USD faculty honored for research excellence

Three members of The University of South Dakota faculty were recognized for their outstanding research and creative work during President's Research Day at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Muenster University Center.

Recipients of the 2010 President's Awards for Research Excellence and Innovation & Entrepreneurship are Ranjit Koodali, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, John Koster, professor of music and conservator, National Music Museum, and William Anderson, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science and director of the Government Research Bureau.

President's Research Day is an annual showcase for research and creative activities at USD. The program included a 4 p.m. keynote lecture, "Salamanders in the American Tropics: A Remarkable Adaptive Radiation at Risk," by David B. Wake, Ph.D., professor emeritus of integrative biology and curator of herpetology at the University of California, Berkeley.

"We're pleased to honor such an outstanding group of researchers this year," said Laura J. Jenski, Ph.D., vice president for research at USD. "Our recipients have established vibrant research programs that integrate student learning and involve extensive collaborations."

Koodali is the recipient in the Early/Mid-career category for 2010. He joined the USD faculty in 2005 as part of a state-funded Center for Research and Development of Light Activated Materials (CDRLM) at USD. A senior scientist within the state's NSF-EPSCoR-Research Infrastructure Improvement project, Koodali provides leadership for major projects in titanium oxide-based dye-sensitized solar cells as well as in photocatalysis. He served as principal investigator for two funded NSF-Multi-user Research Instrumentation grants helping to bring large, costly instruments such as a Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometer and a powder X-ray diffractometer to support the research efforts of the chemistry department. His efforts continue to benefit research at USD through two other National Science Foundation funded grants, including the newly funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program and the acquisition of a state-of-the-art transmission electron microscopy.

Koster is this year's honoree in the Established Faculty category. A member of the USD faculty since 1991, Koster is Conservator of the collections at the National Music Museum and research has been a major component of his workload. Koster's work has drawn national and international attention as he has published 45 articles and 10 reviews in prominent international scholarly journals, and he has been invited to contribute several articles to standard reference works, including The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and J.S. Bach in the Oxford Composer Companions series. His research articles have appeared in publications in Belgium and Germany in the past year where he was invited to present at conferences in Antwerp and Berlin. This past year, Koster delivered papers at the annual meeting of the American Musical Instrument Society at the Library of Congress, at the "Keyboard Music and Instruments in the Spanish Empire, 16th-17th Centuries," in Spain, and at conferences in England and Germany.

Anderson is the 2010 recipient of the President's Award for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, which recognizes accomplishments related to the commercialization of innovative research. A member of the USD faculty since 2006, his leadership at the Government Research Bureau has helped shape the department into becoming a revenue-generating, grant and contract-seeking entity at USD. With his research and service obligations intertwined, Anderson is responsible for being an emissary to South Dakota's nonprofit organizations, governments, trade associations, and for-profit businesses. Since becoming director, beginning with a single $1,300 contract with the City of Vermillion, the Government Research Bureau has grown to a university-based business that has been a critical asset to the University community. Today, the Government Research Bureau has more than 10 current or pending projects and is working with clients as diverse as the Sioux Falls School District, the South Dakota Community Foundation and the State Departments of Public Safety, Environment, and Natural Resources and Transportation.

For more information about President's Research Day 2010, or to learn more about the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, please visit the department's Web site at www.usd.edu/orsp. You can contact the office by calling (605) 677-5370 or e-mail: orsp@usd.edu.

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