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Announcement of the 2014-2015 Jefferson Science Fellows

The 2014-2015 Jefferson Science Fellows (JSF) is the tenth class of Fellows selected since the program was established in 2003 as an initiative of the Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the U.S. Secretary of State. The Jefferson Science Fellows Program is designed to further build capacity for science, technology and engineering expertise within the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The 2013-2014 JSFs were selected in February 2013 and will begin their one-year assignments in Washington, DC on August 11, 2014. The 2014-2015 Jefferson Science Fellows are:

James E. Alleman
Iowa State University

Dr. James E. Alleman is a Professor of Environmental Engineering with Iowa State University’s Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering program. Joining ISU in 2005 after completing a Fulbright Research-Scholar assignment at the Technical University of Crete in Xania, Greece, he served as a Departmental Chair for six years. Dr. Alleman’s additional career appointments sequentially included the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps in Okinawa, Japan (1972-1975), the University of Maryland (1978-1982), the University of Leeds (1989), and Purdue University (1982-2005). While at Purdue, he served as both an Assistant Head for the School of Civil Engineering and as an Associate Director for a NASA-sponsored NSCORT Advanced Life Support research center where he managed projects connected with water, air, and waste management strategies for deep-space missions. His current academic and research interests are aligned with the field of environmental engineering, with emphasis on sustainable engineering systems in relation to water, wastewater, and transportation infrastructure.

Robert Axelrod
University of Michigan

Dr. Robert Axelrod is the Walgreen Professor for the Study of Human Understanding at the University of Michigan. He has appointments in the Department of Political Science and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. Prior to coming to Michigan he taught at the University of California, Berkeley (1968-74). He holds a BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago (1964), and a PhD in political science from Yale (1969). He is best known for his interdisciplinary work on the evolution of cooperation which has been cited more than 30,000 times. His current research interests include international security, including cyber conflict. Among his honors and awards are membership in the National Academy of Sciences, a five year MacArthur Prize Fellowship, the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences for an outstanding contribution to science, and the National Academy of Sciences Award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War. He served as President of the American Political Science Association (2006-07).

Alice Bean
University of Kansas

Dr. Alice Bean is a Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Kansas. She is an experimental particle physicist and works with the Compact Muon Solenoid collaboration at the Large Hadron Collider. In addition to studying Higgs boson decays, she helps to design and build detectors made of silicon. With grants from the National Science Foundation, she has created research abroad activities for dozens of undergraduate and graduate students. With artists and other educators at the University of Kansas, she created the Quarked! Adventures in the Subatomic Universe project ( which seeks to create entertaining educational experiences for youth and others to learn about particle physics and other science topics. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society.

Concetta C. DiRusso
University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Dr. Concetta C. DiRusso is a Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her current research interests are in nutritional fatty acids and determining their impact on human health. These studies led to the identification of inhibitors that attenuate fatty acid transport, which may be useful in treating obesity and related pathologies. She holds three patents for this work. Her early studies using a bacterial model system was paradigm shifting by describing the mechanistic details of how a fatty acid-responsive transcription factor regulates genes involved in both fatty acid oxidation and biosynthesis. Her research program has been continually supported by external grants since 1988. Dr. DiRusso has provided peer review service to NIH and NSF and has served on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Biological Chemistry. She was Chair of the University of Nebraska Faculty Committee for ADVANCE-NE from 2008-2013, which developed best practices for recruitment, advancement and retention of women tenure-track faculty in STEM.

Thomas L. Crisman
University of South Florida

Dr. Thomas L. Crisman is a Professor in the Department of Integrative Biology and the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health at University of South Florida in Tampa. He received his PhD in Zoology (limnology) from Indiana University and after a postdoctoral period at University of Minnesota, joined the faculty of the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences at University of Florida, where he was professor for 30 years and Director of the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands. He has been on the faculty of University of South Florida for 8 years. He has been a Fulbright scholar in Greece and Turkey. Dr. Crisman’s research centers on the ecology, management, restoration and conservation of freshwater wetlands, lakes and rivers globally, and he has extensive experience in Latin America, Africa, Europe and the Middle East. He currently is working on interdisciplinary approaches to ecohydrology and ecohealth.

Steve Greenbaum
Hunter College (CUNY)

Dr. Steve Greenbaum is a Professor of Physics at Hunter College (CUNY), Executive Officer of the PhD Program in Physics at the CUNY Graduate Center, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society. Dr. Greenbaum earned his PhD in Physics from Brown University. He was an NRC Postdoc at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC, and spent sabbatical years as a Fulbright Scholar at the Weizmann Institute of Science and Senior Research Fellow at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has held Visiting Professorships at Stony Brook University, Rutgers University, Tel Aviv University, University of Paris, University of Padova, and University of Rome. Dr. Greenbaum’s research involves spectroscopic studies of disordered solids by magnetic resonance and synchrotron x-ray absorption, most recently on materials for electrochemical energy storage and conversion (i.e. batteries and fuel cells). He has authored or co-authored over 200 peer reviewed publications and given over 50 invited talks at national or international conferences, and received the NSF-sponsored 2002 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

David P. Hajjar
Cornell University

Dr. David P. Hajjar is the Rhodes Professor of Cardiovascular Biology and Genetics, and Dean Emeritus at Cornell University. He received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of New Hampshire in 1978, and did post-doctoral training at Cornell University Medical College and The Rockefeller University. His research interests have focused on the role of viruses and inflammation in arterial cholesterol trafficking, receiving more than $110 million dollars in federal (NIH) and non-federal research support over his career to study the pathogenesis of heart disease. Dr. Hajjar has received numerous scientific awards from national societies (American Heart Assoc., FASEB); and, he has been a Fulbright Scholar as well as a Senior Fellow at the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government specializing in diplomacy and public policy as they relate to science policy development in the Middle East.

Melinda Laituri
Colorado State University

Dr. Melinda Laituri is a Professor of Geography in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Sustainability at Colorado State University. She is the Director of the Geospatial Centroid at CSU. Professor Laituri received her PhD from the University of Arizona in 1993. She is a Fulbright Scholar to Botswana at the Center for Scientific Research, Indigenous Knowledge, and Innovation, University of Botswana. She is Rachel Carson Fellow for Environment and Society at the Ludwig Maximillian University, Munich. Professor Laituri is a former National Science Foundation program officer in Geography and Spatial Sciences. Her research interests include geospatial technologies in participatory resource assessment, disaster management, and water resources.

David Lodge
University of Notre Dame

Dr. David Lodge is the founder and Director of the University of Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative (ND-ECI), which focuses on the interrelated problems of invasive species, land use, and climate change, and their synergistic impacts on water resources. Dr. Lodge is one of the world’s leading experts on aquatic invasive species, and has extensive research experience in ecological forecasting and risk assessment, publishing over 180 scientific papers. He has testified numerous times before the U.S. Congress. Dr. Lodge also served as the first chair of the U.S. government’s national Invasive Species Advisory Committee in 2000-01, led research on freshwater biodiversity as part of the United Nations’ Millennium Ecosystem Assessment in 2000-05, and led an expert subcommittee providing advice to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on reducing invasions from the ballast water of ships in 2010-11. He is a member of the scientific advisory boards of NOAA and the International Joint Commission. Dr. Lodge has a long history of partnering with outside organizations such as The Nature Conservancy to help translate and transfer his scientific work to the public policy arena.

Daniel B. Oerther
Missouri University of Science and Technology

Dr. Daniel B. Oerther is the Mathes Chair of Environmental Health Engineering at Missouri S&T. He is a licensed professional engineer and board certified by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists. Dan earned his BA in biology and his BS in environmental engineering from Northwestern University, his MS and doctorate in environmental engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and he has completed graduate coursework in microbial ecology (Marine Biology Laboratory), public health (The Johns Hopkins University), and public administration (Indiana University, Bloomington). Multidisciplinary by training and by choice, Dr. Oerther collaborates with engineers, scientists, health care professionals, and policy makers to ensure universal access to water and sanitation, to combat the obesity epidemic and malnutrition, and to eliminate extreme poverty through entrepreneurship. His awards include NSF CAREER, the Fulbright-Nehru and Fulbright-Pai fellowships to India, and the inaugural Fulbright-ALCOA distinguished chair to Brazil. Dr. Oerther is a lifetime honorary member of the International Honor Society of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau and he has held elected office in the AAEES and the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors.

Anil Pahwa
Kansas State University

Dr. Anil Pahwa is the Logan-Fetterhoof Endowed Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Kansas State University and a Fellow of IEEE. He received his PhD from Texas A&M University in 1983, MS from University of Maine in 1979, and B E (Honors) from BITS-Pilani, India in 1975, all in electrical engineering. Dr. Pahwa received the Staszesky Distribution Automation Award in 2012 and the Prize Paper Award in 2013 from IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES). He served as Chair of the IEEE PES Power and Energy Education Committee in 2012 and 2013, and presently he is an editor of IEEE Transactions on Power Systems. He received the Erickson Public Service Award in 2011 and Frankenhoff Outstanding Research Award in 2012 from the College of Engineering of Kansas State University. Dr. Pahwa's research and teaching interests include smart grid, distribution system planning, intelligent computational methods for power systems, renewable energy, and sustainability. He has worked on several research projects sponsored by the utilities in Kansas, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy.

Martin Richardson
University of Central Florida

Dr Martin Richardson, Director of the Townes Laser Institute, Professor of Optics, Physics and ECE, a Trustee Chair, Pegasus Professor and the Northrop-Grumman Professor of X-ray Photonics at the University of Central Florida, is a physicist and an expert in high power lasers, laser-plasmas and applications of lasers. Educated at Imperial College and London University, he previously held positions at NRC-Canada and the University of Rochester. He has established extensive collaborations and serves on boards in many countries, and has held visiting appointments in Germany, France, Japan, UK, Australia, Qatar and the former Soviet Union. Dr. Richardson has directed several large national laser research programs, and has supervised ~70 MS and PhD students from many universities. He has published over 430 professional articles, has written over a dozen book chapters, holds ~25 patents, and has chaired many international conferences. Dr. Richardson is a recipient of the Schardin Medal, the Harold E. Edgerton Award and is a Fellow of OSA, IEEE, APS and SPIE. In December 2013 he was honored with the ‘Docteur Honoris Causa’ of the University of Bordeaux.

Charles R. Santerre
Purdue University

Dr. Charles R. Santerre is a Professor of Food Toxicology in the College of Health and Human Sciences at Purdue University where he also served as the Interim Head of the School of Health Sciences. In 2010, he served as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Policy Technology Fellow and was sponsored by the USDA, Food Safety Inspection Service, Office of Public Health Science, Risk Assessment Division where he developed a vision for identifying and measuring emerging contaminants in meat, poultry, and egg products. Dr. Santerre serves as a food safety expert for the International Life Sciences Institute of North America, for the International Food Information Council, and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). He holds degrees in Human Nutrition (BS), and Environmental Toxicology & Food Science (PhD), both from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Purdue University in 1998, he served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Environmental Sciences Program at The Ohio State University and as an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Health Science Program and the Interdepartmental Toxicology Program at the University of Georgia.