Awards & Accolades

Awards & Accolades

By University Communications
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Lynn Carter, associate professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Lynn Carter, associate professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
Erika Hamden, assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory
Erika Hamden, assistant professor in the Department of Astronomy and Steward Observatory
Chris Kopach, assistant vice president of facilities management
Chris Kopach, assistant vice president of facilities management
Dr. J. Edward Maddela, clinical assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the College of Medicine – Phoenix
Dr. J. Edward Maddela, clinical assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the College of Medicine – Phoenix
Mary Venezia, director of enrollment initiatives and special events
Mary Venezia, director of enrollment initiatives and special events

Congratulations to these recent honorees.

Carter, Hamden Given Presidential Early Career Awards

Lynn Carter, an associate professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences and Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, and Erika Hamden, an assistant professor of astronomy, have received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, given by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. President Donald Trump announced the recipients on July 2.

The awards acknowledge contributions to the advancement of science, technology, education and mathematics education and to "community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach."

Carter came to the UA in 2016 as an associate professor after working as a research space scientist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Her research interests include volcanism on terrestrial planets and the moon, surface properties of asteroids and moons outside the solar system, and climate change.

Hamden joined the UA in September. Her work includes building telescopes and spectrographs primarily for observing hydrogen. In April, Hamden delivered a TED Talk about building a balloon-mounted telescope that investigates how stars are created. The video of the talk has garnered more than 1 million views.

AZPM Wins National Murrow Award

Arizona Public Media won a national Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association, the association announced on June 18. AZPM staff will be honored at a ceremony in New York City on Oct. 14.

Those selected to receive the award "demonstrate the spirit of excellence that Murrow set as a standard for the profession of electronic journalism." The prominent broadcast journalist was known for his broadcasts from the field in Europe during World War II.

AZPM was recognized for feature reporting in the small market television category for "Where Dreams Die." The 10-minute documentary follows local artist Alvaro Enciso as he leads a group of volunteers on weekly trips to place crosses at sites where migrants have died in the Sonoran Desert.

The video was produced and edited by Sandra Westdahl, a videographer and producer in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Arlene Islas, an AZPM content producer, served as the documentary's videographer. Michael McKisson, an associate professor of practice in the School of Journalism, provided aerial photography.

AZPM earned four regional Murrow awards in April.

Kopach Honored for 'Meritorious Service' by Facilities Management Organization

Chris Kopach, assistant vice president of facilities management, was given the 2019 Meritorious Service Award by an international organization that aims to improve educational facilities around the world. Kopach was honored at the organization's annual conference in Denver earlier this month.

APPA – Leadership in Educational Facilities serves more than 1,300 learning institutions around the world. Its Meritorious Service Award is given annually to a member who has been with the association for at least 10 years, has participated in meetings and other functions at the international level, and who has " demonstrated continued and distinguished service to the association."

Kopach has been an APPA member for 13 years and has served as the association's president. He stepped down as the association's immediate past president this month.

Maddela Named Among Phoenix Business Journal's 40 Under 40

J. Edward Maddela, a clinical assistant professor of biomedical informatics at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, was selected by the Phoenix Business Journal for its 2019 "40 Under 40" list. Maddela will be recognized at an event in Phoenix in August.

The 40 Under 40 list includes 40 people under the age of 40 in the business community across the Phoenix metropolitan area. The group represents "the region's best and brightest young leaders, all of whom are doing big things in their respective careers." A panel of judges, made up of former honorees, selects each class from about 400 nominations.

Maddela began at the UA in 2010.

Venezia Named Emerging Leader by Arizona Women in Higher Education

Mary Venezia, director of enrollment initiatives and special events, has received the inaugural Emerging Leader Award from Arizona Women in Higher Education. Venezia was honored at the organization's annual conference in Flagstaff in May.

Arizona Women in Higher Education is an organization that promotes higher education governance "practiced in a fair and equitable environment." The organization is a member of the American Council on Education Women's Network, which aims to advance and support women in higher education.

The award given to Venezia recognizes someone in higher education who demonstrates a "promise of future leadership" at their institution and a commitment to the goals of Arizona Women in Higher Education. Venezia "embodies a consistent commitment to higher education, support for women and underrepresented populations, and the mission of AWHE, writ large," the organization stated in announcing the award.


We want to know about your good news. If you, your team or a colleague has won any major awards, been honored nationally or internationally, or accomplished some other major feat that deserves recognition, let us know about it.

To submit your news, please send us an email with the following information:

  • Name of the person, team or unit receiving the honor with full UA titles.
  • Information about the award/honor and the organization that granted it. Please include a link to the official announcement of the award/honor.
  • When the honor was announced and when it will be presented (or was presented).
  • A photo of the honoree. If others appear in the photo, please provide their names and identifying information, such as their UA title or other affiliation.

Questions? Contact Lo Que Pasa at uaatwork@email.arizona.edu.

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