LAURELS ... Hinshaw, Niemeier among those earning recognition

This column offers a sampling of honors recently awarded to UC Davis' faculty, staff and units.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw has been awarded an Excellence in Education Award by the California National Organization for Women Foundation. She was selected for the annual award for her commitment to education as a tool for empowerment, for being a role model to women and for working to ensure equal access for women and minorities to education. She will be honored Oct. 12 in downtown Sacramento.

Deb Niemeier, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been named a 2005 Leopold Leadership Fellow. Based at the Stanford Institute for the Environment, the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program provides 20 scientists annually with intensive communications and leadership training to enhance their ability to communicate complex scientific information to non-scientific audiences, especially policy makers, the media, business leaders and the public. Niemeier's research focuses on quantifying the effects of transportation on air quality. She is active in developing leadership activities for women in engineering.

Vijaya Kumari, professor of cell biology and human anatomy, received the C. John Tupper Prize on June 11 during the School of Medicine's commencement ceremony. The prize, named after the school's founding dean, is determined by a vote of seniors and is intended to recognize the school's outstanding teacher. Kumari also is assistant dean for medical education. She is an expert in the area of injury responses of the brain and the body's neuroregenerative processes.

Christine Bruhn, Cooperative Extension consumer food marketing specialist, has been selected to receive the Educator Award from the International Association for Food Protection. The award, which will be presented in August, recognizes her many years of educational achievements, nationally and internationally, in the area of food safety.

The School of Veterinary Medicine's new Instructional Facility recently won a best practices award for overall sustainability from the Higher Education Efficiency Partnership. The building is designed to perform 34 percent better than Title 24 requirements, provide exemplary indoor air quality and is expected to use 30 percent less water than a conventional building. The Instructional Facility is a two-story, 57,000 square foot building consisting of multi-use classrooms, auditoriums, teaching labs and student rooms.

UC Davis' Wastewater Treatment Facility recently received an honorable mention from the Higher Education Energy Efficiency Partnership for developing an innovative new system to automatically control an energy-intensive wastewater treatment process. Electrical consumption at the wastewater treatment plant has been reduced by 23 percent, or nearly 600,000 kWh/year. The system also has provided improved biological process control and effluent water quality.

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Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932,

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