2021 Harold Wilkinson Alumni Recognition Committee

Committee Name: Harold Wilkinson Alumni Recognition Committee
Faculty Committee Chair: Robb Van Putte

List Committee Members:
Robb Van Putte
Graeme Wyllie

Committee Report:
The committee is pleased to report that Dr. Ellen Aho, Professor of Biology
in the department of Biology at Concordia College is this year's recipient of
the Harold Wilkinson Alumni Recognition Award. This is what Dr. Joe Whittaker
had to say about Dr. Aho and why she is deserving of this award:

Dr. Ellen Aho is a professor in the Biology Department at Concordia College
where she also completed her undergad and now teaches Microbiology and
Genetics. She joined the Concordia faculty in 1990 after completing her Ph.D.
at the University of North Carolina. As one of the Gamma Gamma chapter's
first members she helped to cultivate a culture of research and academic
excellence through her mentorship of numerous students. She is active in the
following professional societies: American Society for Microbiology and
Council on Undergraduate Research (Biology Council) and has received the
following teaching awards: Flaat Distinguished Teaching Award and Omicron
Delta Kappa Faculty Representative. Dr. Aho’s research is on bacteria in
the genus Neisseria. This includes Neisseria meningitidis which causes the
disease meningitis, along with other species that are members of the human
microbiome and normally colonize the mouth and upper airway. The research Dr.
Aho does on-campus with students seeks to understand the differences between
pathogenic and nonpathogenic Neisseria species, how the genus has evolved,
and how Neisseria species interact with one another. Her most recent project
involves examining nonpathogenic Neisseria for the ability to produce
antibiotic agents active against drug-resistant pathogens. Her research has
been published in numerous scientific papers and has involved collaborations
not only in the United States, but also internationally with sabbatical
visits to the University of Bristol and Oxford University (UK).

Congratulations to Dr. Aho!!