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LAURELS: 5 Academic Advisors Earn Global Honors

By Dateline Staff on November 14, 2017 in University News

Quick Summary

  • NACADA recognizes significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising within higher education
  • Oliver Fiehn, who does research in metabolomics, makes ‘Analytical Scientist’ magazine’s ‘Power List 2017’
  • GSM’s Hemant Bhargava earns 2 awards from INFORMS: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
  • Heather Bischel, civil and environmental engineering, wins Zeno Karl Schindler/EPFL Prize
  • In biological and agricultural engineering: Zhongli Pan receives Chinese Government Friendship Award, Durham Kenimer Giles receives Alumni of Distinction Award from the University of Georgia Graduate School
  • Kathy Keatley Garvey places 2 macro photos in 2017 Insect Salon

Five members of UC Davis’ academic advising community are among the honorees in the NACADA Global Awards Program for 2017. NACADA, “the global community for academic advising,” presents the awards in recognition of significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising within higher education around the world. 

Beth Floyd, director of undergraduate education and advising in the College of Letters and Science, was named a winner in the category of “outstanding advising administrator.”

Three other advisors earned certificates of merit:

  • Nann Fangue, assistant professor, Department of Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, in the category of “outstanding advising-faculty role.”
  • Melissa Whaley, academic advisor, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, in the category of “outstanding advising-primary role.”
  • Julie Zech, academic advisor, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in the category of “outstanding new advisor-primary role.”

David Spight, director of undergraduate affairs in the College of Engineering, was named to the 2017-19 Emerging Leader and Mentor Class, as a mentor.

Brett McFarlane, director of academic advising, Undergraduate Education, said: “We are thrilled to have five UC Davis advising professionals and faculty recognized for their accomplishments on the global advising stage.”

UC Davis has had one other NACADA Global Award winner: Professor Ed DePeters, Department of Animal Science, last year. No other UC has had as many as five award recipients in one year dating back to 1992

“These prestigious honors are a testament to the extraordinary work happening on our campus,” McFarlane said.

Professor Oliver Fiehn, who has appointments in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and at the Genome Center, has been named by Analytical Scientist magazine to its “Power List 2017” in the categories “Omics Explorers” and “Mentors.” Fiehn is the director of the West Coast Metabolomics Center at the Genome Center, and recently was appointed the Paul K. and Ruth Stumpf Endowed Professor in Plant Biochemistry in the College of Biological Sciences.

Professor Hemant Bhargava of the Graduate School of Management recently received two awards from the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, or INFORMS, the leading international association for professionals and scholars in operations research and analytics.

The INFORMS Information Systems Society recognized Bhargava as a distinguished fellow for his “seminal contributions to the economics of technology platforms, economics of information goods and to the technological underpinnings of decision support systems.” He received a service award from the institute’s eBusiness Section.

Bhargava is a leading authority on the information technology industry; his research highlights distinctive characteristics of technology goods and their impact on specific elements of operations, marketing, pricing and competitive strategy. He holds the Jerome and Elsie Suran Chair in Technology Management and serves as faculty director of the GSM’s new Master of Science in Business Analytics program.

The Zeno Karl Schindler Foundation of Geneva recently presented an award of 20,000 Swiss Francs (about $20,000) to Heather Bischel, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, in recognition of work she did at the École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL). The Zeno Karl Schindler/EPFL Prize honors postdoctoral work of particular excellence in the area of environmental science and sustainability. 

Professor Zhongli Pan, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, received a Chinese Government Friendship Award in a ceremony held in the Great Hall of the People, Beijing. Vice Premier Ma Kai presented the award in recognition of Pan’s leadership and contributions toward international collaboration in research and education in food and agriculture.

Durham Kenimer Giles, professor and vice chair, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, is among this year’s recipients of Alumni of Distinction Awards from the University of Georgia Graduate School.

Giles’ research focuses on spray applications, including pesticide spraying, industrial spray coating, the reduction of “spray drift” and environmental contamination. Giles and his team comprised the first research entity to receive Federal Aviation Administration clearance to operate an unmanned aircraft for spraying in the Napa, Sacramento and Central valleys of California.

“It’s a macro world out there,” says UC Davis writer and photographer Kathy Keatley Garvey, who recently had two of her photos “accepted” into the 2017 Insect Salon. The Peoria (Illinois) Camera Club holds the contest annually in conjunction with the Entomological Society of America, which presents each year’s salon at the society’s annual meeting (the 2017 meeting was held last week in Denver).

Garvey’s winning photos:

  • Faster Than a Speeding Bullet, showing a long-horned bee (Melissodes agilis) in flight, speeding over a Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia).
  • Under Attack! shows a long-horned bee targeting a red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta), also on Tithonia.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or