USF Professor Receives Early Career Award

August 10, 2017 | Joliet, Ill.

Dr. Megan Powell, assistant professor and mathematics department chair, received the Early Career Award from Ohio State University’s Mathematical Biosciences Institute for the spring 2018 semester.

The University of St. Francis (USF) congratulates assistant professor and mathematics department chair Dr. Megan Powell for receiving an Early Career Award from the Mathematical Biosciences Institute (MBI) at Ohio State University. Through the award, she will participate in an Infectious Disease Dynamics emphasis program at MBI during the spring 2018 semester.

Early Career Awards are given annually to only four non-tenured scientists who hold a doctorate in any of the mathematical, statistical and computational sciences or biological, medical and related sciences. This award allows the recipient to be in residence at the institute for three to four months and conduct research in his or her field of interest. While in residence, Powell hopes to get more ideas on how to extend her current research modeling immune response to inhalation anthrax, a form of anthrax poisoning, and devil facial tumor disease, an aggressive non-viral parasitic cancer among Tasmanian devils.

This fall marks the fifth year Powell has taught at the University of St. Francis. Calculus, differential equations, contemporary mathematical thinking and upperclassmen seminar courses are the courses she primarily teaches. Since her start at USF, Powell has received three summer undergraduate research awards. Powell has also created an opportunity for mathematical biology research at USF and eight students have participated. The Early Career Award will give Powell access to vital research tools that will help expand the research opportunity she created and eventually turn it into a new minor at the university.

“I am excited to really dig into research and live in ideas all day every day,” says Powell. “Access to researchers and the tools and techniques they use will help advance USF’s mathematical biology program greatly.”

For a full list of programs offered at the University of St. Francis, please visit

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves 3,900 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 48,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.