UCCS recognizes three researchers for hitting career milestones

Headshots of Gurivender Tejay, Rob Block and Kristin Samuelson
Gurvirender Tejay, Rob Block, Kristin Samuelson

After a year when UCCS researchers secured more than $18 million in sponsored research funding, three faculty members hit career milestones in funding achievements in the 2019-20 academic year.

Robert Block, associate dean of the College of Business, and Gurvirender Tejay, associate professor of information systems, both surpassed the $5 million funding mark and became the sixth and seventh faculty members to reach the milestone in UCCS history. Kristin Samuelson, associate professor and director of clinical training in psychology, and faculty director of clinical research for the National Institute for Human Resilience, became the 50th faculty member to surpass one million dollars at UCCS.

“It is such a privilege to witness the outstanding sponsored program achievements of our UCCS community,” said Jessi Smith, associate vice chancellor for research. “It takes so much work to write a proposal, win an award, and then do the heavy lift to complete the project. The odds are so very low that any one project will be funded. When we have researchers hit big milestones like this, it is just more evidence of the high caliber of work on our campus.”

Tejay surpassed the $5 million mark in his first year at UCCS, and was joined by Block is a co-principal investigator on the two largest projects that combined for more than $9 million in the year. The grants focus on cybersecurity initiatives and will lead a new apprenticeship program with industry for mid-level and advance-level cybersecurity roles, and to create programs to educate, train and develop faculty in cybersecurity.

Samuelson’s research focus in cognitive resilience within the field of trauma psychology has led to grants from the Colorado Springs Health Foundation to develop and implement trauma-informed behavioral health care services at local hospitals. She is also working on a study examining resilience and adaptation to COVID-19, approaching this new stressor through a through a traumatic stress framework.

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