Two annual awards given by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Tuesday honored 24 University of Wisconsin faculty members.
The Kellett Mid-Career Award and the Romnes Faculty Fellowship each recognize outstanding faculty members and provide the recipients with monetary grants to further research efforts on UW’s campus, WARF spokesperson Janet Kelly said.
“These awards are an investment in faculty members and help support them in doing their best work,” Kelly said.
She added WARF hopes the award helps motivate faculty members to continue their research efforts and encourage them to stay at UW.
Kelly said it is important to recognize the accomplishments of faculty to encourage their continued contributions to the university, their students and their fields of study.
Eleven UW professors selected by a graduate school committee received the Kellett Mid-Career Award, an honor that recognizes outstanding faculty members who are five to 20 years past the first promotion to a tenured position at the university, a UW statement said.
The statement said winners of the award receive $60,000 in flexible research funds with the distinction.
Anna Huttenlocher, a professor of medical microbiology and immunology, was one of this year’s honored mid-career faculty members.
Hunttenlocher said her research focuses on molecular mechanisms that regulate cell migration and how disturbed cell trafficking patterns may lead to diseases and genetic mutations.
She is planning on further supporting medical research endeavors by purchasing new equipment for the labs on campus with the award money, Huttenlocher said.
The money, she added, will allow the department to conduct new experiments they could not normally execute without the award from WARF.
“It’s great that the university has these kind of recognitions for faculty in various stages of their careers. It’s fun to have awards that reach so many different departments on campus,” Huttenlocher said. “It just shows how diverse and exciting this university really is.”
Thirteen recently tenured UW faculty members were also named Romnes Fellows by WARF.
The title is awarded to exceptional faculty members who earned tenure status within the last four years, and recipients received an unrestricted $50,000 award to continue research efforts in their respective fields.
Jonathan Gray, a professor of communication arts whose research specifically focuses on the social, cultural and political uses of media entertainment around the world, was one of this year’s recipients.
“It’s an incredible honor to win this award. I was absolutely elated and deeply flattered by this recognition,” he said.
Gray said the money he received will contribute to many projects, specifically a study of how individuals in Africa react to television media and an on-campus qualitative research project on why audiences react negatively to certain media outlets.
He noted this recognition has further sparked his interest in pursuing additional research opportunities.
“I feel that I’ve put a lot of work and effort into my career thus far, and I was unfortunately beginning to feel a little burnout,” Gray said. “Winning this award has really given me the energy and vigor to continue research in my field.”