Korin Wheeler Recognized by the College of Arts and Sciences
Bernard Hubbard, S.J., Creative Collaboration Award
In recognition of having established a well-deserved reputation for excellence in educating students by including them in professional research projects or creative activity, thereby transcending traditional teaching models to reach the heart of the research and creative process.
Korin Wheeler joined SCU in 2009 and was promoted to full professor in 2021. As an award winning scholar and teacher, Korin sets the standard for including and supporting undergraduate students in high quality research. The experience students have in Korin's lab is shaped not only by the fact that she is an incredible mentor, but also by her standing as a leading researcher in her field. Her expertise is highly sought after as evidenced by her contributions to NSF-funded interdisciplinary centers. Korin and her students are publishing in the very best journals in her field, and they're connected to a wide network of outstanding scholars nationally and internationally through Korin's professional network and collaboration.
Korin’s work has been exceptionally impactful. Some of her key accomplishments include two articles with student co-authors that have been highlighted as journal covers and two of her recent papers were recently recognized as "best paper" for 2018 by the family of journals and a "HOT" article for the journal. Her recent review in the prestigious journal Nature Nanotechnology was also featured on the journal’s cover. Korin is a thought leader and sought-after speaker and collaborator in her field; she's an affiliate of the NSF-funded Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology and a recipient of external funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). These many distinctions highlight her scholarly impact.
By the numbers, Korin has worked with 19 unique student co-authors on 11 different papers from the past five years alone. She has received multiple external grants, totaling over $400,000 in the last five years, including the Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar award and an R15 grant from NIH for her work on “Peptide probes of nanomaterial protein corona dynamics and biological response.”
Korin's research lab is inspiringly inclusive. She's worked with students from a wide range of majors in the College and in the School of Engineering, and her mentoring is individualized to best help them realize their personal goals and to develop specific skills. She welcomes students with a range of abilities and nurtures their development in her lab to become effective scientists and communicators. This personalized mentorship builds students' confidence for their future endeavors. Korin works to introduce elements of research to students in the classroom as well. She developed, and published in a scholarly journal, a laboratory experiment that engaged first-year students in a research project. She clearly sends the message to students that research is for everyone and that all can learn to think like scientists.
A colleague says, “Not only has Korin excelled at putting together a premier research program that is competitive with those found at Ph.D. granting institutions, she has built her program on inclusivity and creative diversity. She engages with her students at a fundamental scientific level and their time with her transforms her students into insightful, inquisitive, and independent researchers. The training they receive from Korin will propel them forward after their time at SCU, whether they continue in the sciences or not.”
For her inspiring, inclusive, and meaningful research with undergraduate students, Korin is a most deserving recipient of the 2021 Bernard Hubbard, S.J., Creative Collaboration Award.