The Catholic University of America

April 26, 2013

Three Professors Honored for Research Achievements

  2013 Provost Research Awards1

President John Garvey, left, and Provost James Brennan, right, with the three award winners.

Three professors were honored April 24 by The Catholic University of America for their research and scholarly achievements through the 2013 Provost Awards for Research. They represented academic backgrounds in politics, performing arts, and nursing.

Provost James Brennan served as master of ceremonies at the awards presentation and reception in the Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. He said the presentations underscored “a primary and fundamental justification for our calling ourselves a university, namely, the generation of new knowledge.

“Certainly, fundamental to this institution, is our emphasis on transmitting innovation, creativity, and cutting-edge scholarship to our students at all levels. We are assembled today in order to present three awards to individuals who represent the best of our standards of scholarly achievement.”

2013 Research Awards2  
Left to right are research award winners Andrew Yeo, Eleanor Holdridge, and Janice Griffin Agazio.  

Receiving awards were:

• Andrew Yeo, assistant professor in the Department of Politics and a fellow of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies, who received the Provost Young Faculty Award for Achievement.

• Eleanor Holdridge, assistant professor and head of the M.F.A. Directing Program of the Department of Drama, who received the Provost Award for Significant Achievement in the Expressive Arts.

• Janice Griffin Agazio, associate professor in the School of Nursing, who received the Provost Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research and Scholarship.

Andrew Yeo, Young Faculty Award for Achievement

Andrew Yeo joined the faculty in 2008, soon after receiving his Ph.D. at Cornell University, “and has had a record of major achievement since then,” said Brennan.

Yeo’s book, "Activists, Alliances, and Anti-U.S. Base Protests," in which the politics of overseas military bases and the impact of domestic protest movements on U.S. bases is examined, was published in 2011 as part of the Cambridge Studies in Contentious Politics series. The book was nominated for awards by the Cambridge University Press and the American Sociological Association.

Yeo has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, and has received several grants and awards.

As an expert on East Asia, U.S.-South Korea relations, and Korean civil society, his current research includes a book-length project that traces the evolution of U.S. bilateral alliances and multilateralism in East Asia, as well as studying why activists and policymakers often draw different conclusions about issues pertaining to peace and security.

In thanking those present, Yeo said at first he couldn’t imagine why he had received a message to call the provost’s office. “I didn’t know I was nominated for this, and it was a pleasant surprise.” He said he was being recognized for the award, but, he added, “I see it as a collective award. I wouldn’t be able to do the research I do without the support of many people,” he said, adding that he was humbled by the honor.

Eleanor Holdridge, Significant Achievement in the Expressive Arts

Eleanor Holdridge holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. In addition to her teaching credits at Yale, New York University, and The Juilliard School, her directing resume lists “an amazing diversity of credits, ranging from off-Broadway productions to regional theater productions including Shakespeare to new plays,” said Brennan.

“As soon as Eleanor Holdridge joined the faculty of the drama department, she started getting to know the artistic directors and managing directors of area theaters,” he said. That involvement with professional theatres “pays dividends to her students in myriad ways,” including acting and directing internship opportunities. Holdridge co-adapted the story of Zorro and directed it for a recent production at the Constellation Theatre Company, “garnering critical praise for both aspects of her work.”

“She offers a significant blend of academic opportunity and practical experience to the program, enriching the department as a whole,” said Brennan.

Holdridge said she was honored to receive the award.

“About five or six years ago, after 15 to 20 years of being on the road, being an itinerate director all over the country, I started to look for opportunities to find a community,” she said. One of those was Catholic University.

“Four years ago, I arrived, and I couldn’t have imagined more of a community than I found here. With the students, the faculty, everything about this place is nurturing. It’s amazing to be part of such as community.”

She added that teaching helps make her a better director, while directing makes her a better teacher. “The interplay between those two things is amazing.”

Janice Griffin Agazio, Outstanding Achievement in Research and Scholarship

As a double alumna — having received her M.S.N and Ph.D. at the University — Janice Griffin Agazio began her career in nursing in the U.S. Army, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. She has held key positions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C., and Kimbrough Army Community Hospital at Fort Meade, Md.

Her duties in the Army led to her interest in promoting the health of military families, particularly the impact of deployments on military members and their children, said Brennan.

Agazio has received over $1 million in research funding to investigate health promotion activities in active-duty women with children, Army nursing practices during humanitarian deployments, the management of ethical issues in military nursing practice during wartime, and most recently, the impact of military separation or deployment on troops with young children and families.

“Not surprisingly, the findings of her research have led to changes in the supports the Army provides to military families,” said Brennan. Her research results have been published in a number of peer-reviewed journals, and disseminated to the public sector through magazine articles and Internet radio. She is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences.

“Dr. Agazio’s research has and will help those in the military system continue to craft strategies to support these families,” he added.

Agazio thanked her colleagues and the University for her award. “It really does take a village, and I’m really grateful to all I’ve worked with on my team,” she said. She talked about how her Army assignments, coupled with her entry into motherhood, provided many topics for further study.

She added she never thought her path in nursing would lead to research. “I have to credit my time here at CUA as a master’s and doctoral student in lighting the fire in my belly for research.”



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