IU Bloomington assistant professors to receive Outstanding Junior Faculty Award

Assistant professors in the fields of English, environmental science, mathematics and sociology will receive the 2018 Indiana University Bloomington Outstanding Junior Faculty Award.

The award is designed to identify promising tenure-track faculty who have not yet been awarded tenure and to provide resources to further develop their scientific, scholarly or artistic activities. It is presented by the Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs.

Recipients are:

They will be honored at a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. April 16 in the Indiana Memorial Union Federal Room. Those who wish to attend may RSVP to vpfaa@indiana.edu. Each will receive a $15,000 grant to support future research.

Darren Ficklin

Ficklin's research explores how changes in climate affect the hydrologic cycle. His work draws on hydrology, climate science and water resources, using a combination of field observations and modeling to understand the impact of climate change and variability on the hydrologic cycle. He has received research grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and has published findings in leading journals of environmental science, hydrology and climatology.

He joined the Department of Geography in 2013 and also is a principal researcher for the Indiana Geological and Water Survey. He received a Bachelor of Science in geological sciences from IU Bloomington, a Master of Science in geological sciences from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, and a Ph.D. in hydrologic sciences from the University of California Davis. He also received the 2016 Campus Catalyst Award for Excellence in Research from the IU Office of Sustainability.

Andrew Halpern-Manners


Halpern-Manners is a social demographer and sociologist of education. In his substantive work, he seeks to model the intra- and intergenerational effects associated with educational attainment, using data and research designs that allow for causal inference. 

As a methodological complement to this work, he has conducted a series of studies examining the quality and reliability of longitudinal social science data, and the statistical techniques researchers use to analyze them. The National Institutes of Health has supported his research, which has appeared in leading journals and been recognized by the American Sociological Association.

He joined the Department of Sociology in 2013. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from Macalester College, and a Master of Public Policy in policy analysis and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Minnesota. He received the IU Trustees Teaching Award in 2015.

Nam Q. Le

Le conducts research in partial differential equations, focusing on regularity of solutions to the Monge-Ampère equation and its linearization, and their applications to other areas of mathematics. This area of work arises in fundamental problems of current interest in computer graphics, affine geometry, fluid mechanics and theoretical physics. Le and Ovidiu Savin of Columbia University developed a theory to address the 30-year-old question of global regularity of the Monge-Ampère eigenfunctions, finally resolving this difficult question.

Le joined the IU Bloomington faculty in 2014. He previously served as a Ritt assistant professor at Columbia University and a researcher at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology in Vietnam. He earned his Bachelor of Science from the Vietnam National University at Ho Chi Minh City and his Master of Science and Ph.D. from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University.

Rebekah Sheldon

Sheldon’s work focuses on contemporary American literature and culture, with particular emphasis on speculative and science fiction. As a literary theorist, she looks at how representations of and ideas about the future shape our actions in the present.

Her first book, "The Child to Come: Life After the Human Catastrophe," contemplates how the child became perceived as being tantamount to the future and what effects that perception had on women, children, and sex- and gender-nonconforming people. The book earned an honorable mention from the 2016 Science Fiction and Technoscientific Studies Program Book Award.

She is also an affiliate assistant professor of gender studies. Before coming to IU, she was a provost postdoctoral fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in English from the City University of New York. She received the English department's Trustees Teaching Award in 2017.

Adam Ward

Ward is a hydrologist who studies the transport of water, energy, nutrients and pollutants through landscapes. His goal is to predict water quantity, water quality and ecosystem functions in response to changes due to natural change or human modification.

He received of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to study linkages between surface- and groundwaters, and scale predictive power from meters to entire river basins. His work has been published in leading journals in water resources and related disciplines.

Ward came to IU in 2014 from the University of Iowa. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the School of Informatics and Computing. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan Technological University and a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Penn State University. He received the Trustees Teaching Award in 2016 and SPEA's Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award in 2017.