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OVPR Honors Research, Scholarly Excellence


The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) honored the work of 26 faculty members and research administrators at its annual Scholarly Works and Grant Winner Reception on Friday, March 1.

The annual ceremony celebrates research excellence and recognizes success in publications and in grant submissions from the previous year. The honorees and more than 100 members of the SLU community attended the reception.

“When we look at the scope of what deans and chairs nominated, when we look at the works that are recognized today – what we see is a body of work that reflects our identity as a Jesuit, Catholic research university in the heart of St. Louis. We can hardly ask for more,” Interim Provost Chet Gillis, Ph.D., said.

Gillis also acknowledged the common values and the sense of community that distinguishes SLU’s culture of research.

“It is striking that even as we recognize people for individual accomplishments this evening, the collective stands out – the collective is recognizable – as Saint Louis University,” he continued.

The work of each of the honorees represents a larger desire among SLU researchers’ to build a better, more equitable world for all.

“My journey at SLU is a reflection of the good things we can do as a team at SLU,” Nosayaba Osazuwa-Peters, Ph.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology, said. Peters received a Scholarly Works Award for his article published in Cancer about suicide risk among head and neck cancer survivors.

Seven faculty members, selected from dozens of nominations by deans and department chairs, were honored for their scholarship, and six faculty members were honored for their success in securing external funding. As in previous years, each of the honorees was given a $1,000 award to support their research. This year, for the first time, the honorees also received a onetime $1,500 salary bonus from the SLU Research Institute. Eleven additional faculty members were selected for honorable mentions.

Two staff members were also honored for their contributions toward research excellence at SLU and received a $1,500 award from the Research Institute.

“Any position you have at SLU is really a team position,” said Sandra Cornell, building manager of the Edward A. Doisy Research Center. Cornell was one of the two staff members who received a Research Administrator Staff Award.

“I really try to epitomize our mission – higher purpose, greater good – and I hope my research continues to be life-changing to all the people who need it,” Juliet Iwelunmor, Ph.D., associate professor of global health and behavioral science and health education, said. Iwelunmor received a Junior Faculty Grant Winner Award for receiving a $2.3 million NIH grant to expand HIV self-testing in Nigeria.

I love being a part of this research,” Tammy Grant, business manager of the Center for Vaccine Development, who received a Research Administrator Staff Award, said. “Thinking of the potential impact on millions of people, I find that so rewarding.”

2019 Scholarly Works Honorees

Scholarly Works Awards - Non-Traditional Scholarly Works
  • Aaron Johnson, D.M.A., Department of Fine and Performing Arts, for Ite, Inflammate Omina, symphonic work commissioned for the SLU Bicentennial.
  • Ted Ahn, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science, for LONGO: an R package for interactive gene length dependent analysis for neuronal identity.
Scholarly Works Published in a Journal
Scholarly Works Published as Books
  • Filippo Marsilli, Ph.D., Department of History, for Heaven is Empty: A Cross-Cultural Approach to Religion and Power in Ancient China (SUNY Press, 2018).
  • Amanda Izzo, Ph.D., Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Liberal Christianity and Women’s Global Activism: The YWCA of the USA and the Maryknoll Sisters (Rutgers University Press, 2018).
  • Peter Martens, Ph.D., Department of Theological Studies, Adrian’s “Introduction to the Divine Scriptures”: An Antiochene Handbook for Biblical Interpretation (Oxford University Press, 2018).
Scholarly Works Honorable Mentions
  • Doug Boin, Ph.D., Department of History
  • Karen Petroski, J.D., Ph.D., School of Law
  • Matthew Bodie, J.D., School of Law
  • Erin Chambers, Ph.D., Department of Computer Science
  • Istvan Kiss, Ph.D., Department of Chemistry
  • Jeff Scherrer, Ph.D., Department of Family and Community Medicine
  • Enbal Shacham, Ph.D., Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education
  • Sarah Cate, Ph.D., Department of Political Science
  • Amber Johnson, Ph.D., Department of Communication
  • Kristine Larson, Ed.D., School of Education
  • Michael Rozier, S.J., Ph.D., Department of Health Management and Policy

Grant Winners, Faculty and Research Staff Awards

Junior Faculty Grant Winner
  • Koyal Garg, Ph.D., Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Juliet Iwelunmor, Ph.D., Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education
Senior Faculty Grant Winner
Research Administrator Staff Award
  • Sandra Cornell, Edward A. Doisy Research Center
  • Tammy Grant, Center for Vaccine Development
Faculty Service Award
  • Bryan Clair, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics and Statistics
 Faculty Innovation Award
  • Adriana Montano, Ph.D., Department of Pediatrics
 Faculty Training Award
  • Susan Everson, Ph.D., Educational Leadership Program