Jonsson School Communications Manager Wins Awards


LaKisha Ladson, communications manager for the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, recently won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) for stories written about Jonsson School research.

Ladson won the top prize in the medical/scientific news writing category for a press release about an imager chip that taps the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum manufactured in CMOS technology that could turn cell phones into objects that could see through walls. Professor Kenneth O, director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) and a professor of electrical engineering at UT Dallas, led the research team that designed the chip, and worked with Ladson on the UT Dallas news release. More than 500 media outlets covered the work, including The Dallas Morning News, the Los Angeles Times, PC Magazine, Popular Science and USA Today, even though a more technical release had been produced a few months earlier.

LaKisha Ladson

Ladson also won the silver award in the medical/scientific writing collection category for three releases about Jonsson School research. The releases include the O terahertz/CMOS work, and stories about a robotic jellyfish that runs on renewable energy built by a team led by Dr. Yonas Tadesse, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UT Dallas, and a software system dubbed Frankenstein created by a team led by Dr. Kevin Hamlen, associate professor of computer science at UT Dallas, that can cloak itself as it steals and reconfigures information in a computer program.

The “Robojelly” work received coverage in numerous media outlets as well, including Discovery News, Wall Street Journal, WIRED Magazine and the cover of an international science magazine. Outlets that covered the Frankenstein work include the National Science Foundation, which provided funds for the research.
“Making Jonsson School research accessible to the average person involves trust and collaboration with our faculty members, so I am especially appreciative of Drs. O, Tadesse and Hamlen,” Ladson said.

CASE is one of the world’s largest nonprofit educational associations and includes more than 3,600 colleges and universities, primary and secondary independent and international schools, and nonprofit organizations in 76 countries. CASE Southwestern District IV includes institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and the Republic of Mexico.

Ladson started promoted Jonsson School faculty and students in spring 2012. She won the 2012 CASE District IV gold award in the medical/scientific news writing category as well, but for research conducted by faculty members at her former employer, UT Southwestern Medical Center.