Awards & Accolades

Awards & Accolades

By University Communications
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A video featuring researchers Christopher Hamilton and Solange Duhamel discussing an unexpected volcano eruption in Iceland is among the 2022 Telly Award winners.
A video featuring researchers Christopher Hamilton and Solange Duhamel discussing an unexpected volcano eruption in Iceland is among the 2022 Telly Award winners.
Helena Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer
Helena Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer
Gabriel Martinez, program aide and peer mentor, Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Gabriel Martinez, program aide and peer mentor, Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities
Arlene Islas, video communications manager with University Communications
Arlene Islas, video communications manager with University Communications
Kasey Urquidez, vice president for enrollment management
Kasey Urquidez, vice president for enrollment management
Carolyn Smith Casertano, assistant professor of practice, Department of Communication
Carolyn Smith Casertano, assistant professor of practice, Department of Communication
 From left: University students Victor Chiquete, Jaye Ferrone and Kathy Nunez model Operation Hat Trick merchandise.
From left: University students Victor Chiquete, Jaye Ferrone and Kathy Nunez model Operation Hat Trick merchandise.

Helena Rodrigues appointed to CUPA-HR board

Helena Rodrigues, vice president and chief human resources officer, has been appointed to the national board of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources. Her three-year term begins July 1.

Rodrigues has been with the University for 14 years and was named vice president and chief human resources officer in January 2020.

CUPA-HR focuses on higher education workplace issues in the United States and abroad. The organization says its membership includes over 31,000 human resources professionals and other higher education leaders from almost 2,000 member organizations.

Biden appoints Gabriel Martinez to national committee

President Joe Biden has appointed Gabriel Martinez, program aide and peer mentor at the University of Arizona Sonoran Center for Excellence in Disabilities, to a two-year term on the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The committee was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 to promote policies and initiatives that support independence and community inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.

Martinez graduated from the Sonoran Center's Project SEARCH, an employment preparation program, in 2016 and began working at the center two years ago. He talks to youth and young adults with disabilities about employment and is a guest lecturer at the College of Medicine – Tucson.

Read more about Martinez and the appointment on the University of Arizona Health Sciences webpage.

University wins multiple Telly Awards

Several University of Arizona projects have won 2022 Telly Awards, which honor excellence in video and television. The award-winning videos were all directed by Arlene Islas, video communications manager with University Communications.

The 2022 winners, announced in May, are below.

Below are the University projects that won Telly Awards in 2021. 

Kasey Urquidez wins award from Metropolitan Education Commission

Kasey Urquidez, vice president for enrollment management, has won the inaugural Outstanding Community College/University Advocate award from the Metropolitan Education Commission. The award honors someone who goes above and beyond in meeting the needs of underserved students and communities, excels in diversity, equity and inclusion practices, and is an exceptional leader in advancing student success.

The commission was established by Tucson and Pima County in 1990 to represent the interests of the community in the education of its children, youth and adults. The nonprofit says its mission is to advocate for a quality and affordable education from preschool to post-secondary education for all Tucson and Pima County residents.

The honor is part of MEC's annual Crystal Apple awards. Representatives from the commission came to campus in May to surprise Urquidez with the award. She has been vice president for enrollment management since October 2014.

Carolyn Smith Casertano wins PRSA Western District's highest individual honor

Carolyn Smith Casertano, assistant professor of practice in the Department of Communication, won the 2022 Public Relations Society of America Western District Platinum Service Award.

The award recognizes outstanding career achievements in furthering the practice of public relations as well as service to PRSA's Western District, which includes Arizona, Southern California, Colorado, Hawaii and southern Nevada.

The award was presented in April during the PRSA Western District Conference in Honolulu.

The Public Relations Society of America bills itself as the nation's largest professional public relations association, with more than 30,000 members in 10 regions nationwide.

University again honored for supporting vets

For the third time, the University of Arizona has earned the Excellence in Service Award from Operation Hat Trick, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting wounded U.S. combat veterans. The University was recognized for its efforts to support military service members and veterans through the sale of hats, shirts and other merchandise featuring military-style designs.

Alixe Holcomb, director of trademarks and licensing with Marketing and Brand Management, says the University sold more than $85,000 in Operation Hat Trick merchandise since November. Royalties from those sales go to Operation Hat Trick, which distributes the money to charities on behalf of the schools that participate in the program.

In recognition of the effort, Operation Hat Trick has donated $40,000 in the University's name to the Tucson Fisher House, which provides free housing to the families of military members who are in the hospital.

Dot Sheehan, founder and president of Operation Hat Trick, presented the award April 27 during a meeting in Atlanta. The University also won the award in 2019 and 2020 and was among the finalists in 2021.

Read more about the award on the University news website.


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.

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

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