2020 RISE Awards

The Office of Sponsored Projects and Technology Commercialization is pleased to announce the awardees for the inaugural Research, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurial Awards. This program provides the opportunity to honor faculty that have distinguished themselves through research and innovation, and made noteworthy contributions to Weber State, the community, and the world. Awardees receive $1,500 and recognition for their contributions to research and innovation.

2020 Awardees

Outstanding Research Award
Dr. John Mukum Mbaku

Dr. Mbaku's research output over the course of his career has been prolific. His numerous books, articles, and law review papers have earned him the attention of prestigious organizations and news outlets. He is a senior non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has consulted with the Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis, African Economic Research Consortium, and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. Organizations such as the BBC, PRI’s The World, Aljazeera International, and China global TV have invited him for interviews related to his expertise in Africa. In the last academic year he was invited to be a speaker to the United States African Command. His influence is truly global!


Innovation Success
Dr. Michele Culumber & Dr. Craig Oberg

BUILD Dairy is a collaboration of partners from the Dairy industry and University Food Science and Undergraduate Research programs that promotes research and careers in Dairy and Food Science. The main goal is to foster an increased value for dairy products manufactured in the Western Region by building a broader network of technically trained, knowledgeable professionals and leaders that will foster the growth of the dairy food industry through innovation and discovery. This is done by recruiting students as undergraduates to conduct research on projects directed related to research needs in the industry and providing opportunities for these students to learn about careers in dairy and food science. These students often move on to graduate programs, internships, and careers in the industry. The BUILD Dairy program is run out of the Western Dairy Center at Utah State University, but has University and industry partners throughout Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Funding support comes from the Check-off group of dairy farmers and dairy product manufacturers. At Weber State, undergraduate research students participate in BUILD Dairy through a summer research experience. They are also able to attend the annual BUILD Dairy Meeting to meet industry representatives, and learn about careers, internships, and graduate school opportunities. BUILD Dairy Research at Weber State has led to many national and international meeting presentations with student authors and to several publications.


Entreprenuerial Spirit
Dr. Edward Walker

Dr. Ed Walker exhibits a contagious interest in the intersection of chemistry and industry. He is widely known across campus and the region for his support of the local chemistry related industry. While a member of the faculty of Weber State University he has co-founded four multimillion dollar businesses spanning the areas of pharmaceuticals, nutritional supplements, and medical devices and has served on the board of directors for several local businesses. He consults for various local and regional businesses regarding analytical techniques. He has been highly successful in fundraising on campus and is the founder and director of the Center for Chemical Technology, which serves to connect the campus with the regional chemical industry.