Grant receives University Distinguished Professors Scholarship

Department of Atmospheric Science Ph.D. student Leah Grant has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Colorado State University Distinguished Professors scholarship. She was nominated and selected for this scholarship based on her outstanding graduate research record and potential for future leadership in her field.

This award is given each year to one graduate student at Colorado State.

Grant, advised by Monfort Professor Sue van den Heever,  is currently investigating how convective storms both impact and are influenced by small-scale processes including turbulence, liquid and ice particle formation and growth, and land-atmosphere exchanges of energy, water vapor and momentum. She primarily uses numerical models to conduct her research. Grant and van den Heever have performed suites of model simulations for several previous research projects in which they studied the relative impacts of aerosol particles and environmental characteristics like humidity and soil moisture on convective storms. They simulated several different types of storms for this research, including midlatitude severe storms and tropical convection that forms along sea breezes over tropical rainforest regions.

Teacher and mentor

Aside from research, Grant has twice served as a graduate teaching assistant, mentored a senior undergraduate student through a summer research project, given numerous conference presentations, and helped teach a workshop for K-12 instructors about integrating weather and climate topics into their classrooms.

“All of these opportunities have inspired and prepared me for my career goal of becoming a faculty member at a high-level research institution,” Grant said. “I will continue participating in such opportunities and finish my doctoral research over the next two years in preparation for what I envision as an exciting and fulfilling career in academia.”

This major scholarship is funded each year by donations from CSU University Distinguished Professors. The University Distinguished Professors are a small group of faculty from across campus who have been recognized for exceptional scholarship with the highest academic recognition awarded by the University.

“I am deeply honored by this recognition and very grateful for the generous monetary contribution to my continuing doctoral education,” Grant said. “I am especially honored to be recognized by and funded through donations from such a distinguished group of internationally renowned CSU faculty who have been recognized as University Distinguished Professors for their outstanding scholarship and achievement.”

Tropical sea breeze convection: total condensate and an isosurface of potential temperature (3D animation created using VAPOR)