Faculty honored with Research Initiative Awards
Illinois State University named the recipients of the Research Initiative Award, who will be honored on Founders Day on Thursday, February 18.
Assistant Professor of Nursing Teresa Valerio is a leader in the study of sleep, and her research examines the relationships among college students’ self-reported sleep quality and factors such as emotional health, stress, and academic performance. She is a contributing author of Sleep Disorders and Sleep Promotion in Nursing Practice, which won the 2011 Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing. A faculty member with Mennonite College of Nursing since 2011, Valerio heads up the Doctor of Nursing Practice program for the College, and is also a nurse practitioner with Student Health Services. Her work has been published in scholarly journals, such as Sleep and the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
Assistant Professor of Philosophy Gina Schouten explores educational justice, political liberalism and legitimacy, and gender in her research, examining the impact gender division has on citizenship. She is currently in the middle of a three-year project supported by the Spencer Foundation looking into educational justice. Her work has been awarded a New Faculty Initiative Grant and an International Travel Grant, which took her to South Africa. She joined Illinois State’s faculty in 2013.
Assistant Professor of Technology Pranshoo Solanki combines years of academic and professional experience in the field of civil and geotechnical/pavement engineering. His research explores dealing with difficult soils and rocks, and the beneficial use of recycled materials/industrial by-products in pavements. Solanki’s expertise has added to projects for both the Illinois and Oklahoma transportation centers, and he served as a consultant for the construction of the recent Hyatt Place in Uptown Normal. He has received grants and support from the National Science Foundation and the College of Applied Science and Technology. He joined the faculty in 2011.
Assistant Professor of Special Education April Mustian’s research and teaching center on culturally responsive behavioral practices that mitigate the issue of disproportionality of African American students in special education and disciplinary action. Her work has been published in numerous book chapters and articles in scholarly journals. Mustian’s studies have been supported with grants from the U.S. Department of Education and the Illinois State Board of Education. She has been honored with Teaching Initiative Awards in 2013 and 2014, and a Faculty Mentor Award in 2013. Mustian joined the faculty in 2010.
Assistant Professor of Theatre and Dance Will Daddario practices theatre historiography and performance philosophy. His research on sixteenth century Venetian theatre and performance has been published in The Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism, Ecumenica, anthologies such as Adorno and Performance, and chapters in books such as Theatre/Performance Historiography: Time, Space, Matter. Daddario is the chair of the Performance and Philosophy Working Group within Performance Studies international and a core convener of Performance Philosophy.
Assistant Professor of Geography Matthew Himley researches the socio-environmental dimensions of natural resource development, especially on the mining industry in Peru. He performed his doctoral research under a Fulbright-Hayes fellowship in the Andes Mountains. His work has been published in such journals as Geographical Review, the Oxford Bibliographies in Geography, and The Encyclopedia of Sustainability. Joining the faculty in 2010, he earned the University’s Teaching Initiative Award in 2013 and 2014.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry Jeremy Driskell studies how fast antibodies can bind to viruses. His work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Defense, which looked to Driskell’s team to help soldiers exposed to illness or bioterrorism. Joining the faculty at Illinois State in 2011, his work exploiting the optical properties of gold nanoparticle has been published in scholarly journals such as Talanta, Chemical Communications and Analytical Chemistry, and his book chapters include entries in Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology and Functional Nanoparticles for Bioanalysis, Nanomedicine, and Bioeletronic Devices.
Find additional information on Founders Day.