Students in class

Way Klingler Young Scholar Awards support promising young scholars in critical stages of their careers. The awards of up to $32,000 are intended to fund $2,000 in operating costs and to cover up to 50 percent of salary to afford the recipient a one-semester sabbatical.

2014 recipients

Dr. Allison Hyngstrom, assistant professor of physical therapy, is researching the neural mechanisms associated with strength deficits to understand how stroke-related changes in muscle fatigue affect walking function.She plans to use her one-semester sabbatical to apply for a NIH R01 grant to further her research program. Hyngstrom hopes her research will help develop new rehabilitation strategies to optimize leg strengthening and walking in the chronic stroke population. Stroke is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States, impairing quality of life for millions of Amerians.

“The teacher-scholar model at Marquette allows me to expose current students to cutting-edge research,” Hyngstrom says. “In addition to their growth as scholars, feedback from students helps me understand my research from a fresh perspective.”

Dr. Peter Staudenmaier, assistant professor of history, studies connections between nation and nature and ethnic and environmental regeneration. He is currently working on his second book, which will explore the politics of blood and soil in Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy by examining the history of alternative agricultural movements, organic farming and environmental protection.

He hopes his work helps others recognize that having a better understanding of the choices that environmentally oriented groups and movements made in the past can help create a clearer sense of the environmental decisions faced today.

“The chance to combine ongoing research with the challenges and pleasures of teaching is not something all scholars get to experience,” Staudenmaier says. “I feel very lucky to be part of an academic institution that treats research and teaching as equally valuable parts of scholarly work.”

Dr. Qadir Timerghazin, assistant professor of chemistry, uses computational modeling to understand the reactions of solvated electrons with organic molecules —one of the key steps in radiation damage of genetic material. Timerghazin also studies what he calls the “puzzling electronic structure and chemistry” of Snitrosothiols, which are involved in enacting the diverse roles of nitric oxide, which control a variety of key physiological processes in living organisms. Since experimental studies are difficult to undertake on these sorts of reactions, computational chemistry modeling helps decipher how fast these reactions proceed and what can be done to enable or prevent them. “Our goal is to provide a clear, chemically intuitive picture of the processes involving species with complex electronic structures, which is relevant to chemistry, biochemistry, life sciences and medicine,” Timerghazin says.

Dr. Amber Wichowsky, assistant professor of political science, researches the political, social and economic factors that shape disparities in political participation and whether this uneven participation affects democratic responsiveness and accountability. Wichowsky serves on the board of a national research collaborative, Laboratories of Democracy, which partners academics with community leaders to conduct randomized controlled studies of policies and practices to identify those that are most effective at solving public problems. She plans to establish an affiliated Democracy Lab at Marquette. “Through the Democracy Lab, I hope to build a repository of best practices that can be shared with community stakeholders, and to create a space where students can conduct community-based research, gain skills in public policy evaluation and become more engaged citizens,” Wichowsky says.

University Honors