Bigger and Better

University community celebrates individuals who ‘excel and inspire’ at annual ‘Honor the Best’ ceremony

University President Marc Johnson (left) and Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman (right) surprise Bruce Shively (middle), associate vice president of Planning, Budget and Analysis, with the University's annual Distinguished Service Award at the 2017 Honor the Best ceremony Tuesday, May 16,.

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5/17/2017 | By: Natalie Savidge |

Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman opened the 2017 "Honor the Best" ceremony, held Tuesday, May 16, in the Glick Ballrooms of the Joe Crowley Student Union.

"Our campus continually gets bigger and better," Carman said. "We are not even halfway through this year and we have already opened the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center, a state-of-the-art workout facility and renovated and reopened historical Thompson building for our colleagues in the College of Liberal Arts, we are looking forward to the completed renovation of Palmer Engineering later this year, and in about a month, we will be breaking ground on a new arts building. And we are optimistic that we will soon have approval to proceed with construction of a new engineering building. These milestones and accomplishments are a testimony to the extraordinary contributions that all of you make to our University. Today, it is a privilege to honor you for making the University of Nevada, Reno such a wonderful institution."

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Since 1970, the "Honor the Best" ceremony has been a gathering by the campus to recognize the outstanding achievements of faculty, staff and students.  

President Marc Johnson continued with opening remarks before the presentation of the awards.  

"The success of the University is not only about these buildings, it's about the people who work and learn inside of them," Johnson said. "The award recipients that we honor today reflect the quality, dedication and creativity that is inherent to the success of our University. 'Honor the Best' is truly a celebration of individuals who go above and beyond in their role here at the University. These are people who understand that at the core of our institution, there is a promise to be as human as we can possibly be. These are individuals who excel and inspire. Their daily work isn't seen as a job; it is seen as the type of important calling that helps our University realize the dreams of our students and the professional and personal aspirations of all who work here."  

The list of honorees Tuesday included:  

Emeriti Faculty: Mojtaba Ahmadiantehrani; Duncan Aldrich; Jamie Therese Anderson; Susie Askew; Lorena (Laurie) Beck; Charlotte Borgeson; Joseph Calabrese; Thomas Cargill; Christina Cho; David Ehrke; Donald Emerson; Rita Escher; Alan Fruzzetti; Faramarz Gordaninejad; Trina Goslin; James Hendrix; Jeanne Hilton; Dale Holcombe; Paul Michael Kivistik; William Lewis Kuechler; Susan Lentz; Russell Meyer; Millie Mitchell; Colleen Morris; Robert Nowak; Susan Palwick; Jean Perry; Bruce Shively; Danny Taylor; Clint Ulrich; Margaret Peggy Urie; Roger Walker; Mary Webb.  

Foundation Professors: Jeffrey Harper; Ahmad Itani; Scott Mensing  

F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award: Patricia Ellison; Tamara Scronce  

Distinguished Outreach Faculty: Bret Simmons  

Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Leadership Award: Melanie Duckworth  

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor: Anne Leonard  

Student Employee of the Year: Lawrence Hayden  

Cavanaugh Community Volunteer Award: Charles Jose  

Henry Albert Senior Public Service Award: Gemma Gay Beltran; Brandon Adam Boone; Megann Johnson; Justin Charles Major  

Phi Kappa Phi Award: Grant Cooper; Kayla Sadako Hiura  

Outstanding Senior Award: Aaron Alexander; Alyssa Yocom  

Outstanding Graduate Student Researcher: Carrie Branch  

Outstanding Graduate Student: Suman Bhunia  

ROTC Governor's Award: Alexander Pinto  

ROTC President's Award: Kristopher Kufalk  

Faculty Senate's Award for Outstanding Service: Chuck Price; Yvonne Stedham; John Trent  

Thornton Peace Prize: Husain Tazarvi  

Regents' Academic Advisory Award, Undergraduate: Pamela Sandstrom  

Regents' Academic Advisor Award, Graduate: James Sedinger  

Nevada Regent Cathy MacAdoo, University Professor James Sedinger, Regent John Moran and University President Marc Johnson at 2017 Honor the Best ceremony

From left to right: Nevada Regent Cathy MacAdoo, Natural Resources & Environmental Science Professor James Sedinger, Nevada Regent John Moran and University President Marc Johnson at the 2017 Honor the Best ceremony. Sedinger was recognized with the Regents' Academic Advisor Award for Graduate Students.

Regents' Researcher of the Year: John Cushman  

Regents' Rising Researcher Award: Sarah Blithe  

Regents' Scholar Award, Graduate: Angela Hornsby  

Regents' Scholar Award, Undergraduate: Kirsten Casey  

Regents' Teaching Award: Sarah Cummings  

Outstanding Researcher of the Year: Wei Yan  

Early Career Innovator Award: Antonio Faciola  

Established Innovator Award: Dean Burkin  

Global Engagement Award: Susie Askew  

Distinguished Classified Employee Award: Nancy Horowitz  

Distinguished Service: Bruce Shively  

Distinguished Faculty: Paul Starrs

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