Robert Crawford, left, and Maureen Smith have been honored for their achievements. (Sacramento State)

Robert Crawford studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of skin and gut-associated bacterial species – and how those mechanisms can lead to advances in developing novel non-antibiotic therapeutic approaches.

Maureen Smith is fascinated by the intersection of sports, civil rights, and race in the United States and the contemporary effort to reframe the narrative.

Crawford, an assistant professor of biological sciences, and Smith, a professor of kinesiology and health science, are the 2017-18 recipients of Sacramento State’s most prestigious faculty honors: the University Awards for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity.

The Research & Creative Activity Subcommittee of the Faculty Senate announced the awardees – Smith, as senior faculty, and Crawford, as early-career faculty – and hosted a campus-wide gathering Monday, April 2, in the University Union, Orchard Suite, where the two professors presented formal lectures on their particular research interests.

Each awardee will receive three units of release time during the 2018-19 academic year and $2,500 provided by the Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development.

Smith, a sports historian, came to Sac State in 1995. She is the University’s NCAA faculty athletic representative and works as an advisor and mentor in the Student Athlete Resource Center. Among her intellectual interests are the experiences of African American athletes in post-World War II America, as well as South Africa and the Olympic movement, gender equity in the Olympic and Paralympic Games, and big-wave surfing.

She co-authored the monograph (Re)Presenting Wilma Rudolph, which won the North American Society for Sport History’s 2015 book award. Her current book project looks at sport statues and monuments as a way “to better understand the way we make sense of the past in the present.”

Crawford, who arrived at Sac State four years ago, is involved in 11 different research projects involving skin and gut microbiomes and their impact on human health. He has received more than a half-million dollars in external funding for his innovative work, which has implications in the biotechnology industry. He often collaborates with other Sacramento State faculty and UC Davis physicians, but he's most proud of his research alongside Sac State students.

He says he “makes it his persistent goal to honor the field of medical microbiology and pay forward the gifts of his life’s tutelage by providing undergraduate and master’s-level research.” – Dixie Reid