You Choose Award winners 2009

Winning proposals were superb and ranged widely in their goals and scopes, from those with pivotal importance for individuals to those with potential to enhance entire communities: a seminar series of eminent engineers, collaborative research in Mexico on Mayan cultures, organizing an international workshop, participating in a career development workshop, forums with NIH program officers focused at under-represented populations, and a career skills workshop on scientific writing for the UM community. Winners speak about their awards and experiences in our annual UM-wide SEEDS events. The winners were: 
Traci Ardren, Anthropology 
Lisa Beal, Meteorology & Physical Oceanography
Eunji Lim, Industrial Engineering 
Joy Lincoln, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology 
Tulay Koru-Sengu, Biostatistics, Epidemiology
Paquita Zuidema Meteorology & Physical Oceanography


Traci Ardren


Eunji Lim


Joy Lincoln


Paquita Zuidema


Lisa Beal


Tulay Koru-Sengul

Traci Ardren, Associate Professor, Anthropology proposal (pdf) Final Report
SEEDS funding is awarded to Dr. Arden to foster a scientific collaboration between her and Dr. Vera Tiesler, a physical anthropologist working in Mexico. SEEDS will support a visit to Tiesler’s osteological laboratory that now houses human materials that were recovered in 2006 during an archaeological field project directed by Arden. During the visit, they will plan, draft, and finalize a joint publication. Collaboration in person will enhance the quality of the research experience and facilitate Dr. Arden’s potential long term professional relationship with a senior female scholar in her field. Because travel for such purposes is not covered by her NSF grant, SEEDS funding fills a key gap. The goals are clear and the likelihood for a successful academic product that will enhance her CV is high.

Eunji Lim, Assistant Professor, Industrial Engineering. proposal (pdf). Final Report
SEEDS funding is awarded to Dr. Lim to host a series of seminars in the School of Engineering at the University of Miami, consisting of three invited talks by distinguished scholars who work in areas complementary to Dr. Lim's research in Industrial Engineering areas. The goal of her project is two-fold: 1) To communicate and exchange research ideas with leading researchers with an aim to publish in peer-reviewed journals. 2) To network with diverse speakers. She intends to invite researchers who are from under-represented groups further supporting diversity initiatives. This speaker series will enhance Dr. Lim’s connections with underrepresented engineers around the country, thereby enabling her to advance her research in a general sense as well as to enhance her department's contacts. Dr. Lim, Engineering faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates will all profit by having contact with leading researchers who themselves faced barriers (or perhaps continue to do so) in their careers.

Joy Lincoln, Assistant Professor, Molecular & Cellular Pharmacology proposal (pdf)SEEDS funding, with cost share by Dr Bookman’s office, is awarded to Dr. Lincoln to host several forums on navigating the NIH system. Each forum includes a presentation by an invited Program Officer from an NIH Institute, an interactive Panel Discussion, and a social event. Follow-up questionnaires will assess the value and impact of these events. Although grantsmanship already receives attention at UM, her forums target underrepresented groups and aim to provide them with essential tools for furthering their careers. Obtaining grants from NIH is essential for a successful career in biomedical sciences yet requires knowledge and insights typically gained only through networking with funded peers and officials at NIH itself, which often bypasses under-represented groups who lack avenues of access to these key people at NIH. Demystifying the granting process and giving attendees direct, informal access to NIH program officers is expected to significantly enhance their ability to win grants, as well as provide them with ethos that may translate into other professional interactions (for example, by enabling them to provide informed advice to junior colleagues about the granting process). Moreover, she has enlisted several colleagues at the Miller School in her proposal, all of them also underrepresented. In this very act, she has enhanced her connections with colleagues, establishing a vital support system for future research and scholarship. 

Paquita Zuidema, Assistant Professor, Meteorology & Physical Oceanography proposal (pdf)
SEEDS funding is awarded to Dr. Zuidema to host a day-long career skills course on writing by bringing in Dr. Judith Swan, a known expert and teacher on effective scientific writing, co-author of The Science of Science Writing (pdf). Writing is a skill that can mean the difference between a fulfilled career and one lacking in opportunities. Effective communication is essential, and under-represented groups are often particularly reluctant to ask for help in upgrading such skills. Despite the importance of a facility in writing, writing is not traditionally taught to scientists: English classes are never a requirement in a scientific graduate curriculum. Skill in communication serves as one ʻgate keeperʼ to increasing the participation and advancement of a diverse population in science and engineering. The goal of her proposal is to help entry-level scientists learn how to bridge the gap, and to resensitize in more mature scientists a more conscious approach to writing. Advertising for the speaking event will reach beyond RSMAS to the rest of the UM community.

Lisa Beal, Assistant Professor, Meteorology & Physical Oceanography proposal (pdf). Final Report
SEEDS funding is awarded to Dr. Beal to organize and attend an international workshop in Kiel, Germany that will form the basis of a new large-scale proposal in the climate change arena that she wishes to write. The event will bring together the diverse international community of scientists who conduct research in the Southwest Indian Ocean. As an international expert on the Agulhas Current system, Lisa Beal was recognized as someone who could lead this effort. This is an unprecedented opportunity for her to take a leadership role and gain international standing. The event will increase the international standing of her own research program, and give her opportunities for high profile collaborative research. The workshop and her role in it could be a major turning point in her career. She also successfully solicited matching funds from Dean Brown’s office for a student to attend the workshop as well. 

Tulay Koru-Sengul, Assistant Professor of Biostatistics, Epidemiology 
SEEDS funding is awarded to Dr. Koru-Sengal to attend a workshop for the Junior Faculty Health Researchers in Biostatistics on March 13-14, 2009 immediately preceding the ENAR-2009 Spring Meeting (March 15-18, 2009) at San Antonia, Texas ( The workshop aims to promote the career development of junior investigators by bringing them together with a prestigious panel of senior investigators. Publishing, grant writing, interdisciplinary collaborations, promotion process by providing important information on academic growth will be the themes of the workshop. The ENAR workshop committee awarded her with funding of up to $550 as partial support. If the reader requires further details regarding the applicant and the application, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Tulay Koru-Sengul either by email ( or phone (305-243-2618)