Research and Innovation Newsletter

  Volume II, Issue 2           March-April 2021

In this Issue...

Article 1: Fearsome Tyrannosaurs Were Social Animals, Study Suggests

Article 2: Spotlight: Center for Communication Research 
Article 3: Undergraduate Research Week Poster Competition Winners
Recent Awards & Recognitions

Greetings from the Vice Chancellor

Dear U of A Research Community,
I hope everyone is ready for the summer and you will reward yourself by taking some time off to rest and regroup. It has been a tough year, and I hear many expressing their readiness for the summer. 
I would like to extend a big thank-you to our Division of Research and Innovation (DRI) staff for the amazing support of the research enterprise during this unique and challenging time. We have much more to do, there are looming concerns, and we have accomplished much.  I know your folks have worked tirelessly, so please let them know how much they are valued!
We continue to meet faithfully with the Research Deans to resolve Workday and other issues while working closely with the implementation team. We know frustrations have been felt by most of you and your colleagues, and we are grateful for your patience during this process.  We believe, as Bob Beitle likes to say, “We are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.”
We are pleased to announce that DRI personnel will be moving back to campus in June. Our division is a university service organization providing support to researchers across campus, so we need to be present and visible on campus.
I'd like to share some great news for our research enterprise. A group of U of A and UAMS researchers have received a $10.8 million grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH). This award will support the establishment of the Arkansas Integrative Metabolic Research Center right here on campus. Sending a big thank-you to the research team for their hard work in making this a reality for the university. Kyle Quinn is graciously serving as the center's director.
Read more about this endeavor on
In the second article below you will learn about the U of A’s Center for Communications Research (CCR).  I believe this is a relatively untapped resource for many of your research activities.  It is a wonderful facility. Take a look at the article and give some thought to how you might utilize CCR in your research endeavors.

All my best, and we will “see” you soon,
John R. English, vice chancellor for the division of research and innovation

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

Fearsome Tyrannosaurs Were Social Animals, Study Suggests

The fearsome tyrannosaur dinosaurs that ruled the northern hemisphere during the Late Cretaceous period (66-100 million years ago) may not have been solitary predators as popularly envisioned, but social carnivores similar to wolves, according to a new study. 

The finding, based on research at a unique fossil bone site inside Utah’s Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument containing the remains of several dinosaurs of the same species, was made by a team of scientists including Celina Suarez, University of Arkansas associate professor of geosciences. 

“This supports our hypothesis that these tyrannosaurs died in this site and were all fossilized together; they all died together, and this information is key to our interpretation that the animals were likely gregarious in their behavior,” Suarez said. 

The research team also include scientists from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Colby College of Maine and James Cook University in Australia. The study examines a unique fossil bone site inside Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument called the “Rainbows and Unicorns Quarry” that they say exceeded the expectations raised even from the site’s lofty nickname. 

“Localities [like Rainbows and Unicorns Quarry] that produce insights into the possible behavior of extinct animals are especially rare, and difficult to interpret,” said tyrannosaur expert Philip Currie in a press release from the BLM. “Traditional excavation techniques, supplemented by the analysis of rare earth elements, stable isotopes and charcoal concentrations convincingly show a synchronous death event at the Rainbows site of four or five tyrannosaurids. Undoubtedly, this group died together, which adds to a growing body of evidence that tyrannosaurids were capable of interacting as gregarious packs.”   

In 2014, BLM paleontologist Alan Titus discovered the Rainbows and Unicorns Quarry site in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and led the subsequent research on the site, which is the first tyrannosaur mass death site found in the southern United States. Researchers ran a battery of tests and analyses on the vestiges of the original site, now preserved as small rock fragments and fossils in their final resting place, and sandbar deposits from the ancient river.    

“We realized right away this site could potentially be used to test the social tyrannosaur idea. Unfortunately, the site’s ancient history is complicated,” Titus said. “With bones appearing to have been exhumed and reburied by the action of a river, the original context within which they lay has been destroyed. However, all has not been lost.” As the details of the site’s history emerged, the research team concluded that the tyrannosaurs died together during a seasonal flooding event that washed their carcasses into a lake, where they sat, largely undisturbed until the river later churned its way through the bone bed.   

“We used a truly multidisciplinary approach (physical and chemical evidence) to piece the history of the site together, with the end-result being that the tyrannosaurs died together during a seasonal flooding event,” said Suarez. 

Using analysis of stable carbon and oxygen isotopes and concentrations of rare earth elements within the bones and rock, Suarez and her then-doctoral student, Daigo Yamamura, were able to provide a chemical fingerprint of the site. Based on the geochemical work, they were able to conclusively determine that the remains from the site all fossilized in the same environment and were not the result of an attritional assemblage of fossils washed in from a variety of areas.  

“None of the physical evidence conclusively suggested that these organisms came to be fossilized together, so we turned to geochemistry to see if that could help us. The similarity of rare earth element patterns is highly suggestive that these organisms died and were fossilized together,” said Suarez.   

Excavation of the quarry site has been ongoing since its discovery in 2014 and due to the size of the site and volume of bones found there the excavation will probably continue into the foreseeable future. In addition to tyrannosaurs, the site has also yielded seven species of turtles, multiple fish and ray species, two other kinds of dinosaurs, and a nearly complete skeleton of a juvenile (12-foot-long) Deinosuchus alligator, although they do not appear to have all died together like the tyrannosaurs.    

“The new Utah site adds to the growing body of evidence showing that tyrannosaurs were complex, large predators capable of social behaviors common in many of their living relatives, the birds,” said project contributor, Joe Sertich, curator of dinosaurs at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. “This discovery should be the tipping point for reconsidering how these top carnivores behaved and hunted across the northern hemisphere during the Cretaceous.”   

Future research plans for the Rainbows and Unicorns Quarry fossils include additional trace element and isotopic analysis of the tyrannosaur bones, which paleontologists hope will determine with a greater degree of certainty the mystery of Teratophoneus’ social behavior.   

In stark contrast to the social interaction between humans and among many species of animals, paleontologists have long debated whether tyrannosaurs lived and hunted alone or in groups.   

Based on findings at a site in Alberta, Canada, with over 12 individuals, the idea that tyrannosaurs were social with complex hunting strategies was first formulated by Philip Currie over 20 years ago. This idea has been widely debated, with many scientists doubting the giant killing machines had the brainpower to organize into anything more complex than what is observed in modern crocodiles. Because the Canadian site appeared to be an isolated case, skeptics claimed it represented unusual circumstances that did not reflect normal tyrannosaur behavior. Discovery of a second tyrannosaur mass death site in Montana again raised the possibility of social tyrannosaurs, but this site was still not widely accepted by the scientific community as evidence for social behavior. The researcher’s findings at the Unicorns and Rainbows Quarry provide even more compelling evidence that tyrannosaurs may have habitually lived in groups. 

Written by Bob Whitby
Originally published online at


Centers & Institutes Spotlight: Center for Communication Research 
The Center for Communication Research (CCR) facilitates collaborative, interdisciplinary social research within the University of Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas region, and broader intellectual community. Toward this end, the CCR seeks to:

  • Stimulate and support interdisciplinary collaborations
  • Provide opportunities for undergraduate and graduate participation
  • Engage regional, state, and national funding agencies
  • Acquire and maintain the equipment necessary to support diverse research endeavors
The CCR manages a research lab space that includes state-of-the-art technology for studying all facets of communication.The associated research lab space is located in Kimpel #405 and #405A (1,347 square feet). The following hardware and software are available: 
  • Perception analyzer equipment from DialSmith to gauge moment-to-moment audience responses to both prerecorded and live media content   
  • SnapStream video server to simultaneously record multiple channels of television programming  
  • Tobii Pro Spectrum eye tracker to measure both point of gaze and eye movement (1200 Hz) 
  • Tobii Pro Nano portable eye trackers to measure both point of gaze and eye movement outside of the lab (60Hz) 
  • BioPac products to collect heart rate, blood pressure, and electrodermal activity 
  • Portable audio and video recording equipment  
  • Dell laptop computers and desktop computers 
  • Mangold Interact software to transcribe, annotate, interpret, and code texts  
  • SONA Systems cloud-based participant management software
For more information, please visit their website or contact Dr. Lindsey Aloia, director.

Undergraduate Research Week: Poster Competition Winners

Undergraduate students from all disciplines were invited to submit research abstracts for the U of A’s poster competition in celebration of National Undergraduate Research Week April 19-23. Prizes of $100, $75 and $50 were awarded to the top three winners in each category, respectively.
Agriculture, Arts and Design, and Business

First Place: Ethan Collins, environmental, soil, and water science and poultry science*
"Influence of encapsulation of supplemental amino acids on their utilization in broilers"
Faculty Mentor: Samuel Rochell, assistant professor of poultry science 

  Second Place: Elle Rottman, animal science and Spanish
  "Efficacy of low-level laser therapy compared to carprofen in reducing the effects of osteoarthritis in dogs"
  Faculty Mentor: Lauren Thomas, clinical assistant professor of animal science

  Third Place: Alexis Campbell, journalism
"Alcohol advertisements on social media: A study of how alcohol advertisements on social media platforms appeal to young people"
  Faculty Mentor: Jee Young Chung, assistant professor of journalism

Education and Health
  First Place: Jillian Prince, kinesiology
  "The effects of interventions on the physical and mental health of undergraduate engineering students in North America"
  Faculty Mentor: Kaitlin Gallagher, assistant professor of exercise science

  Second Place: Ashley Berghoff, human development and family science
 "Parental autonomy-granting and depressive symptoms in adolescents with chronic conditions"
  Faculty Mentor: Amanda Terrell, assistant professor of human development and family science

  Third Place: Haley Stanton, animal science; and Kayla Simon, public health
 "Analyzing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment in healthcare using structural change"
  Faculty Mentor: Samantha Robinson, teaching assistant professor of mathematics

  First Place: Katherine Miranda, biomedical engineering
  "Design, characterization, and modeling of a chitosan microneedle patch for  transdermal delivery of meloxicam as a pain management strategy for use in cattle"
  Faculty Mentor: Jorge Almodovar, assistant professor of chemical engineering and Ray C. Adam Chair in Chemical Engineering

  Second Place: Kayla Wood, biology
  "Stroke prevention through blood clot removal devices: designing model blood clots"
  Faculty Mentor: Morten Jensen, associate professor of biomedical engineering

  Third Place: Kristen Trinh, biomedical engineering
  "Estimating irrigation in rice fields with a water balance approach"
  Faculty Mentor: Ben Runkle, associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering

First Place: Madison Whipple, history*
"We, too, have deeds of heroism to tell our children: The role of the United Daughters  of the Confederacy in the Confederate lost cause in Fayetteville, Arkansas"
Faculty Mentor: Louise Hancox,  director of career innovation for the Honors College

Second Place: Addison Mahaffey, English and creative writing
"Respectability, rhetoric, and resistance: White segregationist women and the Little Rock Central High crisis"
Faculty Mentor: Lisa Corrigan, professor of communication

Third Place: Elijah Conley, journalism and political science
"'Separate But Equal':  A content analysis of the portrayal of the integration of Little Rock Central High School in the press"
Faculty Mentor: Lucy Brown, assistant professor of journalism and strategic media

Natural Science

First Place: Ashley Lieber, physics
"Observations and classification of the variable star V1719 cygnus"
Faculty Mentor: Julia Kennefick, associate professor of physics

Second Place: Grace Roberts, biology and anthropology
"Evaluating population-level differences in dental morphology and wear patterns between genetically distinct human samples"
Faculty Mentor: Peter Ungar, Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Director of Environmental Dynamics

Third Place: Amanda Tomanek, biochemistry
"Investigation of the binding domain interfaces of the C-terminus of the Albino3  insertase and the 43kDa chloroplast signal recognition particle subunit via single molecule"
Faculty Mentor: Colin Heyes, associate professor of physical chemistry 

Social Science I
First Place: Lucas Bellaiche, Sturgis Fellow, psychology and mathematics
"Electrophysiological differences when viewing artistic versus computer-generated fractal images"
Faculty Mentor: Darya Zabelina, assistant professor of psychology

Second Place: Amy Hendricks, psychology
"Parent-child interaction therapy for Latinx and non-Latinx families: A comparison of barriers, treatment attitudes, and behavioral outcomes"
Faculty Mentor: Lauren Quetsch, assistant professor of psychology

Third Place: Jihan Rashed, psychology*
"The influences of attention, expectations, and memory decay on the sighting rates  of missing persons"
Faculty Mentor: James Lampinen, Distinguished Professor of Psychology 

Social Science II
 First Place: Mandeep Kaur, biochemistry, anthropology and Spanish
 "Exploring the correlation between carbon and oxygen isotopes to reconstruct  Pliocene northern Kenyan environments: Implications for hominin evolution"
 Faculty Mentor: Amelia Villasenor, assistant professor of anthropology

 Second Place: Morgan Browning, Social Work
 "A multi-method approach to increasing the recognition and knowledge of white privilege among college students: A mixed-methods research study"
 Faculty Mentor: Kimberly Stauss, associate professor of social work

 Third Place: Ashlyn Barton, anthropology
 "Analysis of inter- and intraobserver error when scoring tooth wear in the CayoSantiago macaques"
 Faculty Mentor: Claire Terhune, associate professor of anthropology

Please visit for the latest developments in the Undergraduate Research Office. Undergraduate Research Week was jointly sponsored by the University Libraries, the Honors College, and the Division of Research and Innovation. 

*Denotes Honors College student


Eighty percent of personnel within the Division of Research and Innovation have completed the "Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts" training program. With our 100% completion goal in sight, our expectation is that the remaining 20 percent will join the effort in promoting an inclusive workplace by completing this 30-minute course. Once completed, participants will be eligible for a virtual completion badge that can be displayed in email signatures or on social media profiles.  

Fellow DRI participants have said: 

"The scenarios were extremely relatable-things we hear all the time. It was a gentle way to bring awareness to hard subjects."

"It had a huge impact on my previous organization. I have personally gone through it twice and made presentations on the material. It made permanent and positive changes on me." 

As mentioned in our employee performance reviews, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a competency at the U of A. The OUCH! course enhances this competency. 

If you have any questions about the program, please email Cynthia Sides.


The Department of Electrical Engineering of the College of Engineering recently released the latest version of SPARKS, a departmental e-magazine. The 2021 issue contains research highlights from faculty and students involved in various field-related projects.
Check out the full e-magazine today!
Recent Awards and Recognitions
Congratulations to the following faculty members on their research achievements and recognitions.
Kimball Douglas Erdman, associate professor of landscape architecture, led a team of researchers who authored a report which "focused on the history and significance of the landscape housing the former Japanese American internment camp in Jerome, Arkansas . . . Their 'Jerome Relocation Center' report tied for second place in the 2020 HALS Challenge, whose theme this year was 'Vanishing or Lost Landscapes'" (Report on Japanese American Internment Site Earns Second Place in 2020 HALS Challenge).

Yarui Peng, assistant professor of computer science and computer engineering, "received the NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award in 2021, known as a CAREER award . . . It provides $500,000 over five years to support Peng's research and education programs" (CSCE Assistant Professor Yauri Peng Receives the Prestigious NSF CAREER Award to Study Design Automation Tools for Heterogeneous Multi-Chiplet Systems).

Jordan Blair Woods, associate professor of law and director of the Atkinson LGBTQ Law & Policy Program, received recognitions for two career achievements. First, Woods was selected "as one of the top 40 LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 by the National LGBT Bar Association. He will receive the best LGBTQ+ Lawyers Under 40 Award July 28-30 at the 2021 Lavender Law Conference and Career Fair in Los Angeles." Second, Woods' article "Traffic WIthout Police" was published in Stanford Law Review. In his work, Woods "articulates a new legal framework for traffic enforcement, one that separates it from critical police functions, such as preventing and deterring crime, conducting criminal investigations and responding to emergencies" (Professor Jordan Blair Woods Receives 2021 Best LGBTQ-Plus Lawyers Under 40 Award and Law Professor Argues for Removing Police From Traffic Enforcement).

Stephanie Schulte, associate professor of communication, was received the J. Donald Ragsdale Award for Mentoring. The award "honors members who demonstrate outstanding achievement in mentoring junior colleagues to foster development within the field" (Communication Faculty Receives Ragsdale Award for Mentorship). 

Andrew McKenzie, professor of agricultural economics and agribusiness, was appointed the Fryar Endowed Professor in Risk Management. "One of McKenzie's key objectives is to keep the subject grounded and the research made useful for farmers and others whose livelihoods are commodity-based" (McKenzie Appointed Fryar Endowed Professor in Risk Management).

Kandy Salter, assistant professor of occupational therapy, "recently spoke to an Arkansas chapter of Pi Theta Epsilon about her area of expertise, driver rehabilitation. Pi Theta Epsilon is a specialized honor society for occupational therapy students and alumni that promotes research and scholarship" (Occupational Therapy Professor Helps Community Through Driver Rehabilitation Services). 

Sarah Hernandez, assistant professor of civil engineering, "developed an outreach kit for young students based on her own research program, which centers on using laser sensors to study freight trucks as they travel from ports to inland destinations" (Project Aims to Attract More Women to Civil Engineering).

John Ryan, Distinguished Professor of Mathematics, was "appointed to the editorial boards of two international research journals." The two journals are Computational Methods and Function Theory and Journal of Inequalities and Applications "published by the internationally renowned science publisher, Springer Verlag" (Math Professor Appointed to Two Editorial Boards).

Alex Nunn, assistant professor of law, "published his latest work, 'Settled Law,' in the Virginia Law Review" (Law Professor Examines the Concept and Use of Term "Settled Law). 

Lisa M. Corrigan, professor of communication and director of the gender studies program, was honored with the 2021 Outreach Award from the Southern States Communication Association (SSCA). "The award 'honors SSCA members who have made significant contributions to the profession by facilitating the success and access of under-represented populations or the integration of specific groups of students, professionals, or scholars into the communication discipline or professional organizations'" (Director of Gender Studies Wins Outreach Award from Southern States Communication Association).

Fred Bourland, professor of plant breeding and genetics, "received the A.L. Vandergriff Cotton Pioneer Award in February from the Southern Cotton Ginners Association" (Southern Cotton Ginners Association Recognizes Bourland for Work in Cotton Breeding and Research). 

Omar Manasreh, professor of electrical engineering, "was recognized by the IEEE Electron Device Letters for his nine-year service and contribution to the journal" (Manasreh Recognized by Prestigious Journal for Nine-Year Service).

Darya Zabelina, assistant professor of psychology, "received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research to study creative decision making under time constraints" (Researcher Receives Navy Grant to Study Creative Decision Making). 

Annie Smith, associate professor of law and director of the public service and pro bono program, published "The Underprosecution of Labor Trafficking" in South Carolina Law Review. "Smith finds that while most law enforcement efforts in fighting human trafficking focus on sex trafficking, labor trafficking cases are relatively under-prosecuted" (Law Professor Examines Lower Prosecution Rates of Labor Trafficking). 

Marlon Blackwell, Distinguished Professor of architecture and E. Fay Jones Chair, "recently earned recognition in the Wood Design & Building Awards program . . . [which] recognizes and celebrates the outstanding work of visionaries around the world who inspire excellence in wood architecture" (Two Projects by Marlon Blackwell Architects Recognized With Wood Design and Building Awards). Blackwell has also been recently "elected to become a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters--joining an elite group of architects so honored" (Marlon Blackwell Elected as American Academy of Arts and Letters Member).

Leigh Southward, associate professor of human environmental sciences, "was awarded the 2021 Academic Advising Council's Keeping it Professional Award . . . [which] recognizes the professional persistence required to stay organized and together over the past year" (AAC Keeping It Professional Award Winner Leigh Southward).

Alan Mantooth, Distinguished Professor of electrical engineering and Twenty-First Century Research Leadership Chair in Engineering, has been recognized as "an Arkansas Tech Titan by Arkansas Money & Politics magazine. He was one of 24 Arkansans in tech-related fields recognized for making a difference and helping to advance business in the Natural State" (Mantooth Named Tech Titan in Arkansas). 

Ryan Michael Neville-Shepard, assistant professor of communication, has been "named the recipient of the Judith S. Trent Award for Early Career Excellence in Political Communication from the Central States Communication Association" (Communication Professor Wins Award for Early Career Excellence in Political Communication).

Cynthia Nance, dean emeritus and the Nathan G. Gordon Professor of Law, "received the University of Iowa Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion 2021 . . . [as] one of University of Iowa's highest honors, [the award] recognizes those who exemplify learning, leadership and loyalty" (Cynthia Nance Receives 2021 Hancher-Finkbine Alumni Medallion). 

Ebenezer Miezah Kwofie, assistant professor of biological & agricultural engineering, recently "joined the University of Arkansas College of Engineering with appointments in the departments of biological and agricultural engineering and chemical engineering. He will also have a research appointment in the department of food science in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
" (Food Engineer Aims for Circularity of World Food Systems).  

Chenguang Fan, assistant professor of biochemistry, was awarded "a $450,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the role of a specific family of enzymes in the formation of cancer" (Chemist Receives $450,000 NIH Award to Study Critical Family of Enzymes). 

Shengfan Zhang, associate professor of industrial engineering, was named "the 2021-22 John L. Imhoff Endowed Chair of Industrial Engineering" (Zhang Announced as John L. Imhoff Endowed Chair 2021-22).

Matthew Spialek, assistant professor and undergraduate director of communication, received "the Southern States Communication Association Dwight L. Freshley Outstanding New Teacher Award" (Communication Professor Wins Early Career Teaching Award).

Young Hye Song, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, has been awarded "a $429,000 grant from the National Institute of Health for research in tissue engineering . . . [specifically] to understand mechanisms of fibrotic scar formation after a spinal cord injury to identify novel therapeutic targets
(Biomedical Engineering Professor Receives NIH Award to Support Research in Tissue Engineering).

John Folan, department head and professor of architecture, and Stephen Luoni, director of design, both led design projects that received recognition. "The U of A Community Design Center [directed by Luoni] received a 2021 Housing Design Education Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture/American Institute of Architects for its 'Re-Live Downtown Pine Bluff' plan . . .  'Negotiation Tables' [led by Folan] received a 2021 Design-Build Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture . . . [and] 'All Access,' a design-build for a retail garden nursery operated by a non-profit entrepreneur in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, received a 2021 Faculty Design Honorable Mention from the association" (Fay Jones School Faculty-Led Projects Recognized with 2021 Architectural Education Awards). 

Shengfan Zhang, associate professor of industrial engineering, and Eric Specking, assistant dean for recruitment and retention,
received "a $600,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the first-ever Research Experience for Teachers site in Arkansas. The Arkansas Data Analytics Teacher Alliance program, known as AR-DATA, will provide thirty 9th-12th grade mathematics, computer science and pre-engineering teachers with transformative research experiences that are thematically centered on data analytics with engineering applications aimed at smart and connected health, infrastructure and community" (First National Science Foundation Research Experience for Teachers Site in Arkansas). 

Jordan Blair Woods, associate professor of law and director of the Atkinson LGBTQ law and policy program; Annie Smith, associate professor of law and director of the public service and pro bono program; and Danielle Weatherby, associate professor of law; were recently honored with Dean's Circle Faculty Awards by the U of A School of Law. "Jordan Blair Woods received the Dean's Circle Faculty Award for Scholarship, Danielle Weatherby received the Dean's Circle Faculty Award for Teaching and Annie Smith received the Dean's Circle Faculty Award for Public Service . . . These awards honor up to three outstanding teachers and each award carries an honorarium payment of $1,000" (School of Law Announces Inaugural Dean's Circle Faculty Award Winners). 

Salvador Barraza-Lopez, associate professor of physics, and John W. Villanova, postdoctoral research associate, "published a review article on two-dimensional ferroelectrics in the journal Reviews of Modern Physics, a high-profile journal self-described as 'the world's premier physics review journal'" (Physics Team Publishes Review on Two-Dimensional Ferroelectrics).

Lauren F. Greenlee, associate professor of chemical engineering; Jorge Almodovar, assistant professor of chemical engineering; and Jeremy G. Powell, professor of animal science, "received a $500,000 grant [from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture]
 to continue research in pain management for cattle during routine procedures" (Collaborative Team Earns Grant to Continue Research for Pain Management Patch for Cattle). 

Grant Drawve, assistant professor of sociology and criminology; Casey Harris, associate professor of sociology and criminology; Shaun Thomas, associate professor of sociology and criminology; and Mindy Bradley-Engen, professor of sociology and criminology; together "recently developed a researcher-practitioner collaboration with the Fayetteville Police Department . . . the researchers expect to partner on funding opportunities to implement different prevention strategies, as well as use the project to highlight the skills students will need to have for successful careers at criminal justice agencies or justice-centered non-profit and private-sector organizations" (Researchers Partner with Fayetteville Police Department to Understand Local Crime and Public Safety Issues).

Jorge Almodovar, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and Raj Rao, professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, "received a $480,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate how engineered coatings that imitate the tissue matrix surrounding cells would affect the behavior of therapeutic human mesenchymal stromal cells, or hMSCs" (Researchers Receive Grant to Improve Cellular Therapies to Treat 'Incurable' Diseases).

The College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) honored eight faculty members for their outstanding service. The awardees are as follows:
  • David D. Christian, assistant professor of counselor education and supervision, was honored with the Outstanding Mentoring and Advising Award.
  • Janet Forbess, instructor of physical education, was honored with the Faculty Career Award in Recognition of a Career that Exemplifies Outstanding Performance.
  • Kimberly Frazier, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was honored with the Outstanding Teaching Award.
  • Nicholas P. Greene, associate professor of exercise science and director of the Cachexia Research Laboratory, was honored with the George Denny STAR Award.
  • Fran Hagstrom, associate professor of communication sciences and disorders, was honored with the Outstanding Honors Faculty Award.
  • Tingting Liu, assistant professor of nursing, was honored with the Significant Research Award. 
  • Leslie Jo Shelton, assistant professor of higher education, was honored with the Superior Service Award. 
  • Jonathan Wai, assistant professor and 21st Century Endowed Chair in Education Policy was honored with the Rising STAR Award.
(Outstanding College of Education and Health Professions Faculty Members Named).

The Sam M. Walton College of Business (WCOB) recognized 8 faculty members with awards for their outstanding service and "EPIC contributions" over the 2020-2021 school year. The awardees are as follows:
  • Scot Burton, Distinguished Professor of Marketing, was honored with the Outstanding All-Around Faculty Award.
  • Varun Grover, Distinguished Professor of Information Systems and David D. Glass Endowed Chair, was honored with the Faculty Excellence in Research Award.
  • Molly Rapert, professor of marketing and Director of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness, was honored with the Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Lauren Simon, associate professor of management, was honored with the Faculty Excellence in Service Award.   
  • Zach Steelman, assistant professor of information systems, was honored with the Rising Scholar Excellence in Research Award.       
  • Stephanie Thomas, associate professor of supply chain management, was honored with the Excellence in Diversity Initiatives Award.
  • Beverly Hodges, instructor of information systems, was honored with the Lecturer Excellence in Teaching Award.
  • Adam Stoverink, associate professor of management, was honored with the MBA Teacher of the Year Award.
(Outstanding Walton College Faculty Recognized for 2020-21).

A group of faculty members from the College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP) and the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences (ARSC) was "awarded a $1.45 million National Science Foundation Noyce grant to prepare secondary math and science teachers to be successful in high-need school districts across the nation" The faculty members are as follows: 
  • William F. McComas, Parks Professor of Science Education
  • Kim McComas, associate professor of curriculum and instruction
  • Laura Kent, associate professor of curriculum and instruction
  • Stephen Burgin, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction
  • Shannon Dingman, professor of mathematical sciences
(National Science Foundation Funds TEAAMS Noyce Project to Support STEM Teacher Preparation).

The Wally Cordes Teaching and Faculty Support Center announced the recipients of the 2021-22 Teaching Improvement and Student Success Grants. The selected faculty members represent the College of Engineering (ENGR), the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences (AFLS), the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences (ARSC), and the College of Education and Health Professions (COEHP). The teams are listed below with corresponding project titles and award amounts. 
  • Laurie Apple, Jill Rucker, Leigh Southward and Casandra Cox – School of Human Environmental Sciences and Department of Agricultural Education, Communication, and Technology, “Student, Faculty and Industry Expectations of Online Etiquette,” $2,060
  • Kathi Jogan – Department of Animal Sciences, “Active Learning through an Engaging Digital Environment,” $2,498.16
  • Shanda Hood – Department of Mathematical Sciences, “Professional Development through the Virtual Teaching Professor Conference,” $499
  • Jessica Kowalski – Department of Archeological Survey, “Improving Archeological Field Schools,” $2,400 
  • Josiah Leong – Department of Psychological Science, “Innovation Brain Imaging Analyses on a Shared Educational Resource,” $2,500
  • Lori Murray – Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, “Improving Online Teaching to Promote Professionalism,” $2,295
  • Byron Zamboanga, Roselee Ledesma, Ana Bridges and Lindsay Ham – Department of Psychological Science, “Role Playing Exercise to Improve Cultural Awareness, Sensitivity, and Empathy,” $2,500
  • Allison Boykin, Michele Kilmer and Callie Bradley – Eleanor Mann School of Nursing, “DNP Project Success: An Interdisciplinary Approach,” $4,945.59
  • Dede Hamm and John Hickey – School of Human Environmental Sciences and Department of Continuing Education, “Event Management Simulation Development for Intro to Event Planning and Management,” $4,649
  • Edward Holland – Department of Geosciences, “Geology Field Camp Accessibility for Students with Disabilities after COVID-19,” $5,000
  • Ringo Jones – Department of Communication, “360° Video and Mixed Reality Storytelling,” $4,999.95
  • Natacha Souto Melgar – Department of Chemical Engineering, “Integration of Instructional Material on Membrane Technology to the Chemical Engineering Curriculum,” $4,800
  • Renee Speight and Suzanne Kucharczyk – Department of Curriculum and Instruction, “Video Coaching Technology to Improve Preparation of Students as Licensed Special Educators,” $4,975
  • Ryan Calabretta Sajder – Department of World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, “Digitizing Italian Studies: Virtual Reality in the Italian Curriculum,” $5,000
  • Peggy Ward, Kate Walker and Stephen Burgin – Department of Curriculum and Instruction and Department of Biological Sciences, “Interdisciplinary Collaboration to Improve Student Success in Science,” $4,903.76
(2021-22 Teaching Improvement Grants and Student Success Grants Awarded).
***Due to the high volume of recent student awards & recognitions, the editorial team has decided to feature their accomplishments in the next issue. We are very proud of their research activity and scholarly honors. Issue 3 will spotlight their hard work and well-deserved recognition.*** 

~ Research and Innovation Newsletter Editorial Team
Arkansas Research
DRI Website
Vol. I, Iss. 6 (November-December)
Vol. II, Iss. 1 (January-February)
Copyright © 2021 University of Arkansas Division of Research and Innovation, All rights reserved.

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