Dr. Ivano Aiello leads a class through Pinnacles National Monument.

Ivano Aiello, Marjorie Freedman Receive SJSU Research Foundation’s 2011 Early Career Investigator Awards

Dr. Ivano Aiello leads a class through Pinnacles National Monument.

Dr. Ivano Aiello leads a class through Pinnacles National Monument, where they learn how plate tectonics has moved well above sea level what was once under the ocean.

By Gerry Selter, Provost, and Jerri Carmo, Deputy COO, SJSU Research Foundation

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ivano Aiello from the College of Science, and Dr. Marjorie Freedman from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts have both been chosen to receive the San José State University Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award for 2011.  Their selection is made at the recommendation of the Early Career Investigator Subcommittee of the Research Foundation Board of Directors.

The SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship or creative activity as evidenced by their success in securing funds for their research, peer-reviewed publications and other scholarly and creative activities at an early or beginning point in their career at SJSU. Our two recipients are excellent examples of individuals who have achieved this level of success.

Dr. Ivano Aiello is in his 5th year at SJSU’s Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML), and has been tremendously productive in his field of geological oceanography.  Since joining the SJSU faculty, he has successfully competed for multiple grant awards totaling $750,000.  In addition to an impressive record of grantsmanship, Dr. Aiello has transformed and energized the Geological Oceanography program at MLML, attracting new and talented students and engaging other faculty in multidisciplinary studies.  He has developed several new courses from Paleoceanography to Field Mapping using computer controlled Lidar technology, and has been key to helping develop grants for the acquisition of equipment that will support the research needs of many at MLML.  Dr. Aiello regularly receives the highest rankings from students in his courses with his engaging and energetic style of teaching.  His capabilities have been recognized by program managers at Ocean Leadership who awarded him special funding to deliver talks about the US Deep Sea Drilling Program at universities across the country, thus becoming the program’s national spokesman.  He is an internationally recognized expert in geological oceanography, in the sub-discipline of paleoceanography and the deep biosphere.  This last year, Dr. Aiello assumed a leadership role on the US/International Deep Sea Drilling Program’s cruise to the Bering Sea, where the first and deepest cores of this area were recovered.  These cores will be used to reconstruct the history of productivity, past climate and the connectivity of the Pacific and Atlantic through the Arctic Ocean over time. In addition to all of this, Dr. Aiello conducts informal classes in Italian language and cuisine, which are attended by staff and students alike.  Dr. Aiello’s achievements are truly exceptional for a faculty member in his 5th year at SJSU.

Dr. Marjorie Freedman joined the Department of Nutrition, Food Science & Packaging six years ago, where her research has focused on examining the environmental correlates of food choices, obesity, nutrition labeling, portion sizes, community nutrition, and nutrition education.  Dr. Freedman’s dedicated scholarship has resulted in $225,000 in external grants, which helped create and expand the “Healthy San Jose State” initiative, including the Spartan Smart Cart.  Dr. Freedman regularly engages her students and those from other departments (including Business, Environmental Studies, and Art) in her research, and since coming to SJSU she has authored seventeen publications in peer-reviewed journals, and regularly presents papers and posters at national conferences. Dr. Freedman works actively in the public policy arena; she successfully advocated along with former councilmember Ken Yeager to effect 100% healthy vending machine policies in the City of San Jose libraries and 50 percent healthy vending policies in the City of San Jose.  She has also testified in favor of the ordinance banning on toys with unhealthy meals in Santa Clara County.  With obesity being the most significant public health issue of our time. Dr. Freedman’s research provides critical data to inform public policy development at the local and national level.  Dr. Freedman’s work significantly contributes to the research effort, impact and reputation of SJSU.

The SJSU Research Foundation has established two Early Career Investigator Awards in order to encourage participation beyond those colleges where large numbers of faculty have traditionally participated. One award will go to a faculty member in the Colleges of Science and Engineering and another will be made to a faculty member from all other colleges. Each awardee will receive a cash award of $1,000 to be used at their discretion.

Please join us in congratulating the extraordinary achievements of Dr. Ivano Aiello and Dr. Marjorie Freedman, two outstanding members of the San José State University faculty.