Two professors earn campus research awards

Brooks GumpDr. Brooks Gump of SUNY Oswego’s psychology department has earned the SUNY Oswego President’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity and Research for 2007-08.

Dr. Shashi Kanbur of the physics and earth sciences departments is the winner of the Provost’s Award for Scholarly and Creative Activity and Research, which honors junior faculty.

Gump has earned an international reputation for his work, including a widely cited study showing that not taking vacations can have adverse health effects. His research topics have also included the health benefits of marriage or lifelong partnerships, how acute stress and terrorism affect children’s cardiovascular and mental health, and how a positive outlook impacts physical health.

Much of his work dovetails with Oswego’s interdisciplinary Center for Neurobehavioral Effects of Environmental Toxins, with its signature study on the impact of prenatal exposure to environmental contaminants on subjects’ health and response rates. Gump and his colleagues have studied how exposure to such toxins as lead and polychlorinated biphenyls can impact children’s physical and developmental processes.

“Since arriving here, Dr. Gump has marked a new standard at SUNY Oswego for grant productivity and scholarly achievement,” said Distinguished Teaching Professor of Psychology Jacqueline Reihman, noting he has written grants bringing well over $1.5 million to campus. He has published findings in more than two dozen journals and presented research at more than 20 conferences around North America.

Gump’s influence extends from the lab into the classrooms and corridors of Oswego. “Dr. Gump has invested a great deal of time in a mentoring role with some of our better students; he has directed their research/honors projects and several have presented their findings at professional meetings,” Reihman said. “By no means, though, are his efforts directed solely at our ‘better’ students.”

Kanbur’s research explores the origins and size of the universe, particularly through studying remote pulsing Cepheid stars to calculate the universe’s expansion rate. His findings have appeared in major journals and sparked international collaborations.Shashi Kanbur

His nominator, Dr. Alok Kumar, professor and chair of physics, emphasized Kanbur’s research brilliance and dedication to students. “Many students publish research papers in collaborations with him, attend national and international conferences, pursue graduate studies afterward,” Kumar said. “He is an active scholar with excellent outreach abilities. It is due to his pleasant personality that he has established collaborations with researchers both in the U.S. and abroad.”

Kanbur earned the American Astronomical Society’s Chretien International Research Award to support an ongoing partnership between Oswego and Brazil’s Federal University of Santa Catarina. The two institutions have mainly collaborated remotely, but starting this summer undergraduate students will visit Brazil for grant-supported work with the Brazilian national telescope facility in Minas Gerais.

Along with grants from the National Science Foundation and NASA for major research, Kanbur has received awards from Entergy to provide planetarium shows for local fifth-graders, cultivating the next generation of scientists.

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(Posted: Apr 30, 2008)

Tags: research news: faculty honors