Petit Institute "Above and Beyond" Awardees Announced

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The Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience announces its annual “Above and Beyond” awardees. Loren Williams, Ph.D. and Todd Sulchek, Ph.D are the recipients of the faculty awards and Colly Mitchell has been named the staff recipient. 

The Petit Institute Above and Beyond Awards are selected by the Faculty Steering Committee and given to team-based individuals who demonstrate exemplary service to the institute and contribute to its collegial, collaborative environment.  Three awards are given each year to a senior faculty member, a pre-tenure faculty member and a staff member.

Loren Williams, professor in Chemistry and Biochemistry, has contributed to the Petit Institute significantly this year. Williams is the director of one of the Petit Institute interdisciplinary research centers, RiboEvo.  RiboEvo is a NASA-funded center which is focused on integrated interdisciplinary research and education in astrobiology. As part of the center’s activities, Williams voluntarily participated in the Buzz on Biotechnology high school open house where his center hosted two booths, one with a 3-D visualization of DNA, RNA using PyMol and another demonstration showcasing the use of liquid nitrogen in cryogenics and molecular biology. In addition, Williams organized the 2011 Suddath Symposium and participated in several Petit Institute activities including the Industry Partners Symposium dinner and the Bio-Center Poster Session. Williams also sits on the core facilities steering committee. Williams will have an equally busy 2012 as he is chair of the Astrobiology Science Conference which will attract over 700 scientists to Atlanta and Georgia Tech next year.

Todd Sulchek, assistant professor in Mechanical Engineering, was nominated for his participation and support of the Petit Scholars program over the last several years and for consistently being an active community citizen. Sulchek has participated in many Petit Institute-related events, seminars and community-wide poster sessions.  In addition, Sulchek received a NSF CAREER Award for his proposal titled: "Understanding Multivalent Biological Bonds for Biosensing Applications."  Sulchek will continue to support Petit Institute activities in 2012 as he is scheduled to give a seminar for the Petit Institute’s IBB Breakfast Club seminar series in February.

Colly Mitchell, special program coordinator for marketing and communications, has been working for the Petit Institute since 2007. In 2008, she began to manage the Petit Scholars program.  At the time Mitchell took over, the program was declining.  Over the course of the last 3 years, she has played a key role in improving the number and quality of the applications and in 2011 the program is thriving.  During her tenure at the Petit Institute, Mitchell has made a complex job look easy by supporting a variety of Petit Institute events for groups ranging from students to high-profile donors and administrators. In addition, she is responsible for various communication activities, including display of news and events on the atrium’s flat screen TV and the institute’s website. Perhaps even more impressively, she manages all of this on a part-time basis and does so with a calm demeanor, a constant smile and an easy professionalism that earns her the respect and admiration of her colleagues.  


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