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Faculty Member Makes History

Mar 13, 2019

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shahir Rizk Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry Shahir Rizk has made history at IU South Bend. He is the first faculty member to be named the recipient of a Cottrell Scholar Award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement. Rizk becomes one of only eight Indiana University faculty to receive the award since its inception in 1994 and is one of only two dozen researchers from across the country who received this year’s award.

“The day I learned I was named a Cottrell Scholar was very good day, said Rizk. It was also the day I learned two of my students were accepted into prestigious PhD programs at the University of Notre Dame and the University of North Carolina. That made it even better.”

Rizk is a proud graduate of IU South Bend having earned a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences in 2000. “I graduated from IU South Bend so I know the environment and I know the impact we make in the community.”He went on to get a PhD in Biochemistry, Protein Engineering from Duke University. The prestigious award recognizes the best pre-tenure chemistry, physics or astronomy professors in the country. Recipients are selected through a stringent peer-review process based on their innovative research proposals and education programs.

The award of $100,000 will support Rizk’s research in engineering protein-based nano structures and help him further develop his educational approach to introducing students to current issues in science policy, and to building connections within the community by communicating science to a diverse audience. “The Cottrell Scholar Award provides funds not only to advance my research, but it enables me to expose my science students, many who are first generation who have few practicing scientists in their communities, to the many dimensions of practicing science, so they can make informed choices and be more successful in their careers,” said Rizk.

For more information on the Cottrell Scholar Award go to … l-scholars


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Kevin L. Ladd and Carolyn Schult
IU South Bend