KSU Researchers Recognized at John C. Salerno Symposium

KENNESAW, Georgia (March 9, 2022) – Two faculty researchers were recently recognized for their contributions to the fields of engineering and biology at Kennesaw State University’s John C. Salerno Memorial Research Symposium, which highlights a cross-section of research from the faculty.

Philippe Sucosky, associate professor of mechanical engineering, won the John C. Salerno Award for Achievement in Research, and Ramya Rajagopalan, assistant professor of cell biology, received the audience award for best presentation at the 25 February.

Pictured from left: Scott Nowak, Ramya Rajagopalan, Philippe Sucosky, Bill Diong

The symposium was launched in 2018 to honor Salerno’s academic legacy, the Neel Distinguished Chair in Biotechnology before his death in 2015. Salerno was eminent in the field focusing on fundamental discoveries in radical biology, spectroscopy and enzymology free.

Sucosky’s presentation provided an overview of the experimental and computational strategies developed in the Multiscale Cardiovascular Bioengineering Laboratory to explore the complex relationships between heart valve biology and mechanics. Through his research, Sucosky demonstrated the importance of his findings for the management of cardiovascular disease.

“It’s a real honor to receive the Research Achievement Award for my first presentation at the Salerno Memorial Research Symposium,” said Sucosky. “Being part of this university-wide event that showcases the most innovative, cutting-edge and impactful research across all disciplines and colleges has been a great privilege and opportunity to interact with researchers of KSU and the community as a whole.”

Rajagopalan shared his exploration of myxobacteria, explaining that they are an excellent model system for studying cell-to-cell communication.

“I didn’t have the chance to meet Dr. Salerno when I joined KSU, but I’m glad I had the chance to present my work at a symposium in his honor,” Rajagopalan said. “The diversity and depth of scientific work done on campus is remarkable.”

The symposium also brought together seven researchers who shared their latest findings with students and faculty colleagues from Kennesaw State:

  • Anton Bryantsev, associate professor of developmental biology
    B body and cell nucleus organization
  • Graham Collier, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Simple synthesis of solution-processable conjugated polymers for energy capture, storage and modulation
  • Anne DeMartini, lecturer in sports management
    A comparison of the legal awareness of American and Scottish youth football coaches regarding concussion safety regulations
  • Amy Dunagin, Assistant Professor of History
    North and South: climate theory, Italian passion and English non-musicality
  • Ji Hye Shin, part-time ESOL instructor
    Digital storytelling practices of teachers in training in the United States with multilingual learners in South Korea: pedagogical implications of the international partnership
  • Amaal Al Shenawa, Assistant Professor of Construction Management
    Environmentally friendly concrete
  • Sarah L. Young, associate professor of public administration
    KSU’s ASCEND Model: Addressing Educational Inequities for Students Facing Homelessness and Aging Out of Foster Care

The symposium is organized by the KSU Office of Research, in conjunction with the John C. Salerno Memorial Fund.

–Meagan Lowney
Photo by David Caselli


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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global connections, and entrepreneurial spirit attract students from across the country and around the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated (R2) doctoral research institution, placing it among an elite group of only 6% of US colleges and universities with R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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