Research and Innovation Newsletter

  Volume II, Issue 1         January-February 2021

In this Issue...

Article 1: Tort Claim Could Ensure Doctors Inform Women of Risk of Stillbirth

Article 2: Engineering Professor Aims to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Professional Society
Article 3: Survey Results: Research Data Management at the UofA
New Hire Spotlight
Recent Awards & Recognitions

Greetings from the Vice Chancellor

Dear U of A Research Community,
You might have noticed a small change to our communication channels recently. They have been updated to reflect our new name—the Division of Research and Innovation (DRI). Our people are actively updating print and electronic materials which bore the former name Office.
If you did not hear, our campus location is also changing. Suites on the first and third floors of the ADMN building will become the new office locations for DRI staff members and subunits who previously worked in the second-floor suite in ADMN and on the fourth-floor suite in JBHT. Those with offices in other campus buildings will remain unchanged. Angela, Wes, Heather, and I have moved into the few vacated offices in our new third-floor suite. When the rest of our spaces are vacated, the spaces will be cleaned (including the carpets) and painted where necessary to “spruce” it up. We anticipate the new workspaces to be available in April/early May.
I want to thank the DRI office, the VCED office, UA System office, and the campus community for being tenacious throughout the Workday implementation. It’s been a bumpy road, but we are closer to getting all of the discrepancies resolved. Like someone said this week, “we are much further along than we were in the fall.” I appreciate your patience in this process as we have faced prolonged difficulties, and please let us know where there are issues. You have my word that we will do our best to help you.
We have had many successes in securing new grants and are seeing expanding research across our campus.  For example, one of our star faculty—Dr. Laurent Bellaiche in PHYS—just received a MURI grant for his efforts. Congratulations, sir! We are looking forward to learning more about what’s next for that particular research project.
I hope each of you are doing well. I feel we are starting to gain ground on the pandemic, and if we stay the course of CDC, ADH, and campus guidance, we may begin to see COVID-19 in our “rear view mirrors.”
Be safe, take care, and Go Hogs!

John R. English, vice chancellor for research & innovation, ready for business in his newly painted office – ADMN 305C

Tort Claim Could Ensure Doctors Inform Women of Risk of Stillbirth

As part of standard patient protocol, doctors inform women of the risks of pregnancy. But there is one exception to this standard: stillbirth.

University of Arkansas law professor Jill Wieber Lens argues that women have a right to know of the risk of stillbirth, and, consistent with the evolution of informed consent law, this right should be enforceable through a medical malpractice tort claim.

Stillbirth, or pregnancy loss after 20 weeks but before birth, is not uncommon. Annually, 26,000 U.S. women give birth to a stillborn baby, or roughly one out every 160 pregnancies. The United States’ stillbirth rate is higher than the stillbirth rates of many other high-income countries and has not decreased as have other countries’ rates.

“Numerous countries have reduced their stillbirth rates through initiatives that include requiring doctors to disclose the risk of stillbirth to women and to educate women on simple preventative measures,” Lens says. “A tort claim enforcing a woman’s right to disclosure of stillbirth could have a similar effect in the United States.”

In “Medical Paternalism, Stillbirth, & Blindsided Mothers,” published in the Iowa Law Review, Lens contends that women remain ignorant of the possibility of stillbirth because of the remnants of medical paternalism — doctors choose not to disclose the risk because they think women don’t need to and shouldn’t know about it, because the risk is low, and they think it might cause anxiety in patients.

There could be other reasons. Doctors might believe that anxious women would want additional visits, which might not be covered under current insurance billing standards.

“Possibly the only one benefiting from current non-disclosure is the doctor,” writes Lens, “as he or she may be motivated by billing incentives more than what is best for the patient and her unborn child.”

In the article, Lens explained that doctors historically were obligated to disclose only those risks they thought patients needed to know. However, decades ago, courts rejected this paternalism in favor of a patient’s right to information and self-determination. This led to the adoption of a so-called “materiality standard,” which requires doctors to disclose all risks that a reasonable patient would want to know.

Lens applied this materiality standard and the evolved principles of informed consent law to a pregnant woman’s right to know about the risk of stillbirth. The right easily satisfies the materiality standard, she said. Additionally, Lens argued, there is no evidence to support the myth that disclosure will cause anxiety for pregnant women.

In current routine practice, doctors disclose many risks associated with pregnancy, including the risks of miscarriage and fetal abnormalities, such as down syndrome and fatal trisomies. But empirical studies confirm that pregnant women remain unaware of the possibility and reality of stillbirth.

“The narrative of the irrational and emotional pregnant woman does not justify the doctor’s non-disclosure,” she said. “This narrative is common, but there is no evidence to support it. Keeping women in the dark about stillbirth only prevents them from taking actions that could prevent stillbirth, such as not smoking, sleeping on one’s side and monitoring the baby’s movements.”

In addition to patient and fetal health, there are other benefits that could be achieved through a tort claim, Lens explained. Educating women will likely reduce the number of malpractice claims filed after stillbirth, as patients are less likely to sue when they feel informed and are satisfied with doctor-patient communication. Though stillbirth will still be devastating for women, knowing about the risk ahead of time might help alleviate some of the shock. Finally, informing women of the risk of stillbirth might increase public awareness and help reduce the stigma and taboo surrounding stillbirth.

Written by Matt McGowan
Originally published online at 

Engineering Professor Aims to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Professional Society


A University of Arkansas electrical engineering professor hopes to encourage more diversity and inclusion through her recent election to an administrative committee in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, an international society. 

For Magda El-Shenawee, the chance to serve on the administration committee, known as AdCom, for the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society means more than a professional opportunity — it's a way to open avenues for female representation in the field of electrical engineering. 

The society focuses on several research topics, including antennas, analysis, design, and the interaction of electromagnetic waves with discrete and continuous media, and more. El-Shenawee said women continue to be underrepresented in electrical engineering, including in IEEE.

"It is an honor to serve on the AdCom for the APS Society, which governs all activities in the society," she said. "The number of women in this society is small, which is something I would like to help change." 

Three women are currently serving in the AdCom, according to IEEE officials. The APS Society is one of 39 IEEE societies dedicated to serve under the mission of technology for the benefit of humanity.

"My goal is to promote gender, geographical, and technical diversities in the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, so it can serve the whole community and include everyone," she said. 

Through her role, El-Shenawee will vote on various activities for the society, which include topics like technical items, conferences, education, publications, budget, and more. 

"The goal of the AdCom is to serve all national and international members of the APS Society and provide needed resources all over the world," she said. 

El-Shenawee was elected to a three-year term.   

For more information about the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, click here

Written by Wendy Echeverria and Nick DeMoss
Originally published online at

Survey Results: Research Data Management at the U of A

To evaluate concerns regarding research data management on campus, the Federal Public Access Compliance Task Force sent a survey to 181 principal investigators (PIs) who received federal research awards at the UofA between January 2016 and August 2020. The results of this survey have been interpreted and yield important considerations for U of A’s research administration arm—the Division of Research and Innovation. Participants and other researchers will be interested to know the findings of the study, as well. The full report can be accessed on the Research and Innovation website. A brief summary is given below.

Main observations include:
  1. The Desire for Training – Respondents expressed interest in training on the following topics for themselves and for graduate students
  • Data management plan
  • Day-to-day research data management
  • Preparation of data and creation of associated meta data to be published, shared, or otherwise disseminated
  1. The Responsibility for Training – Respondents repeatedly named the following organizations and campus units as those which should take responsibility for providing training
  • Division of Research and Innovation
  • Federal Agencies
  • University Libraries
  • University IT
  • Colleges
  1. The Awareness of Resources – respondents reported being unaware of resources for managing, sharing, and preserving research data
Based on these results, the Task Force recommends:
  1. The individual colleges, in collaboration with the University Libraries and the Division of Research and Innovation, will develop a short curriculum and associated tools for research data management (RDM) to provide training for faculty, staff, postdocs, and students. This curriculum will cover topics including – but not limited to – the following:
    • data management plans
    • sensitive and proprietary data
    • metadata creation
    • publishing data
    • sharing and archiving data
    • showcasing and publicizing research
The Task Force notes that the University Libraries, particularly the Data Services Librarian, offers instruction and assistance with many aspects of RDM.
  1. The Task Force, with input from the Data Services Librarian, will create a set of data management plan (DMP) templates reflecting the facilities and support available at the U of A; these templates will be available on the Office of Research and Innovation website.
  2. The Division of Research and Innovation communication specialists will collaborate with the colleges, the University Libraries, AHPCC, and ITS to inform the entire campus about available facilities, services, and training for RDM.
  3. The Office of Research Compliance and ITS will continue to work with principal investigators to ensure the security of research data as well as compliance with federal regulations and data use agreements.
  4. The Task Force will work with the incoming Director of Sponsored Programs to develop an efficient process for ensuring compliance with federal public access mandates for both publications and data.
  5. This Task Force, in consultation with the research deans, the Research Council, research center leaders, and experienced principal investigators, will develop a long-term strategy for the governance, management, and sharing of research data.
Special thanks to all the members of the Task Force. They are listed as follows:
  • Chair: Melody Herr, Head, Office of Scholarly Communications
  • Bob Beitle, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
  • David J. Chaffin, Director, High Performance Computing Center
  • Donald DuRosseau, Director of Research Computing, University Information Technology Services
  • Timothy Eichler, Assistant Professor, Education
  • Dinesh R. Hegde, Associate CIO, University Information Technology Services
  • Steve Krogull, Associate Vice Chancellor for University Information Technology Services
  • Jason Ramage, Director, Office of Research Compliance
  • Kathy Scheibel, Assistant Director, Office of Sponsored Programs
  • Wes Stites, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
Lora Lennertz, Data Services Librarian, provides instruction and individual assistance with research data management. Questions regarding university data management may be emailed to

For questions regarding survey findings, please email

New Hire Spotlight

The following individuals have accepted full-time roles within our Division.
Join us in welcoming them to the team!
Kathy M. Kirk, Grant Specialist//OSP

Although Kathy has been with the UofA for 13 years, she is originally from the River Valley area. As a grant specialist with OSP, she assists campus researchers with the preparation and submission of grant proposals. In her spare time, Kathy enjoys gardening and walking. Her goal for 2021 is to return to a healthier lifestyle and finish her raised garden bed project.

BreeAnna Kilmer

BreeAnna is working remotely from Joplin, Missouri. Her responsibilities as a post-award specialist with OSP include managing grant budgets and expense items as well as invoicing and reporting for grants within the university. She enjoys listening to music, going to concerts, and swimming in the summertime. BreeAnna's goal for 2021 is to attend at least one concert that is hosted according to COVID-19 precautions.

Jennifer Vos

Originally from Margaret River (a small town on the southwest coast of Western Australia), Jenny has been in the NWA area since her junior year of high school. She has been working part-time the UA Press since 2018, but recently accepted a full-time position as a project editor. One of her favorite hobbies is choral singing--an activity halted by the pandemic. She also enjoys knitting and reading in her free time. Jenny's goal for 2021 is to revive a few skills she's allowed to get rusty over time. Sewing, practicing music, and language skills, particularly. 

Katie Tracy

New to the University and Fayetteville, Katie joins us from Las Vegas, Nevada. She is the associate director of the post-award team in OSP. In this role, she helps research faculty and staff manage the finance and administration of project funds. Katie enjoys snuggling pugs, running Fayetteville’s gnarly hills, and reading sad fiction. In 2021, she hopes to hug and kiss her mom and dad--it's been a year since she last saw them.

Kimberly O’Leary joined OSP in October as a Grant Specialist. She comes to us from Maricopa, AZ. Her experience includes over 10 years in grant writing—eight of which involved managing federal, state, foundation, and corporate grants. Her skillset includes proofreading and editing, managing budgets, submitting electronic grants, and compiling compliance reports.

Madison Earnheart
Madison joined the Laboratory Animal Facilities (LAF) in November as an Animal Care Technician. She is from Farmington, AR. Her experience includes pet sitting, serving at a dog boarding provider, and assisting at a veterinarian clinic. She also gained valuable customer service experience in the food service industry.


The Division of Research and Innovation is searching for the next
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation - Director of Sponsored Programs.

While this is an external search, internal candidates are also welcome to apply. The position is live on the career site

From the Office of Scholarly Communications:

We want to thank everyone who hosts material in the U of A digital repository ScholarWorks@UARK.  Throughout 2020, the repository added wonderful new content and drew an increasing number of web visitors.  When you have a moment, please take a look at our annual progress report, posted on our user guidelines webpage under Progress Reports and Publicity.   

Find out how ScholarWorks@UARK can make your presentations, publications, and teaching materials more discoverable and more widely accessible, by contacting Melody Herr (

Recent Awards and Recognitions
Congratulations to the following faculty members on their research achievements and recognitions.
Andy Proctor, University Professor Emeritus in Food Science, was recently named a visiting professor at the University of Suffolk in the United Kingdom. In this role, Proctor "will assist in teaching, directing food science research and facilitating new international academic programs between the United Kingdom, European Union and the United States" (Proctor, University Professor Emeritus in Food Science, Named Suffolk Visiting Professor).

Moon-Sook Park, associate professor of voice, was recognized with one of the Korean-American University Professors Association Academic Excellence Awards. "KAUPA awarded her in recognition of her co-authored two-volume work Korean Art Songs: An Anthology and Guide for Performance and Study, published by Classical Vocal Reprint in 2017. It is the first authoritative anthology of Korean Art Songs to be published in the United States" (Academic Excellence Award Given to Department of Music's Park).

John Kent, clinical professor in supply chain management, was recently selected as a senior fellow in the Fellows Network of the George H. W. Bush Foundation for U.S.-China Relations. "Kent is among the inaugural class of 18 fellows that represents a diverse range of expertise and backgrounds in political, social, economic, security and historic issues critical to an understanding of U.S.-China relations and beyond" (Kent Selected for Inaugural Class of Bush China Foundation Fellows Network). 

Laurent Sacharoff, professor of law and associate dean for research and faculty development, published an article titled, "Criminal Trespass and Computer Crime," that was featured in the William and Mary Law Review. In his work, Sacharoff "examines the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, or the CFAA as it is better known in legal circles, which criminalizes the simple act of accessing another person's computer without authorization" (Law Professor Offers Simpler Guidelines to Interpreting the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act).

Karl Schubert, professor of practice and associate director of the undergraduate data sciences program, "chaired a sub-committee through the Arkansas Department of Education that brought together leaders from secondary and post-secondary schools, the Arkansas Department of Education and relevant industries to update the state's high school computer science curriculum" (Partnership Aims to Grow Data Science Pipeline in Arkansas).

Suzanne Kucharczyk, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received the 2021 Tom E. C. Smith Early Career Award for her "work, service, research and leadership in the field of developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorder" (Professor Earns Award for Leadership in the Field of Developmental Disabilities).

Brett Schulte, associate professor of journalism, "won first place in the 2020 Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference's manuscript competition for his book proposal, Flanagan: The Untold Tale of the World's Greatest Orphanage and America's Last Celebrity Priest"  (Schulte Manuscript Wins Mayborn Literary Notification Award). 

Kevin Hall, professor of civil engineering, was recently named associate dean for research in engineering. "Hall will oversee the college's research and graduate missions to promote and advance scholarship, facilitate multidisciplinary research activities, and articulate and implement the research vision for the College of Engineering" (Hall Named Associate Dean for Research in Engineering).

Lisa M. Corrigan, associate professor of communication and director of the gender studies program, compiled a collection of essays into a book which will be published under the title, #MeToo: A Rhetorical Zeitgeist. "Using intersectional and decolonial frameworks and historical, archival, organizational, and legal methods, its essays offer a rich exploration of #MeToo to understand how activism around sexualized violence reproduces and harms a wide variety of people" (Gender Studies Director to Publish New Edited Collection, '#MeToo: A Rhetorical Zeitgeist).

Danielle Weatherby, associate professor of law, wrote an article published in the University of California Davis Law Review. "In 'Student Discipline and the Active Avoidance Doctrine,' Weatherby examines the failures of zero-tolerance policies in public schools alongside reluctance to enact meaningful reform" (Weatherby's Law Article Offers Legal Framework to Examine School Discipline Reform).

Steve Luoni, Distinguished Professor and the Steven L. Anderson Chair in Architecture and Urban Studies, and UofA's "Community Design Center has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant to support the creation of a public access master plan for a wetland near downtown Fayetteville." (Community Design Center Wetlands Project Awarded National Endowment for the Arts Grant).

Young Hye Song, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, "was awarded $100,000 from the PhRMA Foundation to pursue her work on a hydrogel that houses stem cells inside a nerve matrix, allowing the cells to live longer inside the body so they can spend more time healing a damaged spinal cord" (New Drug Delivery System Targets Spinal Cord Injuries).

Maria Ball, assistant professor of occupational therapy, "recently helped create a comprehensive guide aimed at improving school-based occupational therapy services in Arkansas." The work is titled, "Guidance for Occupational Therapy in Arkansas Public Schools." (Occupational Therapy Professor Creates Guide to Improve School-Based Services). 

David Jolliffe, professor emeritus of English, co-authored a book titled, Literacy as Conversation: Learning Networks in Urban and Rural Communities, with long-time friend,  Eli Goldblatt, professor emeritus of English from Temple University. "Their common research area and mutual respect for each other's work directly contributed to their decision ultimately to collaborate on a book project"
 (Professor Emeritus of English Collaborates with Fellow Literary Scholar and Long-Time Friend on New Book).

Robert Bacon, professor and department head of crop, soil and environmental sciences, announced his retirement in January. "In addition to breeding wheat, oats and canola, Bacon carried a heavy teaching load in Bumpers College, and he found his association with his students as rewarding as his research" (Robert Bacon, Wheat Breeder, Professor and Department Head, Retires After 37 Years). 

Chris Farnell, managing director of the National Center for Reliable Electric Power Transmission (NCREPT) and test engineer of electrical engineering, and affiliated NCREPT researchers "are partnering with the Forge Institute and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock to advance applied research in areas that support national defense, including cybersecurity" 
(Engineering Researchers Form Partnership Focused on Cybersecurity).

John Pijanowski, Kara Lasater, Kevin Brady, & Christy Smith, all faculty members in educational leadership, "conducted a self-study of their mentorship practices, and their findings were recently published in the International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education. The article, titled "Redefining Mentorship in the Era of Crisis: Responding to COVID-19 through Compassionate Relationships," explores mentorship practices in times of crisis and considers how mentorship could be improved to support students earning educational leadership degrees" (Educational Leadership Faculty Explore Mentorship Practices in the Era of Crisis).

Fiona Goggin, professor of entomology, John Rupe, professor of plant pathology, and Alejandro Rojas, assistant professor of plant pathology, were awarded a $499,936 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture. It will be used "to investigate methods of boosting the defense response of soybeans against nematodes and soilborne pathogens" (Researchers Receive $499,936 Grant to Investigate Molecular Signals That Initiate Plant Defenses). 

Eric Darnell Pritchard, new professor of English, was appointed as the Brown Chair in English Literacy. "The specific programs that Pritchard hopes to implement, based upon the above foundational ideas, would fall into one of four main categories: research, education, advocacy, and empowerment" (Professor Eric Darnell Pritchard Joins English Department as New Brown Chair in English Literacy).

Ed Pohl and Haitao Liao, professors of industrial engineering, and Cesar Ruiz, recent doctoral graduate, were "selected for the William A. Golomski Award at the 2021 Reliability and Maintainability Symposium. The Golomski award recognizes an outstanding research paper from the symposium's proceedings" (Industrial Engineering Research Team Recognized With International Paper Award).

Annie Smith, 
associate professor of law and director of the public service and pro bono program, and Uche Ewelukwa Ofodile, E.J. Ball Professor of Law, "received $5,325 and $5,000 in funding from the [Women's Giving Circle] respectively. Their proposals were among the top 11 projects that received grants from a starting pool of 44"  (Two Professors from School of Law Recieve Women's Giving Circle Grants for Projects).

Jim Gigantino, professor of history, was recently appointed as associate dean for the Graduate School. "Gigantino has a significant record of working toward diversity and inclusion through his role as an LGBQT+ Safe Zone Allies instructor and an affiliated faculty member in the African and African American Studies program" (Graduate School Names Gigantino Associate Dean).

Raj Rao, professor and department head of biomedical engineering, was recently selected to join the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering College of Fellows. "His election to the College of Fellows is because of his significant contributions to stem cell engineering research, bioengineering leadership and education, and active community engagement" (Rao Named Fellow in American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering).

Robert Coridan, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, "recently received two individual awards totaling $110,000 at the Scialog: Negative Emissions Science conference, a meeting of Scialog Fellows sponsored by the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement and the Sloan Foundation" (U of A Researcher Wins Two Scialog Awards).

Vicki Collet, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, conducted a study that was published in Review of Education, Pedagogy, and Cultural Studies. Her work focused on "the Marshallese experience during COVID-19 remote learning found that focusing first on basic and social-emotional needs and making frequent, personal connections with students and families may mitigate negative effects of school closures, especially for culturally diverse students. (Research Reveals Positive Impact of COVID Remote Learning on Educators' Cultural Awareness). 

Jeff Miller, professor of agricultural communications, was chosen to be the managing editor of the Journal of Applied Communications. In addition to this role, Miller "teaches several courses in the Department of Agricultural Education, Communications and Technology, manages the student-run Experiential Learning Lab, which provides professional communications services, and focuses research on media coverage of agricultural issues, agricultural communications curriculum development and international rural development" (Agricultural Communications' Miller Named Managing Editor of ACE Journal). 

Ryan Calabretta-Sajder, assistant professor of Italian, "was one of two Arkansas representatives at the Joint National Committee for Languages-National Council for Languages and International Studies National Language Advocacy Days" (Calabretta-Sajder Is One of Two Arkansas Representatives at National Language Advocacy Days). 

Kate Walker, instructor of biological sciences, "has been awarded the John C. Park National Technology Leadership Initiative Fellowship, established to recognize an exemplary presentation on technology at the ASTE annual conference" (Research on Improving Undergraduate Education Wins Award). 

Yue Zhao, assistant professor of electrical engineering, "has been appointed site director of the GRid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems research center" (Zhao to Serve as GRAPES Site Director).

John Folan, professor and head of the department of architecture, received a $25,000 research grant from the Weyerhaueser Foundation for the project, “A Just Housing for the Arkansas Timberlands.”

Haitao Liao, professor of industrial engineering, and Heather Nachtmann, professor of industrial engineering and senior associate vice chancellor for research and innovation, "developed a tool to help public and private sector leaders optimize freight movement across different modes of transportation" (New Tool to Help Decision-Makers Understand Freight Movement).

Patrick J. Wolf, Matthew H. Lee, and Angela R. Watson, all education reform faculty members "co-authored the fifth-most-downloaded post of the year on the Education Next blog . . . The education reform team's post was titled 'Harvard Law Professor's Attack on Homeschooling Is a Flawed Failure. And Terribly Timed, Too'" (U of A Education Reform Team Recognized for Influential Blog Post).

Mengfei Guan, assistant professor of communication, Fernando Riva, assistant professor of Spanish, Bret Schulte, associate professor of journalism, and Valandra, associate professor of social work, will each be awarded $5,000 this summer "to support their research and publication efforts" (Fulbright College Awards 2021 Summer Stipends in Support of Humanities Research).

Elizabeth Lorah, associate professor of special education, and Christine Holyfield, assistant professor of communication sciences, "have developed the new interdisciplinary lab in the College of Education and Health Professions. The new Augmentative and Alternative Communication research lab is a collaboration between the U of A Communication Sciences and Disorders and Special Education programs" (Professors Create New Research Lab to Help People Who Have Limited Speech).

Yousra Nahas, research assistant professor of physics, Sergei Prokhorenko, research assistant professor of physics, and Laurent Bellaiche, Distinguished Professor of Physics, "discovered a unifying framework in the dipolar patterns of two-dimensional ferroelectrics, a finding which could help advance the development of high-density information coding systems in computers and other electronics" (Physicists Discover Unifying Framework for Patterns in Two-Dimensional Ferroelectrics).

Jonathan Boelkins, teaching assistant professor of architecture, received a $25,000 grant from the US Endowment for Forestry and Communities, in support of the academic research consortium LAMINATE (organized through the Fay Jones School).

Lauren Thomas, clinical assistant professor of animal science, Davina D'Angelo, senior in animal science, Morten Jensen, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and Sam Stephens, graduate student in biomedical engineering, teamed "together to develop a surgical spoon that is currently in clinical testing to make a common veterinary procedure safer and more effective . . . The project combines the expertise and experience of Thomas and D'Angelo in veterinary medicine with Jensen and Stephens' expertise in medical device design and manufacturing" (Animal Science and Engineering Researchers Partner to Improve Veterinary Procedure).

"Seven University of Arkansas faculty received outstanding distinctions in 2020 as new distinguished professors, university professors and endowed position appointees." The recipients are as follows:
Geoffrey Brock - named Distinguished Professor of English
Kristofor Brye - named University Professor in applied soil physics and pedology
Michael Daugherty - named Distinguished Professor in curriculum and instruction
Jennifer Greenhill - named Art History Endowed Faculty Chair
Kevin Hall - named University Professor in civil engineering
Manuel D. Rossetti - named a University Professor in industrial engineering
Ranil Wickramasinghe - named a Distinguished Professor in chemical engineering
(Seven Faculty Members Honored With Outstanding Distinctions in 2020).


Congratulations to the following undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students for their research achievements and recognitions.

Kandace Williams, doctoral candidate in the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, developed a COVID ICU Communication Guide for patients and their families. "The communication guide includes information about the hospital unit, expectations, common equipment used and a specific section focused on communication. That section serves as a journal of sorts, where family members can add daily updates, jot down questions to ask nurses and even space to journal their feelings" (Nursing Student Creates Communication Guide to Help COVID Patients' Families).

Nate Arrington and Hannah Hines, both law graduate students, were awarded at the 2021 Ben J. Altheimer Moot Court Competition. "Hines was named best oralist of the competition and Arrington and Hines were recognized for best brief" (Arrington and Hines Win 2021 Altheimer Moot Court Competition). 

Kristen Figgins, English doctoral candidate, "was recently named a 2021 Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Workshop Fellow . . . Figgins will be one of 30 doctoral students attending HWW's program. This year's cohort of workshop fellows will be representing universities from across the country, including (in addition to the University of Arkansas) schools such as Brown, Cornell, Michigan State, Stanford, UCLA, University of Notre Dame, and UT Austin" (English Student Named 2021 Humanities Without Walls Pre-Doctoral Workshop Fellow).

Francia Ravelombola, doctoral candiate in crop, soil and environmental sciences, and Thomas Walton, master's degree student in horticulture recently earned recognitions at the 2020 Crop Science Society of America Annual Meeting. "Francia Ravelombola placed third in the Crop Breeding and Genetics Division, and Thomas Walton placed second in the Golf Division . . . Ravelombola's poster presentation was 'Evaluation of Spatial Variability for Seed Yield in Furrow-Irrigated Soybean in Arkansas.' Walton's poster was "Alternate Cover Approaches to Protect Ultradwarf Bermudagrass Putting Greens with Air Gaps'" (Grad Students Ravelombola, Walton Top Three in Crop Science Society Poster Contests).

Samantha Campbell, master of fine arts student in fiction writing, "has co-founded Black Moon Magazine, an online literary arts journal featuring fiction and poetry. According to its mission statement, Black Moon Magazine "dedicates itself to the discovered intersections of mixed-medium, art, and diversity'" (Creative Writing M.F.A. Student Launches Literary Magazine).

Amirreza Ghadimi Avval and Soheil Nouri, electrical engineering doctoral candidates, and their faculty adviser, Samir El-Ghazaly, "have been honored for their research into devices designed to be the building block of 5G technology." Collectively, they "received the First-place Best Student-Paper Award from the Mediterranean Microwave Symposium in December 2020" (Student Research Recognized at International Symposium).

Jared Ruff, poultry science senior, and Makenly Coles, poultry science graduate, both "received prestigious awards at the 2021 International Poultry Scientific Forum and the International Production and Processing Expo." Jared earned the Don R. Sloan Undergraduate Award for his oral presentation while Makenly earned the C.S. Eidson Student Award for Research Excellence for her poster presentation (Poultry Science Department Students Receive Awards During Annual IPSF and IPPE Meetings).   

Alys Dutton, master of fine arts student in fiction writing, was honored with a research and writing grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. "Dutton will use the award to develop Firebird, a collection of fiction stories about modern and historical women with destructive desires" (Creative Writing M.F.A. Student Awarded Prestigious Literary Grant).

Kylie Hayes, occupational therapy doctoral candidate, "has been awarded the Benjamin Franklin Lever Tuition Fellowship. This highly competitive award is given to qualified students who reflect the university's commitment to academics and diversity" (Graduate Student in Occupational Therapy Receives Benjamin Franklin Lever Fellowship).

Astha Malhotra, doctoral candidate at University of Arkansas Medical Sciences, Toma Tomonari, computer science senior, and Jean Morales, microelectronics and photonics graduate student, have been chosen "as fellows for the spring 2021 cohort of the Science Venture Studio . . . The fellowship pairs students with early-stage technology startups for hands-on experience in market research, customer discovery and grant writing" (U of A Cohort Named For Spring 2021 Science Venture Studio). 

Seventeen students were inducted into the Gamma Kappa Alpha Italian National Honors Society. "In order to be inducted into Gamma Kappa Alpha, students must have taken at least five courses in Italian having attained at least a "B" average in each course and be in the upper 35% of his/her/their class." Congratulations to the inductees listed below. Read the full article, "Italian Honor Society Gamma Kappa Alpha Inducts 17 U of A Students" for more details.

Sadie Bryant
Jack Fowler
Cortney Van Wilpe
Sophie Williams
Shelby Almeida
Maddy Carroll
Miguel Arguiio
Hannah Reed
Charlene Niles
Nick Price
Emma Robertson
Marissa Cooperstein
Julian Ferrier
Jacquelin Davila
Maddie Dumas
Julie Ann Hime
Sara Shaw

Seven entrepreneurial teams "won up to $2,000 each in a seed funding competition hosted by the U of A Office of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in partnership with the School of Law." The 22 students and their project names are listed below. To learn more about how they plan to use their awards, please read the full article, "Student Entrepreneurs Win Big at Seed Funding Competition."

Zain Blackwell, senior, honors College of Engineering
Mitchell Belz, senior, pre-med
Morgan Burns, senior, biomedical engineering
Gabriel David, honors College of Engineering
Smit Patel, senior, honors College of Engineering
Casey Thurmon, senior, biomedical engineering
Liz Alspach, Master of Fine Arts;
Amanda Earhart, Master of Business Administration
Joe Macaluso, Master of Business Administration
Gas pump project
Julia Davis, senior, Walton College of Business
Emma Choate, junior, mathematics
Caleb Hill, honors Fulbright College
Mary Pham, junior, honors Walton College of Business
Isha Rajaram, junior, industrial engineering
Sailesh Sirigineedi, honors College of Engineering
Halle Schneidewind, senior, industrial engineering
Nivera Icephobic
Giselle Toledo, graduate student, chemistry and biochemistry
Simple + Sweet ice cream
Coleman Warren, senior, honors College of Engineering
Sustainable concrete
Maddie Heal, senior, Sam M. Walton College of Business
Grayson Morrow, graduate student, finance;
Astha Malhotra, Master of Business of Administration
Emily Wiencek, Master of Business Administration

Arkansas Research
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