Awards & Accolades
Congratulations to these recent honorees.
UA Recognized for Help in Eliminating Pink Bollworm
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recognized the UA for its role in eliminating the invasive pink bollworm from all cotton-producing areas in the continental U.S. The award was presented to Regents' Professor of Entomology Bruce Tabashnik, who accepted the award on behalf of the University in Phoenix on Nov. 12.
The Pink Bollworm Cooperative Program Award came on the heels of an October announcement by the USDA about the pink bollworm's eradication, achieved a century after the insect was first detected. One of the most devastating crop pests for decades, the pink bollworm often destroyed entire cotton fields despite the use of pesticides.
The UA did early testing on a genetically engineered type of cotton that controlled bollworm populations. Peter Ellsworth, a UA entomology specialist, participated in the testing and led the development of integrated pest management programs for cotton. Tabashnik, head of the Department of Entomology, who is also a member of the BIO5 Institute, led the establishment of the "refuge strategy," the primary approach used worldwide to delay the adaptation of insect pests to genetically engineered crops.
Cotton growers have not had to spray for pink bollworm since 2008.
Hurley Honored as an Innovator of the Year
The annual event is presented by the Arizona Technology Council in partnership with the Arizona Commerce Authority to honor technology leaders across the state. The council aims to connect Arizona's technology community to further the state as a national technology hub. The commerce authority's mission involves growing Arizona's economy through recruitment, helping businesses grow, and by partnering with businesses to create jobs.
Hurley, who was honored in the academia category, researches the design and development of anti-tumor agents. Work from Hurley's lab has produced compounds that could be used to treat cancer, and that have advanced to clinical trials. Hurley also is chief scientific officer of Reglagene, a startup that brings to market new drugs that selectively target cancer cells. The company is based on Hurley's research at the UA, and was commercialized through Tech Launch Arizona.
Another winner during the gala was CampusLogic, a Chandler-based startup that matches students with scholarship opportunities. The company was based on UA-created software, initially known as Scholarship Universe. CampusLogic was named an Innovator of the Year in the small company category.
Ferguson Wins Parks Association Award for Service
T.J. Ferguson, a professor of anthropology, was given the Emil W. Haury Award by the Western National Parks Association for his distinguished service to the National Park Service in a Nov. 8 ceremony in Tucson.
The association, based in Tucson, is a nonprofit education organization that has partnered with the National Park Service since 1938 to develop products, services and programs at more than 70 national parks in the West. Its Emil W. Haury Award recognizes "outstanding contributions to scientific research in the national parks and monuments."
Haury, a renowned archaeologist who specialized in archaeology of the American Southwest, was director of the Arizona State Museum from 1938 to 1964. He also was head of the UA Department of Anthropology, which had been called the Department of Archaeology. It is now the School of Anthropology.
The WNPA called Ferguson "a recognized leader in cultural landscape theory and collaborative anthropology," and cited his collaboration with Native American leaders and elders on guiding key legislation such as the National Historic Preservation Act and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. Ferguson, the organization stated, "has played a crucial role in bringing the voices and perspectives of American Indian tribes to the NPS."
University Libraries Honored for Diversity and Inclusion
University Libraries received the Diversity and Inclusion Award from the Society for Human Resource Management of Greater Tucson at its Celebrating Innovation in the Workplace ceremony on Nov. 1.
The organization aims to "inspire, influence, develop, and drive meaningful leadership through innovative ideas" and human resources expertise. The annual award ceremony honors achievements by those in the human resources field for technology and process improvement, diversity and inclusion, community impact and leadership.
University Libraries created its Diversity, Social Justice and Equity Council in 2016. The award recognizes several achievements made since the council's founding, which include: completing an inventory of University Libraries' diversity strengths and opportunities; hosting workshops on implicit bias, inclusive leadership, communications and being an effective ally; and celebrating the diversity of staff.
Allison Vaillancourt, UA vice president of business affairs and human resources, was a guest speaker at the event.
Van Alsburg Awarded for Outstanding Fundraising
Hilary Van Alsburg, director of development for University Libraries, was named Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. Van Alsburg was honored at the 29th annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon held in Tucson on Nov. 16.
The Association of Fundraising Professionals is the worldwide professional association for those who generate philanthropic support for a variety of charitable organizations. The annual luncheon aims to "celebrate Tucson's generous spirit." Its Outstanding Fundraising Professional award is one of six that recognize "individuals and organizations whose philanthropic contributions and dedicated volunteerism improve the quality of life in our community."
In nomination documents, Van Alsburg was praised for her reliability as a volunteer and for her work raising funds for the Children's Museum Tucson and Humane Society of Southern Arizona. She also was credited with inspiring staff members around her and helping people understand why donor stewardship is important.