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Karen Dow, Mubarak Shah Win Pegasus Professor Awards

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By Chad Binette and Barb Abney

A researcher working to improve the lives of breast cancer survivors and the creator of the Computer Vision lab won the top honors for UCF faculty members Wednesday during the annual Founder's Day ceremony.

Karen Dow of theCollegeofHealthand Public Affairs and Mubarak Shah of theCollegeofEngineeringand Computer Science won the Pegasus Professor Awards for 2006. In addition to excelling in their research endeavors, both professors were lauded for mentoring colleagues, working closely with students and for their community service efforts.

Shah and Dow are the ninth and 10th winners of the Pegasus Professor Award, the most prestigious honor the university gives to a faculty member. The award, which was first given out in 2000, recognizes sustained excellence in teaching, research and service.

Each winner receives a check for $5,000; a statue of Pegasus, the UCF symbol; and a gold medallion engraved with a Pegasus logo and his or her name.

Dow, who joined the UCF faculty in 1995, was named the first Beat M. and Jill L. Kahli Endowed Chair in Oncology Nursing last year. For five years, Dow has been conducting a study aimed at improving the quality of life for breast cancer survivors. The $1.6 million study is funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research and the National Cancer Institute.

She also is the lead researcher on a Web-based study about fertility after breast cancer, and she spearheaded the development of "WebONE," an online oncology nursing education project that has benefited nursing students at UCF and around the world.

"Her human intervention research has had such positive effect on cancer survivors and their families," College of Health and Public Affairs Dean Belinda McCarthy wrote in her nomination letter for Dow. "She possesses remarkable dedication and strong determination to improve the lives of this vulnerable population.""

The Pi Psi Chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority supported Dow's nomination because she spoke last fall at a luncheon honoring a sorority member who had died of cancer. Dow told the group about her research findings and advised them on how to detect early warning signs of the disease.

"Dr. Dow is an outstanding woman not only because of her accomplishments in research, but because of the type of person she is," sorority members Shanae Hall and Charlyn Stanberry wrote. "Dr. Dow is a caring, compassionate and outgoing individual who is always there to lend a helping hand.""

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