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Outstanding Researcher Awards bestowed on five ISU faculty

Posted March 30, 2009

Five Idaho State University faculty have been named as 2009 Outstanding Researchers and will be honored at a reception in early April. One will receive the 2009 Distinguished Researcher Award at Commencement on May 9.

The 2009 Outstanding Researchers are Jennifer Eastman Attebery, professor and director of the folklore and American studies programs; Terry Bowyer, professor and chair of the Department of Biological Sciences; Karl Madaras-Kelly, professor of pharmacy; Russell Wahl, professor and director of the philosophy program; and Maria Wong, associate professor of psychology.

“Idaho State University is extremely fortunate to have faculty with such dedication to world-class research. Our students, faculty, staff, and community benefit from their professional expertise and national recognition,” said Pamela Crowell, ISU vice president for research.

Jennifer Eastman AtteberyAttebery earned her Ph.D. in folklore and American studies at Indiana University in 1985. She directs the American studies and folklore programs at Idaho State University, where she is a professor of English. Her research focuses on folk culture and history of the Rocky Mountain West in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Her main contribution to these fields has been an expanded understanding of the multicultural West, in both material and verbal folklore genres. Attebery’s refereed publications include three books. Among them is Up in the Rocky Mountains: Writing the Swedish Immigrant Experience, published in July 2007. Her articles also have been published by the refereed journals Scandinavian Studies, American Studies in Scandinavia, Journal of the Folklore Institute and Pioneer America. Her book Building Idaho (University of Idaho Press, 1991) won the Idaho Book Award. She was a 2008 ISU Outstanding Researcher.

Terry BowyerBowyer earned his Ph.D. in natural resources from the University of Michigan in 1985. He joined the faculty at ISU in 2004 following 18 years at the Institute of Arctic Biology, and Department of Biology and Wildlife at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The Arctic Institute of North America and The Wildlife Society. He has received the Arthur S. Einarsen Award from the Northwest Section of The Wildlife Society, The Distinguished Moose Biologists Award and the C. Hart Merriam Award from the American Society of Mammalogists. His research also earned three Outstanding Publication Awards from The Wildlife Society, two for monographs and one for an article. His research interests include the ecology and behavior of large mammals, and he has published extensively on sexual segregation and birth-site selection in ungulates.

Karl Madaras-KellyMadaras-Kelly earned a doctorate in pharmacy and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in infectious diseases/pharmacokinetics from the University of Minnesota. He has been a professor in the ISU Department of Pharmacy Practice since 1994, working off-campus at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Boise. To broaden his research skills, he earned a master’s degree in public health from ISU in 2006. Madaras-Kelly’s three major areas of research are in the areas of infectious diseases, epidemiology and pharmacy. His work has significantly contributed to new knowledge on antibiotic resistance, the effects of antibiotics on the body and “health outcomes” research. Overall, his “scholarly output” while at ISU has resulted in around $500,000 in competitive grants, clinical and research contracts; 22 peer-reviewed manuscripts, six book chapters and 32 abstracts. His research has been cited more than 235 times by other authors in infectious diseases, epidemiology, pharmacy and medicine journals.

Russell Wahl

Wahl earned his Ph.D. in philosophy from Indiana University in 1982. He joined the ISU faculty in 1985, and has spent five summers as a professor at Harvard University. He was an Outstanding Researcher in 1994. He also was awarded for Outstanding Public Service in 1997. His research has focused on two periods in the history of philosophy: the Early Modern Period (17th century) and the analytic philosophy of the early 20th century. His work focuses on the philosophers Descartes, Russell, and Wittgenstein and has been published in several high level publications; for instance he has papers in the British Journal of the History of Philosophy, the Philosophical Quarterly, and the Journal of the History of Philosophy, journals with acceptance rates of 5 percent or lower.

He was commissioned to write a piece on the “Port Royal Logic” for the Handbook of the History of Logic, an international collaborative venture at the highest level. A reviewer stated “Wahl could hardly have been asked to write this contribution to it if he had not [been] recognized as one of the chief experts on the topic.” Wahl has been invited to present at prestigious conferences. He has accomplished this work and gained a reputation as an esteemed scholar while teaching a full load of coursework and providing valuable service to ISU and his colleagues.

Maria WongWong earned a Ph.D. in psychology and human development from the University of Chicago, and was a research fellow at the University of Michigan’s Addiction Research Center and its Institute for Social Research. She has been at ISU since 2004. She is a developmental psychologist with expertise in quantitative psychology. Her overarching research objective is “to understand the factors that promote psychological well-being, resilience, and adaptive functioning in both high risk and normal populations.” Most of her 14 publications have appeared in journals that rank in the top 10 in their field. Her research – particularly that on “Sleep problems in early childhood and early onset of substance use” and “Behavioral control and resiliency in childhood and the onset of alcohol and illicit drug use in adolescence” ¬– has received national and international recognition and wide media coverage. As a principal investigator she has been awarded about $285,000 in research funds.