Accolades: Doctoral Student, Faculty Earn Honors

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of UT Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager.


Graduate Student Wins Microbiology Award

Hannah Adams

Hannah Adams

Hannah Adams BS’12, MS’14, a doctoral student in biological sciences at UT Dallas, has been named one of two recipients of the 2016-17 Eugene and Millicent Goldschmidt Graduate Student Award from the Texas Branch of the American Society for Microbiology. The $9,000 award was established in 2011 to recognize female graduate students studying microorganisms. 

Adams’ dissertation advisor, Dr. Kelli Palmer, assistant professor of biological sciences, said Adams will use the funds not only to support her research on antibiotic resistance, but also for professional and career development.

“Hannah has been highly productive in her research on daptomycin resistance, while also devoting significant time to teaching and mentoring,” Palmer said. “The Goldschmidt Award will allow her to further develop her teaching and mentoring skills by supporting her travel to conferences and workshops. I am so pleased that the Texas Branch of ASM honored her with this award.” 

Established in 1899, the American Society for Microbiology is the oldest and largest single life-science membership organization in the world, with more than 39,000 members worldwide. The Texas branch was started in 1941.


Bioengineer Honored for Neurotechnology Research

Dr. Joseph Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph Pancrazio

Dr. Joseph Pancrazio, associate provost and bioengineering professor at UT Dallas, has been named Neurotechnology Researcher of the Year for 2016 by the industry newsletter Neurotech Reports.

Neurotech Reports editor James Cavuoto said the organization looked at Pancrazio’s academic and research accomplishments, and his impact on the development and maturation of the neurotechnology industry. Neurotechnology is used to understand and influence the brain and nervous system for the purposes of improving health, education and information technology.

“Throughout his career in academia and in government, Joe Pancrazio has demonstrated a keen understanding of the technological, translational and regulatory issues involved with developing new therapies for neurological disorders,” Cavuoto said. “As a researcher, program director and administrator, he has helped usher in a new generation of neural interfaces, identifying new materials and neural circuits that will prove to be critical in future neurotech devices and therapies.”

Pancrazio’s research in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science focuses on the development and demonstration of novel neural interface technology for both in vitro and in vivo applications.


Jindal Professors Win Best Teaching Case Study Award

Dr. Serdar Simsek

Dr. Serdar Simsek

Operations management assistant professor Dr. Serdar Simsek and professor Dr. Metin Cakanyildirim recently were awarded the 2016 Best Teaching Case Study award from Decision Sciences Institute at its recent annual meeting in Austin.

Simsek and Cakanyildirim were among the finalists chosen to present their cases at the conference.

Their case, “RestA Mattress,” provides readers with insights about the operations of recently merged companies while giving them hands-on experience in applying the techniques and principles of operations management in a relevant context. The case asks readers to determine the type of data required for the analysis and to collect them from publicly accessible resources. 

Dr. Metin Cakanyildirim

Dr. Metin Cakanyildirim

The analytical case involves parameter estimation and joint optimization over merged supply networks. It qualitatively lays out synergies in a merger and evaluates them, establishing a link to mergers and acquisitions literature in finance. A link to organizational behavior is made through the discussion of challenges faced by a female, recent-graduate analyst. The case also highlights outsourcing of some logistics operations, the risks involved and hedging strategies.

The Decision Sciences Institute is a professional organization of academicians and practitioners interested in the application of quantitative and behavioral methods to the problems of society.


Criminology Professor Chairs MacArthur Foundation Meeting

Dr. Alex Piquero

Dr. Alex Piquero

Dr. Alex Piquero, Ashbel Smith Professor of Criminology, served as the chair of a recent meeting held by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to address Hispanic and Latino communities and criminal justice reform.

“I was honored and humbled to have been asked by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to lead this meeting of a small group of distinguished leaders in both academia and practice,” Piquero said. “Our goal is to identify research gaps and key theoretical and policy issues that will help inform the foundation about these issues within the context of its Safety and Justice Challenge, which focuses on jail and incarceration misuse and overuse as well as racial and ethnic disparities in the administration of justice more broadly.”

Piquero, associate dean for graduate programs in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, was also a longtime member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on Adolescent Development and Juvenile Justice. He helped create and has conducted research for the network’s prominent longitudinal study, Pathways to Desistance, which tracks serious youth offenders over time to inform public policy regarding juvenile offenders. The network’s research was noted in several U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the mid- to late 2000s.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].