Last month, leading NAU researchers and scholars were honored for their exemplary work over the past year during the 2016 Research and Creative Activity Awards.
Each academic department nominated up to one eligible individual/work for each of the award categories. Nominations were made through department chairs and directors.
Awardees of each category received a $1,500 discretionary fund which can be used for any purpose allowable under university policy.
In addition to the presentation of the RCA awards, Early Career Innovator awards were given to Michael Shafer, assistant professor and Andrew Koppisch, assistant professor, during the event.
Most Promising New Scholar
Awarded to a tenure-track faculty member who has demonstrated the potential to contribute outstanding research and scholarship to his or her discipline.
Nicholas McKay, assistant professor
School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability
Nick McKay grew up in Flagstaff before getting bachelor’s and master’s degrees at NAU in environmental science and geology. Nick got his doctoral degree at the University of Arizona before returning to Flagstaff in 2012, and has been an assistant professor in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability since the Fall of 2014. McKay’s research spans the discipline of paleoclimate dynamics, including reconstructing past environments, using data and models to understand past climate dynamics and building paleoclimate informatics cyberinfrastructure. McKay is married to another Flagstaff native, Amber, and has three boys, Carter, Ethan and Landon.
Most Promising Postdoctoral Researcher/Scholar
Awarded to a postdoctoral scholar whose scholarly, scientific and/or creative contributions to his or her mentor’s research program has had significant impact.
Michael Mommert, postdoctoral researcher
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Michael Mommert’s research is focused on studying the properties of asteroids and comets. After completing his studies and finishing his Ph.D. in Germany, he moved to Flagstaff in 2013 to work as a postdoctoral researcher in NAU’s Department of Physics and Astronomy. Using ground-based and space-based observations, he explores the properties of asteroids and comets and what they can tell us about the formation and evolution of the Solar System.
Most Promising Graduate Student Researcher/Scholar
Recognizes excellence in graduate student research and scholarship. Nominees must have passed comprehensive exams at the time of nomination.
Romy Ghanem, graduate student researcher
Department of English
Romy Ghanem is a Ph.D. candidate in Applied Linguistics. Ghanem speaks four languages and has always been passionate about language learning. Her research interests are speech perception/production and language structure. She has conducted research on the perception of nonnative speakers and teachers as well as accented speech. Her dissertation investigates the manner in which nonnative speakers modify their speech to accommodate different interlocutors. More specifically, she examines the way in which communication success is achieved through accommodation and adjustment strategies. Her goal is to narrow the gap between linguistic theory and the practical use of language.
Research Mentorship Award (tie)
Awarded to a faculty member whose mentoring of graduate or undergraduate students is demonstrated by effective approaches, a clear time commitment and positive student outcomes.
Dave Wagner, associate professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Chun-Hsing Jun Ho, assistant professor
Department of Civil Engineering, Construction Management and Environmental Engineering
Most Significant Research/Scholarly Work
Awarded to a single or group of NAU employees who have produced a research or scholarly work—an article, book or book chapter, video, monograph, etc.—that has had or is anticipated to have a significant impact in the discipline. While individuals or groups are nominated for this category, the emphasis is on the scholarly work itself, which must have been first published within three years of the date of nomination.
Kees Jan van Groenigen, assistant research professor
Faster Decomposition Under Increased Atmospheric CO2 Limits Soil Carbon Storage
Awarded to a single or group of NAU employees who have produced a creative or artistic work—a performance, sculpture, novel or book, composition, exhibit, etc.—that demonstrates creative innovation and impact in the discipline. While individuals or groups are nominated for this category, the emphasis is on the creative work itself, which must have been first presented within three years of the date of nomination.
Bruce Reiprich, professor
“Flowing Waters Caress Fallen Petal” and “Lambent.” Music compositions by Bruce Reiprich, professor, School of Music