FHSU faculty members receive honors

HAYS, KS -- Two Fort Hays State University faculty members who have been recognized by elite organizations for their outstanding work on two very diverse projects were introduced at a news conference today by Dr. Edward H. Hammond, FHSU president.

Dr. Kayvan Aflatooni, assistant professor of physics, was published in the scientific magazine Nature while Dr. Janice Unruh Davidson, professor of nursing, was named a fellow of the American Academy of nurse Practitioners and was recognized as a distinguished scholar in residence for Sigma Theta Tau, the international honor society of nursing.

"Dr. Kayvan Aflatooni and Dr. Janice Unruh Davidson are outstanding representatives of the excellence of Fort Hays State University's faculty," said Hammond. "That excellence is demonstrated not only in the classroom but in their contributions to the body of knowledge in their disciplines and in the recognition given to them by their peers."

"But," said Hammond, "Drs. Aflatooni and Davidson are not the exceptions but are the rule among FHSU faculty members in their dedication to professional development and service to their students, their university and their professions."

Aflatooni co-authored an article and worked on an experiment investigating the Kaptiza-Dirac effect, which holds that electrons can behave like waves. The Kaptiza-Dirac theory had never been observed, not that the world's top physicists hadn't tried, but 70 years after the theory was formulated, Aflatooni, Dr. Herman Batelaan, assistant professor of physics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and graduate student Daniel Friemund proved that electrons can be diffracted by light, which creates endless possibilities for future research and developments.

"Every physicist wants to do this type of experimental work and I was extremely excited to participate and even more thrilled when I found out the article had been chosen to be published in Nature Magazine," said Aflatooni.

Nature is a prestigious scientific journal which has the goal of publishing material only of exceptionally high quality. Aflatooni's article was played on the front cover, which is an extremely high honor from not only the magazine but from colleagues and peers.

"The success of this research was not possible without the help and work of all those who indirectly helped to make this experiment successful," said Aflatooni.

Besides teaching a full load of classes, spending time in research and helping to develop the FHSU Physics Department, Aflatooni enjoys coaching Hays Recreation Commission soccer and advising the FHSU Physics Club.

"Dr. Aflatooni is a fine teacher and a fine researcher. It is good to see that both sorts of activities have been recognized this fall. His teaching was recognized by his reception of an outstanding innovation award and his research by the publication of his piece in a journal that is read worldwide," said Dr. Paul Faber, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

"Not many scientists have the distinction of having an article published in Nature, a journal where many scientific firsts are published," said Dr. Lou Caplan, chair of the Department of Physics. "The Physics Department is pleased that its newest faculty member, Dr. Kayvan Aflatooni, is now numbered as one of those physicists having this distinction. We are even more pleased that Dr. Aflatooni is now offering research opportunities in atomic physics and optics for undergraduate physics majors at FHSU."

Davidson is one of only 37 fellows of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. The academy cited Davidson's experience as a nurse administrator and expertise as a family nurse practitioner as an enhancement to nurse practitioner education.

"The College of Health and Life Sciences is very pleased that Dr. Janice Unruh Davidson was selected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners," said Dr. Tony Fernandez, dean of the College of Health and Life Sciences. "She joined 16 new Fellows inducted at the Academy National Conference in Orlando on June 28, 2001. This recognition serves to highlight the quality of our nursing faculty and the contributions that Dr. Davidson has made to the nurse practitioner profession."

"I'm not surprised that she's received this recognition," said Dr. Mary Hassett, professor and chair of FHSU's Department of Nursing. "She has been involved in international research in her field, and with the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, and so the appointment as a Fellow of the academy and as a scholar in residence for Sigma Theta Tau are appropriate places for her to share her expertise."

"Becoming a fellow of the academy and serving as a scholar in residence were faculty development goals I had been working towards since my arrival at FHSU," said Davidson. "So receiving these honors was the culmination of my work in blending scholarly efforts in my research, practice, and service to improve my quality as an instructor."

As a scholar in residence Davidson was awarded a $1,000 prize and traveled to the University of Indiana campus to advise the Sigma Theta Tau organization on matters of library acquisitions, nursing research registration, and related nursing knowledge engineering, modeling and development. Before advising Sigma Theta Tau, Davidson spent time learning about nursing informatics and the impact nursing knowledge base development has on evidence based practice.

Back to Index

Office of University Relations   |  600 Park Street   |  Hays, KS  67601-4099
(785) 628-4206   |   Fax (785) 628-4152
Kent Steward, Director   |  ksteward@fhsu.edu  |  Kurt Beyers, Assistant Director   |  kbeyers@fhsu.edu