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LAURELS: Regulska Top Global Educator

By Dateline Staff on June 3, 2019 in University

Quick Summary

  • Vice provost receives Senior International Officer Award from Institute of International Education
  • Newly elected: Professor Debashis Paul, to fellowship in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics
  • Professor Rachel Whitmer, Department of Public Health Sciences, will train for leadership in academic medicine
  • “Journal of Homosexuality” publishes special issue commemorating research by Professor Emeritus Gregory Herek
  • ARC receives Thong Hy Huynh Award for Excellence in Community Involvement, given by the Davis City Council

In conjunction with its centennial this year, the Institute for International Education established the Senior International Officer Award — and last week presented it to Joanna Regulska, vice provost and associate chancellor of Global Affairs.

“Joanna being selected to receive this inaugural award from IIE confirms her extraordinary and distinguished contributions to the field, to UC Davis, and to the broader global community,” Chancellor Gary S. May said.

Regulska received the award May 29 in Washington, D.C., during the annual meeting of NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

The award recognizes leadership across the spectrum of international education, with particular attention to policy, innovation and impact, and relationship-building.

Regulska has worked in international education for more than 30 years, the last four at UC Davis as the university’s first global strategist. She’s a scholar of women’s political activism (with a focus on Europe and the Caucasus) who holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies.

Global Affairs projects for which she has been the driving force include hosting the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders (2016-18), participating in the UN Millennium Fellows program, establishing a travel security policy and streamlining the university’s process for international agreements. Last fall, she set in motion an International Research Conference, interdisciplinary in nature, that drew more than 200 experts from 22 countries to UC Davis.

In addition, under her leadership, Global Affairs has expanded award and grant programs for faculty, established an ambassador program for faculty and staff, and diversified Study Abroad and global learning opportunities for students.

And the ideas and projects keep coming: She is championing Global Education for All, a UC Davis Big Idea, whereby all of the university’s students would graduate with international or intercultural experiences; and the Global Centers initiative, part of a strategy to strengthen the university’s international research, education and engagement efforts around the world.

Regulska came to UC Davis from Rutgers University where she was the first person to serve as vice president for international and global affairs, and whose office won a Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization in 2014, given by NAFSA: Association of International Educators.

Reacting to her award from the Institute of International Education, Regulska said: “I would like to share this recognition with my cherished colleagues from UC Davis, Rutgers University and many partners around the world. I am continually inspired by their knowledge, wisdom and commitment to advancing this shared vision of global engagement and to creating access to global learning for all students.”

Read more on the Global Affairs website.

Statistics professor Debashis Paul has been elected to fellowship in the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. IMS Fellowship honors outstanding research and professional contributions of members in the field of statistics and probability.

Paul joined the UC Davis faculty in 2005. One of his main research interests is developing methodologies for high-dimensional data analysis, with a focus on improving processing techniques for medical imaging data, such as MRIs.

The institute will recognize Paul and other newly-elected fellows during the Joint Statistical Meetings/IMS annual meeting to be held this year in July in Denver. 

— Becky Oskin, content strategist, College of Letters and Science

Rachel Whitmer, professor and division chief of epidemiology in the Department of Public Health Sciences, and associate director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Center, has been chosen to participate in the Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine, or ELAM, program, hosted by the Drexel University College of Medicine.

Rachel Whitmer mugshot

She is the first ELAM participant in the Department of Public Health Sciences. The one-year leadership training program is designed to expand the national pool of qualified female candidates for leadership in academic medicine.

Whitmer holds a National Institutes of Health grant portfolio that is focused on identifying modifiable risk factors for brain health and dementia in diverse populations that have previously been underrepresented in population-based research.

Her capstone project for her ELAM fellowship will focus on understanding institutional barriers for women in obtaining leadership positions in academic medicine.

“UC Davis has a history of mentorship in gender equity and is currently recognized as one of the top institutions to launch women into STEM,” she said. “This ELAM project will further define UC Davis as a pioneer in gender equity by focusing on pathways to research and scientific leadership in academic medicine.”

The Journal of Homosexuality recently published a special issue commemorating the broad impacts of research by Gregory Herek, professor emeritus in the Department of Psychology.

The special issue includes articles on a range of new studies that build on Herek’s work. The UC Davis alumnus devoted nearly 40 years to studying prejudice against sexual minorities, anti-gay violence and AIDS-related stigma.

“Most contemporary research related to sexual minorities is grounded — whether explicitly stated or not — in the pioneering research conducted by Greg over the past several decades,” Dominic Parrott, a psychology professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta, wrote in an introductory article.

Parrott said Herek’s research “contributed to paradigm shifts in the way scientists conceptualize stigma toward sexual minorities, revolutionized our understanding of the many ways in which such stigma negatively affects health, and was vital to major advancements in social and legal policies in the United States.”

Herek recalled: “When I began my career four decades ago, it was very difficult to publish empirical research that challenged the illness model of homosexuality or questioned the legitimacy of the stigma historically faced by sexual and gender minorities.

“Such studies were widely viewed as being on the fringe, and mainstream academic journals generally didn’t give them serious consideration.”

“The Journal of Homosexuality was one of the only scholarly outlets for research like mine. In fact, my first two published papers appeared in it. So I’m not only honored by this special collection of articles drawing from and building upon my work, I’m also especially pleased that they are being published in the Journal of Homosexuality.”

Read the complete article by Kathleen Holder, content strategist, College of Letters and Science.

The Activities and Recreation Center and the people who run it are the recipients of a Thong Hy Huynh Award for Excellence in Community Involvement, given recently by the Davis City Council.

The council presents Thong Hy Huynh Awards annually in several categories, as a tribute to the awards’ namesake, a Davis High School student who was stabbed to death on campus in May 1983 in what was a racially motivated attack.

Liam Honigsberg nominated the ARC, saying it “represents the best of Davis — a place where persons of all backgrounds, all beliefs, all abilities and all interests are welcomed and met with activities suitable to their individual and collective preferences, in a place without judgment.”

He praised the ARC for being “a catalyst for a sense of belonging on the Davis campus,” as well as serving as something more akin to a community center than a weight room.

Deb Johnson, director of recreation with Campus Recreation, which runs the ARC, commented: “I am so proud to be a part of this team, and to be able to provide a space in our community and on campus that lives and breathes something we are all so passionate about within our core values.”

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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