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.
Dr. James Hoelzle, assistant professor of psychology, studies how neuropsychological and personality instruments operate, primarily focusing
on mild traumatic brain injuries and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
since they are the most frequent diagnostic conditions evaluated by
neuropsychologists. His current research covers a broad scope: from how neuropsychological testing data correlates with anatomical brain connectivity
in veterans to better assessment tools for diagnosing adult ADHD to identifying
ways individuals inaccurately self-report symptoms in clinical settings.
“It’s worthwhile to consider the validity of tests, the manner in which
data can be integrated with clinical theories and the degree to which the
assessment process improves long-term patient outcomes,” Hoelzle says.
He hopes his research will increase the validity of assessment instruments
and ultimately improve clinical outcomes for patients.
Dr. Krassimira Hristova, assistant professor of biological sciences, applies
emerging trends in molecular and environmental microbiology to help understand
and prevent the spread of contaminants. Her recent work focuses on methyl tertiary butyl, a gasoline
additive that is one of the leading groundwater
contaminants in the country.
“By better understanding the enzyme pathways and genetic regulation
of the contaminant biodegradation, we can help develop more efficient
bioremediation technologies for the cleanup of gasoline spills,” Hristova says.
She is currently researching the toxic effects of human exposure to metal
nanooxides, with the goal of engineering less toxic nanomaterials that reduce
contamination of human cells, in addition to analyzing the spread of antibiotic
resistance in the environment by anthropogenic — deriving from human —
activities. Both studies have enormous potential to improve the health and
safety of people around the world.
During his sabbatical, Dr. Chung Hoon Lee, assistant professor of
electrical and computer engineering, hopes to develop a device that will
allow suspension of a single molecule — or nanostructure — for study, and
to develop new methods for the detection,
identification and manipulation of
based on a wide range of optical, electrical, mechanical and
“To date, investigations of the properties of single molecules have
been limited to methods that utilize only one of several possibly physical
phenomena,” says Lee. “This research has the potential for a deeper understanding
of single molecule behavior.”
An expert in nanotechnology, Lee is leading the charge to develop a new
nanotechnology lab in Engineering Hall, which will enhance the College of
Engineering’s research and expertise in the area of smart sensor systems.
Dr. Sameena Mulla, assistant professor of social and cultural sciences,
will soon begin collecting data as one of two investigators on a National
Science Foundation-funded study of sexual assault trials, which will involve
ethnographic research of forensic evidence used at sexual assault trials
in the Milwaukee County Court System.
“Victims of sexual assault are additionally burdened by the traumatic
demands of making a police report and participating in the investigative and
prosecutorial processes, often referred to as secondary victimization, which is
what my research focuses on,” Mulla says.
During her sabbatical, Mulla plans to attend court trials every week for a
nine-month period to analyze more than 30 sexual assault cases. Her research
will mark a first for the field: there have not been any field-based studies of
the process of sexual assault trials that analyze more than two entire cases.