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Faculty Convocation Week celebrates the achievements of FIU educators. The individuals highlighted have earned recognition for their impactful teaching, outstanding research and exemplary service.

Congratulations to the following:

Phillip M. Carter, English
Carter is a sociolinguist and scholar of language in immigrant communities in the U.S. focusing on issues related to language contact, bilingualism, identity, education, and politics. He has spoken on these topics at NYU, Emory, UCLA, Duke and others, and his work has been published in leading journals, including Language in Society and in Latino Studies. He is co-author of Languages in the World: How History, Culture, and Politics Shape Language (2016). Carter has appeared on Telemundo, Univisión, CNNEE, and other local, national, and international venues.

Maria V. Alvarez Tsalikis, Teaching and Learning
Alvarez Tsalikis has over twenty years of experience as an educator serving
children, adults, and the community. She began her career with Miami-Dade Public Schools teaching a wide variety of student populations including children with special needs. Her areas of expertise and interests include literacy education, curriculum and program development, accreditation, and directing the teaching academy program at Ronald Reagan High School. She currently teaches graduate and undergraduate courses and serves as the Elementary Education Program Director.

Rachel A. Ritchie, Psychology
Ritchie was recognized for her innovative teaching methods. Several of Ritchie’s online classes are Quality Matters certified and award winning. Ritchie has also served as a Fellow for Center for Advancement of Teaching. Her educational research interests include online and hybrid teaching and learning, the use of learning assistants, and active learning in the classroom.

Frank A. Scafidi, Leadership and Professional Studies
Scafidi has worked in the field of psychology for almost 30 years and been an adjunct at FIU since 2010. He received his Master’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and his doctoral degree in Child/Adolescent Clinical Psychology from the University of Miami. Scafidi has been the Primary Investigator on numerous NIMH, NIDA, CDC, SAMHSA, and NIH studies and served as the Chairperson for the Center for Substance Abuse Adolescent Cluster Group. He is widely published in the field of child development.

Joerg Reinhold, Physics
Reinhold’s research in experimental nuclear physics focusses on the aspects of quark-gluon degrees of freedom on nuclear structure and interactions. At FIU, his efforts at reforming a large enrollment physics class for pre-health science majors has been supported by FIU’s HHMI Faculty Scholar Program through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He also has been instrumental in developing new course offering in nuclear sciences, an effort that was supported by a grant he received from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Krishnaswamy Jayachandran, Earth and Environment
Jayachandran co-lead the creation of a new major in agri-science created more than dozen of the courses. This program has attracted over $10 million in funding from the USDA sparking new research initiatives, and has launched students on new career paths. He works closely with
high schools, conducts workshops, and hosts international students. He is involved with the MiamiDade Science and Engineering Fair, Future Farmers of America, and Fairchild Tropical Botanical Gardens. Jayachandran works closely with military veterans and socially disadvantaged farmers in South Florida.

Bruce R. McCord, Chemistry
McCord researches novel applications in forensic analytical chemistry, including methods for explosives residue and drug analysis, genomics and microfluidic/nanoscale sensing. While at the FBI Laboratory, McCord conducted fundamental studies on the application of capillary electrophoresis in DNA typing. This procedure is now used in laboratories throughout the world to address sexual assault and violent crime. He has produced over 100 publications, 12 book chapters and achieved 5.7 million in research funding. In 2008, he received the Paul Kirk Award of the AAFS for his contributions to Forensic Science.

Jeremy Pettit, Psychology
Pettit conducts research on anxiety, depression, and suicidal behaviors in children and adolescents. He has authored two books and more than 125 peer-reviewed articles and chapters on these topics, and has been awarded
more than $5 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study these topics. He is the recipient of multiple awards and honors, including
the Edwin Shneidman Award for outstanding contributions to research on suicide.

Ping Zhu, Earth and Environment
Zhu is a meteorologist and has been the lead PI on research projects funded by NSF, NOAA, and DOE including his NSF CAREER award, focusing on understanding hurricane boundary layer structure, hurricane dynamics and intensification, and cloud-climate feedback. With the external funding, he supported 9 graduate students, 4 postdocs, and 1 visiting scholar. He has published 31 peer-reviewed papers in world’s leading journals in atmospheric sciences since he joined FIU faculty in 2006 in which 14 were published in the last three years.

Kevin E. O’Shea, Chemistry
O’Shea’s current projects are focused in the areas of the reactions of reactive oxygen species (ROS) with organic compounds of biological importance resulting in diseases and disorders, and environmental applications of ROS related to water purification. His research projects
have been funded from a variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, Petroleum Research Fund, Dreyfus Foundation, and the US Environmental Protection Agency. He has published over 130 peer-reviewed publications and mentored over 100 students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists in his research laboratory.

See all awardees here.