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K-State Today

April 11, 2023

Kansas State University faculty members complete Big 12 Faculty Fellowships

Submitted by Division of Communications and Marketing

Five Kansas State University faculty members have completed the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship program. The recipients traveled to member institutions to participate in cross mentoring among universities, developing working relationships and exchanging ideas with others.

The 2021-2022 Big 12 Faculty Fellows are Amir Bahadori, associate professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering; Genevieve Baudoin, associate professor of architecture; Amanda Gaulke, assistant professor of economics; Tania Kim, assistant professor of entomology; and Brian Lubbers, associate professor of food animal therapeutics.

Bahadori's research is focused on the characterization of radiation environments, understanding the response of humans and electronics to radiation exposure using both experimental and computational techniques, and radiation imaging. He is a Steve Hsu Keystone Research Faculty Scholar in the Alan Levin Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering and director of the Radiological Engineering Analysis Laboratory at K-State. For the fellowship, Bahadori visited the Saha Laboratory of Radiation Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center, or KUMC. He was introduced to basic cell culturing concepts, including fluorescent labeling using primary and secondary antibodies, and learned more about human organoid growth, ionizing radiation exposure, and analysis. Bahadori also met with several medical physics faculty to discuss possible collaborations between K-State and KUMC on radiation health effects research. 

"It was great to get to see the KUMC facilities and discuss opportunities to increase collaboration between the two institutions," Bahadori said. "I look forward to a productive research effort with my colleagues at KUMC." 

Baudoin's collaborative design practice, Dual Ecologies, focuses on site and infrastructural relationships and their coincident architectural and tectonic response. Her current research is in applications for mid- to large-scale 3D printing in architecture, particularly as it relates to on-site construction. Her book, "Interpreting Site: Studies in Perception, Representation, and Design," considers the relationship between site and architecture through its representation and artifact, examining the methods architects employ in the process of design. Baudoin has worked professionally with both Foster + Partners and Antoine Predock Architect. She is also a registered architect in New Mexico. For the fellowship, Baudoin traveled to Iowa State University to visit the Computation and Construction Lab and its team. The team is focused on 3D printing and other robotically driven equipment. Baudoin also received a tour of their current facilities and recent student and faculty work.

"I interviewed the team on many of the past and ongoing issues and opportunities they’ve uncovered since they began the lab six years ago," Baudoin said. "We also discussed some of the software issues I’ve run into interfacing with the 3D printing equipment we have, enabling more freedom to direct the extruders in specific ways."

Gaulke’s research studies how a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis impacts the individual diagnosed, with an emphasis on socio-economic disparities. She also studies how childhood onset Type 1 diabetes impacts educational outcomes of siblings as well as labor market outcomes and mental health of parents. Her research projects have been published in journals including the Journal of Health Economics and Journal of the American Medical Association. Gaulke also is serving as a research fellow at the Institute of Labor Economics. As a Big 12 Faculty Fellow, Gaulke traveled to West Virginia University to begin work with a team on a health economics project. The team started researching whether health insurance rules create a barrier to continuous glucose monitoring use among patients with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis, with a focus on West Virginia.

"A better understanding of barriers to accessing effective medical treatment can both improve the quality of health care and reduce inequality in patient outcomes," Gaulke said. "The team plans to apply for grant funding, and the results of the study will be distributed through a peer-reviewed research paper."

Kim’s research focuses on understanding how land use and land management affect insect biodiversity and ecosystem services such as pest suppression, pollination, weed suppression and decomposition. Kim teaches two courses, Economic Entomology and Insect Ecology, and is advisor to four graduate students and two undergraduate students. The mission of her lab is to create research and learning opportunities to a diversity of students, and actively search for ways to promote social justice in entomology and beyond. For the fellowship, Kim visited the established STRIPS project at Iowa State University to interact with entomologists, land managers and other scientists about the benefits and costs of establishing and monitoring prairie strips as a sustainable conservation practice in agriculture. Kim also interacted with graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and faculty in the entomology department at Iowa State University and gave a departmental seminar on her work at K-State.

"The Big 12 Faculty Fellowship was an extremely valuable experience in both establishing research connections and providing the background needed to conduct similar research in Kansas," Kim said."It also provided me with new insights and opportunities to integrate biodiversity conservation with agriculture."

Lubbers' teaching and research interests are antimicrobial stewardship and therapy, antimicrobial resistance and application of diagnostic testing in food animals. Lubbers also served as the director of clinical microbiology at the Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for 10 years. He is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Clinical Pharmacology and currently serves as the vice chairholder for the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute’s Veterinary Antimicrobial Susceptibility testing subcommittee. For the fellowship, Lubbers worked with faculty at the Texas Tech School of Veterinary Medicine to discuss teaching strategies in their professional curriculum and share experiences with K-State’s peer review of teaching. He observed lectures and provided both written and oral feedback to instructors at Texas Tech, and met with college administration to discuss the procedures used at K-State for peer teaching evaluation and opportunities for improving the process at both institutions. He also provided guest lectures and received feedback on his teaching effectiveness from other faculty members.

"The Big 12 Faculty Fellowship was valuable to help me re-evaluate some of my own teaching strategies and become a more effective educator in the veterinary curriculum at K-State," Lubbers said.

The Chief Academic Officers of the Big 12 universities created the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship program for the purpose of stimulating scholarly activities in the areas of teaching, research and service. Recently, a mentoring and networking component has been added to facilitate the establishment of contacts and networks for new faculty with outstanding individuals in their discipline at other Big 12 universities.

To learn more, visit the Big 12 Faculty Fellowship website.