Women's History Month: Esteemed UA Researchers, Scholars

March 21, 2014

In honor of Women’s History Month, we're highlighting University of Arizona women whose achievements have had a lasting impact on the campus and beyond.

In this five-part series, we're sharing stories about several important and influential women – students and employees – whose contributions have helped shape the UA.

Today we profile UA scholars, known nationally and internationally, who are advancing environmental sustainability, revealing a greater understanding of race and gender roles globally, expanding civil engagement and discourse, furthering rights for women in other countries, and much more.

Sama Alshaibi (above),associate professor in the UA School of Art, is internationally recognized for her photography and video work, both of which explore themes of race, gender and exile. Alshaibi is the recipient of the UA's 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars Award, which is supported through the UA Foundation's 1885 Society and sponsored by the UA Office of the President.

Sally M. Rider, associate dean for administration at the James E. Rogers College of Law, is founding co-director of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, a nonpartisan center promoting civic engagement and civility in public discourse. Rider also directs the nonpartisan Rehnquist Center. Prior to the UA, Rider served as administrative assistant to the Chief Justice of the United States from and previously worked for U.S. Rep. Morris K. Udall.

Sue Kroeger (above) is director of the Disability Resource Center and is nationally known for her leadership and advocacy advancing universal design. At the UA, she has led a team advancing a social model of disability and consults faculty and others at the UA, nationally and internationally around ways to design inclusive learning and working environments. Kroeger also holds adjunct faculty status in the UA Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies.

Susan C. Karant-Nunn, Regents’ Professor of History and director of the Division for Late Medieval and Reformation Studies, is a nationally regarded Reformation history scholar whose work has greatly influenced the field. For her scholarship, Karant-Nunn was named a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellow and one of the first three Earl H. Carroll Fellows of the UA College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Also, in collaboration with UA faculty member Luise Betterton and Sandra Kimball, Karant-Nunn raised more than $2 million to endow the Heiko A. Oberman Chair in Late Medieval and Reformation History.

Ofelia Zepeda (Tohono O'odham), Regents’ Professor of Linguistics, is a co-founder of American Indian Studies at the UA as well as the internationally recognized American Indian Language Development Institute. Zepeda (above) also is nationally known for her language preservation initiatives focused on the Tohono O'odham language. A scholar and poet, Zepeda has written several books of poetry and made contributions to various anthologies and collections. In 1999, Zepeda earned a MacArthur Fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her lifelong work on American Indian language issues.

Photo credit: Patrick McArdle/UANews

Diana Liverman (above), Regents' Professor of Geography and Development and co-director of the Institute of the Environment, promotes interdisciplinary research, teaching and outreach on issues related to the environment. Liverman has initiated numerous collaborations on the environment across the UA campus, such as her work founding the Consumer, Environment and Sustainability Program at the UA's Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences. She also has led and coordinated initiatives linking climate science and the arts. She founded the Carson Fellows, a training program to inform students how best to communicate their research with the general public. In 2011, Liverman was among a small group of scientists, theologians and ethicists to meet with the Dalai Lama during a conference in Dharamsala, India, in which she spoke about the interconnection between environmental change, ethics and individual choices.

Susan Stryker, associate professor of gender and women's studies and director of the Institute for LGBT Studies, is a global leader and scholar in transgender studies. Stryker, who also holds a courtesy appointment as associate professor in the UA Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, has authored a broad selection of articles and books on transgender and queer issues. Stryker earned a Lambda Literary Award for "The Transgender Studies Reader," published in 2006. Stryker also earned an Emmy Award for the documentary film "Screaming Queens: The Riot at Compton's Cafeteria," released in 2005.

Dr. Lori Alvord (above) is the first Navajo woman to be board certified in surgery. Alvord is a member of the Diné (Navajo) Tribe and of the Tsinnajinnié (Ponderosa Pine) and Ashi’hii’ Diné (Salt People) clans. She serves as the College of Medicine – Tucson associate dean for student affairs and admission, having previously served as an associate at Central Michigan University College of Medicine and Dartmouth Medical School. From 2008-2010, she served on the National Advisory Council for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Iman Hakim (above), dean and professor of the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, chairs the Arizona Biomedical Research Commission, which works to advance bioscience and clinical research in Arizona. Hakim is internationally known for her translational research and work on the role of phytochemicals adnd the prevention of chronic diseases. Hakim has been the principal investigator of several large-scale, behavior change interventions and clinical trials focused on nutrition and cancer prevention, tea consumption and coronary heart disease and nutrition and tobacco, among other things.

Ida "Ki" Moore, a nursing professor and director of the biobehavioral health science division of the UA College of Nursing, has invested her career investigating the detrimental effects of cancer and cancer medical treatments in young children, especially those with leukemia. Moore has discovered unique, harmful effects of radiation and chemotherapy on brain cells and function and has linked those effects to reduced abilities to learn and perform in school. Also, Moore has used such discoveries to design interventions intended to protect brain function during cancer medical treatments. For her work, Moore was appointed the Anne Furrow Professor of Nursing.

Regents' Professor Dr. Carol A. Barnes (above) is the BIO5 Institute's associate director and endowed chair of the Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. She also directs the Arizona Research Laboratories Division of Neural Systems, Memory, and Aging. Barnes has spend decades investigating how and why memory changes with age, and also how people are able to differentiate normal memory change from severe memory impairment, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. In 2013, the Society for Neuroscience named Barnes its Ralph W. Gerard Prize in Neuroscience recipient, the highest recognition conferred by the society, honoring outstanding scientists who make significant contributions to neuroscience.

Mary Koss, a Regents’ Professor of Public Health, is known for her investigations of gender-based violence. Koss served on the National Academy of Sciences Panel on Violence Against Women and sat on the Coordinating Committee of the Sexual Violence Research Initiative, funded by the Global Forum and the Ford Foundation and based in Johannesburg. Koss has consulted with national organizations and agencies on issues related to sexual assault prevalence and response and rape prevention. In recognition of her work, the American Psychological Association honored Koss with its 2000 Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy.

Toni Massaro (above), Regents' Professor of Law, is a highly regarded constitutional law expert. Massaro, who also is the Milton O. Riepe Chair in Constitutional Law and Dean Emerita, was the first woman to lead the UA law school. She previously taught at Washington and Lee University, Stanford University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. Massaro received the Leslie F. and Patricia Bell Faculty Award in 1998-1999 and is a six-time recipient of the Teaching of the Year Award at the UA law school.

For other UANews coverage during Women's History Month, view: