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Four faculty presented inaugural Research Mentor Awards
6/19/13

Four Alfred University (AU) professors – Heather S. Zimbler-DeLorenzo, Frank G. Duserick, Karen L. Porter, and Anthony W. Wren – were lauded as the first recipients of the Faculty Research Mentor Award during the University’s annual spring Honors Convocation.

Each year, up to one award may be given in each of the following categories: physical and life sciences, undergraduate engineering, social sciences, humanities, visual and performing arts, and professional studies. The new award acknowledges faculty who have made significant contributions to undergraduate research and scholastic mentorship and who are “outstanding” researchers/visual-performing artists themselves.

Assistant Professor of Biology Zimbler-DeLorenzo will accompany four students to the University of Colorado-Boulder this summer to participate in the 2013 Animal Behavior Society’s annual meeting. She has been published in a number of scientific journals and has presented her research at conferences nationwide. 

Zimbler-DeLorenzo holds a Ph.D. in biological science from Auburn University, Auburn, AL, and dual bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees in anthropology and biology from Emory University, Atlanta.

Professor of Business Duserick is a constant influence within the School of Business. He was recognized with AU Teaching Awards in 2010 and 2012. In an effort to show students what is on the other side of academia, Duserick invites time-tested businesspersons as guest speakers for his classes. He also co-led a group of students through the German cities of Munich, Stuttgart, and Heidenheim to give them an appreciation for global perspectives on business.  

Duserick earned a bachelor of arts degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and an MBA from Harvard University. His most recent work includes studies in achieving competitiveness by organizational learning, benchmarking strategic planning, and a process perspective on Enterprise Resource Planning implementation.

Professor of Sociology Porter has been an active member in both the AU and the greater Alfred village community for 27 years. She has a history of melding lecture-style courses with service learning initiatives to give students a fuller understanding of how their studies interact with the world around them. Porter is also a recipient of the AU Teaching Award for the years 1997, 2000, and 2004. In addition, she was recognized with the Abigail Allen Award (for contributions to campus and community in improving the quality of women’s lives) in 2000. 

Porter earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and anthropology at the State University of New York at Potsdam. She then attained a master of arts degree and later a Ph.D., both in sociology, from Syracuse University.

Assistant Professor of Biomaterials Wren has been a part of the Alfred community since 2008 having conducted post-doctoral research at AU until 2011. Now Wren teaches biocompatibility, introduction to polymers, explorations of biomaterials in the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering, and is an adjunct instructor in biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

His primary research interests include bioreactive glasses and cements, including characterization and materials testing; culture of mammalian cells for in vitro biomaterial testing; in vitro bacterial testing of materials; and x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy for the characterization of novel glasses.

Wren completed his Ph.D. in biomedical materials at the University of Limerick, Ireland, where he also attained a master of science degree in biomedical engineering. Wren earned his bachelor of science degree from the National University of Ireland at Maynooth. 

            Nominations for the Faculty Research Mentor Award were made by both colleagues and students in February. A committee then sought recommendations for those nominated. Consideration was given to faculty from all departments of the University with an emphasis on mentorship and the professor’s engagement in research, or the development of visual and performing arts, as it related to their fields of study.

The final stages of the application process included submission of curriculum vitae and up to a five-year history of faculty-mentored student research, papers, and projects. A one-page statement of research or scholarly activity, and how it relates to education at AU, was also submitted.

            In recognition of his or her outstanding, multifaceted achievements, each award winner was presented with $500 in faculty development money.