I appreciate the efforts of Mikel Petty and Sara Graves on this effort too – they have been instrumental in shaping the UAH contribution.

I intend to use these monthly letters  as a means of updating you on the activities of my office and to recognize the successes that come to my attention.   I hope that you will take a few moments to read over the notes and, as always, I welcome your contributions and look forward to meeting you in person if I have not done so already.  

We will be announcing a new program in the next few days that will allow faculty the opportunity to apply for “Cross-College” seed grant funding at UAH.  I intend to invite proposals to my office that will propose work by a faculty team involving faculty from more than one College who will work toward submitting proposals for external funding over the coming year.   This program will initially provide $5000 grants to the teams selected (I’m anticipating awarding up to 20 such grants).    The funding is to be used in support of the team’s research efforts.   Please be looking for further details to be announced very soon.  

I am also chairing the UAH Provost Search Committee.   We have an excellent search committee formed and we are entering the final contract negotiation stage with a national search firm that will assist us in finding the next UAH Provost and Executive Vice President.   I will keep you posted on the progress of this search as much as I can as we proceed.   We are on an aggressive time line and hope to be hosting on campus interviews prior to the Christmas holiday.   I would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the search committee for their service and especially thank Misty Bader in the President’s office for her excellent administrative support to the committee.

I was recently made aware that just prior to and during the first week of classes in the Fall, UAH hosts a Week of Welcome (WOW) to help introduce new students to the campus.  During this time, the Office of Research will host a "Research Open House" in Von Braun Research Hall to allow our current student researchers to set up small displays which will promote their individual research efforts and hopefully, pique the interest of new students in research opportunities.   The event is planned  for Monday, August 19 from 1-4 PM in VBRH.   More information on this will be forthcoming from Mr. David Cook in the near future. 

I had the opportunity recently to visit with Dr. Sundar Christopher, Chair of Atmospheric Science.   He informed me that one of his graduate students, Mr. Nan Feng,  won a prestigious NASA Earth science fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year.   Nan was one of only 56 fellows chosen from 330 applicants, and the only student in Alabama to win a NASA Earth science fellowship this year.  He is the eighth UAH atmospheric science graduate student to win a NASA fellowship – so this speaks very highly of the Department as well as the student’s success.  Our UAH Department of Atmospheric Science was recently ranked in the top ten by the Chronicle of Higher Education.  Congratulations to all!!

Finally, please allow me to express my sincere appreciation for the warm welcome I have received at UAH and for your patience with me as I try to get established here.   As always, I look forward to hearing from you and I hope that you will share your success stories with me as they occur.  

Yours in service,

Ray Vaughn

Vice President for Research and Economic Development