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Research at OHIO

Presidential Research Scholars

The Presidential Research Scholars (PRS) awards program recognizes faculty members who have garnered national and international prominence in research, scholarship and creative activity and who demonstrate clear promise for continued, significant productivity in their research/creative activity. Each award recipient will receive $3,000 to be used at the scholar's discretion as an honorarium or to support research or creative works.

For FY2019-20, applications will be solicited for (1) Arts and Humanities, (2) Social and Behavioral Sciences and (3) Physical Sciences and Engineering.

For FY2020-21, applications will be solicited for (1) Life and Biomedical Sciences and (2) Arts and Humanities.

Call for Applications

Deadline for nominations: Thursday, April 18, 2019, 4:00 pm

Deadline for applications: Thursday, June 13, 2019, 4:00 pm

Click for guidelines  [ Word or  PDF ]

Contact:    Roxanne Male'-Brune, (740) 597-1227


Morgan Vis and Brian Clark named 2018 Presidential Research Scholars

Event to celebrate faculty recipients of research and teaching excellence awards

Five OHIO faculty members named 2017 Presidential Research Scholars

2016 Faculty Awards Recognition

Five OHIO faculty members named 2016 Presidential Research Scholars

Ohio University Presidential Research Scholars
2018 Recipients

prs ceremony 2018
M. Duane Nellis, President, Morgan Vis, Brian Clark, Chaden Djalali, Executive Vice President and Provost and David Koonce, Interim Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College

Morgan Vis Professor, Environmental and Plant Biology

morgan vis Vis is a professor of environmental and plant biology in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is an internationally known expert on the systematics of freshwater red algae, an important source of food and shelter for invertebrates in steams, and the use of algae as a monitor of water quality. Vis has studied the distribution of algae around the world, describing new families, genera and species. She has used DNA testing to contribute new findings to her field about the evolution and relationships among algae. With an interdisciplinary team of scientists, Vis has examined how freshwater red algae can act as a biomonitor of the health of streams in Appalachia impacted by acid mine drainage. In addition, she has conducted research and consulted with engineers on how algae may be used as a source of biofuels and for carbon mitigation. Vis has a strong track record of external funding for her research, including several grants from the National Science Foundation, and has been awarded three patents. The former Fulbright Scholar has more than 120 refereed publications and currently is working on a book about freshwater red algae slated for a May 2020 publication.


Brian Clark Professor, Physiology and Neuroscience

brian clark Clark is a professor of physiology and neuroscience and the Harold E. Clybourne, D.O., Endowed Research Chair in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is the executive director of the Ohio Musculoskeletal and Neurological Institute (OMNI), which conducts studies on muscle function, pain and aging issues, including for clinical trials. Clark has led more than $14 million in research projects funded by federal agencies, private foundations and industry. He has gained prominence in his field for discovering that the nervous system plays a key role in age-related muscle weakness, which he and a colleague have termed “dynapenia.” His research has led to a greater understanding of muscle strength and function in the elderly and points to new pathways for preventing and treating disabilities. Clark also has found neurological causes and interventions for muscle atrophy that follows injury, disease or surgery. In addition, he has published findings on the benefits of manual, non-surgical strategies to mitigate lower back pain. He has contributed to policy by serving on several federal task forces and panels that oversee issues pertaining to pain and muscle loss with aging.

2017 Recipients

2017 Presidential Research Scholars Joseph Shields, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College, Daniel Phllips, David Descutner, Interim Evecutive Vice President and Provost, Avinash Kodi, Julie Owens, Hao Chen and M. Duane Nellis, President


Avinash Karanth Kodi Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Avinash Kodi Ohio University Kodi has achieved prominence in the field of computer science for research innovations designed to increase the power, efficiency and security of the next generation of electronic devices. His advancements in computer chip architecture have applications in the development of mobile phones, laptop computers and servers. Kodi has received more than $2.5 million in funding from industry and federal sources, including a highly competitive National Science Foundation CAREER award in 2011. He has served as a consultant for industry and the U.S. Department of Energy.


Hao Chen Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Hao Chen Ohio University Chen is an expert in mass spectrometry, a technology that helps scientists study the characteristics of molecules. He has used mass spectrometry to study compounds that may serve as candidates for new drug delivery treatments. Chen has received funding from state, federal and industry sources. This includes more than $2 million from the National Science Foundation, including its highly competitive CAREER award in 2012. He has eight approved or pending U.S. and foreign patents for his development of new mass spectrometry techniques at Ohio University. Chen has served as an expert on committees for NASA and the National Research Council.


Daniel R. Phillips Professor, Physics and Astronomy

Dan Phillips Ohio University Phillips is an internationally renowned physicist who has developed more reliable models of atomic nuclei behavior. This work has informed scientific experiments that explore fundamental nuclear physics questions, with broad relevance to areas including astrophysics and nuclear power generation. Phillips has been continuously funded by the U.S. Department of Energy since 2001. He serves on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which advises the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy on policy and funding issues.


Julie Sarno Owens Professor, Psychology

Julie Owens Ohio University Owens has pioneered research on the effectiveness and sustainability of school-based interventions for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and related behavioral problems. She developed the state and nationally recognized Youth Experiencing Success in School (YESS) Program to help educators provide mental health support services. Her studies have demonstrated how teachers can use evidence-based interventions to help elementary school children with ADHD improve their academic performance and behavioral issues in typical classroom settings. Owens is co-director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools and is principal investigator on nearly $2.5 million in external awards for the center’s research projects.


Steven W. Evans Professor, Psychology

Steve Evans Ohio University Evans is nationally recognized for his development of school-based programs designed to improve the academic and social skills of adolescents with emotional and behavioral problems, including ADHD. He is the creator of the Challenging Horizons Program and has been awarded more than $8 million in federal funding to test the effectiveness of the intervention in schools. Through the development of a new academic journal and conference, Evans has worked to transform the study of mental health issues in K-12 schools into an interdisciplinary effort. He is co-director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools.

2016 Recipients

PRS main image

Front Row: Roger Bruan, Presidential Teacher 2017-2019, Presidential Research Scholars Michel Fiala, Sarah Wyatt, James Thomas, Arthur Werger and Nancy Stevens, and 2017-2019 Provost Teacher, Klaus Himmeldirk. Back Row: Howard Dewald, Associate Provost for Faculty and Academic Planning, Joe Shields, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity and Dean of the Graduate College; and Pam Benoit, Executive Vice President and Provost. Photo credit: Daniel Owen/Ohio University


Sarah Wyatt Professor, Environmental and Plant Biology

sarah wyatt Wyatt is recognized as an expert in gravitational and space biology. Using cellular and molecular approaches, she examines how plants sense and respond to gravity. Wyatt has held positions on the executive committee and council of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), as well as on the governing board of the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR); she also served as a program director at the National Science Foundation. She has been a strong advocate for student research and outreach programming across campus.



James Thomas Professor, Physical Therapy

James Thomas Thomas has been a licensed physical therapist for 31 years, with more than 15 years of clinical experience. His research has taken a multi-track approach to addressing low back pain. His efforts include developing techniques to study neural control of body movement, conducting patient trials to examine classic treatments and creating virtual reality interventions for chronic pain treatment. Thomas has served on several grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health.


Nancy Stevens Professor, Functional Morphology and Vertebrate Paleontology

nancy stevens Stevens' paleontological research in Tanzania and Afro-Arabia has made significant contributions to the fields of vertebrate paleontology, paleoanthropology and evolutionary functional anatomy. Stevens and her teams have made numerous important discoveries of new lineages of mammals, opening a new window into the history of African tectonic plate movements and animal diversity over the last 35 million years. Research highlights include the discovery of several species new to science, with two new primates representing the oldest fossil evidence of the split between apes and Old World monkeys. Stevens has provided field and laboratory research and training to dozens of graduate and undergraduate students to date, representing nine universities in six countries.



Michele Fiala Associate Professor, Oboe

michele fiala Fiala is an accomplished oboist whose performances at prestigious venues have earned her a national and international reputation. A focus of her creative scholarship is to ensure audience accessibility—connecting audiences to classical music and helping them understand it. Fiala's two solo CDs containing commissioned works for oboe and her book on 19  th  century Italian oboe music have made significant contributions to the field. Fiala has served as secretary and executive member on the International Double Reed Society.


Arthur Werger Professor, Printmaking

art werger Werger is an internationally renowned artist-printmaker whose works are in many public and private collections. He also has made significant contributions to the advancement of color etching printing. His two-plate system for color intaglio is well known in the international printmaking community, as is his expertise for mezzotinting. Werger has conducted numerous guest artist presentations, workshops and exhibitions and served as an active member of the Southern Graphics Council International for many years. https://www.ohio.edu/finearts/art/faculty-staff/profiles.cfm?profile=D9BAA95F-5056-A800-487A188D3441FCA2


2005-1999 Recipients

Thomas Carpenter

David Drabold

Joe Eastman

Philip Ehrlich

Christopher France

Timothy Heckman

Kenneth Hicks   

Scott Hooper

Anne Loucks

Tadeusz Malinski

Mark Phillips

Daniel Riffe

Gar Rothwell

Martin Schwartz

Arvind Singhal

Gary Small

Charles Smith

Lawrence Witmer

Ann Tickamyer

Frank Van Graas