Two Faculty Honored for Excellence

Derek Larson, MFA, is a multimedia artist working in animation, video, sound and sculptor. He is the MFA graduate program director and associate professor in the Betty Foy Sanders Department of Art. His creativity comes from a number of sources – art history, philosophy and popular culture.

Gulzar H. Shah, Ph.D., is the associate dean for research in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health. He is a prolific public health researcher and teaches courses in health policy and management. His research centers on local health departments, local public health, interdisciplinary STEM and rural education.

Both faculty members are also winners of the 2016-17 Award for Excellence in Research/Creative Scholarly Activity. The Georgia Southern award is given to faculty who excel in their research efforts while fulfilling their regular full-time teaching responsibilities. Larson earned his Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Yale University and exhibits nationally and internationally. He teaches new media and design. “It’s humbling to have received this award, especially among so many successful and talented colleagues across our campus,” said Larson. “This support from the University has provided a great sense of appreciation and motivation in my practice. I’m proud of our accomplished research community and very excited to see what the future holds for Georgia Southern academics.”

Over the course of his career of two decades, Dr. Shah has worked in both academia and public health practice agencies. “I am honored to be recognized for excellence in research – something I do purely out of my passion,” he said. “It is humbling in that so many of my colleagues are excellent researchers, and anyone could have been the winner. I am fortunate to have worked with such high quality students and faculty researchers, making me a highly collaborative researcher. Research creativity and its ability to promote health outcomes are among the ultimate sources of job satisfaction for me and enable me to promote my college’s mission.”

Shah’s research has been published in dozens of peer reviewed journals.