Four Faculty Members Named 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars

Four Faculty Members Named 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars

By UA Foundation
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A. Elizabeth "Betsy" Arnold

A. Elizabeth "Betsy" Arnold

Four University of Arizona faculty members have been named 1885 Distinguished Scholars for valued contributions to the teaching, research and outreach missions of the University.

The 1885 Society Distinguished Scholars Award was created in 2012 to acknowledge outstanding mid-career faculty whose leadership, research, scholarship and creative contributions promise to catapult their disciplines to new levels of innovation.

Each honoree receives a $10,000 award to further their work.

The award is supported by the University of Arizona Foundation's 1885 Society, a leadership group dedicated to furthering excellence by providing an annual, consistent source of unrestricted funding to the UA's president's office. 

Barron Orr

Barron Orr

"Unrestricted funds provide financial flexibility to address institutional priorities, such as retaining the best and brightest faculty and seeding innovative academic and research programs," said UA President Ann Weaver Hart.

"This year's distinguished faculty shows potential to achieve new heights within their respective fields," she said.

After a rigorous review at the college and University level, the following four nominees received the esteemed recognition:

  • A. Elizabeth "Betsy" Arnold, associate professor, School of Plant Sciences, is noted for her valued fungal ecology research, expansive service contributions and strengths in the classroom. She is also recognized for her published works and grant productivity, award-winning teaching and well-received outreach initiatives with local teachers and students.

Christopher Scott

Christopher Scott

  • Barron Orr, associate specialist, School of Natural Resources and the Environment, excels at teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and successfully garnering millions of dollars in funding for his research on environmental planning, vegetation changes and desertification, and related work in space and environmental sciences.
  • Christopher Scott, associate professor, School of Geography and Development, is highly published and internationally regarded for his water and resource management research, receiving more than $5 million in funding. His work created new undergraduate and graduate courses and interdisciplinary collaboration within environmental studies.  

Sama Alshaibi

Sama Alshaibi

  • Sama Alshaibi, associate professor, School of Art, gained international recognition for her photography and video pieces representing the experiences of Palestinians and Israelis living on the West Bank. Her work addresses broader themes of race, gender and religion, and enabled her participation in international shows and residencies.   

"I'm honored and humbled by the thought that my work as a teacher, mentor and scientist contributes to the UA's commitments to access, quality and discovery," Arnold said. "I'm excited, too, because I see these commitments shared by fellow faculty across the University."

Candidates are judged both on the evidence that they are achieving national/international recognition for groundbreaking innovations and on their contributions to research, teaching and community engagement.

A committee of five Distinguished and Regents' Professors from across campus selects the recipients.

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