Andrea Romero, Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award

Andrea Romero, Fitch Nesbitt Professor of Family Studies and Human Development and Director of the Francis McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families, received the Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award. The award honors those who make a significant contribution to embed diversity and inclusiveness into a structural or institutional aspect of the university, either through policies or procedures. The award winner must demonstrate dedication to retaining and recruiting diverse faculty, staff and students; fostering equality of opportunity; and creating a welcoming and supportive campus climate. Romero was recognized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence and the Commission on the Status of Women at the Visionary Leadership Awards Ceremony on April 12.

“Through her leadership she easily integrates issues of equity and diversity into everything she does, from her research agenda to the way she mentors students, to the courses she teaches and committees she chairs,” a nomination letter signed by members of the UA’s Minority Women Faculty said. “She has exceptional skill at raising difficult issues about race and gender as well as other issues central to the concern for equity and diversity of the faculty and students. Dr. Andrea Romero embodies this and exemplifies the criteria for the Richard Ruiz Diversity Leadership Faculty Award in her service, teaching, and research.”

Pamela Denney, Maria Teresa Velez Outstanding Mentoring Award

Pamela Denney, administrative associate for the Yavapai County Cooperative Extension office, received the Maria Teresa Velez Outstanding Mentoring Award for classified staff. She was recognized by the Office of Diversity and Inclusive Excellence and the Commission on the Status of Women at the Visionary Leadership Awards Ceremony on April 12. Denney has worked in Cooperative Extension for more than 15 years and is valued by colleagues for her open-door policy, institutional knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

“Our office as a whole works so well because of Pam’s mentoring,” said Lydia Watts, a secretary in the office and one of Denney’s mentees. “Her spiritual strength and wisdom has allowed each of us to work the best we can each day.”

Don Slack, National Award of Professional Merit in Irrigation and Drainage

Donald C. Slack, professor of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, a professor of Watershed Management and Eco-Hydrology and Cecil H. Miller, Jr., & Cecil H. Miller, Sr., Families Dean’s Chair for Excellence in Agriculture and Life Sciences was awarded the Dr. Samuel Trueba Coronel National Award of Professional Merit in Irrigation and Drainage for 2016. The award is presented annually by El Colegio Mexicano de Ingenieros en Irrigación, A.C.—the Mexican College of Engineers in Irrigation—to those who exemplify the profession and demonstrate passion for their work, along with knowledge, commitment and an innovative vision in developing professional activities. Slack received the honor for “professional merit in serving Mexican irrigation and drainage engineers, students, professors and administrators for the past 25+ years.” The award was presented at Chapingo Autonomous University in Texcoco, Mexico, in September and came with a cash prize of 30,000 Mexican pesos (about $1,500 US), which Slack donated to the Chapingo Irrigation Engineering Department to support four student fellowships to be awarded in his name.

William B. Showers, ESA Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

William B. Showers, adjunct scientist in the Department of Entomology, received the 2016 Plant-Insect Ecosystems Lifetime Achievement in Entomology Award from the Entomological Society of America. This prestigious national award recognizes the career of an entomologist who has greatly contributed to the advancement or promotion of entomology and has been an inspiration to others. Showers – who earned his bachelor's degree in entomology from the UA in 1957 – is renowned for his research on the dispersal, diapause, mating and population genetics of insect pests of corn. He was project leader of Insect Ecology at the USDA-ARS Corn Insects Research Unit in Ames, Iowa, for more than two decades and trained many of today's leaders in the field. The award was presented at the International Congress of Entomology in Orlando, Florida, last month.

Steven Archer, Fellow of Ecological Society of America

Steve Archer, professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, has been named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. Elected for life, fellows are members who have made outstanding contributions to advancing or applying ecological knowledge in academics, government, nonprofit organizations and other areas. Archer was recognized for his novel integration of ecological, remote sensing and the earth science theory to advance the conservation and management of the word’s grassland and savanna ecosystems. The honor was presented in August at the ESA annual meeting in Florida.


“This is a most well-deserved honor for Steve. He is clearly one of the world’s top scientists and his critical research into the global phenomena of shrub proliferation into grasslands bridges basic and applied research,” said Stuart Marsh, SNRE director and professor. “He has made a very significant impact on our understanding of these changes, particularly within the context of drought and global climate change.”

Caroline Geisler Named 2016 University Fellow

Caroline Geisler is a doctoral student in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences. Geisler was raised outside Dayton and earned a B.S. in zoology at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She then joined the University of Arizona, completing an M.S. in Animal Sciences. Geisler's primary research interest centers around the impacts metabolism and endocrinology have on systemic health and liver physiology. Geisler's master's thesis investigated how signaling by ketone bodies affects the hepatic (liver) adaptation to fasting. Her Ph.D. research focuses on how lipid accumulation in the liver drives pathophysiologies—changes in the body that accompany disease—that are common to obesity and diabetes, such as insulin resistance and hypertension.

Joel Cuello Elected to National Academy of Science and Technology of the Phillipines

Professor of agricultural and biosystems engineering, Joel Cuello was elected a corresponding member of the National Academy of Science and Technology of the Philippines. He was chosen because of his significant contributions in sustainable biological and agricultural engineering systems. He has also done significant work for NASA on hybrid solar-electric lighting systems. The National Academy of Science and Technology Philippines elected Cuello during its 38th meeting in July. Cuello has served as technical adviser to the Philippine Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering. He was also elected to the Philippine American Academy of Science and Engineering in 2012.

Kristy Gilman of Nutritional Sciences Named University Fellow

This year, Kristy Gilman was named one of two University Fellows attending the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Gilman is a doctoral student in the Nutritional Sciences program. She was born and raised in Oregon and attended Oregon State University for her undergraduate studies where she graduated with a B.S. in Nutrition and Health Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. Her research interests are in bioactive compounds and nutrients and their impact on cancer development.


Read the CALS news article about Kristy Gilman here.

Mohammad Pessarakli Wins AAFSAA Outstanding Faculty Award

The Asian American Faculty, Staff and Alumni Association has recognized Mohammad Pessarakli, Ph.D. as the 2015 AAFSAA Outstanding Faculty Award Recipient. Pessarakli is a professor in the School of Plant  Sciences, and also an adjunct professor in the UA Honors College. He won this award because of his overall dedication and contributions to the University. Pessarakli is known for his high number of publications, in addition to semi-yearly scholarly articles, he has written nine books and his 10th book will be available next spring.

Sophia K Leone, National Dairy Award recipient

Sophia K Leone, an undergraduate in Veterinary Science and Business Administration has been honored as a recipient of the National Dairy Promotion and Research Board Scholarship for the 2015-2016 academic year. This $1,500 award is based on academic performance, involvement in extra-curricular dairy related activities, commitment to a career in dairy, and evidence of leadership ability, initiative, character and integrity.