KSU researchers awarded at John C. Salerno Symposium

KENNESAW, Ga. | Mar 9, 2022

Two faculty researchers were recently recognized for their contributions in the fields of engineering and biology at Kennesaw State University’s John C. Salerno Memorial Research Symposium, which highlights a cross-section of faculty research.

Philippe Sucosky, associate professor of mechanical engineering, earned the John C. Salerno Prize for Research Achievement, and Ramya Rajagopalan, assistant professor of cellular biology, received the People’s Choice Award for Best Presentation at the Feb. 25 event.

Photo
Pictured from left: Scott Nowak, Ramya Rajagopalan, Philippe Sucosky, Bill Diong

The symposium was launched in 2018 to honor the academic legacy of Salerno, the Neel Distinguished Chair in Biotechnology prior to his death in 2015. Salerno was eminent in the field focusing on fundamental discoveries in free radical biology, spectroscopy and enzymology.

Sucosky’s presentation provided an overview of the experimental and computational strategies developed in the Multi-Scale Cardiovascular Bioengineering Laboratory to explore the complex relationships between heart valve biology and mechanics. Through his research, Sucosky demonstrated the significance of his findings to the management of cardiovascular disease. 

“It is a real honor to receive the Research Achievement Award for my first presentation at the Salerno Memorial Research Symposium,” Sucosky said. “Being part of this university-wide event that showcases the most innovative, cutting edge and impactful research across disciplines and colleges was a great privilege and opportunity to interact with KSU researchers and the community at large.”

Rajagopalan shared her exploration into myxobacteria, explaining that they serve as an excellent model system to study cell-to-cell communication.

“I was not fortunate to meet Dr. Salerno when I joined KSU, but I am glad I got the chance to present my work at a symposium in his honor,” Rajagopalan said. “The diversity and depth of the scholarly work done on campus is remarkable.”

The symposium also featured seven researchers who shared their latest discoveries with Kennesaw State students and faculty colleagues:

  • Anton Bryantsev, associate professor of developmental biology
    B-body and Organization of the Cell Nucleus
  • Graham Collier, assistant professor of chemistry
    Simple Synthesis of Solution-Processable Conjugated Polymers for Energy Capture, Storage, and Modulation
  • Anne DeMartini, assistant professor of sport management
    A Comparison of U.S. and Scotland Youth Soccer Coaches’ Legal Consciousness Regarding Concussion Safety Regulations
  • Amy Dunagin, assistant professor of history
    North and South: Climate Theory, Italian Passion, and English Unmusicality
  • Ji Hye Shin, part-time instructor of ESOL
    U.S. Preservice Teachers’ Digital Story Practices with Multilingual Learners in South Korea: Pedagogical Implications from the International Partnership 
  • Amaal Al Shenawa, assistant professor of construction management
    Environmentally Friendly Concrete
  • Sarah L. Young, associate professor of public administration
    KSU’s ASCEND Model: Addressing Academic Inequity for Students Facing Homelessness and Aging Out of Foster Care

The symposium is organized by KSU’s Office of Research, in conjunction with the John C. Salerno Memorial Fund.

– Meagan Lowney 
Photo by David Caselli


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.