In the spring, the School of Engineering honored six faculty members for their dedication to exceptional graduate student advising, and to the supportive mentoring of junior faculty members.
The Outstanding Faculty Advisor Awards recognize sustained excellence and commitment in graduate student advising, which is crucial toward advancing the students’ scholarly research and professional growth. A total of 21 different faculty members received 47 nominations for this 2013 honor. Of these, four individuals were selected:
- Dr. Pamir Alpay, Department Head and professor of Materials Science & Engineering. Dr. Alpay’s graduate students have consistently received conference Best Paper and Best Poster awards and other honors, including alumna (’11) Claire Weiss Brennan, who received a Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship for Service Program award and was selected the 2010 Connecticut Women of Innovation recipient of the Collegian Innovation and Leadership award.
- Dr. Reda Ammar, Department Head and professor of Computer Science & Engineering. Dr. Ammar’s graduate students regard his advising and mentorship as exceptional. He previously received the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) Award for Professional Excellence in Advising. He has helped to facilitate the graduate educations at UConn of over 30 students, with full funding from their nations of origin, from across the Middle East, China and South America.
- Dr. Wei Sun, associate professor of Mechanical Engineering. In recent years, four graduate students working in Dr. Sun’s laboratory received prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowships, Department of Education Graduate Assistantships in Areas of National Need (GAANN) fellowships, American Heart Association fellowships, and Ruth L. Kirchstein National Research Service Awards. Dr. Sun’s students have garnered numerous Best Paper awards and other honors.
- Dr. Shengli Zhou, the Charles H. Knapp Associate Professor in Electrical Engineering. Dr. Zhou’s doctoral candidate, Zhaohui Wang, was awarded the 2013 Women of Innovation’s Collegian Innovation and Leadership Award, sponsored by the Connecticut Technology Council. His graduate students have received prestigious awards and other notable honors.
The Outstanding Faculty Mentoring Award recognizes faculty who generously provide their time and energy to mentor other faculty – particularly junior colleagues. Fifteen nominations were received for this honor, which produced four faculty recipients:
- Dr. Jun-Hong Cui, associate professor of Computer Science & Engineering. Dr. Cui, who is co-director of the Underwater Sensor Network Lab (UWSN) Lab, received 12 of the 15 nominations submitted by faculty colleagues, who lauded her for her commitment to supporting the professional development and success of her colleagues.
- Dr. Ranjan Srivastava, associate professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering. Dr. Srivastava, whose research focuses on the development and application of machine learning approaches to systems biology questions, has provided sustained mentorship and support of junior colleagues in the development of successful proposals to NSF and other agencies.