Cheng Fund For Innovative Research Award Winner

Cong Wang

Cong Wang

Department of Computer Science 

Interested in this grant?

Please see research funding opportunities for information on how to apply. 

 

To recognize significant research contributions, one tenured faculty member will be chosen each year to receive the College of Sciences Distinguished Research Award. This award recognizes outstanding research discoveries extensively cited in the literature, a record of highly important publications and substantial and consistent peer-reviewed grant support.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Distinguished Research Award Winner

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Sebastian Kuhn

Department of Physics 

 

2020-2021 Distinguished Research Award Winner

Stephen Bueltmann

Stephen Bueltmann

Department of Physics 

2019-2020 Distinguished Research Award Winner

Yuesheng Xu

Yuesheng Xu

Department of Mathematics & Statistics 

 

Nominate someone for this award! 

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to the Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A letter of nomination describing the research accomplishments of the nominee
  • CV and bibliography
  • Citations of published research work
  • Information on current and past peer-reviewed funding
  • Any other pertinent information

The College of Science Research Council will review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Distinguished Research Award recipient.

To recognize significant research contributions by a faculty member early in their career, one pre-tenure faculty member will be chosen each year to receive the College of Sciences Early Career Distinguished Research Award.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Distinguished Early Career Research Award Winner

Cassie Glenn, Clinical Psychology

Cassie Glenn

Department of Psychology 

 

2020-2021 Distinguished Early Career Research Award Winner

Cong Wang

Cong Wang

Department of Computer Science

2019-2020 Distinguished Early Career Research Award Winner

Raul Briceno

Department of Physics 

Nominate someone for this award! 

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packages should include:

  • A letter of nomination describing the research accomplishments of the nominee
  • CV and bibliography
  • Citations of published research work
  • Information on current and past peer-reviewed funding
  • Any other pertinent information

The College of Sciences Research Council will review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Early Career Distinguished Research Award recipient.

To recognize faculty members who have excelled in teaching, research, and service, one College of Sciences faculty member will be chosen every other year to receive the Gene W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award. This award recognizes a faculty member who is both a highly valued teacher as evidenced by quality student-faculty interaction within and outside of the classroom and an accomplished research investigator as demonstrated by publication in highly regarded journals and peer-reviewed research grant support. In addition, this faculty member embodies service through significant departmental, college, university, national and international academic leadership. This award is open to faculty members who have completed a minimum of three years at Old Dominion University at the time of the award, and carries an honorarium of $1,000.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Gene W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award Winner

Holly Gaff

Department of Biology

2019-2020 Gene W. Hirschfeld Faculty Excellence Award Winner

Rocco Schiavilla

Department of Physics

Nominate someone for this award!

Faculty, administrators, and students are welcome to submit nominations including self-nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Nominations should include:

  • A letter of nomination describing the teaching, research, and service accomplishments of the nominee
  • CV and bibliography
  • Teaching evaluations for the last two years
  • Number of citations of published research work
  • Information on current and past peer-reviewed funding
  • Any other pertinent information

The Dean will provide the documentation to the College's Promotion and Tenure committee. The chairperson of the Promotion and Tenure committee will submit the committee's selection of an individual from those nominated for the award to the Dean giving the rationale for the recommendation. The award will be made by the Dean at the College of Sciences' Award Ceremony.

 

The Outstanding Advisor of the Year award recognizes the individual in the College of Sciences who has provided exemplary advising to undergraduate and/or graduate students during the past academic year.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Outstanding Advisor of the Year

Linda Vahala

Kerri Svoboda-Musick

COS Advising Center

2020-2021 Outstanding Advisor of the Year

Linda Vahala

Mirta S. Williams

Department of Computer Science

 

2019-2020 Outstanding Advisor of the Year

Janet Rinehart-Kim

Janet Rinehart-Kim

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Nominate someone for this award! 

The Outstanding Advisor of the Year is someone who provided exemplary advising to undergraduate and/or graduate students during the past academic year. (Please note that this is not an award for research supervision.) Both faculty and members of the CoS Advising Office are eligible for this award.

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to their Department Chairs or supervisor for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the nominee's demonstrated commitment to students and their advising needs
  • No more than 5 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Outstanding Undergraduate Advisor of the Year.

The Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award recognizes the individual in the College of Sciences who has provided exemplary undergraduate research supervision during the past calendar year.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

ODU Assistant Professor of Psychology Abby Braitman

Abby Braitman

Department of Psychology

 

2019-2020 Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year

Jian Wu

Jian Wu

Department of Computer Science

 

Nominate someone for this award! 

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the nominee's demonstrated commitment to undergraduate students' research, and
  • No more than 5 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year.

This award recognizes the graduate student who has produced the most outstanding M.S. thesis in the College of Sciences. In certain cases, an M.S. student's project may be substituted for a formal thesis if that project has led to published results.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Outstanding MS Thesis Award Winner

Linda Vahala

Jennifer Shipley

Department of Psychology

 

2020-2021 Outstanding MS Thesis Award Winner

Claire Gorman

Claire Gorman

Department of Biological Sciences

2019-2020 Outstanding MS Thesis Award Winner

Tiffany Birge

Tiffany Birge

Department of Biological Sciences

Nominate a student for this award!

Faculty members may submit nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the exceptional quality of the students' thesis
  • Students who have been nominated should submit:
    • A current CV
    • A list of presentations and publications derived from their thesis research
    • Their current GPA
    • A short description of their plans after graduation

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Outstanding MS Thesis award.

This award recognizes the graduate student who has produced the most outstanding Ph.D. dissertation in the College of Sciences.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Lee Entsminger Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award Winner

Linda Vahala

Brian Collister

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

2020-2021 Lee Entsminger Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award Winner

Corday Selden

Corday Selden

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

2019-2020 Lee Entsminger Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award Winners

Ashley Molinaro

Ashley Molinaro

Department of Biological Sciences

   
Amy Stamates

Amy Stamates

Department of Psychology

Nominate a student for this award!

Faculty members may submit nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the exceptional quality of the students' dissertation
  • Students who have been nominated should submit:
    • A current CV
    • A list of presentations and publications derived from their dissertation research
    • Their current GPA
    • A short description of their plans after graduation

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the Lee Entsminger Outstanding Ph.D. dissertation award.

To recognize significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences, four faculty members (one tenured, one tenure-track, one lecturer and one adjunct) will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding teaching, innovative pedagogy, concern for students and exemplary contributions to the educational process outside the classroom.

Award Winners

2020-2021 Adjunct Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Jim Brunelle

James A. Brunelle

Department of Computer Science

2019-2020 Adjunct Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Dennis Weygand

Dennis Weygand

Department of Physics

Nominate an adjunct faculty member for this award!

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to the Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the faculty member's teaching accomplishments
  • Teaching evaluations for the last two years
  • No more than 3 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selections of the Distinguished Teaching Awards.

To recognize significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences, four faculty members (one tenured, one tenure-track, one lecturer and one adjunct) will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding teaching, innovative pedagogy, concern for students and exemplary contributions to the educational process outside the classroom.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Nontenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Perry Nerem

Perry Nerem

Department of Physics

2020-2021 Nontenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Soad Ibraham

Soad F. Ibrahim

Department of Computer Science

2019-2020 Nontenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Blair Swoope

Blair Swoope

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

   
Doug Mills

Doug Mills

Department of Biological Sciences

 

Nominate a nontenured faculty member for this award!

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to the Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the faculty member's teaching accomplishments
  • Teaching evaluations for the last two years
  • No more than 3 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selections of the Distinguished Teaching Awards.

To recognize significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences, four faculty members (one tenured, one tenure-track, one lecturer and one adjunct) will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding teaching, innovative pedagogy, concern for students and exemplary contributions to the educational process outside the classroom.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Tenure Track Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Sampath Jayarathna

Sampath Jayarathna

Department of Computer Science

2020-2021 Tenure Track Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Raul A. Briceno

Department of Physics

2019-2020 Tenure Track Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Alan Meca

Alan Meca

Department of Psychology

Nominate a tenure track faculty member for this award!

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to the Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the faculty member's teaching accomplishments
  • Teaching evaluations for the last two years
  • No more than 3 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selections of the Distinguished Teaching Awards.

To recognize significant contributions to the teaching mission of the College of Sciences, four faculty members (one tenured, one tenure-track, one lecturer and one adjunct) will receive the Distinguished Teaching Award. This award recognizes outstanding teaching, innovative pedagogy, concern for students and exemplary contributions to the educational process outside the classroom.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Tenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Alex Gurevich

Alex Gurevich

Department of Physics

2020-2021 Tenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

Rocco Schiavilla

Department of Physics

2019-2020 Tenured Faculty Distinguished Teaching Award Winner

A still from video explaining research of Nora Noffke

Nora Noffke

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

Nominate a tenured faculty member for this award!

Faculty, students, and administrators are welcome to submit nominations to the Department Chair for this award.

Nomination packets should include:

  • A nomination letter describing the faculty member's teaching accomplishments
  • Teaching evaluations for the last two years
  • No more than 3 letters of support from students

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selections of the Distinguished Teaching Awards.

To recognize a staff member who has provided exceptional service to students and faculty within the College of Sciences and the University, a staff member will be chosen to receive the College of Sciences Outstanding Staff Member of the Year Award.

Award Winners

2021-2022 Outstanding Staff Member of the Year

Patrick Curry

Patrick Curry

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences, Captain R/V Fay Slov

2020-2021 Outstanding Staff Member of the Year

Linda Vahala

Alex Tucker

Department of Computer Science

2019-2020 Outstanding Staff Member of the Year

Tammy Subotich

Tammy Subotich

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

   
Donna Sellers

Donna Sellers

Department of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

 

Nominate a CoS staff member for this award!

Faculty, students, and staff members are welcome to submit nominations to their Department Chair for this award.

Each nomination should include:

  • A letter describing the nominee's outstanding service
  • No more than 3 letters of support from members of the academic community

The Office of the Dean will appoint a committee to review the nominees. The Office of the Dean will make the final selection of the College of Sciences Outstanding Staff Member of the Year.

Faculty members in the College of Sciences are invited to submit proposals for seed funding for a collaborative research project in Data Science. The goal of this fund is to encourage collaborative interactions among faculty across departments in the College of Sciences towards the application of data science and analytics to research problems. (Learn more)

Award Winners

2021-2022 Seed Funding Research in Data Science Award

Sophie Clayton

Sophie Clayton

Department of Ocean & Earth Sciences

   
Lucia Tabacu

Lucia Tabacu

Department of Mathematics & Statistics

 

Interested in this grant?

Please see research funding opportunities for information on how to apply. 

 

 

 

Not sure who your department chair is? 

The department chair should be listed on each department's directory page. Visit one of the College of Science's seven department websites and navigate to the directory to view the chair.