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RCSA Announces 2012 Cottrell Scholar Awards

April 19, 2012

Tucson, AZ –April 12, 2012 – Research Corporation for Science Advancement (RCSA), the oldest foundation in the nation devoted wholly to science, today announced 11 recipients of its Cottrell Scholar Award. Each recipient of the award receives a $75,000 grant and admission to an exclusive community of scholars, the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative.

The Cottrell Scholar Awards recognize leaders in integrating science teaching and research at America’s top research universities. Each award also represents admission to the Cottrell Scholars Collaborative, the scientific community of approximately 260 scholars who have been singled out for their work in combining teaching and research: a crucial priority for a nation that seeks to perpetuate its extraordinary history of scientific preeminence in the face of increasing global competition.

The 11 award-winners are all early career scientists – assistant professors in chemistry, physics or astronomy. They represent nine universities – with two each at Yale University and Indiana University at Bloomington. The winners are:

Dr. Suzanne Bart – Assistant Professor, Inorganic Chemistry
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN)
Uranium Complexes Supported by Redox-Active Ligands for Small Molecule Activation

Professor Erin E. Carlson – Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Indiana University at Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)

Chemoselective Enrichment Tools for Natural Products Discovery

Dr. William Dichtel – Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Cornell University (Ithaca, NY)
Predictable Assembly of Ordered Heterojunctions Using Covalent Organic Frameworks

Dr. Kingshuk Ghosh – Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
University of Denver (Denver, CO)

Designing biological toys: genetic switches, and clocks

Dr. Seth Barnett Herzon – Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Synthetic and Chemical Biological Studies of Lomaiviticins A and B

Dr. Eric Hudson – Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA)
Keeping Time with the Nucleus: A Solid-State Optical Clock Based on a Nuclear Transition

Dr. Geoffrey R. Hutchison – Assistant Professor, Materials Chemistry
University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA)
Molecular Piezoelectrics: Building Responsive Electromechanical Materials From the Bottom Up

Dr. Daisuke Nagai – Assistant Professor, Physics
Yale University (New Haven, CT)
Computational Cosmology in Classrooms and in Research

Dr. Sarah E. Reisman – Assistant Professor, Chemistry
California Institute of Technology (Pasadena, CA)
The Development and Application of Heterocycle Forming Reactions in Natural Product Total Synthesis

Dr. Sara E. Skrabalak – Assistant Professor, Chemistry
Indiana University at Bloomington (Bloomington, IN)
New Synthetic Strategies to Multi-Metal Nanocrystals with Controlled Compositions and Structures

Dr. John-David Thomas Smith – Assistant Professor, Physics and Astronomy
University of Toledo (Toledo, OH)
After the Fall – Why Galaxies Die, and How

Originality, feasibility, and the prospect for significant fundamental advances to science are the main criteria for judging the candidates’ research, while contributions to education, especially at the undergraduate level, aspirations for teaching, and the candidates’ proposed strategies to achieve educational objectives, are factors in assessing their teaching plans.

This year’s awards are made as RCSA celebrates its 100th Anniversary. The foundation was begun in 1912 by Frederick Gardner Cottrell, for whom the award is named. Cottrell was a science visionary, whose invention of the electrostatic precipitator was an early environmental innovation that reduced pollution from smokestacks. His generous donation of the proceeds from that invention made the foundation possible.

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