UA Honors 'Pillars' of Research, Teaching, Engagement

Eight faculty members and a dozen student and alumni have been named UA Pillars of Excellence.
Feb. 19, 2014
UA President Ann Weaver Hart recognized outstanding faculty, students and alumni during the Pillars of Excellence ceremony, held Thursday evening. (Photo credit: Andrew Ling)
UA President Ann Weaver Hart recognized outstanding faculty, students and alumni during the Pillars of Excellence ceremony, held Thursday evening. (Photo credit: Andrew Ling)

Several University of Arizona faculty members, students and alumni were honored last week as Pillars of Excellence in recognition of their contributions in research, service, teaching and academic excellence.

"This is a distinguished group, and while this is only my second event in my 18-month tenure, I can already say that this is the kind of event you can look forward to all year long," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart, speaking to about 100 people in attendance during the Pillars of Excellence Ceremony, held at the UA BookStore on Thursday evening. The president's office partners with the UA BookStores to hold the event each spring.

Hart presented the newly selected Regents' Professors: Neal R. Armstrong from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Xiaohui Fan from the Department of Astronomy and Hsinchun Chen from the UA Eller College of Management.

"The Regents' Professors are so tremendously important to us," Hart said. "They are incredibly distinguished researchers and scholars who have made significant career contributions."

UA Provost Andrew Comrie introduced the Distinguished Professors: Eric A. Betterton from the Department of Atmospheric Sciences and the Institute of Atmospheric Physics and Charles W. Scruggs from the Department of English.

Such faculty memebers have "demonstrated an extensive and long-term commitment to undergraduate education, and make important contributions to the University," Comrie said.

Comrie also introduced the University Distinguished Outreach Faculty: S. Peder Cuneo, UA veterinarian and associate director of the University Animal Care, which is part of Cooperative Extension, and Sally J. Reel, associate dean of academic practice in the College of Nursing.

In their respective disciplines and areas of campus, Cuneo and Reel have greatly enhanced community engagement, serving as statewide and national leaders, Comrie said.

Twelve students and alumni were honored for their academic achievements and contributions to their respective scientific communities.

The group of honorees include Flinn Scholars and a Udall Scholar, founders of student organizations, community volunteers engaged in the fields of music and medicine, students accepted for graduate studies and those who have presented and published scholarly work.

Patricia MacCorquodale, the UA Honors College dean, said: "It's hard to say 'This is their one achievement' because they are talented in so many different ways."

The student and alumni honorees were:

Rachel Delozier, an art history and Classics major in the Honors College.

Leah Edwards, a Flinn Scholar and Udall Scholar who is about to graduate with a double major in political science and environmental and water resources.

Daniel Fried, a Flinn Scholar, Goldwater Scholar and Churchill Scholar majoring in computer science, mathematics and information science.

Eric Hansen, a chemistry and mathematics major, a Goldwater Scholar and an Astronaut Foundation Scholar.

Benjamin Horn, a senior studying biology and German,.

Stephanie Kha, a junior studying biochemistry. 

Benjamin Malisewski, a junior studying management information systems and sports management.

Stephanie Marts, a December 2013 graduate in music education.

Erin Menefee, a nutritional sciences major and accomplished student-athlete.

Mark Ryan, a December 2013 graduate in history. 

Paul Thomson, a Flinn Scholar who is studying acting and Africana studies.

Danny Vazquez, a December 2013 graduation in physiology in December 2013.

Read more about the students and alumni honorees here.