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Abel Recognized with 2020 TCE Awards

Steven Abel stands against a half wall with the Dougherty Engineering Building behind him.

Academic and administrative colleagues of the Tickle College of Engineering show appreciation for each other every day as a matter of course. Each spring, the college makes the highest of these acknowledgements official with the annual Faculty and Staff Awards.

The accolades are traditionally observed with a banquet gathering, but due to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, that event has been rescheduled to the fall. Until then, we’re happy to announce that Assistant Professor Steve Abel was recognized by the college for both his teaching and his research.

Abel received the Professional Promise in Research Award, which recognizes tenured or tenure-track faculty members at the assistant or associate professor rank who have received national and/or international recognition in their fields and show professional promise in their research. His research applies theoretical and computational methods to investigate fundamental problems in cell biology and immunology. A major focus is on the development of a multiscale, spatiotemporal understanding of cellular processes involving the interplay of signal transduction networks, membranes, and the cytoskeleton. Abel received an NSF Early Career Award in 2018 in order to develop approaches to model immune cells, particularly T cells and B cells, which begin in bone marrow before spreading through the lymphatic system to help fight infection.

He also received a Teaching Fellow, which is awarded to recognize and reward superior teaching. He is an outstanding instructor who maintains an excellent rapport with his students, underscored by consistently high student survey results and comments by students. Additionally, the peer teaching evaluation details his careful attention to student learning and the ability to pivot when necessary to more thoroughly cover topics the students found challenging. Maintaining rigor while providing opportunities for students to fully grasp difficult material is not easy, and Abel goes beyond the normal expectations.

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