The Office of the Provost recognized five members of Georgetown University’s faculty as distinguished associate professors in a Feb. 5 announcement by Provost Robert Groves on his blog.
Three of the recipients, history professor Kathryn de Luna, psychology professor Adam Green and chemistry professor Kaveh Jorabchi, are faculty members in the College. Finance professor Alberto Rossi in the McDonough School of Business and professor of energy and environment and Director of the Science, Technology and International Affairs Program at the School of Foreign Service Joanna Lewis also received the distinction.
Recipients of the provost’s distinguished associate professor award for accomplishments in education, created in 2016, are first nominated by department chairs and unit heads before being reviewed by a committee of senior faculty. The committee then forwards selections to the provost for approval, according to the Office of the Provost’s official web portal.
The award recognizes the achievements in research and teaching by Georgetown faculty members across the different schools, according to Vice Provost Reena Aggarwal, who serves as the chair of the review committee for the award.
“The Committee recognizes faculty who are at the frontier of pushing knowledge in their fields,” Aggarwal wrote in an email to The Hoya. “They are not only doing amazing scholarship, they are also excellent teachers, offering cutting edge courses and/or mentoring students. We want to recognize and reward ‘rising stars’ who perform at an extraordinary level, and are contributing to Georgetown, their profession, and the broader community.”
The strong sense of community present at Georgetown creates an environment conducive to the kind of research and academic work that the award recognizes, according to winner Jorabchi.
“The supportive environment at GU has been an important factor in the development of my work,” Jorabchi wrote in an email to The Hoya. “I connect with the student-centered philosophy of GU and am inspired by the community spirit of the university.”
Jorabchi, whose lab regularly works with undergraduate and high school students in addition to graduate students, focuses on improving methods of detecting and quantifying chemically complex samples of trace substances through his research. In the last few years, he has received grants totaling $1.5 million from organizations including the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
While the award itself is only granted to certain associate professors, it serves as a recognition of the cooperative work and research conducted by all members of the Georgetown academic community, according to de Luna.
“This award appears to honor a few individuals but it is actually a recognition of our wider intellectual networks; faculty are constantly learning from colleagues, from collaborators and co-authors, from graduate students and undergraduate students,” de Luna wrote in an email to The Hoya.
De Luna, who specializes in the histories of eastern, central and southern Africa before the 20th century, has conducted fieldwork among fifteen societies in five countries in eastern and south-central Africa. Her 2017 book “Collecting Food, Cultivating People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa” received the Henry A. Wallace Award from the Agricultural History Society in 2017 and the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title award in 2018.
The third winner from the College, Green, a cognitive neuroscientist whose work is helping to form a new discipline known as the Neuroscience of Creativity, is seeking to combine behavioral, neural and genetic analyses to better understand how the brain learns and makes connections between ideas and events.
The award is indicative of the great support Georgetown offers for research and academic pursuits across all fields, according to Green.
“We get to chase knowledge, ask these big questions that we’ve been wanting to ask since we were five years old and that we’re supported in that sort of search for knowledge without kind of the direct forcibility of a more applied form of materials, research or something like that or something that you would have in the industry if you were doing research,” Green said in an interview with The Hoya.
Rossi, the winning professor from the MSB, serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Financial Econometrics, the Journal of Empirical Finance and the International Journal of Financial Engineering. Rossi is currently researching machine learning, financial technology, empirical asset pricing and household finance and has been a keynote speaker at finance conferences around the world, according to his website.
Lewis, the fifth winner, has worked on energy and climate issues in China for about 20 years and has consulted for foundations and governmental, nongovernmental and international organizations on similar projects, according to her university biography. She also heads Georgetown’s U.S.-China Climate Research Dialogue and the U.S.-China Energy and Climate Working Group, among other projects. Her 2014 book “Green Innovation in China” won the 2014 Harold and Margaret Sprout Award from the International Studies Association.
The recognition granted by this award, as well as the continued support of the Georgetown community, will enable recipients to further develop their research and connections, according to Jorabchi.
“Scientific discussions with students and popping into the lab to participate in experiments are the most joyful parts of my day. Discussions with my colleagues in the Chemistry department have also influenced my teaching and research,” Jorabchi wrote. “I hope to further grow this integrated network of people and activities that influence all aspects of professional life at GU.”