Two IU Bloomington professors awarded 2017 Guggenheim Fellowships

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Two Indiana University Bloomington professors have been named recipients of the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for 2017.

Armin P. Moczek, professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences' Department of Biology, and Sara E. Skrabalak, the James H. Rudy Associate Professor in the College's Department of Chemistry, were selected on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise in their respective fields.

Guggenheim fellows include scholars, artists and scientists. IU's winners are among 173 fellows for 2017 chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants.

"We are honored to count Professors Moczek and Skrabalak among the winners of this highly prestigious fellowship, which only recognizes a rarified selection of scholars, artists and scientists across the United States and Canada," said IU President Michael A. McRobbie. "Through their innovative work in the laboratory, the classroom and the community, they are forging new directions in the fields of evolutionary development and material chemistry, respectively, as well as inspiring the minds of the next generation of scientists through enthusiastic efforts in scientific outreach and communication."

Moczek's research focuses on the field of evolutionary developmental biology, including studying the emergence of novel complex traits, such as the first eyes or wings. He is also strongly engaged in the teaching and learning of science, including co-directing three summer science programs for underrepresented minorities.

His goals for the fellowship are to "develop better tools and resources to enhance the training of the next generation of curious minds, assist teachers in effectively modeling scientific inquiry and better communicate the existential value of science to political representatives and the public."

Skrabalak's research involves developing new methods to create nanoscale materials, precisely controlling their size, shape and architecture. In addition to research, she is involved in multiple efforts focused on communicating science to diverse audiences.

She also promotes the advancement of women in science and directs a Science Ambassadors Program at IU, which connects undergraduate researchers to their former high schools to serve as mentors to younger students interested in STEM.

Moczek is the only Guggenheim fellow elected in the category of organismic biology and ecology. Skrabalak is one of three fellows elected in the category of chemistry. Fellowship recipients are categorized into their subject area and reviewed by former Guggenheim fellows who are experts in the same field.

Founded in 1925, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded more than $350 million in fellowships to over 18,000 individuals. With continued donations from friends, trustees, former fellows and other foundations, it is able to continue its mission as a significant source of support for artists and scholars across disciplines.

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