Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities Awards

Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activities Awards

2023 Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities Awards

The Division of University Research is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2023 Research, Scholarly and Creative Activities Awards.

Rowan University Research Achievement Award 

James Hienzen
Professor and Director of the Hollybush Institute
Department of History, College of Humanities and Social Sciences
As reports of Russian aggression dominate the media, Rowan historian James Heinzen expands understanding of Russian history and contemporary life—his lifelong mission. Since joining Rowan in 2000, Heinzen has published two widely acclaimed books on the Soviet state and society: "Inventing the Soviet Countryside: State Power and the Transformation of Rural Russia" (University of Pittsburgh Press) and "The Art of the Bribe: Corruption Under Stalin 1943-1955" (Yale University Press). Also director of Rowan's Hollybush Institute for Global Peace & Security, Heinzen has published numerous scholarly articles and has won highly competitive national grants, including a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. "The quality of Dr. Heinzen's research led several prestigious higher education institutions to invite him as a visiting scholar," another colleague says. These include Princeton University and L'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.


Breakthrough Research Award

Chun Wu's Computer-Aided Drug Design Lab
Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Science & Mathematics
As SARS-COV-2, which ignited the COVId-19 pandemic, continues to raise complex questions, Chun Wu's Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) Lab is unearthing potential answers. Located in the Departments of Chemistry & Biochemistry and Biological & Biomedical Sciences in the College of Science & Mathematics, using the genomic data of this virus, the team proposed a new evolution theory—near-neutral balanced selection—and disproved three existing evolution theories. Understanding the virus' evolution is a vital part of developing therapeutics and updating vaccines. "This theory could resolve the long-standing 'neutralist-selectionist' debate and Lewontin's paradox in evolutionary biology," the team reported. Their work has been published in "Computer in Biology and Medicine" and other publications and presented at national conferences It won the Trainee Poster Award in the 2021 annual MidAtlantic Bioinformatics 

Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

Guiseppina Carannante
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering
This award recognizes achievements in research as a graduate student. Guiseppina was nominated by Nidhal Bouaynaya, who describes her as the most creative researcher she has known in her experience of over 15 years in academia. Guiseppina has excelled in her research on Bayesian machine learning and its theoretical implications. A recipient of numerous awards, she is a dedicated educator offering students hands-on experiential learning through real-world projects in collaboration with industry and government partners. As the CEO of Deep AI Solutions LLC, a New Jersey-based start-up providing state-of-the-art machine learning and AI services to government agencies and corporations, Giuseppina has proven herself as an entrepreneur and leader.

Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research 

Crystal Stackhouse
Physics and Biomedical Engineering
College of Science & Mathematics, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering
This award recognizes research achievements by undergraduate students who are accepted in their chosen major or program. Nominated by Nathaniel Nucci and Mary Staehle, Crystal is described as a natural researcher and gifted scientist with a deep passion for innovation and interdisciplinary challenges. As a standout student researcher in the laboratory, she has worked on several complex projects demonstrating independence, diligence, and creativity. Accepted into several top Ph.D. programs, including programs at Stanford University, MIT, and Vanderbilt, Crystal is a future leader in molecular and cellular biophysics.