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2015 Research and Creative Achievement

Research and Creative Achievement honors are bestowed to senior faculty in recognition of excellence in research, scholarship, and creative achievement.

Kristina Gordon

Kristina GordonKristina Gordon, professor of psychology, is a national leader in couples and family research. Her research focuses on domestic partner relationships and interventions to improve close relationships and individual health. She is principal investigator on a $2.1-million, three-year grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a co-investigator on a $3.6-million five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute. Gordon has coauthored three books, forty-two peer-reviewed articles, and thirteen book chapters. She also is praised for her media savvy and ability to communicate her research to a broad audience.

Linda Kah

Linda KahLinda Kah’s research on Earth and early Mars has led to thirty-seven papers and book chapters and $670,000 in completed funding over the past decade. An expert on the geology and geochemistry of the early Earth, she has established herself as one of the world’s leading Proterozoic researchers. Kah’s success in studying the first occurrence of life on Earth earned her an invitation to participate as a NASA-funded scientist in planning for the Mars Curiosity rover mission in 2005. Curiosity landed on Mars in summer of 2013, and since then Kah has played a key role in the geologic investigations.

Richard Komistek

Richard KomistekRichard Komistek, professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering and codirector of the Center of Musculoskeletal Research, is dramatically improving the lives of people with knee and hip implants. Komistek’s research group has conducted groundbreaking orthopedic studies and received grants totaling more than $10 million over the past ten years. Komistek has published more than 160 papers in leading international journals, sixty-three of them in the past ten years. He has also served as the biomechanics section editor for the orthopedics textbook Surgery of the Knee, used in medical schools around the world. Orthopedic companies have used his research to guide their redesigns of knee and hip implant products.

Lawrence Townsend

Lawrence TownsendLawrence Townsend, professor of nuclear engineering, is an internationally recognized expert in space radiation effects. He has received the prestigious NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the highest scientific award given by the agency, for his work in nuclear interactions of cosmic radiation with matter and their implications for space radiation exposure and shielding. He has since been recognized for his research by the Radiation Protection and Shielding Division of the American Nuclear Society, which awarded him its 2013 Professional Excellence Award. He was also a recipient of the NASA Robert H. Goddard Exceptional Achievement for Science Team Award (for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Science Mission Team) in 2013. He has served on many national and international advisory boards, including the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement. In the past ten years he has authored or coauthored more than sixty refereed journal articles and given twenty-one invited talks at conferences and workshops.