CHASS Dean Chosen for Riverside Leadership Program

Dean Milagros Peña
ucr file

Milagros Peña, dean of UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences, or CHASS, has been selected as one of 24 civic leaders to take part in Leadership Riverside, a program developed by the Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce to inspire the next generation of active leaders in the region.

Rounding out the program’s 2019 class are representatives of local businesses, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and universities, all of whom will participate in the 10-month series of workshops with the expectation of contributing to the region’s economic and cultural vitality.

“I’m excited to have been selected,” said Peña, who oversees the administrative aspects of CHASS and serves as a professor of sociology and ethnic studies. “I’m looking forward to learning a lot.”

The program’s 10 full-day sessions focus on a broad variety of topics, such as the roles of Riverside’s judicial and correctional systems, current initiatives undertaken by the city’s arts and culture community, the region’s economic forecast and plans to foster a sustainable long-term economy. At the end of their term, this year’s leaders will collaborate to produce a class project that aims to encapsulate the knowledge they’ve gained through the program and leave a lasting imprint on the community.

Of particular interest to Peña, she said, is a session designed to highlight the successes and challenges involved in creating and maintaining an effective regional education system.

“The presence of a university like UCR in the community — particularly now with UCR ARTS downtown — allows Riverside K-12 and college students to see the possibilities offered by a variety of disciplines in ways that really appeal to the imagination,” Peña said. Her experience  on the steering committee for Riverside’s Long Night of Arts & Innovation, held in 2017, served as an earlier example of the importance of a “city, its educational base, and community interests” coming together to shine light on regional offerings in the arts and STEM fields, she noted.

“I see Riverside continuing to blossom in its goal of being a city of arts and innovation,” Peña added. “My vision is that partnerships between local schools, colleges, and universities can be strengthened, so that Riverside continues to be a site of innovation that excites across generations and communities.”

Samantha Stanfill

ESA Recognizes Professor for Interactive Approach to Teaching

William Walton, a professor of entomology.

William Walton, a professor of entomology, has received the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Entomological Society of America (ESA). The award is presented annually to the member of the Society deemed to be the most outstanding teacher of the year.

Walton, who has been on the UCR faculty since 1995, teaches insect ecology, aquatic entomology, a freshman advising seminar for first-year learning communities, and graduate seminars in medical, veterinary, and urban entomology. He has also recently taught introductory evolution and ecology in the biology/life sciences curriculum and supra-organismal disciplines in the entomology graduate core curriculum.

Walton applies student-centered active learning approaches and assessments to the courses he teaches at UCR. For example, together with fellow entomology faculty member Bradley Mullens, he developed an aquatic entomology course to emphasize “learning by doing.” The students carry out a bioassessment of the Santa Ana River and write a report that summarizes the data collected on laboratory and weekend field trips as a way to encourage scientific synthesis and literacy.

Walton serves as vice chair of the Department of Entomology, a co-director of the Pacific Southwest Center of Excellence in Vector-borne Diseases, and president of the American Mosquito Control Association. He is a distinguished professor of teaching, a National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, and a recent recipient of the Western Region Award of Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Walton will be honored at Entomology 2018, the Joint Annual Meeting of the Entomological Societies of America, Canada, and British Columbia, on November 11-14 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines.

Sarah Nightingale


Top of Page