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Recent Honors

October 22, 2008

Gary Snyder, professor emeritus of English, is the winner of the $100,000 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, which honors a living U.S. poet whose lifetime accomplishments warrant extraordinary recognition. Snyder, whose poetry collections include "The Back Country" and "Danger on Peaks," began writing in the 1950s as a member of the Beat movement and won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975 for "Turtle Island."

Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the School of Law, was honored by the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies as a 2008 NACCS Scholar. The association cited Johnson's "compelling, gripping, and deeply moral and ethical voice in the areas of civil rights and immigration law" and said that his is "one of the most noted voices on the hardships and racial profiling suffered by immigrants."

David Brody, professor emeritus of history, received the Sol Stetin Award for Labor History from the Sidney Hillman Foundation at a May 27 ceremony in New York City. The Sol Stetin award is given each year to a labor historian whose work "furthers our understanding of the working-class experience in America." Brody is the author of "In Labor's Cause: Main Themes on the History of the American Worker," among other titles.

Heghnar Watenpaugh, associate professor of art history, has received the Ailsa Bruce Mellon Senior Fellowship from the National Gallery of Art's Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts. The fellowship includes a residence at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., from September 2008 through May 2009. Watenpaugh will be at work on her next book, "The City and Its Reverse: Performing Space and Gender in Islamic Urbanism."

Jamal Abedi, professor of education, is the 2008 recipient of the California Educational Research Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to educational research, evaluation or measurement over a long and illustrious career. The award will be presented at the association's meeting in December.

Scott Sigmund Gartner, professor of political science, and Alan Olmstead, professor of economics, have received the 2008 Thomas Jefferson Prize from the Society for the History of the Federal Government for their book, "Historical Statistics of the United States: Millennial Edition." The reference book, published in its first edition in 2006, has won half a dozen other honors, including a Booklist Editor's Choice Award and selection as a History News Network Book of the Month.

Mary Sandy, executive director of the School of Education's Cooperative Research and Extension Services program, has been appointed to the board of the California Council on Teacher Education. The council is a nonprofit organization devoted to improving continuing education for teachers and administrators.

Malaquias Montoya, a professor of Chicana/o studies and art, was commissioned by the California Latino Legislative Caucus to design a silkscreen for the caucus's annual "Spirit Awards." The awards were given to 14 successful Latinos from a variety of fields at a May 5 ceremony on the Capitol steps. This year's honorees, who included renowned teacher Jaime Escalante and football star Jim Plunkett, each took home a framed print of the work, titled "El Cantor," which features a man playing a guitar against a backdrop of farmland.

Donald Donham, professor of anthropology, has been named editor of American Ethnologist, the journal of the American Ethnological Society. Founded in 1842 to foster "inquiries generally connected with the human race," the society is the oldest U.S. anthropological organization.

Psychology professor Gail Goodman received the American Psychological Association's 2008 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award. The award recognizes an individual whose work over a lifetime has contributed to the science of developmental psychology and benefit of society.

Prasant Mohapatra, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Computer Science, has been named an Outstanding Engineering Alumnus by the Penn State College of Engineering. Mohapatra received his award recently at the Nittany Lion Inn on the Penn State campus. Established in 1966, the award is the highest honor bestowed by the college. The Outstanding Engineering Alumni Award recognizes graduates who have reached exceptional levels of professional achievement.

Jonathan Heritage, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded the 2008 R.W. Wood Prize by the Optical Society of America. Established in 1975, the prize recognizes an outstanding discovery, scientific or technical achievement, or invention in the field of optics. The prize is endowed by Xerox.

Jiming Jiang, professor of statistics, has been elected as a fellow of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics in recognition of his outstanding research and professional contributions. The new fellows were recognized and presented with a plaque during the World Congress in Probability and Statistics in Singapore, July 14-19.

Alexandra Navrotsky, distinguished professor of ceramic, earth, and environmental materials chemistry and director of the NEAT organized research unit, has been awarded the Roebling Medal by the Mineralogical Society of America. The Roebling Medal is the highest award for scientific eminence in the broad field of mineralogy presented by the society, and is awarded to one individual per year. The award includes a medal and life fellowship in the society. Navrotsky, who also holds the Edward Roessler Endowed Chair in Mathematical and Physical Sciences at UC Davis, will receive the award during the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America in fall 2009.

Francisco Samaniego, professor of statistics, is this year's recipient of the U.S. Army Wilks Award. The award is given periodically by the U.S. Army to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to statistical methodology and application that affects the practice of statistics in the Army. The award will be presented during the Army Conference on Applied Statistics at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Va., this month.

Plant Pathology Professor George Bruening and Animal Science Facilities Coordinator Dan Sehnert received Awards of Distinction from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences earlier this month at the 20th annual College Celebration. Bruening, an expert on plant viruses, has been selected "Outstanding Faculty" member by the college. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992 and was selected UC Davis Faculty Research Lecturer in 1999. Sehnert has been selected as Outstanding Staff. He oversees the Cole Facility, the horse barn, small-animal colony, cattle herds at various statewide locations, and a staff of 21 employees and numerous student workers who manage 40 campus facilities and 300 acres of pasture, hay and feed grains.

Laurie Roselli, coordinator of the UC Davis Children's Hospital neonatal nurse practitioner service, recently received the 2008 Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Excellence Award for exemplary practice, leadership, service and education from the National Association of Neonatal Nurse Practitioners. Roselli is a five-year Children's Hospital employee, joining UC Davis in 2003 to help establish and develop the hospital's neonatal nurse practitioner program. The award was presented to Roselli on Sept. 25 during the organization's annual conference in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Professor James Sanchirico, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, testified before a U.S. Senate committee about the use of economic incentives to restore fishery health through cooperatives and individual fishing quota systems. Sanchirico was invited to speak in July before a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation on the topic of restoring the economic and ecological health of depleted fisheries.

Julie Sze, associate professor of American studies, has been awarded the John Hope Franklin Award for her book "Noxious New York: The Racial Politics of Urban Health and Environmental Justice" (MIT Press, 2007). The award, marking the year's best published book in American Studies, is given every year by the American Studies Association, the country's leading professional association of scholars in the field and is accompanied by a prize of $750.

The Australian city of Maribyrnong is installing a sculpture by Tom Bills, a professor of art. This isn't a first for the sculptor, who has had other sculptures installed in cities in Poland, Germany, Wales, Israel and India. Bills owns a sculpture studio in Woodland.

Quirino Paris, professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, has been named a fellow of the Board of the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE). The award recognizes relevant and continuous contributions to the advancement of agricultural economics in Europe. He received the award at a ceremony held at the EAAE Congress in Ghent, Belgium, in August.

In July, Professor Colin Carter and Associate Professor Aaron Smith of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics were awarded the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) Award for Quality of Research Discovery for their paper, "Estimating the Market Effect of a Food Scare: The Case of Genetically Modified StarLink Corn." Fellow agricultural and resource economics faculty members Professor J. Edward Taylor and Professor Emeritus Alex McCalla were both elected to the executive committee of the AAEA International Section in the same month.

Pierre Merel, assistant professor in the Department of Agriculture and Resource Economics, was recently presented with the Best Paper Award for an economist under 35 years of age by the European Association of Agricultural Economists (EAAE). Merel's winning paper was from his dissertation, "Is There Market Power in the French Comte Cheese Market?" He was presented with the award in a ceremony at the EAAE Congress in Ghent, Belgium, in August 2008.

Keith David Watenpaugh, associate professor of religious studies, has been named one of eight new members of the 22nd class of the Jennings Randolph Senior Fellowship Program by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP). The highly competitive international program awards fellows with a 10-month residency at the Institute, where they will spend time reflecting and writing on pressing international peace and security challenges.

Peter Moore, a professor of veterinary medicine, recently received the 2008 International Award for Scientific Achievement from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association and the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition. The award, funded by Waltham (a division of Mars Inc.), is presented annually to individuals who have had a significant impact on the advancement of knowledge concerning disorders of companion animals. Moore was recognized for his pioneering work in the investigation and diagnosis of tumor formation in dogs and cats.

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