UTEP Recognizes First Interdisciplinary Research Fellows

Last Updated on December 3, 2015 at 10:36 pm

Originally published December 3, 2015

The UTEP Office of Research and Sponsored Projects and the Office of the Provost congratulate UTEP Interdisciplinary Research (IDR) Enhancement Program Round VII Awardees and IDR Fellows.

Unlike previous IDR rounds, this series of awards funds the first-ever cohort of individuals (versus teams) and recognizes them as IDR Fellows.

The recipients are:

Josiah Heyman, Ph.D., professor of anthropology and director of the Center for Inter-American and Border Studies (CIBS)

Josiah Heyman, Ph.D.

Josiah Heyman, Ph.D.


Heyman will bring together UTEP faculty and research staff and community organizations through an open call process, with selected scholars from other universities. A number of external partners have expressed support for these efforts, including the American Immigration Council in Washington, D.C. The community to be formed will focus on border and immigration areas with emphasis on migration and human security/well-being and ports of entry, mobility, legitimate trade and travel, and border community well-being.


James Kubicki, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Geological Sciences

James Kubicki, Ph.D.

James Kubicki, Ph.D.


Kubicki will form a research team and broader community that will explore the impacts of atmospheric aerosols on climate and/or health from both a chemical and physical perspective. These aerosols are one of the largest sources of uncertainty in current climate models. Kubicki intends to widen the group of experts who typically study this to include geographers, biologists, and medical professionals from UTEP, internal and external research centers, as well as other academic institutions.


Wen-Yee Lee, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry

Wen-Yee Lee, Ph.D.

Wen-Yee Lee, Ph.D.


Lee’s vision is to link UTEP centers; UTEP faculty from science, engineering, health science, and education; as well as faculty from Texas A&M University, New Mexico State University, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and three international universities together in a water research community that will explore such topics as contaminants of emerging concern in fresh water quality, wastewater reuse, and occurrence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in the Rio Grande.


Damien Van Puyvelde, Ph.D., assistant professor and associate director for research at UTEP’s National Security Studies Institute

Damien Van Puyvelde, Ph.D.

Damien Van Puyvelde, Ph.D.


Van Puyvelde will grow a community to include experts in business (particularly accounting and information systems), science (mathematical science and computational science), health science (public health) and education. This cybersecurity community will explore issues ranging from practical problems of computer security to conceptual challenges about the relationships between security and privacy, and humans and technology.


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