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Kent State Faculty Members Receive Farris Family Innovation Awards

Posted Apr. 14, 2014
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Yanhai Du

Kent State University has awarded three faculty members the Farris Family Innovation Awards to support their research projects. The Farris Family Innovation Award rewards faculty members who combine scholarship of teaching, discovery and application in new and effective ways.

The award recipients are Yanhai Du, Ph.D., from the College of Applied Engineering, Sustainability and Technology; Isabel Lacruz, Ph.D., from the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies; and Brian Peters, from the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

The three professors were nominated for the Farris Family Innovation Awards by Todd Diacon, Kent State’s senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. After recommendations by the provost, applicants are reviewed by the Provost's Advisory Council and then sent to the president for final approval. Award recipients receive $8,000 for up to three years while they continue their projects and remain untenured faculty members. The funds from the grant covers expenses in undergraduate research, graduate student stipends, equipment expenses and travel associated with faculty projects.

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Isabel Lacruz

“Beyond receipt of this funding, you can take pride in the recognition that this award represents. Efforts like these contribute to raising the standards of faculty research productivity at Kent State University,” Diacon wrote in a letter of notification to the award recipients.

Du received the award for his research project titled, “Enabling a High Power Density and Small Size Fuel Cell.”

“I am very happy that Kent State is behind this effort,” Du says. “My clean energy research also inspires my Introduction to Sustainability class, which is a brand new course I pioneered last semester. Kent State takes serious actions to help researchers tackle global challenges, such as fuel cell, a critical piece of our energy puzzle.”

Lacruz received the award for her research project titled, “Measuring and Predicting Effort in Human Post-editing of Machine Translations.”

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Brian Peters

“I feel very honored to receive the Farris Family Innovation Award,” Lacruz says. “It is very exciting and encouraging for Kent State to recognize the significance and promise of my research in this way. The great generosity of the Farris family will make it possible for me to expand my horizons and develop my research in ways that would not otherwise have been possible.”

Peters received the award for his research project titled, “Additive Architecture – 3-D Printed Architecture.”

“I am thrilled to have been chosen as a recipient of the Farris Award,” Peters says. “It is an honor, and I'm extremely grateful for the university's support of my research. With this award, I will be continuing my research into how 3-D printing can be used in architectural applications.”

For more information about the Farris Family Innovation Awards, visit