Work with Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center nets numerous honors for CSET’s Allen

Dr. Shonda Allen
Dr. Shonda Allen, associate director of JSU’s Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology, has been lauded for her academic contributions and community service.

JSU’s associate director of the Interdisciplinary Nanotoxicity Center (ICN) in the College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) has racked up three prestigious awards since February for outstanding service to the campus and surrounding community.

Because of her successes over the years in elevating the image and contributions of the nanotoxicity center, Dr. Shonda Allen’s work has garnered local and national praise.

She said with strong support from the university and stakeholders “all of our center’s core academic, research and training activities are elevated by the art of exceptional service as its central value-added ingredient.”

In May, Allen received the U.S. Army’s Commander’s Award for Public Service for “outstanding service and patriotism to our grateful nation and the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps … as a leader, mentor and American Patriot.”

In April, she was one of 12 faculty members who received distinguished JSU honors for her excellence in customer service and personal interaction. The acknowledgment resulted from her 18-plus years of dedication to the university’s Computational Chemistry Center – an entity that houses the National Science Foundation’s Centers of Research Excellence in Science and Technology (CREST). Since 1998, the computational division is one of JSU’s longest-running externally funded centers in operation, serving thousands of students and faculty through annual conferences and involves more than 150 collaborations with international partners.

In February, Allen facilitated the first inaugural West Point Academy Military Leadership and Ethics Conference at JSU. More than 300 students and instructors, representing all seven public high schools in Jackson, received training from the academy’s leading cadets, who helped prepare them to transfer skills to a multimedia-learning environment.

The collaboration ultimately resulted in three students from Jim Hill High School receiving acceptances to West Point’s Summer Leaders Experience (SLE) in West Point, N.Y., which will be June 4-10. Because of her outstanding service, Allen was bestowed the official West Point Cadet Sword Letter Opener.

Although grateful for her many awards and accolades, Allen redirected attention to the nanotoxicity center once again, explaining that a three-point approach has guided CSET’s ICN in accomplishing its goals:

1) Creating a systemic JSU: Being aware of basic activities and key components of the JSU enterprise to sustain the university’s integrity with potential and existing customers.

2) Asking the right questions: Using “collective intelligentsia” of team members to breed efficiency.

3) Propagating best practices: Talking about and building upon successful strategies to foster innovation and create pathways for new collaborations.

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