Academic Senate Recognizes Faculty With Top Awards for Teaching, Research, Service

UC Riverside’s Alexander Raikhel, Gabriela Canalizo, Eugene Nothnagel, Ameae Walker, Richard Hooley, Jeanie Lau and others are honored

RIVERSIDE, Calif. — The University of California, Riverside Academic Senate — the campus faculty governing body — announced today its top awards in research, teaching and service for the 2012-2013 academic year.

In research, Alexander Raikhel, a distinguished professor of entomology and UC President’s Chair, was selected the Faculty Research Lecturer for 2013, the highest honor that the UCR Academic Senate can bestow on a colleague to recognize the quality of his or her research.

The Distinguished Teaching Award, conferred on the basis of student evaluations and peer reviews, went to Gabriela Canalizo, an associate professor of physics and astronomy.

The Distinguished Service Awards went to Eugene Nothnagel, a professor of plant physiology, and Ameae Walker, a professor of biomedical sciences. Both awardees were nominated by their colleagues.

The faculty recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement are Richard Hooley, an assistant professor of chemistry, and Jeanie Lau, a professor of physics and astronomy.

The Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor awardees are David Funder, a distinguished professor of psychology, and Eamonn Keogh, a professor of computer science and engineering, for their outstanding contributions to the training of advanced graduate students.

The student recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement are Eric Liao, Department of Environmental Sciences, and Fatima Mirza, Department of Creative Writing.

Alexander-RaikhelRaikhel has received wide acclaim for the high quality of his research, especially the hormonal control of egg development in mosquitoes, and innate immunity in insects. His insightful and pioneering research places him among the top insect molecular biologists worldwide. He has received many honors, among which are his election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America, both in 2009. Based on significant advances achieved by his laboratory as well as his prolific record of high quality publications, the National Institutes of Health awarded Raikhel a ten-year MERIT Award of more than $4,000,000 in 2002. During his career, Professor Raikhel has published more than 130 peer-reviewed papers, 29 book chapters, 8 edited books, and 11 review articles.

CanalizoCanalizo studies quasars, host galaxies and galaxy-evolution. She brings her passion and excitement for science and astronomy to her classrooms at UCR, where she teaches non-majors, majors, and graduate students.  She has inspired her students to succeed not only in science but in their own lives. As further evidence of her passion for teaching, she is actively engaged in outreach at the K-12 level. In addition to wide-ranging public lectures, she is principal investigator of the Inland Area Science Program, a collaboration between UNEX, several UCR teaching programs, and local school districts, which has raised funds for teacher-training in the sciences. She lectures and mentors students in the AVID and SACNAS programs in California and beyond. She spends several weeks every summer teaching English and science in an orphanage in Africa.

NothnagelSince 2001, Nothnagel has provided excellent service and leadership to UCR in a variety of venues. He has been a member and often the chair of many Academic Senate, campus search, departmental and other campus committees. He has served on search committees for the vice provost for undergraduate education, dean of the Graduate School of Education, and the Committee for the Chancellor Chair for Innovation in Teaching Across Disciplines. He served as the chair of the Department of Botany & Plant Sciences from 2001-2003. He is a regular contributor to Science Fair judging, a speaker at Discover Day, committees on student advising, learning outcomes, WASC reaccreditation, and the Campus Appeals Panel.

AmeaeWalkerWalker participated in or chaired a large number of division, campus and university committees. She has served as chair of the Division of Biomedical Science Faculty (2005-08), chair of the division’s Executive Committee (2007-10) and chair of the School of Medicine Executive Committee (2012-present). For the campus, Walker was on a variety of Academic Senate committees.  She served as vice chair of the Academic Senate (2010-11) and chaired the Committee on Academic Personnel (2004-05). Walker has served several times as the chair of her department. She mentors and assists medical students, Ph.D. graduate students, and undergraduates.

HooleyIn only four years Hooley has mentored 12 undergraduate students. Under his mentorship, these students received awards, grants and fellowships for their research. His commitment to increasing diversity in the sciences is reflected in his participation in the Minority Access to Research Careers – Undergraduate Training in Academic Research, the UCR STEM Pathway, and the California Alliance for Minority Participation program. Additionally, he has trained eight women, three African-American students and one Hispanic student. His research has earned him fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Undergraduate Education program and UCR’s Innovative Use of Information Technology in Teaching program.

JeanieLauOver the past 7 years, Lau has mentored eight undergraduate students, with several students training in her laboratory for at least two years. Five of these students have graduated and gone on to pursue doctoral degrees. Under her guidance, these students have received several grants. Her students’ success is due in part to her close attention to their professional training and access to publication opportunities in top journals. Lau includes her students in her research on the physics of nanoscale systems and the properties of graphene.

FunderFunder is a distinguished professor of psychology and a leader in the field of personality psychology. His research is funded primarily by grants from the NSF and the National Institute of Mental Health. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Psychology. His students emphasize his availability and responsiveness to them. He “considers each student’s unique strengths and abilities in his interactions with them.” In part through the weekly lab meetings he holds, he teaches students “how to conduct interesting research and to communicate findings to others.” He is said to be exceptional at “training his students to work independently at the level of a colleague.” Several students gave examples that illustrate the ways in which Funder continues to mentor and advocate for his students after they have moved on from UCR.

KeoghKeogh is a professor of computer science and engineering. His research specializes in data mining, and he has a long publication record that illustrates his ability to come up with innovative solutions to problems. His research has been funded by NSF and other sources such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In 2008, he was named a University Scholar. His students describe him as brilliant, passionate about his research, and highly dedicated and caring. They cite the extensive, near-daily interactions he has with them as an important aspect of his mentoring. A common sentiment is that “he inspires us to think deeply and conduct thorough experiments.” He gives students “lifelong skills to be a better teacher, researcher, and mentor.” Keogh pays close attention to the professional development of his students, including arranging mock interviews for them as they prepare to look for jobs. His former students have moved on to successful careers in academia and at companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! Labs. One student summed it up best: “Dr. Keogh is the kind of advisor/mentor that I want to be. I would consider myself successful if I would be half as good a teacher, a researcher, or a mentor, as Dr. Keogh.”

In his four years at UCR, Liao, an environmental sciences major, has built a resume reflecting his dedication to studying raw seismic data and earthquake processes. He has served as a co-author on four papers, and is the first author on one of these publications. Additionally, he has contributed data for presentations at six major conferences. He served as the presenter for three of these conference presentations. The recipient of four major undergraduate research awards, Liao has used his expertise and educational experiences to influence K-12 curriculum development.

FatimaMirza has proven herself a gifted writer, committed to the development of her craft. Through her coursework, she has created a complex set of characters, all belonging to one family. She has “a terrific instinct for what to notice, what to perceive, what to see in a moment, in a character, in a dilemma, in a scene.” She has served as an assistant editor and a features editor for The Highlander and published in the Mosaic. She has received numerous scholarships and awards including the 2011-2012 Award for Academic Excellence. Mirza was accepted to and participated in the Squaw Valley Community of Writers Conference Summer 2012 workshop and has been accepted into the Iowa Writers Workshop.

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