Faculty Achievements

Eric Ziolkowski awarded book honor

Eric Ziolkowski sits with stained glass artwork behind himEncyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception Online, which Eric Ziolkowski, Helen H.P. Manson Professor of Bible and department head of religious studies, has helped produce as both a main editor and contributing author, has been selected as one of the few Outstanding Electronic Academic Titles for 2020 by Choice, a publishing unit of the Association of College & Research Libraries, the largest division of the American Library Association. The award recognizes “outstanding works for their excellence in presentation and scholarship, the significance of their contribution to the field, their originality and value as an essential treatment of their subject, and significance in building undergraduate collections.”

The first volume of Ziolkowski’s edited handbook, The Bible in Folklore Worldwide: A Handbook of Biblical Reception in Jewish, European Christian, and Islamic Folklores, is called “a revolutionary book, shifting the research paradigm of ‘folklore in the Bible’ to ‘the Bible in folklore’” in a book review by Dan Ben-Amos, a noted specialist in Jewish and African folklore at Penn. The review appeared in last month’s Review of Biblical Literature.

Air Force supports Chun Wai Liew and Bob Kurt research

Bob Kurt and Chun Wai Liew smile

Bob Kurt, professor of biology (left) and Chun Wai Liew, associate professor of computer science and department head (right)

Chun Wai Liew, associate professor of computer science and department head, and Bob Kurt, professor of biology, received a second grant to support their ongoing research on how machines and humans can work together to communicate better. The $300,000 grant, “Conversations between Man and Machine,” the second three-year grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, will help Liew and Kurt continue their collaboration to improve the efficiency of human research by using computers to accelerate complex problem-solving.

Liew, with the support of the first Air Force grant, created a program that runs virtual experiments to make predictions and gives Kurt feedback so he can tweak his lab experiments on the immune system’s response to cancer in an informed and expedited way. Kurt could uncover the signaling process that occurs in one protein of a cell at a time, a slow process that can take years. But that research is accelerated by the collaboration with Liew.

As grant sponsor, the Air Force is interested in the research because of its implications for technology, such as automated planes and all the machinery and information that support electronic warfare. The grant also benefits students by exposing them to interdisciplinary challenges, problem-solving, and the rigors of research.

Lindsay Soh receives Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award

Lindsay Soh, Kate and Walter A. Scott ’59 Scholar in Engineering and associate professor of chemical and biomechanical engineering, received a 2020 Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award for her work in designing sustainable biorefinery products and processes using green chemistry and engineering. Soh was one of eight scholars to receive the award from the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation, which honors young faculty in the chemical sciences who have created an outstanding independent body of scholarship and are deeply committed to education with undergraduates. Each Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar receives an unrestricted research grant of $75,000.

Lindsay Soh wears goggles, gloves, white lab coat in the lab with a student

Lindsay Soh (left) with a student

Soh’s current and future research plans will build upon her experience and expertise in green chemistry/engineering, biomass processing, separations, and process design. Her plan is to use a fundamental approach toward understanding and implementing these tools for biorefining, with a specific focus on green solvents.

Read more about faculty research at bit.ly/37lYWjp