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Recent Honors

By Amy Agronis on July 20, 2005 in

Three UC Davis scholars are among 24 affiliated with UC who were recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Election acknowledges individuals whose contributions are influential to their field and to society. The three UC Davis faculty chosen are: Alan Hastings of environmental science and policy; Stephen Kowalczykowski, in the Section of Microbiology and director of the Center for Genetics and Development in the Division of Biological Sciences; and Michael Turelli, in the Section of Evolution and Ecology.

    -- Hastings is an expert at using mathematical models to predict changes in populations of plants and animals over time and space, and in using ideas from complex dynamics to study problems in ecology.

    -- Kowalczykowski studies the molecular "machines" that copy and repair DNA, using unique equipment to film individual molecules at work on DNA in real time.

    -- Turelli studies genetics and evolution using the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model system. He is especially interested in how new species form from existing populations.

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor of UC Davis 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 at UC Davis, 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.

Christine Bruhn, a Cooperative Extension consumer food marketing specialist for UC Davis, 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.

Linda Harris, a Cooperative Extension food safety specialist in the Department of Food Science and Technology at UC Davis, has been named to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Advisory Committee on Microbial Criteria for Foods. The advisory committee, established in 1988, provides scientific advice on public health issues related to the safety and wholesomeness of the U. S. food supply. It also helps develop microbiological standards for processed and non-processed foods that will allow theses foods to be sold to the public with a high confidence of their microbiological safety.

The UC Davis 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.

Doug Hartline, director of Technology Planning and Development for the department of Information and Educational Technology at UC Davis, has been selected to chair the Business Advisory Council of the Corporation for Educational Network Initiatives in California. Begun in the late 1990s as an effort to install a high-speed network for higher education institutions, CENIC provides Internet access to 148 colleges and universities, covers all California public elementary and secondary schools and is branching into other states. During this one-year appointment, Hartline will advise on issues including network policies and evolution, security and fees. His goals include gaining long-term funding stability.

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.

Patricia Gándara, Randi Hagerman, Jeff Mount and John Whitaker were recently named as this year's recipients the UC Davis Academic Senate's Distinguished Public Service Award. The annual awards recognize significant contributions to the world, nation, state and community.

    -- Gándara, a member of the education faculty since 1990, provides leadership in research centers focusing on promoting equitable distribution of educational resources and opportunities in public schools including Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), the research working group of UC ACCORD, and the UC Linguistic Minority Research Institute. She has gained attention for the crisis of access to higher education that has brought elected officials, other policymakers and academics together.

    -- Hagerman is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and director of the M.I.N.D. Institute. Her area of expertise is fragile X syndrome, which is the most common inherited cause of mental impairment. Hagerman was part of a select team invited in March to the first international conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on autism and fragile X syndrome, where she spoke on the commonalities of fragile X syndrome and autism.

    -- Mount, a geology professor, is founding director of the UC Davis Watershed Sciences Center. Among his advisory work, he was a member of a National Research Council committee to evaluate endangered species issues in the politically explosive Klamath River Basin. He is a member of the first Independent Science Board for the California Bay-Delta Authority, which helps the authority spend billions of public dollars in accordance with scientific knowledge, and of the National Environmental Advisory Board, which advises and oversees the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He is the only scientist on the State Reclamation Board.

    -- Whitaker, a professor emeritus of Food Science and Technology, has for decades taken teaching and research training programs to international scholars in their own countries. A member of the UC Davis faculty since 1956, he wrote the first official agreement of cooperation between UC Davis and foreign universities. He has served as the faculty advisor for the UC Davis Mexican Student Association since 1989 and for the Thai Student Association since 2002.

UC Davis researchers Paul Gumerlock and Lesley Butler have been selected as the 2005 winners of the Christine Landgraf Memorial Research Award. Gumerlock is an associate chief of laboratory and translational research for the Department of Hematology/Oncology at the medical center. Butler is an assistant adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health Sciences. The research award was founded in 1973 and is named after a woman who died in 1971 of Hodgkin's disease. In her memory, her parents, John and Helen Landgraf of Fair Oaks, donated $5,000 to help support cancer research at the UC Davis School of Medicine. Subsequent contributions from individuals and businesses have increased the fund to more than $150,000 and support the work of more than 30 UC Davis researchers.

John Stenzel and Ellen Lange have been named the 2005 winners of the UC Davis Academic Federation awards for Excellence in Teaching, and Mari Golub is the recipient of the 2005 Academic Federation Award for Excellence in Research. Teaching awards honor demonstrated classroom excellence by lecturers, including use of innovative teaching techniques and ability to stimulate learning in students. The research prize honors work that plays an important role in enhancing the campus's research reputation.

    -- Stenzel has been teaching as an English lecturer since 1990. He has led courses including legal writing, Shakespeare for non-majors, history of the English language, technical writing, and the masterpieces of British Literature.

    -- Lange, a lecturer in linguistics, has taught in the English as a Second Language Program and led efforts to develop computer-assisted grammar modules tailored for linguistics classes. She was among the first instructors to use PowerPoint for grammar courses, and was the first "Web master" in the ESL program.

    -- Golub, an adjunct professor of internal medicine, has produced an extensive list of published research papers and spoken at various conferences in the issue of environmental toxins and brain development. Since the mid-1990s, Golub's research has focused on the effects of trace elements on brain development in adolescents, and has studied how the potential estrogenic effects of pesticides may affect puberty. She also serves as a staff toxicologist for the state Department of Health Services and Cal EPA.

Media contact(s)

Amy Agronis, Dateline, (530) 752-1932, abagronis@ucdavis.edu

Mitchel Benson, (530) 752-9844, mdbenson@ucdavis.edu

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