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SU professor earns Andrew W. Mellon funded scholarship

3/27/2012

Rachel Vincent-Finley, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, has been awarded a national 2012 Career Enhancement Fellowship for Junior Faculty. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funds the fellowship.

The fellowship, administered by the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, and is awarded annually to 20 junior faculty nationwide within the teaching fields of physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. 

The award is designed to assist talented junior faculty in pursuit of scholarly research with a goal of increasing the presence of faculty who are "committed to eradicating racial disparities in core fields in the arts and sciences." 

The Career Enhancement Fellowship Program provides one year of financial support, mentoring, and a fall retreat for participants.  Its goal is to "aid the scholarly research and intellectual growth of fellows."

"Receiving this fellowship provides me the resources to promote the development of research at Southern University and it will enrich my teaching capabilities," Dr. Vincent-Finley said.

Dr. Vincent-Finley received a doctorate in Computational and Applied Mathematics from Rice University and completed a post-doctoral appointment in the Institute of Molecular Design at the University of Houston. 

Prior to joining the faculty at Southern in 2009, Dr. Vincent-Finley was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Tulane University.  At Southern, Dr. Vincent-Finley is a Louisiana Optical Network Initiative (LONI) fellow and serves on the LONI management council.

During the 2012-2013 academic year, Dr. Vincent-Finley will engage in research activities that will support the development and sustainability of her research program at Southern.  Her general research interests include numerical methods and mathematical modeling with research applications to molecular biophysics and materials science. 

The research applications to materials science include research in support of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory (LIGO).  This research seeks to build computational models of the coatings material based upon first principles calculations and experimentally determined features of the system in order to predict materials properties and performance.

Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the encouragement of excellence in education through the identification of critical needs and the development of effective national programs to address them.