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Provost's Research and Scholarship Award Past Winners

2017 Award Winner

Dr. Mahmood Shivji Receives Prestigious Provost’s Research and Scholarship Award from Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Executive Vice President and Provost Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., presented Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D., with the 7th Annual Provost’s Research and Scholarship Award.

The purpose of the award is to recognize a faculty member who has demonstrated significant achievement in support of NSU's mission to foster scholarship, intellectual inquiry, and academic excellence. Research and scholarship are two of NSU's eight core values, and excellence in these areas enhances education, patient care, and public service, and develops superior scholarship.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Executive Vice President and Provost Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., recently presented Nancy Klimas, M.D., with the 5th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award.

'We are proud of Dr. Shivji for exemplifying NSU's Core Values through his groundbreaking research in the field of conservation biology, ecology, and genomics, with a focus on open ocean fishes and coral reef ecosystems," said Rogers.

The announcement was made at the External Funding Recognition Reception, hosted by Gary S. Margules, Sc.D., vice president of NSU's Office of Research and Technology Transfer. At this event, faculty members from all disciplines across the university are recognized for their commitment to advancing their fields of study.

Shivji has achieved international recognition for his research, including genomics research on sharks that is pioneering in the field and his lab is currently the global research leader in this arena. This genomics work is also revealing the genetic underpinnings of the remarkable properties of sharks, including rapid woundhealing, which is leading the research into cross-disciplinary avenues combining marine science and biomedical research.

Shivji is the director of the NSU Guy Harvey Research Institute and the NSU Save Our Seas Shark Research Center. He is a senior investigator at the NSU DEEP-END research program and the NSU National Coral Reef Institute. His work is multi-disciplinary in approach, ranging from laboratory-based genetics/genomics to fieldwork-based studies of animal migration patterns and interactions with fisheries. His work, especially pertaining to various facets of shark and ray biology and conservation, is internationally recognized and has brought considerable external visibility to NSU for over two decades.

Previous Provosts Research and Scholarship Award winners include*:

  • 2016: Robert Speth, Ph.D., Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, NSU’s College of Pharmacy
  • 2015: Nancy Klimas, M.D., director of the NSU Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, professor of medicine, and chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at NSU’s College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2014: Sam Purkis, Ph.D., M.B.A, associate professor at NSU's Oceanographic Center
  • 2013: Raymond Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor and chair of NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
  • 2012: Bernard Riegl, Ph.D., associate director of the NSU's National Coral Reef Institute and professor at the Oceanographic Center
  • 2012: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., co-director for the NSU's Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities and professor in the Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies
  • 2011: Mark B. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, NSU's Center for Psychological Studies

*Denotes titles and college names at the time the award was presented

Photo Caption: (left to right) George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., NSU president & CEO; Richard Dodge, Ph.D., Dean Halmos College of Natural Sciences and Oceanography; Mahmood Shivji, Ph.D., recipient of NSU’s 7th Annual Provost’s Research and Scholarship Award; and Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., NSU executive vice president and provost

2016 Award Winner

In recognition of his significant contributions to Nova Southeastern University (NSU), Robert C. Speth, Ph.D., was named the recipient of the Sixth Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award. Dr. Speth is a researcher and professor of pharmaceutical sciences in NSU's College of Pharmacy.

Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., NSU executive vice president and provost, made the special announcement at the university's External Funding Recognition Reception, hosted by Gary S. Margules, Sc.D., NSU vice president of Research and Technology Transfer, at which faculty members from all disciplines across the university are recognized for their commitment to advancing their fields of study.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Executive Vice President and Provost Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., recently presented Nancy Klimas, M.D., with the 5th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award.

The Provost's Award honors a faculty member who has demonstrated significant achievement in support of NSU's mission to foster scholarship, intellectual inquiry, and academic excellence. Research and scholarship are two of NSU's eight core values, and excellence in these areas enhances education, patient care, and public service, and develops superior scholarship.

"Dr. Speth has distinguished himself as a researcher, an educator, and a staunch supporter of the NSU community," said Dr. Rogers. He has truly demonstrated what this award is meant to recognize: innovative and sustained activities in support of NSU's mission to foster intellectual inquiry, academic excellence, research and a dynamic learning environment."

"This is the greatest honor that has ever been bestowed upon me," said Dr. Speth. What makes it even greater is the fact that there are so many other incredibly talented faculty members in the NSU family who are also deserving of this recognition. I dedicate this award to my mentor Hank Yamamura who taught me to always make the best interests of my students my highest priority, and it is those very same students who paved the way for me to receive this honor."

Dr. Speth is widely recognized for his research on how angiotensin acts in the brain to regulate the cardiovascular system. In the course of his career, he has secured more than $1 million in funding for his research through 22 externally-funded projects.

Dr. Speth is a regular contributor to a variety of national publications and has served or is currently serving on the editorial boards of prestigious journals, including Regulatory Peptides, the Journal of Pharmacology & Clinical Toxicology and the International Journal of Peptides. He has served as an ad-hoc reviewer for 39 journals, including Science. He has also served the field as a grant reviewer for organizations including the American Heart Association, National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation.

Dr. Speth manages to be a leader in the research field while also offering countless hours to teaching endeavors. In addition to his classroom commitments, he has mentored countless high-school, undergraduate and graduate students, along with junior faculty members, working with him in his lab on various projects.

Dr. Speth and his wife, Janet, are Bronze members of NSU's Fellows Society which recognizes individuals, corporations, and trusts who have made cumulative gifts of $100,000-$249,999. This demonstrates Dr. Speth's investment in the advancement of NSU through the largest philanthropic campaign in its history, Realizing Potential, which aims to raise $250 million for student, faculty and 21st century education initiatives, with research integral to all three priorities.

Dr. Speth has received multiple honors, including election as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, his Master of Arts degree in Physiological Psychology from Connecticut College in New London, and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology and Psychology from Western Maryland College in Westminster (now McDaniel College).

Previous Provost's Research and Scholarship Award winners include*:

  • 2015: Nancy Klimas, M.D., director of the NSU Institute for Neuro-Immune Medicine, professor of medicine, and chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • 2014: Sam Purkis, Ph.D., M.B.A, associate professor at NSU's Oceanographic Center
  • 2013: Raymond Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor and chair of NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine
  • 2012: Bernard Riegl, Ph.D., associate director of the NSU's National Coral Reef Institute and professor at the Oceanographic Center
  • 2012: Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., co-director for NSU's Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities and professor in the Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies

2011: Mark B. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, NSU's Center for Psychological Studies

Photo Caption: (left to right) Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., NSU executive vice president and provost; Robert C. Speth, Ph.D., recipient of NSU's 6th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award; Lisa Deziel, Pharm.D., Ph.D., dean, NSU College of Pharmacy; Stanley Cohen, Ed.D., nominator of Dr. Speth; and George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., NSU president & CEO.

2015 Award Winner

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Executive Vice President and Provost Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., recently presented Nancy Klimas, M.D., with the 5th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award.

Nova Southeastern University (NSU) Executive Vice President and Provost Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., recently presented Nancy Klimas, M.D., with the 5th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award.

Klimas has achieved international recognition for her research and clinical efforts in multi-symptom disorders, chronic fatigue syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME), Gulf War illness {GWI), and fibromyalgia. Among many other honors, Klimas was the recipient of the 2014 Perpich Award by the International Association for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis {IACFS/ME) for distinguished community service. She also was featured as a 'Woman to Watchw on WFOR CBS 4.

She currently serves as director of NSU's Institute for Neuro-lmmune Medicine, professor of medicine, and chair of the Department of Clinical Immunology at NSU's College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is also professor emerita at the University of Miami School of Medicine, director of clinical immunology research at the Miami Veterans Affairs Medical Center {VAMC) and leads the GWI and ME/CFS clinical and research program at the Miami VA.

Klimas is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and a diplomate in diagnostic laboratory immunology. She is a past president of the IACFS/ME and is also a member of the VA Research Advisory Committee for GWI, the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) P2P CFS committee, and served on the Institute of Medicine's ME/CFS review panel.

Klimas has advised three U.S. secretaries of health and human services during her repeated service on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services CFS Advisory Committee. She is currently funded by the VA, Department of Defense and NIH to study these complex disorders using a systems biology approach with a strong focus on illness models that lead to therapeutic targets and clinical trials.

Photo Caption: Jacqueline A. Travisano, M.B.A., CPA, NSU executive vice president and chief operating officer; Gary S. Margules, Sc.D., vice president of NSU's Office of Research and Technology Transfer; Nancy Klimas, M.D., recipient of NSU's 5th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award; Ralph V. Rogers Jr., Ph.D., NSU executive vice president and provost; and H. Thomas Temple, M.D., NSU senior vice president of translational research and economic development.

Sam Purkis, Ph.D., M.B.A., Wins Provost's Research and Scholarship Award

Sam Purkis, Ph.D., M.B.A., Wins Provost's Research and Scholarship AwardProvost Ralph Rogers, Ph.D., recently presented Sam Purkis, Ph.D., Oceanographic Center, with the 4th Annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award. The announcement was made at the External Funding Recognition Reception.

Purkis is an internationally recognized Earth Scientist with an enviable publication record. In the fields of both geology and conservation biology, Sam has pioneered the use of satellite and aircraft remote sensing to make quantitative observations of coral reef environments. He has generated a new field of study that uses "morphometrics" (statistical instruments to mathematically capture the size and geometry of objects) to understand the landscape complexities of coral reef environments. Through the concept of comparative sedimentology, observations of present-day environments are used to aid in the interpretation of ancient sedimentary sequences. He has elevated this morphometric approach into a new and novel means of understanding the complexity of oil reservoirs and water aquifers.

Despite being only ten years since receiving his Ph.D., Sam Purkis has produced 69 peer-reviewed journal articles, and authored 3 books. His achievements in the field of remote sensing are buoyed by his successful external funding record, which has brought considerably more than three million dollars to NSU in recent years. While being an active researcher within NSU, Dr. Purkis has extensive teaching experience, student mentorship experience, is an active member of NSU's faculty community and involved with many ongoing initiatives.

Photo Caption: Richard Dodge, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, Oceanographic Center and Executive Director, National Coral Reef Institute; George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., president and CEO; Sam Purkis, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Oceanographic Center; Ralph V. Rogers, Jr., Ph.D., Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs; Gary Margules, Sc.D., vice president for research and technology transfer.

Ray Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. Wins Provost's Research and Scholarship Award

Ray Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A. Wins Provost's Research and Scholarship AwardPresident George Hanbury II, Ph.D., presented this year's Provost's Research and Scholarship Award to Ray Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., College of Osteopathic Medicine at the October 16, 2013 External Funding Recognition Reception.

Dr. Ray Ownby is a professor and chair in NSU's College of Osteopathic Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine. He was recently selected for inclusion in Best Doctors in America and is board certified in Adult Psychiatry, Psychosomatic Medicine, Behavioral Sleep Medicine, Clinical Neuropsychology, and Neuropsychiatry.

He has published more than 100 articles and has been the recipient of several research grants from the National Institutes of Health. Recently, Dr. Ownby and his team received a $1.35-million federal grant to create innovative methods to evaluate patients' health literacy. His research and clinical interests include examination of the ways in which stress, mood, and inflammation interact in older adults. He was the founder of the Brain Fitness Program in the Center on Aging at Miami, a program to help midlife and older adults maintain their mental fitness and has now created a brain fitness program at NSU.

Dr. Ownby has served as Contributing Editor, Section editor, and ad hoc reviewer for numerous prestigious peer-reviewed journals. He is a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

His ability to connect to students to enhance their education experience has been recognized with several teaching awards. During his years at NSU, Dr. Ownby has served a mentor to junior scientists in several disciplines across the NSU campus, and is an extraordinary collaborator. Dr. Ownby was nominated for this award by Dr. Robin Jacobs, College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Photo Caption: Gary Margules, Sc.D., Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer, George Hanbury II, Ph.D., President, Raymond Ownby, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., College of Osteopathic Medicine, Robin Jacobs, Ph.D., MSW, College of Osteopathic Medicine, Jacqueline Travisano, M.B.A., CPA.

Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D., and Steven Kurtz, Ph.D. Receive Provost's Research and Scholarship Award

Bernhard Riegl, PhD, Oceanographic Center, receives Provost's Scholarship and Research Award from Provost Frank DePiano.Provost Frank DePiano presented this year's Provost's Research and Scholarship Award, to two winners this year, Dr. Bernhard Riegl and Dr. Steven Kurtz, at the October 23, 2012 External Funding Recognition Reception.

Dr. Bernhard M. Riegl is the Associate Director of the National Coral Reef Institute and Professor at the Oceanographic Center. Dr. Riegl's career in coral reef research spans nearly two decades and a total of 123 peer-reviewed publications. He is an internationally renowned scientist, and Geology editor of the international scientific journal Coral Reefs, and editor of the book series Coral Reefs of the World. Dr. Riegl's external funding record includes the acquisition of approximately $25 million in external funding since 1993. Dr. Riegl's research centers on coral reefs and other tropical benthic biota, such as seagrass and algae. He is both a biologist and geologist, his research and publications have involved the paleontology, sedimentology, spatial dynamics, ecology, taxonomy and conservation biology of coral reefs and associated organisms. He is also active in hydrographic survey, particularly sonar-based seafloor discrimination, which he integrates with optical remote-sensing to provide high-resolution maps of the seafloor. His research has taken place in the Red Sea, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean, South Pacific, Eastern Pacific, tropical Atlantic and Caribbean.

Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., DAIS, receives Provost's Scholarship and Research Award from Provost Frank DePiano.Dr. Steven P. Kurtz is director for the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities and professor in the Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies. Dr. Kurtz is an internationally renowned scientist, whose research is helping to prevent and reduce substance abuse and HIV risk among vulnerable populations around the world. Prior to joining NSU, he was Senior Scientist and Associate Director, Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of Delaware. He has authored more than 40 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and has presented research findings at numerous high impact scientific conferences.

Dr. Kurtz has a long and illustrious history of private and federally sponsored clinical trials and grants. Dr. Kurtz has conducted research studies of substance use, sexual risk behaviors, related health and social problems, and intervention approaches among adolescents, young adults, women sex workers, men who have sex with men, and other vulnerable populations since 1995. His work has been instrumental in the development and testing of effective interventions to reduce HIV infection among populations at high risk. Dr. Kurtz is an appointed member of the Behavioral and Social Science Approaches to Preventing HIV/AIDS Study Section at the National Institutes of Health. He currently serves as a peer reviewer at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)'s Center for Scientific Review.

Photo Caption (Top Right): Bernhard Riegl, PhD, Oceanographic Center, receives Provost's Scholarship and Research Award from Provost Frank DePiano. From left to right: Richard Dodge, Ph.D., Dean and Professor, Oceanographic Center; Frank De Piano, Ph.D., Provost, Executive Vice President Academic Affairs; Bernhard Riegl, Ph.D., Associate Director of the National Coral Reef Institute and Professor, Oceanographic Center; George Hanbury II, PhD, President

Photo Caption (Bottom Right): Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., DAIS, receives Provost's Scholarship and Research Award from Provost Frank DePiano. From left to right: Kimberly Durham, Psy.D., Executive Dean, Institute for the Study of Human Service, Health and Justice, Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies; Frank De Piano, Ph.D., Provost, Executive Vice President Academic Affairs; Steven Kurtz, Ph.D., M.A. Professor and Director Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies; Hilary L. Surratt, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Applied Research on Substance Use and Health Disparities and Professor, Division of Applied Interdisciplinary Studies; George Hanbury II, PhD, President.

Mark Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, Receives Provost's Research and Scholarship Award

Mark B. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, Center for Psychological Studies, receives Provost's Research and Scholarship Award from Provost Frank DePiano.Provost Frank DePiano presented the first annual Provost's Research and Scholarship Award, to Mark B. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, Center for Psychological Studies. Sobell was nominated for the award by Karen Grosby, Ed.D., Dean of the Center for Psychological Studies. Sobell, a nationally and internationally distinguished clinical scientist, was selected for his commitment to excellence and his significant contributions over four decades to the field of clinical psychology. During his career, Dr. Sobell made several distinguished theoretical and empirical behavioral advances to the substance abuse field, advances which have led to the understanding or amelioration of important clinical problems. He has published over 275 refereed articles and book chapters, authored 9 books, and serves on several editorial boards, as well as Editor of one of the American Psychological Association's prestigious clinical journals. In addition, he has been the recipient of grants from multiple federal agencies. The quality of his research is attested to by the fact that his 190 research papers have been published largely in top tier psychology journals, and have earned him over 200 invitations to present his research worldwide, and more than 4,900 citations. His role as a mentor and role model to students and young faculty has made a significant difference in the careers of aspiring researchers in the substance abuse field. Dr. Sobell has received several awards honoring his accomplishments, and is currently serving as President of the Society of Clinical Psychology of the American Psychological Association.

Provost DePiano also recognized four finalists for the Provost's Research and Scholarship Award:

  • Bahaudin G. Mujtaba, DBA, H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship
  • Bernhard M. Riegl, PhD, Oceanographic Center
  • Mahmood S. Shivji, PhD, Oceanographic Center
  • Jeffrey Y. Thompson, PhD, College of Dental Medicine

Photo Caption: Mark B. Sobell, Ph.D., ABPP, Center for Psychological Studies, receives Provost's Research and Scholarship Award from Provost Frank DePiano.

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