Three University of Arizona faculty members have been selected to receive the first-ever 1885 Distinguished Scholars Awards, created by President Eugene G. Sander to acknowledge outstanding mid-career faculty whose research, scholarship and creative contributions promise to catapult their disciplines to new levels of innovation.
The honor is accompanied by a $10,000 award to each to continue their work.
Of the 45 nominees submitted for consideration, three rose to the top to receive the esteemed recognition:
- Shelly C. Cooper, associate professor of music, for her leading efforts in understanding how music enhances the cognitive development of elementary students.
- Donna M. Wolk, associate professor of pathology, for her contributions in reducing mortality from infections through the rapid detection of drug-resistant bacteria.
- Nathan J. Cherrington, associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology, for his research on how the human liver metabolizes and eliminates drugs and toxins.
In addition to being innovative researchers, the awardees are also award-winning teachers with broad commitments to service and outreach.
"I could not be more pleased to be able to show our appreciation for these bright and innovative members of our faculty with this funding," said Sander. "Supporting faculty members at mid-career is a strategic way this university can retain top talent, and show its appreciation for their work, dedication and commitment."
The recipients were selected by a committee of five Distinguished and Regents' professors from across campus. In its recommendation, the committee noted that the "pioneering research, dedicated teaching, and tremendous outreach accomplishments" of the candidates left them with "a tremendous optimism for the future of our University."
Added Cooper: "Awards such as this serve as a reminder of how our student-centered research University supports faculty who strive to meet the scholarly needs of the community. They inspire faculty members to excel and remind them of the importance of their individual roles within the University."
The awards are funded by the 1885 Society, a donor leadership group of the UA Foundation that is committed to providing annual gifts to be used at the discretion of the UA president.
The UA Foundation is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the UA. Managing an existing asset base of more than $650 million, the UA Foundation has helped generate more than $2 billion in private funding to support the University.