Two engineering faculty members honored at Spring Faculty Assembly

Bradley Malin and Karl Zelik were among eight Vanderbilt faculty members who received 2023 Spring Faculty Awards at the Spring Faculty Assembly April 10. Recipients were recognized for their significant impact through scholarship, research, creative expression, service, teaching or mentoring.

Malin received the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award. Zelik received the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, one of two new awards that recognize faculty members’ commitment to mentoring undergraduate students.

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Faculty Senate Chair Rebecca R. Swan present Bradley Malin with the Alexander Heard Distinguished Service Professor Award (Harrison McClary / Vanderbilt University)

Malin is Accenture Professor of Biomedical Informatics, professor of biostatistics and computer science, and founder of the Health Information Privacy Laboratory. The Heard Award recognizes scholarship that contributes to the analysis and solution of significant problems of contemporary society.

Malin’s research is in maximizing the potential of the massive amounts of generated health data by making it available on a broad scale—but doing so without violating the rights of the people to whom the data corresponds—with the goal of constructing technologies that enable privacy and analytics.

He works to develop practical solutions to preserving privacy—with a particular focus on health information—drawing on methods from computer science, biology, policy analysis and economics.

The opportunity for undergraduates to participate in research with world-class faculty is a defining experience at Vanderbilt. By engaging in the scientific process, becoming better learners, thinking critically and generating, applying and disseminating knowledge, our students are gaining the tools they will need to make a difference in the world, Chancellor Daniel Diermeier said.

Chancellor Daniel Diermeier and Faculty Senate Chair Rebecca R. Swan present Karl Zelik with the Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award (Harrison McClary / Vanderbilt University)

Zelik, is associate professor of mechanical engineering and of biomedical engineering.  The Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award recognizes a faculty members’ commitment to mentoring undergraduate students.

The Zelik lab investigates fundamental mechanisms of legged locomotion and how to improve assistive technologies, such as prosthetic limbs and exoskeletons. Using state-of-the-art equipment, students in the lab perform research on human locomotion using techniques from engineering, biomechanics, bio-signal analysis and neural control.

According to the student nominator, Zelik teaches students in the lab and in his classes how to think about complex problems and communicate ideas, while also providing support and guidance.

The other faculty award honorees are:

  • Randolph Blake, Centennial Professor of Psychology and professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, received the Harvie Branscomb Distinguished Professor Award.
  • Evelyn Patterson, associate professor of sociology and of law, was this year’s winner of the Joe B. Wyatt Distinguished University Professor Award.
  • Rolanda Johnson, professor of nursing and associate dean for equity, diversity and inclusion in the School of Nursing won the Joseph A. Johnson, Jr., Distinguished Leadership Professor Award.
  • Jeong-Oh Kim, senior lecturer of English, received the Ellen Gregg Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching.
  • Andrea Capizzi, associate professor of the practice of special education, received the Madison Sarratt Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
  • David Hess, James Thornton Fant Professor of Sustainability Studies and professor of sociology, won the first-ever Excellence in Immersion Mentoring Award.