Sylvia Thomas Awarded McKnight Junior Faculty Fellowship
Tampa, Fla. (July 21, 2011) Sylvia W. Thomas, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical
Engineering, has been awarded a McKnight Junior Faculty Development Fellowship (JFF) for the
2011-2012 academic year by the Florida Education Fund.
The purpose of the JFF fellowship is to provide promising faculty from underrepresented groups
with a release from their normal teaching load to focus on their research in order to prepare for
promotion and tenure. It comes with a $15,000 fellowship to USF to help defray teaching
replacement costs during the fellowship year.
Thomas's research and teaching interests are in the areas of advanced materials for
applications in alternative energy sources, sustainable environments, and bio-applications for
nano-electro mechanical system (NEMS) devices nanowires and nanoparticles.
The University of South Florida is one of the nation's top 63 public research universities and one of only 25 public
research universities nationwide with very high research activity that is designated as community engaged by the
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. USF was awarded $394.1 million in research contracts
and grants in FY 2009/2010. The university offers 232 degree programs at the undergraduate, graduate, specialist
and doctoral levels, including the doctor of medicine. The USF System has a $1.8 billion annual budget, an annual
economic impact of $3.2 billion, and serves more than 47,000 students on institutions/campuses in Tampa, St.
Petersburg, Sarasota-Manatee and Lakeland. USF is a member of the Big East Athletic Conference.