Awards & Accolades

Awards & Accolades

By University Communications
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Pavani Chalasani
Pavani Chalasani
Matthew Mars
Matthew Mars
Gregg Garfin
Gregg Garfin
Susan L. Beck
Susan L. Beck
Karletta Chief
Karletta Chief
Amelia Gallitano
Amelia Gallitano
Ronald Weinstein
Ronald Weinstein
Jeffery Hanna
Jeffery Hanna
Brian Erstad
Brian Erstad

Pavani Chalasani earns National Cancer Institute award

Pavani Chalasani, associate professor in the College of Medicine – Tucson, has been given a Cancer Clinical Investigator Team Leadership Award from the National Cancer Institute. The award recognizes mid-career clinical investigators for their work to improve the lives of people with cancer.

Chalasani, who is one of eight honorees, will receive partial salary support for two years for activities and efforts related to the award. For Chalsani, that includes serving as chair of the University of Arizona Cancer Center's Scientific Review Committee.

"I am honored to take on this important leadership role within our Cancer Center and specifically with the SRC," Chalasani said in a story posted on the University of Arizona Health Sciences website. "This committee is critical to our Cancer Center Support Grant because of our collective responsibility to oversee our clinical trials and ensure the scientific merit, priority, value and progress of all cancer-related clinical studies."

Chalsani's research focuses on translational breast cancer oncology, with a focus on biomarkers for breast cancer. The committee she will chair is responsible for medical, scientific and biostatistical peer review of study protocols for cancer research, as well as regular reviews of enrollment for open trials.

The National Cancer Institute established the award in 2009 to "help retain investigators in academic clinical research settings," according to its website. Recipients must be full-time faculty members who are board-certified clinicians and have practiced medicine for three to 10 years post-fellowship.

Matthew Mars earns teaching award

Matthew Mars, director of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Career Center and associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education, Technology and Innovation, won the 2020 Excellence in College and University Teaching Award for Food and Agricultural Sciences from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities.

This award recognizes "scholarship, exemplary pedagogy and dedication to instruction," according to the APLU. Mars and other honorees were recognized at APLU's annual meeting, held virtually Nov. 9-11.

Mars' research focuses on identifying new insights on and develop a deeper understanding of the educational and organizational factors and dynamics that foster agricultural and community development.

The APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization that aims to advance the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Its mission is to "expand access and improve student success to deliver the innovative workforce of tomorrow; advance and promote research and discovery to improve society, foster economic growth, and address global challenges," according to the organization's website.

Mars will be given a stipend of $2,000 to be used for improving teaching at the University of Arizona.

Read more about Mars and the award in this Q&A on the CALS website.

Gregg Garfin selected as AAAS fellow

Gregg Garfin, a University of Arizona expert on climate science and policy, has been elected a 2020 fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

Garfin joins a roster of nearly 500 AAAS members who have earned the lifetime distinction. He is being recognized for his work linking fundamental climate and paleoclimate science to climate services and decision making, through climate assessment, knowledge exchange and the development of translational ecology.

His research focuses on adaptation to a changing climate, climate variability and drought, especially in southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Garfin, associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, is also university director of the Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center, a partnership between the U.S. Geological Survey and a consortium of Southwest universities that is dedicated to providing scientific information, tools and techniques that land, water, wildlife and cultural resource managers can apply to anticipate, monitor and adapt to climate change impacts in the southwestern United States.  

AAAS fellows are elected each year by their peers serving on the Council of AAAS, the organization's member-run governing body. The title recognizes important contributions to STEM disciplines, including research, leadership in a given field, teaching and mentoring, fostering collaborations, and advancing public understanding of science.

Read more about Garfin and the honor on the UANews website.

American Geophysical Union honors Susan Beck and Karletta Chief

Two University of Arizona faculty members are among 36 researchers who have receives the American Geophysical Union's highest honors for excellence in scientific research, education, communication and outreach this year.

Susan L. Beck, professor of global seismology and tectonics in the Department of Geosciences, has received the Walter H. Bucher Medal, named for a former AGU president, in recognition of original contributions to the basic knowledge of crust and lithosphere.

Beck uses broadband seismology to understand mountain belts, subduction zones and earthquakes, and her research interests include the evolution of the North and South American Cordilleras and Anatolia tectonics.

Karletta Chief, a member of the Navajo Nation, received the AGU Ambassador Award and a conferred fellowship for pioneering engagement and partnership with Indigenous communities, leading to transformative outcomes for Native American tribes and institutions. Chief is associate professor in the Department of Environmental Science and principal investigator for the Indige-FEWSS program within the Arizona Institutes for Resilience.

AGU planned to hold an online celebration to formally recognize them and other 2020 honorees on Dec. 9.

Gallitano is named among Phoenix area's 'Outstanding Women in Business'

Amelia Gallitano, professor of basic medical sciences and psychiatry at the College of Medicine – Phoenix, has been included on the Phoenix Business Journal's list of "Outstanding Women in Business 2020."

The annual list recognizes women in the Phoenix area who "are making insightful decisions to move the Valley forward," according to the publication's website.

Gallitano, a member of the BIO5 Institute, joined the College of Medicine in 2007 and was one of the founding members of the Phoenix campus. Her research laboratory focuses on investigating how immediate early genes may mediate the interaction of environmental stress and genetic predisposition to influence the development of psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia.

The Phoenix Business Journal selected the 25 women from among more than 250 nominations.

Read more about the award in this story on the University of Arizona Health Sciences website.

Weinstein, Hanna honored by Phoenix Business Journal

The Phoenix Business Journal has named Ronald Weinstein, founder and director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program, and Jeffery Hanna, health educator and promotion professional with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, among its "Health Care Heroes" for 2020.

The publication recognized Weinstein in the Lifetime Achievement category, calling him a "pioneer in the field of telemedicine" whose work has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Weinstein joined the University in 1990 as chair of the Department of Pathology. He has more than 500 professional publications to his name, and has served as president of professional societies including the United States and Canadian Academy of Pathology and the American Telemedicine Association.

Hanna works for the University's Primary Preventive Mobile Health Unit in Phoenix and travels with a group of interprofessional students and community health workers to provide preventive health screenings and health education to vulnerable Hispanic communities. He is also co-founder of Street Medicine Phoenix, a student-driven interprofessional health care and social justice team that provides health services and resources to homeless people in the Phoenix area.

Weinstein and Hanna were honored during a virtual event on Nov. 9.

Brian Erstad wins Board of Pharmacy Specialties award

Brian Erstad, head of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science, has been presented with the Warren E. Weaver/Richard P. Penna Award by the Board of Pharmacy Specialties, a post-licensure certification agency.

The award recognizes those who have made "outstanding voluntary contributions to the advancement of BPS board certification of pharmacists" by promoting the recognition and value of specialized training, knowledge and skills in pharmacy. Erstad won in the individual category.

Erstad, a professor of pharmaceutical sciences and a BIO5 Institute member, has led the department since 2012. His research focuses on patient safety and health outcomes, critical care medicine and pharmacoeconomics. Erstad is past president of the American College of Clinical Pharmacy, a professional and scientific society providing education, advocacy and other resources for clinical pharmacists.

In its announcement of the award, the Board of Phrmacy Specialties called Erstad a "pioneer in critical care pharmacy practice," citing his work to establish adult critical care pharmacy services in the late 1980s for the then-named University Medical Center, and helping the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists develop accreditation standards for critical care pharmacy residencies.

The Board of Certified Pharmacists is an autonomous division of the American Pharmacists Association.

Erstad was presented with the award in October during the the American College of Clinical Pharmacy's annual meeting, held virtually.


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 University 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 University title or other affiliation.

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