November 14, 2013

Dr. James Nienow: Faculty Excellence in Professional Activity

Dr. James Nienow (center), professor of biology, stands with VSU President William J. McKinney (left) and Interim Provost David Danahar (right)

VALDOSTA – “I've never actually paid much attention to awards.  I do what I do because I like to.  That being said, it is always nice to receive some recognition.”

For Dr. James Nienow, professor of biology at Valdosta State University, the true feeling of accomplishment comes from the work he does. As a result of his exemplary work, Nienow was named the recipient of the Faculty Excellence in Professional Activity Award at VSU’s 2013 Fall Convocation.

Nienow joined VSU as an associate professor in 1995. Since then, he has had 19 published articles and five book chapters. Now a professor, he primarily teaches introductory biology courses at the university.

“I have also been able to maintain a research program using a combination of internal and external funding that has provided a variety of research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students,” said Nienow.

For more than three years, Nienow has served as part of a team of researchers and scholars trying to identify the impact of the 2010 BP oil spill on the food chain. He has participated in 12 cruises along the Gulf, extending from the mouths of Pensacola, Choctawhatchee and St. Andrew bays to about 50 miles offshore. Undergraduate and graduate students from Valdosta State have joined him to assist in the research.

The professor’s expertise in the field has been an asset to his work with the Deep-C Consortium, a group formed after the oil spill, and funded by a grant from the Gulf of Mexico Research Initiative (GoMRI) in conjunction with BP. His research is currently funded through a $217,612 subaward from FSU as part of the Deep-C project. The current project cycle funds research for the next two years, but Nienow predicts that it will take a few years before any true results are yielded.

Nienow strong points include a willingness to adapt to changing conditions and opportunities as well as experience working with researchers and students across disciplines. He  currently serves as the president of the Georgia Academy of Science and serves as a scientist and mentor for NASA's Spaceward Bound.

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Goal 4: Foster an environment of creativity and scholarship.

Goal 5: Develop and enhance Valdosta State’s human and physical resources.

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