Three receive KSU awards

Staff report


An internationally recognized social geographer, a metadata expert and a leading researcher in the science of liquid crystals and nanomaterials received Kent State University’s 2014 Outstanding Research and Scholarship Awards at a recent ceremony and reception on the Kent campus.

James Tyner, Ph.D., professor of geography; Marcia Lei Zeng, Ph.D., professor of library and information science; and Quan Li, Ph.D., senior research fellow in Kent State’s Liquid Crystal Institute, were recognized for notable scholarly contributions that have an impact on society. The awards are sponsored by Kent State’s Division of Research and Sponsored Programs and the University Research Council.

“The awardees reflect the breadth of research at Kent State and the impact it has on our lives,” said Grant McGimpsey, Ph.D., vice president for research at Kent State. “These scholars have made major contributions to their fields, from population geography to organizing big data and broadening our understanding of the structure and function of nanomaterials. Their work has been recognized by their peers around the world, and we are honored to celebrate their accomplishments.”

Tyner, an internationally recognized political, population and social geographer, was cited for bringing “geographical theory and a geographical perspective into the national and international discussions of war, violence and genocide,” said Thomas Schmidlin, Ph.D., professor of geography at Kent State.

Zeng is internationally recognized for her research on metadata and knowledge organization, and she is an expert on digital libraries. She has written five books, including an influential book on metadata that she co-authored, and more than 80 articles on information management. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the Institute of Museum and Library Services and others.

Li is a leading researcher in the fields of molecular design, functional nanomaterials and self-assembly. He is working on light-harvesting liquid crystals for self-organizing photovoltaics, “smart” energy-saving devices and more. Li has edited four books in the past four years and has written more than 20 book chapters and encyclopedia entries, along with many journal publications and patents.

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