Early Career Investigator Awards

Celebrating This Year's Early Career Investigator Awardees


Madalyn-Radlauer-Rhonda-Holberton
Dr. Madalyn Radlauer (left) and Prof. Rhonda Holberton (right)

Congratulations to Assistant Professor, Madalyn Radlauer from the College of Science and Assistant Professor, Rhonda Holberton from the College of Humanities and the Arts—this year's recipients of the San José State University Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award (ECIA). 

Dr. Radlauer joined the College of Science in the Department of Chemistry as assistant professor in 2017, where she developed a research program focusing on organometallic and inorganic catalysis with synthetic macromolecular structures, essentially attempting enzyme catalysis without the enzyme. She has received funding for her work through external and internal funding mechanisms including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health | National Institute of Medical Sciences, California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology, and SJSU Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity awards.

Professor Holberton joined the College of Humanities and the Arts in the Department of Digital Media Art as assistant professor in 2017. Her research involves both the studio practice of "making" as an artist, and collaborative projects involving other artists, engineers, writers, and scholars that continually redefine the limits of artistic production and interdisciplinary collaboration. She has exhibited her work in prestigious venues in Melbourne, Australia, and participated in a competitive collaboration opportunity with the Embassy of Switzerland here in the United States. Professor Holberton has received funding for her interdisciplinary work from the Knight Foundation and from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Assistant Professor Radlauer and Assistant Professor Holberton were honored at the 2022 Celebration of Research, which took place at the Diaz Compean Student Union on Thursday, April 14, 2022.    


The SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award recognizes tenure-track SJSU faculty who have excelled in areas of research, scholarship, and creative activity during their probationary period at SJSU.

To nominate, please complete the SJSU Research Foundation Early Career Investigator Award Nomination Form. Nominees should provide documentation of their externally funded grant and contract activity and of their publications in top-ranked peer-reviewed journals, authorship of respected scholarly books, exhibits in renowned galleries, or other artistic endeavors. 

To ensure the broadest participation possible from all academic units, two award categories have been created. One awardee will be selected from each category. 

Category 1

Considers faculty member in the following colleges:

  • Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering
  • College of Science

Category 2

Considers faculty member in the following colleges:

  • Lucas College and Graduate School of Business
  • Connie L. Lurie College of Education
  • College of Health and Human Sciences
  • College of Professional and Global Education
  • College of Humanities and the Arts
  • College of Social Sciences
  • SJSU Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library 

 Each award recipient receives a commemorative trophy and a cash award of $5,000.


ECIA Nomination Process 


Last Year's ECIA Winners

Ellen Middaugh
Child and Adolescent Development,
Connie L. Lurie College of Education

Ellen MiddaughDr. Ellen Middaugh’s work is guided by a very timely question: How do youth become informed, ethical, and effective advocates for themselves and their communities in the digital age? 

Today, young people have access to a far more dynamic and fluid public sphere. Middaugh’s research explores the ways in which we learn about, discuss, and exercise public voice on civic issues, and how we can inform a new approach to civic education.

Thomas Madura
Department of Physics & Astronomy,
College of Science

Thomas MaduraA theoretical and computational astrophysicist, Thomas Madura specializes in the study of massive stars, specifically their late-stage evolution and how these stars lose mass before exploding as powerful supernovae. Madura, Assistant Professor of Physics and Astronomy at SJSU, leads a $1.5 million NSF Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers grant that uses 3D printing technologies to help motivate students with blindness/visual impairments to pursue a higher education and career in a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) field.


Past ECIA Winners

Congratulations to all of our previous recipients.