2020 GW OVPR Faculty Award Recipients

2020 Recipients

Distinguished Researcher Award

Elizabeth Thom
Research Professor of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics
Dr. Thom’s research has focused on the conduct of multi-center randomized clinical trials, particularly in the fields of maternal-fetal medicine and fetal diagnosis and therapy. As a principal investigator, she has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since 1996. She led the Data Coordinating Center for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Research Network from 1992 to 2018. She was also the Director of the George Washington University Biostatistics Center from 2012-2018, which brings in approximately $65 million dollars in research funding yearly. Many of the research projects she has led have had a major impact on clinical practice and she has co-authored multiple papers on the results of these studies in the New England Journal of Medicine. She was a principal investigator of the randomized trial of prenatal versus postnatal surgery for myelomeningocele, which received the Trial of the Year Award from the Society for Clinical Trials. She is an elected Fellow of the same society. She received the NICHD Duane Alexander Award for academic leadership in perinatal medicine and was elected as an honorary member of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine. Dr. Thom holds an MA in mathematics from Oxford University, an MSc in biometry from Reading University in the UK and a PhD in mathematical statistics from GW.

Distinguished Scholar Award

David J. Silverman
Professor of History
David J. Silverman is the author of five books, including This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and Troubled History of Thanksgiving (New York: Bloomsbury, 2019) and Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2016). He is the recent recipient of the William Hickling Prescott Award for Excellence in Historical Writing, given by the Massachusetts branch of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. His essays have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Daily Beast.

Early Career Researcher Award

Adelina Voutchkova-Kostal
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Dr. Voutchkova is the director of graduate studies of the MS Program in Environmental and Green Chemistry. She instructs Organic Chemistry II and graduate courses in organometallic chemistry and industrial green chemistry. Her research group works to help develop chemical processes that can allow societies to transition from a linear economy (make-use-dispose) to a circular economy, where resources are kept in circulation as long as possible. Dr. Voutchkova applies her background in organometallic catalysis and chemical toxicology to developing multidisciplinary approaches to addressing such key challenges in sustainable production of chemicals and fuels. The group’s current primary focus is the design of catalytic processes that enable new transformations of non-edible plant materials to cleanly produce renewable chemicals and fuels.

Dr. Voutchkova has served as an expert in these fields in the National Academies of Sciences Committee on Alternative Assessments and has briefed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and  Senate and Congress committees on the importance of toxicology in chemistry education, and been actively involved on faculty committees of the American Chemical Society to upgrade the undergraduate chemistry curriculum. Dr. Voutchkova obtained her BS in chemistry and biochemistry from Middlebury College, and her PhD from Yale University in organometallic chemistry. Her post-graduate work was at the Yale Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering with Paul Anastas focused on the rational design of commercial chemicals.

Early Career Scholar Award

Eric Kramon
Assistant Professor of Political Science & International Affairs
Dr. Kramon received his PhD in political science from UCLA and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University. His research focuses on clientelism, ethnic politics, electoral accountability, and judicial politics in new democracies, with a regional focus on Africa. Dr. Kramon's book on clientelism during elections, Money for Votes (Cambridge University Press), was awarded the African Politics Conference Group’s award for the best book published in 2018. His work has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the International Growth Centre, and the Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP) Metaketa initiative, and has been published in outlets such as the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Comparative Political Studies, the British Journal of Political Science, the Quarterly Journal of Political Science, and Science Advances.

Research Mentorship Award

Arshad Imtiaz Ali
Assistant Professor of Educational Research
Dr. Ali has had the opportunity to mentor and learn with scores of students at GW and the Graduate School of Education and Human Development. He has served on dozens of dissertation committees and work closely with students in pursuing their intellectual and scholarly interests. In addition to formal mentorship, Dr. Ali has worked closely with graduate students on developing their scholarly writing and voice, facilitated formal and informal student reading groups, and helped students develop community-based research projects. He has worked to develop scholarly support networks for students from historically underrepresented communities, and for students interested in community engaged scholarship. Dr. Ali is an interdisciplinary scholar who studies youth culture, race, identity, and political engagement in the lives of young people. He was the recipient of the 2016 Early Career Award from the Research on the Education of Asian and Pacific Americans Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). He served as Scholar-in-Residence at Harvard College in 2016. Dr. Ali is co-editor (with Teresa McCarty) of Critical Youth Research in Education: Methodologies of Praxis and Care (Routledge, 2020). He is also co-editor (with Tracy Buenavista) of Education at War: The Fight for Students of Color in America's Public Schools (Fordham University Press, 2018). He has published scholarly articles on Muslim youth identities and politics, race and education, and ethnographic research methods in Anthropology & Education QuarterlyEquity & Excellence in Educationthe International Journal of Qualitative Studies in EducationDiaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education; and Teachers College Record, among other scholarly journals. Dr. Ali regularly speaks and works with colleges and universities, training students in bystander interventions, understanding the context of campus racial aggression, and how to address anti-Muslim discrimination and violence on campus. He has been actively involved in youth and community organizing for two decades.