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Five Idaho State University faculty members honored with 2017 Outstanding Researcher Awards

April 5, 2017

POCATELLO – Five Idaho State University faculty members have received 2017 Outstanding Researcher Awards and will be honored at a reception on April 11.

One Outstanding Researcher will receive the 2017 ISU Distinguished Researcher Award. The winner will be announced at ISU commencement on May 6.

The faculty members who will receive ISU Outstanding Researcher Awards are Jessica Winston, professor of English, chair of the Department of History; Karl Madaras-Kelly, professor, College of Pharmacy, located in Meridian; Erin Rasmussen, professor, Department of Psychology; Thom Hasenpflug, chair and professor, Department of Music and co-director of the School for Performing Arts; Raphael Chijioke Njoku, chair of the Department of Global Studies, program director of Department of International studies, and history professor.

“These researchers, all outstanding in their individual fields, represent the breadth and variety of research at Idaho State University,” said Cornelis Van der Schyf, vice president for research and dean of the ISU Graduate School. “The culture of discovery is rich at ISU, and these faculty members exemplify the pursuit of academic and research excellence.”

Biographies of honorees appear below.

Jessica Winston portrait.• Jessica Winston – Winston is professor of English and chair of the Department of History.

Her research focuses on early modern England, especially the literary culture of the early English law schools and legal societies, the Inns of Court, and the reception of the plays of the ancient Roman tragedian Seneca.

She is the author of “Lawyers at Play: Literature, Law, and Politics at the Early Modern Inns of Court, 1558-1581” (Oxford University Press, 2016) and co-editor of “Elizabethan Seneca: Three Tragedies (Modern Humanities Research Association” (2012).

Her work has been supported by grants and fellowships from the Idaho Humanities Council, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Winston has connected her research with public outreach, giving talks to Idaho chapters of the professional lawyers' association, the American Inns of Court, on the relationship between the American and English Inns. Winston teaches courses in composition, early British literature, literary analysis, drama, and Shakespeare.

She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Wellesley College and her Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Karl Madaras-Kelly portrait.• Karl Madaras-Kelly – Madaras-Kelly is a professor in the College of Pharmacy located in Meridian. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in pharmacy in 1991 and a Doctor of Pharmacy in 1992 from the University of Minnesota. He then completed an Infectious Diseases/Pharmacokinetics Fellowship at the University of Minnesota and St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center. He received his Masters of Public Health in 2006 from ISU.

Madaras-Kelly practices at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center where he conducts clinical research and serves as manager for the local antimicrobial stewardship program.

Since 2011, Madaras-Kelly has been involved in design, implementation, and evaluation of antibiotic stewardship quality-improvement activities across the Veterans Healthcare Administration (VHA) serving as a consultant for the National Antimicrobial Stewardship Task Force, VHA Medication Safety Program (MedSAFE), and the VHA Office of Academic Detailing.

Madaras-Kelly has given many presentations, and authored numerous manuscripts on a variety of issues related to infectious diseases.

He has received more than $1.6 million in grant support from the National Institutes of Health, VHA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pharmacy professional societies and the pharmaceutical industry. His research interests focusing on appropriate antimicrobial use span the disciplines of epidemiology, health systems research, implementation science, and measurement of health outcomes.

As a clinician scientist, Madaras-Kelly works with clinician trainees to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into healthcare practice. He has mentored numerous professional and post-graduate trainees in design, analysis, and dissemination of research and quality improvement projects.

Erin Rasmussen portrait.• Erin Rasmussen – Rasmussen conducts translational research in the area of obesity. She has two laboratories, animal and human, that are dedicated to examining behavioral economic and neural correlates of behaviors and decision-making involved in obesity. Her animal work examines the extent to which dopaminergic, endocannainoid, and opioid neurotransmitter systems affect the value of food reinforcement in diet-induced and genetic rodent models of obesity.

Her recent work in this area has shown that high-fat, high-sugar diets influence reward processes in delay discounting—a measure of impulsive food choice.

Her human work examines how aspects of food availability impact decision making for food. One example of this is the finding that obese individuals tend to prefer more immediate food outcomes (that is, they are more impulsive) than healthy-weight controls.

She recently was awarded a three-year research grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate the relations among food insecurity, diet, obesity and food impulsivity in humans. She is also collaborating on a grant with researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in the Czech Republic.

She has almost 40 peer-reviewed publications to date, many of which involve ISU graduate and undergraduate student co-authors. Rasmussen is also an associate editor of the flagship journal, The Behavior Analyst, for her major professional organization-- the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and has also served on the ABAI Science Board.

She has supervised five doctoral dissertations, four master’s theses, and one undergraduate honors thesis, almost all of which have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Thom Hasenpflug portrait.Thom Hasenpflug – Hasenpflug is nationally recognized as a unique performer and educational voice, and his compositions for percussion receive international recognition and are played all over the world.He has presented performances, clinics, residencies, and master classes at many universities, high schools, festivals, and society functions. A prize-winning composer, he has been commissioned by some of the field’s leading percussionists. His percussion quartet, Bicksa, remains one of the most widely programmed collegiate percussion works of the past 25 years. International performances of his works have occurred in Vienna, London, Barcelona, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Dublin, Rio de Janiero, Venezuela, and Sweden, by various percussionists of note.

As a principal member of the Idaho State Civic Symphony, he recently premiered his original concerto for percussion titled “Four Mischiefs.” He has furthermore performed as a member of numerous organizations, including as principal in the South Dakota Symphony, and in symphonic and freelance capacities with artists as diverse as Bela Fleck, Peter Cetera, the Moody Blues, Blood Sweat and Tears, and many others.

He received his degrees in percussion and composition from Ithaca College and the University of Colorado. He has held prior teaching posts at Drake University, the University of South Dakota, Emporia State University and the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts.

Hasenpflug has percussion works published through K.P.P. (a division of Malletech – MPI), Alfred Music, Bachovich Music, and C. Alan Publications, as well as his own label, “Hasenworks.” He is a product endorser of Pro-Mark Sticks, Remo Drumheads and Sabian Cymbals. "

Raphael Njoku portrait.• Raphael Njoku – Njoku, Departments of History and Global Studies and Languages, was a first-class honors graduate of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Nigeria’s 16th Rhodes Scholar-elect.

He received a doctorate in political science from Vrije University, Belgium, in 2001, and a doctorate in African history from Dalhousie University, Canada, in 2003.

His research specialty is African history and African politics. He is the author of “Culture and Customs of Morocco” (2005) and “African Cultural Values: Igbo Political Leadership in Colonial Nigeria 1900–1966” (2006) and is coeditor of “Missions, States, and European Expansion in Africa” (2007), “War and Peace in Africa” (2010), “Africa and the Wider World” (2010), “The History of Somalia” (2013), “Igbo in the Atlantic World: African origins and Diasporic Destinations” (2016), and “The Igbo in an Age of Globalization: Reflections on Culture, Language and Social Reordering” (2017).

Njoku has also published 38 scholarly articles in international journals and edited volumes. Some of his awards include the Distinguished Research Award in the Category of Social Sciences (2009), Indiana University Library Residency Award (2009), Victor Olurunsola Endowed Research Award (2007), and the Schomburg Center award for Research in Black Studies (2006–2007).

Njoku is currently the chair of the Department of Global Studies and Languages at ISU.