UCCS recognizes five researchers for hitting career milestones

The 2019 inductees for excellence in sponsored research
The 2019 inductees into the million and five-million dollar clubs for sponsored research.

In a year that experienced a 16 percent increase in sponsored research funding, five faculty members were recognized for surpassing personal marks in career funding during the 2019 Celebration of Research Oct. 1 in Berger Hall.

Xiaobo “Charles” Zhou, professor of computer science, surpassed the $5 million funding mark and became the fifth faculty member to reach the milestone. Four new faculty were inducted into the million dollar club for sponsored research: Leslie Grant, associate professor of teaching and learning; Meghan Lybecker, assistant professor of biology; Sang-Yoon Change, assistant professor of computer science; and Monica Yoo, associate professor of teaching and learning. Forty-seven researchers have hit the million dollar mark at UCCS since 2008.

“From that first inkling of an idea, to submission, to compliance, financials, hiring, mentoring, and reporting – the work of the research activity is far more than the implementation of the innovative idea itself,” said Jessi L. Smith, associate vice chancellor for research. “This is why I am honored to acknowledge and celebrate the brilliant minds on campus that are dedicated to making research happen.”

Xiaobo "Charles" ZhouZhou has been with UCCS since 2003 when he joined the computer science department. He received his Ph.D. in computer science from Nanjing University and has since focused his research broadly in computer network systems, and more specifically, cloud computing, distributed systems and datacenters, BigData parallel processing, autonomic and sustainable computing, scalable Internet services, and computer networks.


Leslie GrantGrant has been with UCCS since 2004 when she joined the master of arts program in TESOL–Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She received her Ph.D. in applied linguistics with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language from Northern Arizona University and has since focused her research on second language teaching and learning.


Meghan LybeckerLybecker has been with UCCS since 2014 when she joined the biology department. She received her Ph.D. in integrated biochemistry and microbiology from the University of Montana, Missoula, and has since focused her research on non-coding RNA molecular mechanisms of gene regulation in Borrelia burgdorferi (the causative agent of Lyme disease), at the bacteria/host interface, and in the model organism Escherichia coli.


Monica YooYoo has been with UCCS since 2010 when she joined the department of teaching and learning. She received her Ph.D. in education from the University of California at Berkeley and has focused her research on students’ and teachers’ approaches to language, literacy and comprehension; equitable practices for teaching and learning; and the development of pre-service and in-service teachers.


Sang-Yoon ChangChang has been with UCCS since 2016 when he joined the computer science department. He received his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has since focused his research in the security of networked systems.

The complete list of previous million, five-million and 10-million dollar inductees is available at the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Integrity.

In addition to the five researchers, Smith also recognized the members of the research community who serve on compliance and review committees and boards:

  • Committee on Misconduct in Research and Scholarship and Creative Activities
  • Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
  • Restricted, Proprietary and Classified Research Committee
  • Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Institutional Review Board.

Smith also recognized the support staff in areas like the Sponsored Projects Accounting team in the Controller’s Office, the Sponsored Programs Administrators Network and the Sponsored Projects Accounting Team within the School of Public Affairs.

College of Education

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