Research & Economic Development

Caplenor Faculty Research
Award Committee

 Caplenor Award

  • Procedures

    The Caplenor Faculty Research Award, established in 1984 in honor of the late Dr. Charles Donald Caplenor, former Associate Vice President for Research and Dean of Instructional Development, is awarded annually to one member of the faculty of Tennessee Tech University for outstanding research accomplished while employed at the University. (Read more about Dr. Caplenor)

    1.  NAME: Caplenor Faculty Research Award Committee 

    2.  PURPOSE: The purpose of the committee is to administer the program for selection of the Caplenor Faculty Research Award recipient. 

    a.  Composition:  The committee will consist of one faculty representative elected from each college or school, the Associate Vice President for Research, and the two previous award recipients. An alternate for each representative will be elected to serve should the representative be nominated for the award or be unable to serve. These elections are to be held in each college/school during Spring Semester as required, and the terms of the elected representative and alternate will begin the following Fall Semester.


    • Elected Representative and Alternate - Three-year terms
    • Associate Vice President for Research - Permanent
    • Previous Award Winners - Two-year terms

    5.  OFFICERS:

    a.  The Executive Officer for the committee will be the Associate Vice President for Research. The award recipient in the second year of service to the committee will serve as Chairperson. In the event this award recipient is unable to serve as Chairperson, the committee will elect a Chairperson from the membership.
    b.  Executive Officer

    i.  The Executive Officer will provide technical assistance to the committee.

    c.  Chairperson

    i.  The Chairperson will take office at the beginning of the academic year. Responsibilities are to:

    i.  Preside at all meetings or designate another member to preside.

    ii.  Prepare a tentative agenda for each meeting to be distributed at least five (5) working days prior to the meeting.

    iii.  Approve the minutes of the meetings to be distributed to the committee members.

    iv.  Call special meetings when necessary.

    v.  Appoint ad hoc subcommittees as needed. 

    d.  Staff Support

    i.  Staff support will be provided by Research & Economic Development. 

    6.  MEETINGS:
    a.  The committee will meet in October and at other times as needed. 


    The Caplenor Faculty Research Award is funded by Research & Economic Development. The recipients receive an award of $3,000 and a distinguished plaque; their name is displayed on a plaque in Derryberry Hall and they are formally recognized at the Faculty Recognition Reception. Most important, all the faculty already honored by the Caplenor Award over the past ten years have continued to enrich their fields with numerous public presentations, published refereed papers and books.  Many have also received external grants for further research and mentored students, inspiring them toward graduate school and a life of research, teaching, and service.

    The Caplenor Faculty Research Award at Tennessee Tech aims to recognize faculty performance as measured by contributions to scholarship and/or creativity that received wide recognition far beyond the University. It is expected that a significant portion of these contributions have been made during the faculty tenure at Tennessee Tech. 

    The award recognizes a candidate’s summative contribution supporting the mission of Tennessee Tech regarding scholarship and/or creativity.  Important potential contributions for the award would include: 
    a.  Criteria for Nomination

    i.  Significant recognized peer-reviewed publications, including work with her/his students and collaborators in the field of scholarship or creativity.

    ii.  Documented significant art pieces and performances (music, literary work, paintings, film, etc.) in outlets accepted by the discipline.

    iii.  Presentations such as seminars, lectures, performances, galleries, etc. related to her/his field of scholarship or creativity, including those made by invitation as keynote and/or plenary lectures.

    iv.  Contributions to the profession such as membership on editorial boards, editing journals, special issues, books, etc. and the organization of professional meetings (technical, educational, art exhibitions, etc.)

    v.  Previous professional recognition given to the candidate by other institutions, and/or professional organizations related to the candidate’s discipline.

    vi.  Any person who is employed as a full-time member of the faculty shall be eligible for nomination regardless of faculty rank or title provided that he/she satisfies the remaining qualifications. "Faculty member" is defined as one who holds academic rank and who is directly engaged in instruction, research, or public service.

    vii.  A nominee shall have been employed at least three academic years at Tennessee Tech University prior to being nominated.

    viii. A faculty member who has won the award shall be ineligible for the same award again.

    ix.  Only one faculty member may be nominated at a time.  Co-nominations or nominating a team is not allowed.  

    b.  Nominations

    i.  Nominations will be made by submission of a signed nomination form. Any person who is a full-time Tennessee Tech University faculty member may submit a nomination on behalf of himself/herself or any other individual. No individual may make more than one nomination per year.  All nominations must be submitted to Research & Economic Development. Only one nomination form is needed to place a candidate's name in nomination. 

    c.  Nomination Form

    i.  Nominations will be made on a form provided by Research & Economic Development which will include a request for the following information:

    i.  Full name of nominee.

    ii.  Nominee's current position.

    iii.  Date of first employment at Tennessee Tech University.

    iv.  Justification of why the nominee should receive the award.

    v.  Name and signature of nominator. 

    d.  Letters of Recommendation

    i.  The nominee shall request a letter of recommendation from three individuals, one from outside Tennessee Tech University.  The letters should be submitted as part of the requested background materials. 

    e.  Requested Materials from Nominees

    i.  Nominees for the Caplenor Faculty Research Award will be asked to:

    i.  Describe the significant accomplishments made to a research field (Please limit to four (4) pages).

    ii.  List publications since employment at Tennessee Tech University categorized by those in refereed and non-refereed publications. Please list the number of refereed versus non-refereed publications.  Further, these two categories are to be listed according to abstracts, chapters, articles, technical reports of research, monographs, books, music scores, art works, etc.

    iii.  List oral presentations for the last three years categorized into technical and non-technical; i.e., before professional or civic audiences. Please list the number of refereed versus non-refereed presentations. A refereed presentation is any presentation or exhibit made from some form of research producing an abstract, paper, or other original work which is evaluated by a committee of professional peers and inducing an invitation to participate in a professional conference, colloquium, or exhibition.

    iv.  List research since employment at Tennessee Tech University categorized by externally funded research including funding source, title of project, period of performance, and funded amount and internally conducted research including source of sponsorship (such as Faculty Research Fund, departmental, etc.), title of project, period of performance, funded amount (if any), and whether a final report was submitted.

    v.  Include a vita and other information not specifically requested in the above sections believed to be useful in evaluation for the award. 

    vi.  The nominee shall request a letter of recommendation from three individuals, one being off-campus. 

    vii.  The entire package, excluding reference letters, should not exceed 50 pages to include the CV and publications. 

    viii.  Include a list provided by the Department Chairperson indicating 3 years’ worth of teaching load information to include a list of classes by semester, enrollment in the classes, number of graduate classes and undergraduate classes taught.

    f. Nomination Carryover

    i.  The credentials of a nominee not selected for the award will automatically be reconsidered the next year. The individual will be given the opportunity to update materials, excluding letters of recommendations. After the second year, consideration will be given to an individual only if renominated. 

    g.  Time Frame

    i.  A call for nominations will be made the third week of October in the fall semester and published in the Tech Times or equivalent.

    ii.  Reminders will be sent to all academic deans and department chairpersons during the third week of October in the fall semester.

    iii.  Nomination forms must be received in Research & Economic Development by the third Friday in November.

    iv.  Nominees will be notified the following Monday in writing and asked to submit their materials to support the nomination.

    v.  Materials must be submitted by the nominee to Research & Economic Development by the third Tuesday in January.

    vi.  The materials of all nominees will be forwarded to the committee by the third Friday in January.

    vii.  The committee will meet during the third week of March to select the award recipient. 

    h.  Certification

    i.  The name of the award recipient will be certified by the Associate Vice President for Research and forwarded to the President of the University through the Vice President for Academic Affairs for public release. 

    ii.  The University shall give appropriate recognition to the recipient in terms of a cash award, a plaque presented at the Spring Faculty Recognition Reception, and a listing on a permanent plaque located in Derryberry Hall. 

    a.  The rules contained in the current edition of Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised will govern the committee in all cases to which they are applicable and in which they are not inconsistent with these procedures. 

    a.  These procedures can be amended at any regular meeting of the committee by a vote of two-thirds of those present, provided that the proposed changes have been submitted in writing to each member at least one (1) week prior to the meeting. 

    a.  The procedures shall become effective April 1, 1995. 

    Date Approved by Academic Council: February 22, 1995

    Date Approved by Administrative Council: March 29, 1995

  • Membership

     2021-2022 Committee Members

    Committee Member Department/College Campus Box No. Campus Phone Email
    Dr. Dennis Duncan, Director Agriculture/Ag & Human Ecology 5034 3012
    Dr. Deborah Barnard, Associate Professor Foreign Languages/Arts & Sciences 5061 3773
    Dr. Tor Guimaraes, Professor Decision Sciences and Management/Business 5022 3385
    Dr. Sandi J.W. Smith-Andrews, Professor Curriculum and Instruction/Education 5042 3207
    Dr. Joseph  Ojo, Professor Electrical Engineering/Engineering 5004 3869
    Dr. Melissa Geist, Professor School of Nursing 5011 6305
    Dr. Greg Danner, Professor Music/College of Fine Arts 5045 6180
    Dr. David Hajdik, Professor Environmental Studies/College of Interdisciplinary Studies 5152 6439
    Mr. Stuart Gaetjens, Assistant Professor Library 5066 6110
    Dr. Ismail Fidan, Professor, Chair Manufacturing and Engineering Technology/Engineering 5003 6298
    Dr. Satish Mahajan, Director  Center for Energy Systems Research 5032 3875
    Dr. Jennifer Taylor, Executive Officer Research & Economic Development 5036 3897
    2021-2022 Winner and 2023-2024
    Dr. Holly Anthony
    2020-2021  Winner and 2022-2023
    Dr. Satish Mahajan
    Terms of Office
    • Associate Vice President for Research:  Permanent
    • Previous Award Winners:  Two-year terms

  • Timeline

     2021-22 Schedule of Activities

    Activity Date
    Notice and email reminders to Deans and Chairs / Letter to Faculty sent Friday, September 30, 2022
    Notice to Carryover Nominees Friday, September 30, 2022
    Initial Committee Meeting Thursday, October 6, 2022
    Request for Nominations Announced in Tech Times (various times) October 3 – November 11, 2022
    Nominations Due in Research & Economic Development Friday, November 18, 2022
    Deadline for Nominee Notification Monday, November 21, 2022
    Nominee Background Form, Supporting Materials & Letters Due in Research & Economic Development Tuesday, January 17, 2023
    Distribute Nominee Materials to Committee Friday, January 20, 2023
    Committee to Have Rankings Back to Research Office Personnel Tuesday, February 21, 2023
    Committee Meeting to Select Recipient and approve memo to President March 6-10, 2023
    Committee Recommendation to President Oldham Tuesday, March 14, 2023
    Notification to Nominees on Recipient Selected Tuesday, March 21, 2023
    Notification to Award Recipients Dean, Chair, Provost, VP & Associate VP Research Tuesday, March 21, 2023
    Committee to Have Awards Script to Research Office Personnel for Provost Office Tuesday, March 28, 2023
    Presentation of Award at Faculty Awards Recognition Reception Fall 2023 (TBD)
    Announcement of Award Recipient in Tech Times After the Awards Reception

  • Forms

    Nomination FormNominee Background Form

    Please note: form accessibility may vary from browser to browser and among different operating systems. Follow the steps below to save the forms and submit them to Research & Economic Development.

    1. Click the link for the form. If the form opens in your browser, choose the "Save" icon in the top right portion of your screen and save it as a file on your computer (Note: if you begin typing in the form from your browser, the information will not be saved. You must save the file to your computer). If the form downloads instead of opening in the browser, double-click the name and open it. Save the file from there to a location on your computer.

    2. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat (Note: varying versions of Reader may yield different results. If you have issues, please contact your ITS support person to ensure that you have the most up-to-date Reader).

    3. Fill in the form.

    4. After completing the form, choose File>Save As from the Adobe Acrobat Reader menu and save the file using a new name in a location you will be able to access later (Desktop, My Documents, etc.).

    5. Close the form.

    6. Create a new mail message and attach the recently saved file to the message. Submit the form to

    Note: if none of these steps work on your computer, please contact your ITS support person or print the file, hand-write your responses, and return it to Derryberry Hall, Room 155.

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    By providing personal data to Tennessee Tech, you consent to the processing of your data for the purposes described above.

  • Recipients


    • 2023-2024, Dr. Ada Haynes, Sociology & Political Science
    • 2022-2023, Dr. Mohamed Mahmoud, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 2021-2022, Dr. Holly Anthony, Curriculum and Instruction
    • 2020-2021, Dr. Satish Mahajan, Center for Energy Systems Research
    • 2019-2020, Dr. Ismail Fidan, Manufacturing and Engineering Technology
    • 2018-2019, Dr. Tor Guimaraes, Decision Sciences and Management
    • 2017-2018, Dr. Joseph Biernacki, Department of Chemical Engineering
    • 2016-2017, No award
    • 2015-2016, Dr. Michael Birdwell, Department of History
    • 2014-2015, Dr. Pedro Arce, Department of Chemical Engineering and Dr. Greg Danner, Department of Music
    • 2013-2014, Dr. Ying Zhang, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    • 2012-2013, Dr. Robert Qiu, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 2011-2012, Dr. Faisal Hossain, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • 2010-2011, Dr. Sakir Ayik, Department of Physics
    • 2009-2010, Dr. Joseph Biernacki, Department of Chemical Engineering and Dr. Mohamed Abdelrahman, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 2008-2009, Dr. Jiahong (John) Zhu, Department of Mechanical Engineering 
    • 2007-2008, Dr. Phillip Bettoli, Dept. of Biology, and Dr. Kwun-Lon Ting, Department of Mechanical Engineering
    • 2006-2007, Dr. Lewis Keith Crouch, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • 2005-2006, Dr. David Dean Richey, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
    • 2004-2005, Dr. George Buchanan, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Dr. David Viera, Department of Foreign Languages
    • 2003-2004, Mr. Ralph Winston Morris, Professor, Department of Music and Art
    • 2002-2003, Dr. John J. Wheeler, Associate Dean and Professor, College of Education
    • 2001-2002, Dr. Joseph O. Ojo, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 2000-2001, Dr. Ali Alouani, Electrical and Computer Engineering
    • 1999-2000, Dr. Tor Guimaraes, Decision Science and Management
    • 1998-1999, Dr. Sastry Munukutla, Mechanical Engineering
    • 1997-1998, Prof. Robert Jager, Music
    • 1996-1997, Dr. Sharon Berk, Biology
    • 1995-1996, Dr. Michael Gunter, Political Science
    • 1994-1995, Dr. Helen Deese, English
    • 1993-1994, Dr. George Webb, History
    • 1992-1993, Dr. Raymond Kozub, Physics
    • 1991-1992, Dr. John Peddieson, Jr., Mechanical Engineering
    • 1990-1991, Dr. Dale Ensor, Chemistry
    • 1990, Dr. Periasamy Rajan, Electrical Engineering
    • 1989, Dr. Donald Weinrauch, Management and Marketing
    • 1988, Dr. Scott Northrup, Chemistry
    • 1987, Dr. David Yarbrough, Chemical Engineering
    • 1986, Dr. Jerry Ayers, Education
    • 1985, Dr. John Gordon, Civil Engineering
    • 1984, Dr. Cemil Bagci, Mechanical Engineering

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