University honors its best ... virtually

Honor the Best ceremony takes place remotely, still features all the special moments

Morrill Hall

University honors its best ... virtually

Honor the Best ceremony takes place remotely, still features all the special moments

Morrill Hall

There were names that were honored, names that numbered well into the three figures and spoke to University achievements of the highest order.

There were light moments, such as when the master of ceremonies, Provost Kevin Carman, admitted to binge-watching over the weekend Nat Geo WILD’s series, “Monster Fish,” starring Zeb Hogan, a professor of Biology at the University and one of the people who were honored on Wednesday.

There were touching moments, such as when President Marc Johnson, who has served as president for a decade and will step down at the end of December, received a special award presented by Vice President of Student Services Shannon Ellis – burnished wood from the foundation of the very first building ever built in on campus, Morrill Hall – for his service to the University.

There was all of this, and a lot more, during the University’s annual “Honor the Best” ceremony, which for the first time in its 50-year history was held remotely.

It was a ceremony that, Carman noted at the beginning where congratulations were welcomed by those who were attending remotely, provided the audience sent congratulations “via the chat feature.” In all, there were dozens of congratulations offered via chat from colleagues, friends, students and family members.

“Those we are honoring today are a shining example of what we stand for,” Carman said, adding that the accomplishments of the Honor the Best recipients were “awe-inspiring.”

Johnson, in his remarks, congratulated all of the award winners “… for the excellence they represent, and the humanity they embody.

“This is an awards celebration that dates back to 1970. For 50 years, come rain or shine or come pandemic, we’ve gathered together. Either in person or virtually, we’ve said ‘thank you’ to those who have displayed the dedication and commitment that makes our institution such a special place. May the good work and good fortune that you experience today continue for years to come.”

Ellis, in her remarks about Johnson, said that beginning with Johnson’s time as interim president in 2011 following the death of President Milt Glick, the University’s 16th chief executive had helped the University “weather” a terrible economic recession, enjoy a more prosperous period of unprecedented period of growth and achievement, while now facing another challenge – the COVID-19 pandemic.

Said Ellis: “So every time any one of us teaches, works, meets in one of the many new buildings while he has been our president, or if we gloat over a high academic ranking, or we enjoy the offerings of the many new faculty we’ve been able to hire while he’s been president, or enjoy the largest and most diverse student body we have ever enrolled, we will think of you, Marc Johnson. Thank you.”

Johnson, clearly moved, thanked the University for the honor. He noted that his time as president had been a team effort. And, in the style of the moment – and of the year 2020 in general – he celebrated by bumping elbows with Carman and Ellis.

Honorees included (student award winners were honored at a separate ceremony, held remotely, in May):

Emeriti faculty

  • Deborah Achtenberg
  • Shera Alberti-Annunzio
  • Christine Aramburu Alegria
  • Elizabeth P. Ball
  • Miriam Bar-on
  • Diane Barone
  • Ann Bingham
  • Gary J. Blomquist
  • John K. Carothers
  • Kathleen C. Carrico
  • Robert Dickens
  • Rhonda Dome
  • Sheri Faircloth
  • Robert Felten
  • David Fenimore
  • Daniel L. Fenwick
  • Margaret M. Ferrara
  • Patricia Fogarty
  • Patrick M. Ghezzi
  • Howard Goldbaum
  • Mary Groves
  • Glenn Hagerstrom
  • Susan G. Harris
  • Thomas Harrison
  • Eric Herzik
  • Fred Holman
  • Daniel Kirgan
  • Kristina Kruse
  • Roseann Langlois (posthumously)
  • Margaret V. Layton
  • Nancy Markee
  • Kerri McCulloch Garcia
  • George McKinlay
  • Amy Metcalf
  • Bruce T. Moran
  • Swatee Naik
  • Theodore Oleson, Jr.
  • Elissa J. Palmer
  • Chuck Price
  • Jane L. Robinson
  • Stephen L. Rock
  • Kimberly Rollins
  • Saiid Saiidi
  • Laura A. Scott
  • Lawrence Scott
  • Thom Seal
  • Peter Sexton
  • Meri L. Shadley
  • Neila S. Shumaker
  • Paul F. Starrs
  • Lorena Stookey
  • Jonathan Studebaker
  • Sherman Swanson
  • Wei-Chen Tung
  • Susan Valencia
  • Maria L. Valencik
  • John Anthony Varras
  • Mark J. Walker
  • Kathy Warman
  • Lynni Weibezahl
  • Jeanne Wendel
  • W. Larry Williams

Foundation Professors

  • Greta de Jong
  • Matthew Forister
  • Wei Yang

Foundation Early Career Innovator Award

  • Yftah Tal-Gan

Foundation Innovative Impact Award

  • Carlos Cardillo

Foundation Outstanding Supervisor Award

  • Carrie Murphey

Foundation Administrative Faculty of the Year

  • Darius Robinson

F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award

  • Amy Fitch
  • Elena Pravosudova

Distinguished Outreach Faculty

  • Stephen Rock

Inclusion, Equity and Diversity Leadership Award

  • Eleni Oikonomidoy

Outstanding Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentor

  • Kate Berry

Postdoctoral Award for Exceptional Mentoring

  • Joshua Jahner

Faculty Senate’s Award for Outstanding Committee Service

  • Donnie Curtis
  • Tom Harrison

Associated Students of the University of Nevada Service Learning Award

  • Jenna Dewar

Regents’ Academic Advisor Award – Graduate

  • Anne Leonard

Regents’ Academic Advisor Award – Undergraduate

  • Grace Leal

Regents’ Creative Activities Award

  • Dmitri Atapine

Regents’ Researcher Award – Distinguished

  • Kenton Sanders

Regents’ Researcher Award – Mid-Career

  • Wei Yan

Regents’ Rising Researcher Award

  • Kostas Alexis
  • Mozart Fonseca

Outstanding Researcher

  • Geoffrey Blewitt

Ozmen Global Engagement Award

  • Zeb Hogan

Distinguished Classified Employee Award

  • Kimberly Bonnenfant

Distinguished Faculty

  • Ken Hunter

Distinguished Service

  • Chuck Price






Latest From

Nevada Today