Alumna receives Penn State Award

Tabbetha A. Dobbins, an assistant professor with a joint appointment in physics at Grambling State University and Louisiana Tech, was one of 10 alumni to receive the 2007 Penn State Alumni Association Alumni Achievement Award.
The award recognizes alumni age 35 and under for extraordinary professional accomplishments.
Dobbins received her doctorate from Penn State in 2002 and was awarded the prestigious National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship to do research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.
Her dissertation focused on how high-temperature thermal spray conditions affect the quality of thermal barrier coatings-a critical component to the performance of commercial jet engines. She is widely published in top journals for materials research, including 13 scholarly publications.
The Penn State Award also recognized Dobbins for her teaching and outreach, noting that she mentors students in graduate and undergraduate research projects and promotes students’ professional research. She involves GSU and Louisiana Tech in joint research with Penn State in the area of synchrotron X-ray studies.
One focus of the collaboration is on introducing women and minority students to state-of-the-art instrumentation and materials research. Students from the two universities travel to Penn State to conduct research expanding the capabilities and relationships of all three universities, while at the same time, attracting and recruiting students to Penn State’s graduate science programs.
Dobbins, who lives in Ruston, is a member of the Louisiana Science Teacher’s Association and serves on the Louisiana State University Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices User Participation Committee.