University honors best at 'Honor the Best'

5/18/2011 - By: John Trent
Wolf statue at Mackay Stadium The University celebrated its faculty, staff and students on May 11 at the annual “Honor The Best” Ceremony.

The University of Nevada, Reno celebrated the achievements of its faculty, students and staff on Wednesday, May 11 during the annual "Honor the Best" ceremony in the Joe Crowley Student Union Ballroom.

"We are a stronger institution because of our collective efforts, and today is a celebration of those who are leaders in making a difference," said Bill Cathey, vice provost for instruction and undergraduate programs and master of ceremonies for the event.

University President Marc Johnson said the event was the culmination of a "remarkable" year of achievement for the campus, which came while the University endured record-setting budget reductions and the loss of its president, Milt Glick, who passed away on April 16.

"At the beginning of this year, we enrolled more students than ever before," Johnson said. "This weekend we will graduate more students than ever before. In between, the individual national recognitions of faculty and nationally ranked student team performance in national competitions have been truly memorable ... You've done a tremendous job, and I am so proud of all of you."

In addition to the numerous awards presented, 36 emeriti faculty were also honored. Cathey noted that the emeriti "combined, have devoted over 1,001 years of service to this University."

Award winners included:

  • Foundation Professors - John Cushman, professor of biochemistry; Kathleen Keef, professor of physiology and cell biology; Kwang Kim, professor of mechanical engineering.
  • F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award - Sergiu Dascalu, associate professor, computer science and engineering. Runners-up: Tammy Abernathy, associate professor of special education; Stephanie Sant' Ambrogio, assistant professor of music.
  • Distinguished Outreach Faculty - Diane Barone, professor of educational specialties.
  • Outstanding Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor - Sergiu Dascalu, associate professor of computer science and engineering.
  • Graduate Academic Advisor Award - Thomas Harrison, professor of education.
  • Undergraduate Academic Advisor Award - Jennifer O'Neil, academic advisor, College of Engineering.
  • Student Employee of the Year - Caitlin Gallagher.
  • Cavanaugh Community Volunteer Award - Brady Iubelt.
  • Henry Albert Public Service Award - Laine Durgin; Luann Grey; Matthew Sabatini; Erin Szelagowski.
  • Phi Kappa Phi Award - Cassandra Allen, Jeffrey Surina.
  • Outstanding Senior - Kerry Csiga; Matthew Polasko.
  • Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher - Michael Levin.
  • Outstanding Graduating Graduate Student - Jeremy Stern.
  • ROTC Governor's Award - Kenneth McCarthy.
  • ROTC President's Award - Ryan Spinuzzi-Nichols.
  • Faculty Senate Award for Outstanding Committee Service - Ron Phaneuf; James Richardson.
  • Thornton Peace Prize - FUSED (group); M.E.N. of Distinction (group); Barry Peterson (individual).
  • Regents' Undergraduate Academic Advisor Award - Jennifer O'Neil.
  • Regents' Researcher Award - Iain Buxton, professor of pharmacology.
  • Regents' Rising Researcher Award - Monica Miller, associate professor of criminal justice.
  • Regents' Scholar Award - Patrick Barber (graduate); Kristina Yeskie (undergraduate).
  • Regents' Teaching Award - Eric Rasmussen, professor of English.
  • Outstanding Researcher of the Year - Michael Webster, professor of psychology.
  • Distinguished Classified Employee Award - Kristen Kabrin.
  • Distinguished Service - Richard Davies, professor of history.
  • Distinguished Faculty - Leonard Weinberg, professor of political science.

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