2022 GW OVPR Faculty Award Recipients

2022 Recipients

Distinguished Researcher Award

Jozef Przytycki
Professor of Mathematics

Jozef H. Przytycki, did his Master Degree in his native Poland in 1977. He completed his PhD at Columbia University in 1981 under the supervision of Joan Birman. For His thesis he received the Kuratowski prize in 1982. He was a postdoctoral fellow with Dale Rolfsen at UBC, Kunio Murasugi at U. Toronto and Vaughan Jones at UC.Berkeley. He also spent a semester as a member at Institute for Advanced Study, 1990. From 1995 he worked at George Washington University where in 2005 he was awarded The Oscar and Shoshana Trachtenberg Prize for Research Scholarship. He specializes in Topology with emphasis on algebraic structures motivated by and applied to knot theory. In particular he is the creator of Skein modules Theory. He is a fellow of the Washington Academy of Science. He is co-organizing several international conferences. In particular, 50 "Knots in Washington" Conferences which started small and now are major conference series in Knot Theory, three "Knots in Poland" conferences, two "Knots in Hellas" conferences. He Published over 150 research papers, 4 books and over 25 conference Proceedings. He has 1795 citations (Math. Sci. Net. August 8, 2022). He graduated 16 PhD students.

Distinguished Scholar Award

Gayle Wald
Professor of American Studies

Gayle Wald is a feminist scholar of American culture with special interests in African American music, literature, and media. She is the author of three books: Crossing the Line: Racial Passing in US Literature and Culture (Duke University Press, 2000); Shout, Sister, Shout! The Untold Story of Rock-and-Roll Trailblazer Sister Rosetta Tharpe (Beacon Press, 2007), and It's Been Beautiful: Soul! and Black Power Television (Duke University Press, 2015). Her articles and essays have been published in journals including American Literature, American Quarterly, Camera Obscura, Current Musicology, Feminist Media Studies, Genders, Journal of Popular Music Studies, Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, and Women and Performance. Her work has earned fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Fulbright Foundation. She frequently comments on popular music in podcasts, online publications, and print media, and has consulted on and appeared in documentaries including Sister Rosetta Tharpe: The Godmother of Rock and Roll and the Peabody Award-winning Mr. Soul! Her biography of Rosetta Tharpe helped to reignite interest in the groundbreaking gospel musician's career, leading to Tharpe's 2018 induction in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Shout, Sister, Shout!, which will be reissued in 2023, is the basis for a musical of the same name; it premiered at Pasadena Playhouse and was reprised at Seattle Repertory Theater, and will open at Ford's Theater in Washington, DC in spring 2023. Wald's current project, under contract with the University of Chicago Press, is a biography of the seminal children's musician and educator Ella Jenkins. A winner of a Marshall Scholarship, Wald received her BA in English/French at the University of Virginia and her PhD in English from Princeton University.

Early Career Researcher Award

Payman Dehghanian
Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Payman Dehghanian received the B.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from University of Tehran, Iran, in 2009, the M.Sc. degree in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, in 2011, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA, in 2017. Dr. Dehghanian conducts research in the field of electric power systems engineering, with a focus on enhancing the reliability, resilience, and operational efficiency of the nation’s electric power delivery infrastructure against environmental stressors and man-made cyber and physical threats. In this context, he and his team of students at GW Smart Grid Laboratory have been developing tools and solutions to enhance the ways with which we think, design, plan, operate, and control the smart electricity grids and the energy infrastructure more efficiently and resiliently. Dr. Dehghanian is leading and collaborating in a number of research projects supported by National Science Foundation (NSF), US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Naval Research (ONR), Amazon Web Services (AWS), among others. As of 2022, Dr. Dehghanian has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed technical articles including more than 95 journal and 85 conference articles.

Dr. Dehghanian is a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). He is the recipient of the 2014 and 2015 IEEE Region 5 Outstanding Professional Achievement Awards, the 2015 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional Award, the 2021 Early Career Award from the Washington Academy of Sciences, and the 2022 IEEE Electrical Safety Committee’s Young Professional Achievement Award. In 2015 and 2016, he was selected among the World’s Top 20 Best Young Scholars for Next Generation of Researchers in Power Systems.

Early Career Scholar Award

Eric Schluessel
Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs

Dr. Schluessel is a scholar of history-from-below in late imperial and modern China, with a focus on the Uyghur homeland of Xinjiang. His work crosses religious, economic, and social history and emphasizes the ways that ordinary people negotiate the boundaries of their communities beyond the forms of the modern nation-state, particularly where colonial phenomena emerge from unexpected environments. His first monograph was Land of Strangers: The Civilizing Project in Qing Central Asia (Columbia University Press), a history of the Uyghur homeland in the late nineteenth century, when activists from China proper attempted to transform the region's Muslims into ideal Confucians, leading to complex social and cultural ramifications. Land of Strangers won the 2021 John K. Fairbank Prize for East Asian History (post-1800) from the American Historical Association. Dr. Schluessel has meanwhile co-edited Community Still Matters (NIAS Press, 2022), a volume of current scholarship on the Uyghur homeland past and present. He is also the author of An Introduction to Chaghatay (Maize Books, 2018), a textbook for reading the premodern Turkic literary language of Central Asia. His articles have appeared in such venues as Late Imperial China, the Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient, and Asian Ethnicity, and he has been involved in projects ranging from ethnographies of Inner Asian infrastructure to making a video about fruit rapping in Uyghur. Dr. Schluessel received his PhD in History and East Asian Languages from Harvard University. He holds an MA in Linguistics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, an MA in Central Eurasian Studies from Indiana University, and a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Connecticut College. Prior to joining GW, Dr. Schluessel taught at the University of Montana. He held a Mellon Fellowship for Junior Faculty at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The latter fellowship allowed him to translate into English the Tārīkh-i Ḥamīdī by Mūsā Sayrāmī, the preeminent history of the Uyghur homeland written by one of its most celebrated Islamic scholars, which will be published by Columbia University Press. His current research concerns diaspora religious histories and the intersections of piety and labor.

Research Mentorship Award

N. Sharon Hill
Associate Professor of Management

Dr. Hill’s research focuses on organizational change, teamwork and virtual/remote work (e.g., virtual teams, telecommuting, mobile work), which are topics that are highly relevant to managing and leading the contemporary workforce. She has published her work in leading management journals and serves on the editorial boards of Personnel Psychology and Organization Science. She also teaches courses at the undergraduate, M.B.A., Ph.D., and executive education levels.

Since joining GW in 2008, Dr. Hill has been a faculty advisor, committee member, and/or dissertation advisor to 13 doctoral students. She has also co-authored numerous papers with doctoral students and supported masters and undergraduate research projects. Dr. Hill co- founded the Building Research Interdisciplinarily to Advance Gender Equity (GW-BRIDGE) group of GW scholars, which brings together students and faculty across GW with a common interest in research examining gender equity. She also recently served as Team Science Co-Lead for the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National, a partnership with George Washington University, where she worked with clinical translational medical research teams to implement effective team science practices.

Dr. Hill received her Ph.D. in Business and Management from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also holds an M.B.A. in International Business and a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering with German. Dr. Hill is a member of the academic honor societies of Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Kappa Phi. She previously held leadership roles in multinational companies in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, and the United States.

Research Mentorship Award

Sarah Wagner
Professor of Anthropology

Since joining GW in 2012, Dr. Wagner has worked alongside scores of undergraduate and graduate students exploring their research interests and honing their writing skills in projects from honors theses and culminating papers to doctoral dissertations. She has served on 17 dissertation committees, both at GW and other universities in the United States and Europe, and was the Director of Graduate Studies for the PhD program in Anthropology from 2019-2022. Her research focuses on post-conflict societies, memory, national identity, and forensic science applied in the wake of war, and, most recently, on COVID-19 death and mourning. She currently co-leads a team of student and faculty researchers with the GW Anthropology Department on a National Science Foundation-funded study examining pandemic commemoration in an era of misinformation. She is the author of To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing (University of California Press, 2008) and co-author with Lara J. Nettelfield of Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide (Cambridge University Press, 2014). In 2017, she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar Award to complete her third book, What Remains: Bringing America’s Missing Home from the Vietnam War (Harvard University Press, 2019), which won the 2020 Victor Turner Prize for Ethnographic Writing. In addition to her scholarly publications, she has written opinion editorials and blog posts for the Washington Post, The Hill, Baltimore Sun, and LA Times.