April 27, 2007

Graduate students cited for research, teaching

by K.C. Jaehnig

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale honored Kaushik Balarishnan, a doctoral student in chemistry and biochemistry, Daniel E. Bauer, a doctoral student in anthropology, Gregory R. Maddox, a doctoral student in sociology, and Abhijit Shukla, a doctoral student in biochemistry and molecular biology, for superior achievement in this year's "Excellence Through Commitment Awards Program." Each receives a cash award.

These prizes reward ongoing contributions by tenured and term faculty, staff and graduate assistants throughout the University and reflect the University's aim of encouraging outstanding work. The students and other program winners were recognized at a dinner hosted by interim Chancellor John M. Dunn Thursday, April 26, at the Student Center.

Balarishnan won $1,000 for research. He is focusing on the synthesis of organic semi-conducting molecules that assemble themselves to make one-dimensional nanostructures and on novel ways to make opto-electronic devices such as cell-phones. He is first author on three articles in one of the field's leading journals, the "Journal of the American Chemical Society." He also has published in other journals and in conference proceedings.

Balarishnan earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Mumbai in India. He has been at SIUC since 2003.

Bauer won $500 for teaching in the University's Core Curriculum, a set of foundation courses required of all students in order to graduate. After serving as a teaching assistant in anthropology's Core offering, Bauer went on to teach both the traditional 16-week course and an eight-week version, described as one of the department's most difficult courses. Despite high enrollments, students regularly ask the questions and make the comments more typical of smaller classes. Bauer uses new classroom technology such as multi-media presentations, which are particularly suited to anthropology's visual nature, to bring learning alive.

Bauer earned his bachelor's degree in 1999 from Fort Lewis College in Colorado and his master's in 2002 from Florida Atlantic University. He came to SIUC in 2002.

Maddox won $1,000 for teaching. Although still a student himself, he has developed two new courses for his department on the sociology of sexuality. The first, a special topics course, examines sexuality and the social constructions surrounding it within American culture. Its material will feed into a second course, approved as a Core Curriculum course and now on the books to be taught in fall 2008, exploring global perspectives on sexual diversity.

Maddox earned his bachelor's in 1987 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a master's in 1989 from the University of Illinois at Springfield and a second master's in 2003 from SIUC. He began his doctoral work in 2003.

Shukla won $1,000 for research. He is focusing on the regulation of eukaryotic gene expression, which plays a key role in understanding various types of cancers and to developing drugs and therapies to treat them. He is first author on four articles in prominent journals that include "Molecular and Cellular Biology," "Journal of Biological Chemistry" and "Nucleic Acids Research."

Shukla earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Delhi and his master's from the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, both in India. He came to SIUC in 2003.

All students below are pictured with Interim Chancellor, John Dunn.


Abhijit Shukla


Dan Bauer


Gregory Maddox


Kaushik Balakrishnan