Campus News

Creative Research Awards

UGA faculty and graduate students were recognized for outstanding research and scholarship at the university's 32nd annual Research Awards Banquet on April 14. The program was sponsored by the nonprofit University of Georgia Research Foundation Inc. The Al

Roger Vogel
Professor of Music

Albert-Christ-Janer Award
Roger Vogel, professor of music, has published more than 105 original compositions. His wide-ranging list of works includes a one-act chamber opera, three concertos and more than 30 sonatas, suites and other substantial works for larger chamber ensembles as well as solo and choral song cycles.

His music appears on eight compact discs and has been performed in Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Canada and in 33 states across the U.S. His original works began to be published and performed nationally in 1977, and they have been performed internationally since 1979. In February 2011, his song cycle, “Love Letters,” was performed as part of the Talisker Chamber Music Series in Toronto, Canada. His choral song cycle “Cats and Bats and Things with Wings,” commissioned and performed in honor of the University of Georgia’s bicentennial in 1984, won the prize of publication in the 1991 Roger Wagner Choral Composition Competition and has since been performed numerous times.

Michael Duncan
Franklin Professor and Regents Professor of Chemistry
Lamar Dodd Award

Michael A. Duncan, Franklin Professor and Regents Professor of Chemistry, is recognized internationally as a leader in ion and metal cluster spectroscopy. He measures the structures of molecules in their ionized state of “clusters”-aggregated groups of a few molecules caught in the act of condensation, and of nanoparticles-atomic assemblies on the nanometer scale.

He was among the first scientists to combine metal cluster sources with infrared laser spectroscopy, which shows how molecules deform when attached to metals. The knowledge gained has practical applications, since molecules binding to metal lie at the heart of many processes in industrial chemistry and in the natural world.

Duncan’s ability to develop new methods, as well as to assimilate recent breakthroughs from other researchers, keeps his lab at the forefront of this area of science. The tools he has provided to the chemical community are quickly being incorporated into experiments around the world.

Ralph Tripp
Professor and GRA Eminent Scholar
Georgia BioBusiness Academic Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Ralph Tripp founded Argent Diagnostics, a company that develops diagnostic products and services based on Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy, a proprietary nanotechnology platform. The platform facilitates the direct, rapid detection of pathogens and other agents present at levels several orders of magnitude lower than can be detected with current diagnostic methods. Company cofounders include UGA professors Rich Dluhy (chemistry) and Yiping Zhao (physics).

Tripp also provided critical research services and served in a vital role to the management team of Aerovectrx, a GRA VentureLab company that uses a proprietary aerosol drug delivery technology to prevent or treat respiratory diseases. More recently, he helped recruit a San Francisco-based biotechnology company, Trellis BioScience, to Georgia, where it will develop novel therapies for influenza and rabies.

Roger Boerma
Distinguished Research Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences
Inventor’s Award

Roger Boerma, Distinguished Research Professor of Crop and Soil Sciences and director of UGA’s Center for Soybean Improvement and the Center for Applied Genetic Technologies, developed several superior transgenic and conventional soybean cultivars now widely grown across the country.

Boerma’s use of DNA marker-assisted selection shortened the breeding cycle for development of new soybean cultivars by more than three years. The cultivars have superior seed yield and resistance to multiple species of nematodes and fungal diseases. The high-yielding Woodruff cultivar includes two new yield genes, discovered in a Japanese soybean accession and transferred into Woodruff using the DNA marker technology.

The widespread use of Boerma’s improved cultivars has lessened the need for pesticides-while also boosting seed yield, with the overall effect being reduced production costs. Boerma’s soybean cultivars not only provide greater profit per acre but also are more sustainable.

Martha Carr
Aderhold Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology
William A. Owens Award

Martha M. Carr, Aderhold Distinguished Professor of Educational Psychology and Research Fellow, UGA Institute of Behavioral Research, studies the factors that promote or inhibit mathematics achievement or “literacy” at various ages and educational stages.

Her first work to attract national attention-the application of self-regulating theory to mathematics-was groundbreaking in that it had been applied to reading and memory but never to mathematics. Her work advanced theory and practice by explaining how many factors combine to influence the development (or not) of more advanced mathematical skills. Her longitudinal studies follow children over many years and emphasize the interplay of psychological factors over time. Her work, funded by more than $700,000 in federal grants, provides recommendations for improved mathematics instruction, especially in the elementary school years-and has led to notable strategies for closing the gender gap in mathematics learning.