POSTPONED: The University Research Awards have been postponed in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. 

Andrew Hartman of the Department of History and John Sedbrook of the School of Biological Sciences have been named Outstanding University Researchers. Melissa Oresky of the Wonsook Kim School of Art and Carl Schimmel of the School of Music will receive awards for Outstanding University Creative Activity. They will be honored at the University Research Awards at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Hancock Stadium Club. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Ladan Bahmani of the Wonsook Kim School of Art will receive the Creative Activity Initiative Award. Research Initiative Awards will be presented to Matthew Aldeman of the Department of Technology; Tenley J. Banik of the Department of Geography, Geology, and the Environment; Jennifer Barnes of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences; Ashley K. Farmer of the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences; Daniel G. Lannin of the Department of Psychology; Alice Y. Lee of the School of Teaching & Learning; Taeok Park of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders; Scott Pierce of the School of Kinesiology and Recreation; and Lindsey J. Thomas of the School of Communication.

Also recognized at the event will be the winners of the James L. Fisher Outstanding Thesis Award, the Sorensen Dissertation Award, the Three-Minute Thesis winner, and the winners of the Image of Research competition.

Andrew Hartman
Dr. Andrew Hartman is a professor in the Department of History, where he teaches courses in U.S. history, the philosophy of history, and teaching methods. Hartman received his Ph.D. in history from George Washington University in 2006. He was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark in 2013-14, and he was the Fulbright British Library Eccles Center Research Scholar in 2018-19. He is an Organization of American Historians (OAH) Distinguished Lecturer for the 2015-2021 period. Hartman was also the founding president of the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH), and he wrote for the Society’s award-winning blog from 2007 until 2018. He has been published in a host of academic and popular venues, including the Washington Post, Baffler, The Chronicle of Higher Education, the Journal of American Studies, Reviews in American History, Salon, and Jacobin. He co-hosts a podcast dedicated to history titled, “Trotsky and the Wild Orchids.”

John Sedbrook
Dr. John Sedbrook is a professor of genetics in the School of Biological Sciences at Illinois State University, having earned his Ph.D. in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and performed postdoctoral research at the Carnegie Institution at Stanford University. Sedbrook’s research uses cutting-edge molecular methods including CRISPR gene editing to improve plants for their use in generating biofuels, food, feed, and industrial products. Sedbrook has secured millions of dollars in federal and private funding and published in prestigious scientific journals including Science and Nature. Sedbrook was a founding member of the Department of Energy’s Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), which receives $25 million annually to perform basic and translational research aimed at breaking barriers to generating liquid biofuels economically and sustainably. Sedbrook and students in his laboratory have been leaders in domesticating pennycress as an oilseed-producing cash cover crop to be grown throughout the 80 million-acre U.S. Midwest Corn Belt and beyond.

Melissa Oresky
Melissa Oresky’s art practice is rooted in painting and collage, and her primary production is mixed media works on canvas and paper. Oresky is interested in landscape, and considers it as a concept that bridges painting, lived experience, environmental consciousness, and imagination. Oresky has shown her work in painting, collage, and video nationally and internationally, with recent shows at Tripod Space Project, Busan, South Korea; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, Illinois; Minnesota State University, Mankato; and K. Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco. She also co-organized and participated in the project Collage Office, an experimental, charitable platform for artists to make work for visitors by appointment at The Franklin, Chicago. Oresky holds a bachelor’s degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has attended residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, and The Santa Fe Art Institute, New Mexico. Originally from Maryland, she lives and works in Normal, Illinois, where she is a Professor of Painting and Drawing at Illinois State University.

Carl Schimmel
Dr. Carl Schimmel was the winner of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, Columbia University’s Joseph Bearns Prize, the Lee Ettelson Award, a 2018 Commission from Harvard University’s Fromm Foundation, and the 2017 Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Schimmel has received honors and awards from many organizations, including the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Copland House, New Music USA, and ASCAP. Schimmel is an associate professor of music theory and composition and co-director of the RED NOTE New Music Festival at ISU. His works have been performed in Carnegie Hall’s Weill Hall, Merkin Hall in New York, Severance Hall in Cleveland, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London, Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, and at other venues throughout North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. He has received performances and commissions from the American Composers Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, California EAR Unit, the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the New England Philharmonic, the Mexico City Woodwind Quintet, and many others. Recordings of his music are available on the Albany Records, New Focus Recordings, Arizona University Recordings, Navona Records, Blue Griffin, and Crescent Phase labels. He earned a doctorate at Duke University with a master’s degree from the Yale School of Music.

For additional information, contact the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at or (309) 438-2528.