May Faculty and Staff Features
Gregory S. Walsh, Ph.D., Life Sciences
Gregory S. Walsh, Ph.D.
Walsh, assistant professor of biology, is the recipient of a 2012-2013 Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities. This awards program recognizes faculty member for their work in a variety of science and technology disciplines and provides funds to enrich the research and professional growth of young faculty.
Walsh’s work is one of 30 research grants being funded for the 2012-2013 academic year and will focus on investigating how the nervous system is formed during early development in a zebrafish model. Through this work he hopes to understand how neurons migrate from their place of birth to their final position, a process that precedes their integration into functional circuits. Walsh aims to use cell expression profiling to identify novel factors that control cell motility in the developing vertebrate brain.
Oak Ridge Associated Universities has awarded nearly 500 grants totaling more than $2.3 million since its inception. Including the matching funds from member institutions, Oak Ridge Associated Universities has facilitated grants worth more than $4.4 million. Read the news release here.
Recipients of the award are in their first two years of a tenure track position. VCU is one of the consortium member universities of Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Janett Forte, VCU School of Medicine, VCU Institute for Women’s Health
Forte, program director of the VCU Institute for Women’s Health (IWH), will retire from the university in June after nearly nine years of service.
An assistant professor of psychiatry and a licensed clinical social worker, Forte was also the director of Community Engagement for the IWH, which serves as a catalyst for developing initiatives to improve women’s health. The institute, under the direction of its executive director, Susan Kornstein, M.D., professor of psychiatry, fosters integration of clinical care, research, community engagement, professional education and women’s leadership development aimed at improving the health status of diverse women across the life span. Forte played an important role as grants project coordinator when the institute received designation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2003 as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health.
Forte has committed her career to women’s issues, human rights and social justice. She also has taken her work to an international level by helping to fundraise, build services for and address women’s health issues in underserved parts of the world, such as Central America and Haiti. She served on a number of community advisory groups and boards, including the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, Guatemala Human Rights Commission based in Washington, D.C., and the Highland Support Project based in Richmond that serves Mayan communities in Guatemala.
Forte isn’t planning to take it easy after retiring. She has joined the Peace Corps’ Response Volunteer Program and will travel to the Philippines where she will serve as a drug rehabilitation planning officer. She will work with the Department of Health-Malinao Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, which offers 6- to 12-month residential treatment and rehab programs.
As a planning officer, she will review existing programs and services, conduct meetings and consult with staff, patients, families and the community as well as undertake a comprehensive needs assessment. From this assessment, she will identify the gaps and other challenges in meeting the needs of this population and will help identify strategies to meet these needs.
William Pelfrey Jr., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs
William Pelfrey Jr., Ph.D.
Pelfrey was named an Academic Fellow in Terrorism Studies by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He will participate in an intensive course in terrorism studies with a focus on how democracies can defeat the worldwide terrorist threat during a program at Tel Aviv University from May 27 to June 6.
The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies is a non-partisan policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C. The foundation’s Academic Fellows program provides United States–based teaching and research professionals with cutting-edge information about defeating terrorist groups. The 2012 program includes lectures by academics, military and intelligence officials and diplomats from Israel, Jordan, India and the United States. It also includes hands-on experience through visits to police, customs and immigration facilities, military bases and border zones to learn the practical side of deterring and defeating terrorists.
Pelfrey researches policing, terrorism prevention, the spatial analysis of crime, police use of force, crime patterns, the psychology of offenders and program evaluation. He teaches courses in graduate and undergraduate criminal justice research methods, forensic psychology, white collar crime, police administration, problems in policing and homeland security.
Luiz Shozo Ozaki, Ph.D., VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, Life Sciences
Luiz Shozo Ozaki, Ph.D.
Ozaki, associate professor in the VCU Center for the Study of Biological Complexity, was one of 20 top malaria researchers from U.S. companies, research institutes and academic institutions invited to present his research at an Expo on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., for World Malaria Day.
Ozaki’s research, initially funded by a Grand Challenges Exploration grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is focused on developing genetic tools to stop malaria transmission.
Ozaki, together with colleague Gail Christie, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, are working to genetically engineer bacterial viruses (phages) to express inhibitors of the malaria parasite in the mosquito gut.
Buie Harwood, Professor Emeritus of Interior Design, VCU School of the Arts
Harwood was named the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC) Arnold Friedmann Educator of Distinction at the IDEC annual conference in Baltimore. The award is presented to an IDEC member in recognition of significant, sustained and distinguished contributions in interior design education. The recipient receives a $5,000 award.
Harwood also received IDEC Merit and Service Awards in recognition of her work as chair of the IDEC 50th Anniversary Celebration Task Force, an event that was celebrated during the Baltimore conference.
In addition, Harwood is the co-author of a new book, “Architecture and Interior Design: An Integrated History to the Present,” with Bridget May and Curt Sherman. The book, which was published by Prentice Hall, provides a survey of architecture, architectural details, architectural surface treatments, space planning, interior design, interior architectural features, interior surface treatments, motifs, furniture, color, lighting, textiles and decorative accessories. The book illustrates historical, cultural, social and stylistic influences, features more than 1,800 images and is used in colleges across North America and England.