Entomology Professor Receives Teaching Award

William Walton

William Walton, a professor of entomology, has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Western Region Award for Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences. He will be recognized at the Western Region Joint Summer Meeting in Portland, Ore., on July 12.

The award, given by National Institute of Food and Agriculture at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recognizes exceptional and innovative teaching in college and university agricultural and food science programs. Recipients exhibit “sustained, meritorious and exceptional teaching” that is “fundamental to recruiting and retaining the scientific and professional expertise essential to the future growth and progress of our nation’s food and agricultural system.”

Each nominee is judged on teaching quality; philosophy of teaching and teaching methodology; service to the teaching profession and professional growth in teaching; professional growth and scholarly activity; and service to students.

“I have formulated my teaching goals and outcomes with the following thought in mind: if I ran into a former student on the street five years from now, what concepts in insect ecology would I hope that this person has retained?” Walton said. “I want my courses to provide benefits that transcend the subject matter, but I also want to balance new developments in pedagogy and technology with a fundamental understanding of the subject matter.  Students need to be informed and inquisitive citizens who appreciate that learning is fun and a life-long process.”

Walton’s laboratory works on integrating studies of mosquito biology and ecology with the design of control methodologies for pestiferous and pathogen-transmitting mosquitoes in wetlands. He was a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, has served as president of the Society for Vector Ecology, and is president-elect of the American Mosquito Control Association.

‘Start the Adventure Award’ Goes to LaSharon McLean Perez

LaSharon McLean Perez, assistant director of Education Abroad at UC Riverside, was recognized for the time, effort, and devotion she gives to UC Riverside students looking to study in another country.

LaSharon McLean Perez

During a ceremony in Los Angeles last month, McLean Perez was presented with the award by GoAbroad.com, an organization that focuses on connecting students who want to travel, with companies offering international programs. GoAbroad just celebrated its 20th anniversary.

GoAbroad gave her the STA Travel (Start the Adventure) Award, which acknowledges a person who has made traveling more accessible to students. The award also recognized McLean Perez’s “Off the Beaten Path Scholarship,” which she created to help offset costs for students who wanted to study in nontraditional countries such as Nepal, Ghana or Samoa.

McLean Perez, a UCR alumna, has traveled to more than 20 countries and 47 U.S. states. She has studied in Italy and completed two Master’s programs in Australia.

Graduate Student Awarded a ‘SMART’ Fellowship

Anu Venkatesh

Anu Venkatesh, a graduate student in the Neuroscience Ph.D. program, has been awarded a fellowship from the Department of Defense Science, Mathematics & Research Transformation (SMART) program.

The program provides opportunities for students pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines to receive full scholarships gain employment upon degree completion.

Recipients receive full tuition and education related fees, a stipend, summer internships, and post-graduation civilian employment at Department of Defense research facilities.

For more information about the program and to apply, visit smart.asee.org.


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