Ohio University

Presidential Research Scholars

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The Presidential Research Scholars (PRS) awards program recognizes faculty members who have garnered national and international prominence in research, scholarship and creative activity and who demonstrate clear promise for continued, significant productivity in their research/creative activity. Each award recipient will receive $3,000 to be used at the scholar's discretion as an honorarium or to support research or creative works.

For FY 2020-21, applications were solicited for Arts and Humanities and Life and Biomedical Sciences

For FY 2021-22, applications will be solicited for Social and Behavioral Sciences and Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Call for Applications

Deadline for nominations: Thursday, April 22, 2021, 4:00 pm

Deadline for applications: Thursday, June 17, 2021, 4:00 pm

Click for guidelines [ Word or PDF ]

Contact: Roxanne Male'-Brune, (740) 597-1227


Ohio University names 2019 Presidential Research Scholars

Morgan Vis and Brian Clark named 2018 Presidential Research Scholars

Five OHIO faculty members named 2017 Presidential Research Scholars

Five OHIO faculty members named 2016 Presidential Research Scholars

Ohio University Presidential Research Scholars
2020 Recipients

Life and Biomedical Sciences

Susan Williams, Professor, Anatomy

Shiyong Wu, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Arts and Humanities

Devika Chawla, Professor, School of Communication Studies

Robert Ingram, Professor, History

Kevin Mattson, Professor, History

Ohio University Presidential Research Scholars
2019 Recipients

2019 PRS Award recipients

Arts and Humanities:

Christopher Fisher

Christopher Fisher is a professor of music in the College of Fine Arts. He is the co-author of Piano Duet Repertoire (Indiana University Press, 2016) and author of Teaching Piano in Groups (Oxford University Press, 2010). The latter work is the only comprehensive group piano pedagogy book of its kind and is used as a textbook at universities and conservatories internationally. As a result of the book’s critical acclaim, Fisher has delivered lectures throughout the world on the topic of group piano pedagogy, including recent engagements at the Juilliard School in New York and in the United Kingdom. In addition, he has published compositions and arrangements and contributed to the recording of Samplings: New Recordings for Bassoon and Piano. Fisher currently is working on two new manuscripts for the Oxford University Press.


Katarzyna Marciniak

Katarzyna Marciniak is a professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and is affiliated with the College of Fine Arts. Over the past 20 years, she has contributed to the development of transnational cinema and postsocialist media studies in relationship to Eastern European cultures. Marciniak’s most cited work is Alienhood: Citizenship, Exile, and the Logic of Difference (University of Minnesota Press, 2006), which examines globalization. The essay collection she co-edited, Transnational Feminism in Film and Media (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), has been recognized as a groundbreaking contribution to transnational feminist media studies. Due to the critical acclaim for her work, in 2010 Palgrave appointed Marciniak the lead editor of their book series, Global Cinema, which has published 19 volumes to date. That same year, she won the MLA Florence Howe Award for Outstanding Feminist Scholarship. In 2016 Marciniak co-edited a collection of essays, Teaching Transnational Cinema: Politics and Pedagogy (Routledge), which explores the opportunities and challenges of teaching unfamiliar audiovisual texts. She currently is working on a book commissioned by the Oxford University Press on refugee cinema.

Social and Behavioral Sciences:

Michael Geringer

Michael Geringer is the O’Bleness Professor of International Strategy in the College of Business. He has been globally recognized for his research on the creation, management and growth of international businesses. His work on how Japanese, European and North American companies can compete in international markets has generated 2,000 citations and attracted grant funding to expand the studies to Indian firms. In addition, Geringer’s research on human and technological resources in multinational corporations helped launch the widely cited Best Practices in International Human Resources Management project that involved scholars from more than 20 nations. He has authored or edited 47 books and monographs and is currently working on the second edition of International Business (McGraw-Hill Education) for a 2020 release. Geringer has garnered several teaching and research awards, including the Decade Award for most influential article from the Journal of International Business Studies.

Kimberly Rios

Kimberly Rios is an associate professor of psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. With funding from entities such as the John Templeton Foundation, Rios has researched people’s responses to threats to their self-concepts and social identities, with a focus on majority and minority group identities. Historically, social psychology has emphasized tendencies toward conformity, but Rios’s work focuses on the notion that people are driven not only to fit in but also to be unique and distinctive from their peers . Rios has contributed new research findings to the social psychology field that illuminate why white Americans may respond negatively to multiculturalism and how those perceptions can change. In addition, she has studied why Christians and Muslims may consider religion and science as incompatible and the factors that can impact those views over time. In 2019, Rios received the Outstanding Early Career Award from the International Society for Self and Identity.

Jeff Vancouver

Jeff Vancouver is the William C. Byham Chair in Industrial/Organizational Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research focuses on self-regulation—the processes individuals use to maintain or achieve needs and goals—to understand human behavior, and he has attracted funding from entities such as the National Science Foundation for his work. Vancouver’s research on the nature and effects of self-efficacy was groundbreaking, as it challenged previously held beliefs. In addition, he is considered a thought leader on the use of computational modeling as a tool to advance Industrial/Organizational (I/O) psychological research. His work, published in high-impact journals in the psychology discipline, is highly cited. Vancouver’s accomplishments have garnered him fellowship status in the Association of Psychological Sciences and the Society of I-O Psychologists.

Physical Sciences and Engineering:

Carl Brune

Carl Brune is a professor of physics and astronomy in the College of Arts and Sciences. His research—both experimental and theoretical—investigates how atomic nuclei react when they collide. Brune’s studies provide a greater understanding of astrophysical nuclear processes, such as those occurring in the cores of stars, during the big bang in the early universe, and in explosive environments such as supernovae. His work also has practical applications for nuclear power production. Brune has published findings in high-impact journals such as Nature Physics, frequently gives talks at national and international conferences, and has led several international collaborations. He has received $12.7 million in external funding since joining the university in 2001 and was the primary investigator on $9.6 million of those awards. Brune has also helped secure funding from the National Science Foundation for equipment upgrades to Ohio University’s internationally renowned Edwards Accelerator Laboratory. Brune is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Peter Harrington

Peter Harrington is a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is an expert in chemometrics, a subdiscipline of analytical chemistry that focuses on maximizing the information gained from chemical experiments. As there is a shortage of this expertise in the United States, Harrington has focused his research on designing automated, smart methods that can be used by scientists untrained in chemometrics to obtain accurate test results. In 1996, he developed and popularized the Copiosity Principle, which has become an important computational approach in the chemometrics field. Harrington employs his research methods and expertise to characterize botanical medicines, including cannabis. He has a long-standing collaboration with the USDA to develop automated chemometric methods for chemotyping foods and dietary supplements. Harrington won the Eastern Analytical Symposium Award for Outstanding Achievement in Chemometrics in 2019.

2018 Recipients

2018 PRS Award recipients

M. Duane Nellis, President, Morgan Vis, Brian Clark, Chaden Djalali, Executive Vice President and Provost and David Koonce, Interim Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College

Morgan Vis

Professor, Environmental and Plant Biology

Morgan Vis

Vis is a professor of environmental and plant biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an internationally known expert on the systematics of freshwater red algae, an important source of food and shelter for invertebrates in steams, and the use of algae as a monitor of water quality. Vis has studied the distribution of algae around the world, describing new families, genera and species. She has used DNA testing to contribute new findings to her field about the evolution and relationships among algae. With an interdisciplinary team of scientists, Vis has examined how freshwater red algae can act as a biomonitor of the health of streams in Appalachia impacted by acid mine drainage. In addition, she has conducted research and consulted with engineers on how algae may be used as a source of biofuels and for carbon mitigation. Vis has a strong track record of external funding for her research, including several grants from the National Science Foundation, and has been awarded three patents. The former Fulbright Scholar has more than 120 refereed publications and currently is working on a book about freshwater red algae slated for a May 2020 publication.

Brian Clark

Professor, Physiology and Neuroscience

Brian Clark

Clark is a professor of physiology and neuroscience and the Harold E. Clybourne, D.O., Endowed Research Chair in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is the executive director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI), which conducts studies on muscle function, pain and aging issues, including for clinical trials. Clark has led more than $14 million in research projects funded by federal agencies, private foundations and industry. He has gained prominence in his field for discovering that the nervous system plays a key role in age-related muscle weakness, which he and a colleague have termed “dynapenia.” His research has led to a greater understanding of muscle strength and function in the elderly and points to new pathways for preventing and treating disabilities. Clark also has found neurological causes and interventions for muscle atrophy that follows injury, disease or surgery. In addition, he has published findings on the benefits of manual, non-surgical strategies to mitigate lower back pain. He has contributed to policy by serving on several federal task forces and panels that oversee issues pertaining to pain and muscle loss with aging.

2017 Recipients

2017 PRS Award recipients

Joseph Shields, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College, Daniel Phllips, David Descutner, Interim Evecutive Vice President and Provost, Avinash Kodi, Julie Owens, Hao Chen and M. Duane Nellis, President

Avinash Karanth Kodi

Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Avinash Karanth Kodi

Kodi has achieved prominence in the field of computer science for research innovations designed to increase the power, efficiency and security of the next generation of electronic devices. His advancements in computer chip architecture have applications in the development of mobile phones, laptop computers and servers. Kodi has received more than $2.5 million in funding from industry and federal sources, including a highly competitive National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2011. He has served as a consultant for industry and the U.S. Department of Energy.

Hao Chen

Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Hao Chen

Chen is an expert in mass spectrometry, a technology that helps scientists study the characteristics of molecules. He has used mass spectrometry to study compounds that may serve as candidates for new drug delivery treatments. Chen has received funding from state, federal and industry sources. This includes more than $2 million from the National Science Foundation, including its highly competitive CAREER award in 2012. He has eight approved or pending U.S. and foreign patents for his development of new mass spectrometry techniques at Ohio University. Chen has served as an expert on committees for NASA and the National Research Council.

Daniel R. Phillips

Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Daniel R. Philips

Phillips is an internationally renowned physicist who has developed more reliable models of atomic nuclei behavior. This work has informed scientific experiments that explore fundamental nuclear physics questions, with broad relevance to areas including astrophysics and nuclear power generation. Phillips has been continuously funded by the U.S. Department of Energy since 2001. He serves on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which advises the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy on policy and funding issues.

Julie Sarno Owens

Professor, Psychology

Julie Sarno Owens

Owens has pioneered research on the effectiveness and sustainability of school-based interventions for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related behavioral problems. She developed the state and nationally recognized Youth Experiencing Success in School (YESS) Program to help educators provide mental health support services. Her studies have demonstrated how teachers can use evidence-based interventions to help elementary school children with ADHD improve their academic performance and behavioral issues in typical classroom settings. Owens is co-director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools and is principal investigator on nearly $2.5 million in external awards for the center’s research projects.

Steven W. Evans

Professor, Psychology

Steven W. Evans

Evans is nationally recognized for his development of school-based programs designed to improve the academic and social skills of adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems, including ADHD. He is the creator of the Challenging Horizons Program and has been awarded more than $8 million in federal funding to test the effectiveness of the intervention in schools. Through the development of a new academic journal and conference, Evans has worked to transform the study of mental health issues in K-12 schools into an interdisciplinary effort. He is co-director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools.

2016 Recipients

2016 PRS Award recipients

Front Row: Roger Bruan, Presidential Teacher 2017-2019, Presidential Research Scholars Michel Fiala, Sarah Wyatt, James Thomas, Arthur Werger and Nancy Stevens, and 2017-2019 Provost Teacher, Klaus Himmeldirk. Back Row: Howard Dewald, Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Planning, Joe Shields, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College; and Pam Benoit, Executive Vice President and Provost. Photo credit: Daniel Owen/Ohio University

Sarah Wyatt

Professor, Environmental and Plant Biology

Sarah Wyatt

Wyatt is recognized as an expert in gravitational and space biology. Using cellular and molecular approaches, she examines how plants sense and respond to gravity. Wyatt has held positions on the executive committee and council of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), as well as on the governing board of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR); she also served as a program director at the National Science Foundation. She has been a strong advocate for student research and outreach programming across campus.


James Thomas

Professor, Physical Therapy

James Thomas

Thomas has been a licensed physical therapist for 31 years, with more than 15 years of clinical experience. His research has taken a multi-track approach to addressing low back pain. His efforts include developing techniques to study neural control of body movement, conducting patient trials to examine classic treatments and creating virtual reality interventions for chronic pain treatment. Thomas has served on several grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health.

Nancy Stevens

Professor, Functional Morphology and Vertebrate Paleontology

Nancy Stevens

Stevens' paleontological research in Tanzania and Afro-Arabia has made significant contributions to the fields of vertebrate paleontology, paleoanthropology and evolutionary functional anatomy. Stevens and her teams have made numerous important discoveries of new lineages of mammals, opening a new window into the history of African tectonic plate movements and animal diversity over the last 35 million years. Research highlights include the discovery of several species new to science, with two new primates representing the oldest fossil evidence of the split between apes and Old World monkeys. Stevens has provided field and laboratory research and training to dozens of graduate and undergraduate students to date, representing nine universities in six countries.


Michele Fiala

Associate Professor, Oboe

Michele Fiala

Fiala is an accomplished oboist whose performances at prestigious venues have earned her a national and international reputation. A focus of her creative scholarship is to ensure audience accessibility—connecting audiences to classical music and helping them understand it. Fiala's two solo CDs containing commissioned works for oboe and her book on 19 th century Italian oboe music have made significant contributions to the field. Fiala has served as secretary and executive member on the International Double Reed Society.

Arthur Werger

Professor, Printmaking

Arthur Werger

Werger is an internationally renowned artist-printmaker whose works are in many public and private collections. He also has made significant contributions to the advancement of color etching printing. His two-plate system for color intaglio is well known in the international printmaking community, as is his expertise for mezzotinting. Werger has conducted numerous guest artist presentations, workshops and exhibitions and served as an active member of the Southern Graphics Council International for many years. 

2005-1999 Recipients

Thomas Carpenter

David Drabold

Joe Eastman

Philip Ehrlich

Christopher France

Timothy Heckman

Kenneth Hicks

Scott Hooper

Anne Loucks

Tadeusz Malinski

Mark Phillips

Daniel Riffe

Gar Rothwell

Martin Schwartz

Arvind Singhal

Gary Small

Charles Smith

Lawrence Witmer

Ann Tickamyer

Frank Van Graas