Dr. Venugopal "Kal" Kalavacharla, director of CIBER (Center for Integrated Biological and Environmental Research) and associate professor of plant molecular genetics and genomics, has been recognized by the Delaware BioScience Association as the 2014 Educator of the Year for Higher Education.
The award was presented April 16 at the annual DelawareBio Award Gala at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington.
Dr. Kalavacharla was nominated by Lori Maramante and Barbara Wiggins, both instructors at Delaware Technical Community College who are well acquainted with his academic instruction programs.
Ms. Maramante said Dr. Kalavacharla was deserving of the award due to “his role in developing undergraduates through the well-designed National Science Foundation Research for Undergraduates summer internship program he has spearheaded and for his leadership in developing an academic pipeline for bioscience students in the state.”
Ms. Wiggins noted that Dr. Kalavacharla is the principal investigator of the DSU portion of the Delaware-EPSCoR grants shared by the University of Delaware, DSU, Delaware Tech, and Wesley College. She also noted the benefit gained by students involved in DSU's National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) in Molecular Genetics and Genomics program.
“Delaware Tech students who participate end up transferring to a four-year school to get a bachelor's degree, and some have continued on for graduate programs,” Ms. Wiggins said. “Kal is a professional, knowledgeable, skilled instructor, a great collaborator and a pleasure to work with.”
Upon receiving the award, Dr. Kalavacharla -- who has been a DSU faculty member since 2006 -- acknowledged and thanked the collaboration and active participation of faculty colleagues, staff and students from within DSU, as well as Delaware Tech, Wesley College and UD for helping to develop integrated STEM research and education programs that benefit Delaware and the region.
Delaware BioScience Association is a unified voice for Delaware’s thriving bio community, dedicated to facilitating growth of the life science industry, advancements in research as well as supporting education initiatives in Delaware and the surrounding region.
The mission of the Delaware BioScience Association is to become the catalyst to ensure Delaware becomes a global leader in life sciences by developing a cohesive community that unites the region's biotechnology, pharmaceutical, research, financial and agricultural strengths.