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Honors and Other Things

March 1, 2011, Volume 57, No. 24

New Investigator Award: Jason Burdick


Dr. Jason A. Burdick, associate professor in the department of bioengineering in SEAS, has been selected as a recipient of the Edward C. Nagy New Investigator Award from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB).

The award will be presented at the first NIBIB Edward C. Nagy New Investigator Symposium on April 12. Dr. Burdick is part of a group of eight new investigators, chosen from a list of over 100 investigators, who have demonstrated outstanding and innovative work in their fields. The award is named after Mr. Edward Nagy who was one of the driving forces in enacting legislation to create the NIBIB in 2000.

Dr. Burdick’s research focuses on the use of a platform of biomaterials, specifically photocrosslinkable and degradable polymers to develop novel therapies for a range of tissue engineering application, including treatment for cartilage, meniscus and cardiac tissues.  These polymeric systems act as carriers for growth factors and/or cells and are applied non-invasively to an injury site to lead to tissue regeneration. These materials also provide a range of signals that can control stem cell behavior, including differentiation.  His newest findings hold the potential to become the preferred next generation therapeutic for patients with cartilage damage.

Distinguished Editor: Dr. Holquist

Dr. Peter Holquist, associate professor of history in the School of Arts and Sciences, received the 2010 “Distinguished Editor” award  from the Council of Editors of Learned Journals for his work on the journal Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History. Dr. Holquist’s teaching and research focus upon the history of Russia and modern Europe.

NSF Career Award: Daeyeon Lee


Dr. Daeyeon Lee, assistant professor in the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, in SEAS, has received an NSF CAREER award for his proposal, “Understanding Electrostatic Interactions in Non-Polar Media for Generation of Nanostructured Thin Films.” The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious award in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Dr. Lee’s research goal is to extend the basic understanding of soft matter such as colloids, polymers, and nanomaterials to fabricate functional structures with properties designed for advanced applications. The techniques used in his lab include layer-by-layer assembly, microfluidics, optical microscopy, electron microscopy, scanning force microscopy, and dissipative quartz crystal microbalance. Using these techniques, the group studies the interactions of various materials at gas-liquid, liquid-liquid and liquid-solid interfaces. Intermolecular and capillary forces between materials are used to generate functional thin films and microcapsules for applications in renewable energy, sustained release, and encapsulation.

Dr. Lee’s CAREER proposal aims to understand the fundamental aspects of electrostatic interactions in non-polar solvents, which will further extend a new layer-by-layer assembly technique for nanostructured thin films into alternative energy applications. This CAREER award also integrates educational activities into the research plan with the goal of fully utilizing visual and hands-on aspects of layer-by-layer assembly to enrich the educational experiences of pre-college students and educators.

Honorary Degree: Daniel Janzen

Dr. Daniel Janzen, professor of biology, received an honorary degree from the University of Guelph in Canada. He was honored by the College of Biological Science. Dr. Janzen studies tropical ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation. The University stated that he “established Costa Rica’s Area de Conservación Guanacaste, one of the world’s largest and longest-running habitat restoration projects.”

Merle Curti Award: Stephanie McCurry


Dr. Stephanie McCurry, professor of history and undergraduate curriculum chair of history in the School of Arts and Sciences, won the 2010 Merle Curti Award of the Organization of American Historians for her book Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. Dr. McCurry is a specialist in Nineteenth Century American history, with a focus on the American South and the Civil War era, and the history of women and gender.

Book Prize for Annenberg Authors

The Obama Victory: How Media, Money, and Message Shaped the 2008 Election has been honored with the 2010 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in the area of government & politics. Each year the PROSE Awards recognize the best professional and scholarly books, journals, and electronic publications for outstanding contributions to their fields. The Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) authors are Kate Kenski (now at University of Arizona); Bruce Hardy, senior research analyst; and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Elizabeth Ware Packard Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School for Communication and Walter and Leonore Annenberg Director of the APPC.

Turning Green into Platinum


The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania has been awarded Platinum Level LEED® Certification, the highest rating of the U.S. Green Building Council, for its new $13 million Horticulture Center at Bloomfield Farm (Almanac November 23, 2010), across the street from the Arboretum’s public garden.

The complex utilizes modern sustainable energy and water management technologies, reflecting the stewardship and intentions of the Arboretum’s founders, John and Lydia Morris. The Horticulture Center marks the first new building to be built on the Morris Arboretum property since its founding in the early 1900s.

It will provide enhanced research opportunities in sustainability. It also provides suitable storage and maintenance areas for the variety of equipment needed to care for the property. The new complex is not open to casual visitors, but is available for scheduled tours and special events.

It is the first LEED Platinum certified building for Penn, and only the second in the state of Pennsylvania. LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. 


Almanac - March 1, 2011, Volume 57, No. 24