Research Honors

April 1, 2024

Faculty, alumni and students have earned some prestigious awards and scholarships over the last year.

Early Career: Assistant professor of biomedical engineering Melanie Ecker earned the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program award to further her research on using smart polymers for biomedical applications. Omar Valsson, assistant professor of chemistry, was the first UNT faculty member to receive an Early Career Award from the U.S. Department of Energy, which he’ll use in developing a new method to better predict the behavior and properties of polymorphic molecular crystals. And assistant professor of physics Yuzhe Xiao (pictured) received the 2023 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to boost his study on the thermal properties of nanoscale wide bandgap semiconductors like gallium nitride and silicon carbide.

Goldwater: Jathin Pranav Singaraju, a recent alum of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science at UNT, was named a 2023 Goldwater Scholar in recognition of his work in the biomedical engineering lab of Huaxiao “Adam” Yang. Additionally, biology professor Jannon Fuchs became the first from UNT to win the 2023 Council on Undergraduate Research Goldwater Scholars Faculty Mentor Award. Of about 185 students she’s mentored, 10 became Goldwater Scholars.

Fulbright: UNT was once again named as a Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Additionally, four faculty and staff members and three students earned awards and recognition from the prestigious Fulbright Program for the 2023-24 awards cycle. Those honored include faculty members Diana Berman, Saraju Mohanty and Joseph Oppong; staff member Lauren Jacobsen-Bridges; and students Odalis Alvarado, Lorelei Nichols and Garrison Gerard.

National Academy of Inventors: Wonbong Choi, professor of materials science and engineering, was inducted as a fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. Choi holds numerous patents in nanomaterials, especially their applications in rechargeable batteries, nanoelectronics and bioelectronics.