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May 12, 2008
By Patrick McDonnell
The prolific academic careers of University faculty Steve Wesnousky, Diane Barone and Victoria Follette will be celebrated when they receive recognition as 2008 Foundation Professors at the University’s Honor the Best awards ceremony at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 14, in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom.
The trio of longtime University professors is being recognized for research and teaching prowess. They will each receive annual awards of $5,000 for three years for professional work at Nevada. Candidates are nominated by their college deans in the spring of each year for the award, which was created in 1983.
Wesnousky, a professor of geology and seismology at the University since 1989, is the 2008 winner of the University’s F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher award, the campus’ top teaching honor. Specializing in several earth sciences disciplines including neotectonic studies, he has published more than 75 research papers, including two apiece in the prestigious Science and Nature journals open to scientific fields.
Securing outside research dollars for his projects is another of Wesnousky’s specialties. He has brought in $4.3 million in competitive extramural grants since joining the University.
In 2007, Wesnousky received the College of Science’s LeMay Excellence in Teaching Award.
Barone, an author of several books focusing on student literacy, is the principal investigator of the $26 million Reading First grant in Nevada. The 14-year professor of literacy studies at Nevada has studied the development of high-poverty and low-performing schools to assess children’s grasp of reading and writing, especially in kindergarten through eighth grade.
She served for eight years as editor of “Reading Research Quarterly,” is chair of publications for the National Reading Conference, and has written 31 peer-reviewed journal articles.
Barone is also adept at preparing undergraduate and graduate education students to teach literacy. She leads efforts to help teachers gain National Board certification, a process that ensures educators have met rigorous standards for classroom instruction.
Follette, who chairs the Department of Psychology and is also a former associate dean, has achieved an international reputation for research in therapy for trauma survivors. In 2007 alone, her research was cited 80 times in the work of other scholars. Beyond trauma research, she also specializes in psychotherapy outcomes, domestic violence and conflict in couples.
A recipient of the University’s Silver Compass Award in 2006 for her skills as an undergraduate mentor, Follette was also runner-up in 1995 for the Alan Bible Excellence in Teaching Award.
She was a featured speaker for the University’s new Great Conversations series in February 2008, discussing treatment for victims of trauma and stress. Follette, a clinical psychologist, was also honored for her contributions to the community by the Nevada Women’s Fund, which selected her as a Woman of Achievement. Her most recent honor came during the 2008 Nevada State Psychological Association awards ceremony, in which she received the Mikawa Award for Outstanding Psychologist with University Counseling Services professional Jacqueline Pistorello.