RAMP Up's Career Campaign Awards: Year One Kick-Off Initiative

At the individual level, RAMP-Up initiated a Career Campaign Award Initiative to assist pre- and post-tenure track women faculty in their career advancement through mentor-mentee relationships. The initiative advanced support for both research and career development.

The Call for Proposals in Year One resulted in seven awards to faculty at the Asssistant and Associate Professor ranks. Winners received their Awards at the Kick-Off event Celebrating Women's Advancement in the Academy.

Year One Awardees, Career Campaign Awards

Professor Audrey Bennett, Associate Professor, Graphics and Communication Design. Has worked with mentor Dean John Harrington in Humanities and Social Sciences on extending her professional growth through presentations, appearances and discourse in her area of specialization. She is exploring interactive technologies that facilitate participation with remote participants at various stages of the design process. These technologies may help facilitate audience input and function like usability tests on the effectiveness of an existing prototype. She is editor of Design Studies: Theory and Research in Graphic Design to be published by Princeton Architectural Press and her articles have been published in                                    Design Issues, Journal of Design Research, Visible Language, The Journal of Graphic Design,                                    and The Education of a Graphic Designer.

Blanca Barquera, Assistant Professor, Biology, joined Rensselaer in 2004. Has worked with Angel Garcia as a mentor, pursuing international recognition for her research and publications. She has worked extensively in research, examining the external propagation of cholera bacterium with a team of graduate reseachers. Of particular interest to her team is sodium metabolism, which plays an important role in the adaptation of Vibrio cholerae to different conditions. Barquera's group aims to understand the changes in patterns of gene expression responsible for this adaptation; a second focus of this research is the mechanistic enzymology of sodium metabolism. As an outcome of the Career Campaign,                                    Professor Barquera presented her work at the Gordon Research Conference. She has
                                   co-authored many articles on the cholera bacterium. Professor Barquera has also been                                    awarded an NIH Fogarty Fellowship, hosted summer students from Howard Hughes Medical                                    Institute (HHMI) in her lab and coordinated their presentations at a Rensselaer symposium.

Professor Jan Fernheimer, Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Science, has conducted research on black and Jewish identity studies. Her mentor through the Career Campaign is departmental colleague Katya Haskins. Professor Fernheimer is writing a book tracing the history of Jewish rhetorical and pedagogical traditions, an article that explores how new technologies -- blogs (web logs), wikis, and portfolio-based assessment -- affect writing classroom practices, and an article investigating how rhetorical theory might deepen our understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

                                   An anthology in which her work appears has recently received "The Letitia Woods Brown                                    Memorial Book Prize, 2007" awarded to the best anthology about African American women's                                    history: Speaking Our Minds: Black Women's Thought in the Nineteenth Century, edited                                    by Kristin Waters and Carol B. Conaway. Her essay, "Arguing from Difference: Cooper,                                    Emerson, Guizot, and a More Harmonious America," appears on pages 287-305.

Professor Mariana Figueiro, Assistant Professor Lighting Resource Center, has received numerous awards and grants for her research on lighting and circadian rhythms. She has been especially interested in the role of light in disease management, exploring the affects lighting has on Alzheimer's and other patients. Her applied research in the use of specialized lighting and lighting strips in hospital and residential care settings has received special commendation. Mentored by Linda Schadler, Dr. Figueiro has plans to attend several conferences to present her lighting research.

Professor Tomie Hahn, Associate Professor Ethnomusicology, is interested in exploring sound through movement. Her exploration in this area is performance-based, creating a synergistic collaboration of ethnographic research embodied in cultural practices and its artisitic transmission in a sound space. Professor Hahn has created a field site for for an iterative view of cultural and ethnographic interpretation. Her publication Sensational Knowledge explores how music and dance reveal the ways in which a community interacts with the world and how are the senses used in communicating cultural knowledge.                                    Mentored by Katherine Isbister, Rensselaer, Kay Shelemay, and Harvard University.

Professor Lupita Montoya, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering. Professor Montoya's research has focused on indoor air quality and health effects of air pollutants. In her lab, she has worked on developing a process and tools to thoroughly assess the human exposure to particulate matter (i.e., aerosols) and other air pollutants with a focus on the characterization of the physical and biological behavior of aeroallergens. Recent publication includes: S. Surdu, L.D. Montoya, A. Tarbell and D.O. Carpenter (2006), "Childhood Asthma and Indoor Allergens in Native Americans in New York."
                                   Submitted to J. Clinical Epidemiology.

Professor Ingrid Wilke, Assistant Professor, Department of Physics. Professor Wilke has received international recognition for her work using precision laser injection in living cells. Her findings were presented at the World of Photonics Congress in Munich, Germany on June 20, 2007 with support from RAMP-Up. The research originally appeared in the April 2007 edition of Physical Review E. In the area of tetrahertz imaging, Professor Wilke's ongoing research seeks to overcome the most pressing technical challenges inhibiting the wider commercial use of T-rays, particularly within biomedicine and information technology (IT).                                    Rensselaer's THz research faculty lead in the development and application of terahertz                                    technology. Breakthroughs in developing electro-optic THz emitters and detectors have                                    opened the door to tremendous sensing and imaging opportunities for academic and                                    industrial applications, earning six patents with several others pending.

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