Awards and Accolades

Awards and Accolades

By Isabel Miranda KidwellUniversity Communications
Printer-friendly version PDF version
Mary A. Peterson, professor in the Department of Psychology
Mary A. Peterson, professor in the Department of Psychology
The Student Success District spans multiple buildings, designed to support all Wildcats in their academic journeys.
The Student Success District spans multiple buildings, designed to support all Wildcats in their academic journeys.
Michelle Téllez (right), associate professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies, holds an image of her book's cover. Next to her is Kristen Buckles, editor-in-chief of the University of Arizona Press, which published the book.
Michelle Téllez (right), associate professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies, holds an image of her book's cover. Next to her is Kristen Buckles, editor-in-chief of the University of Arizona Press, which published the book.
Colleen Lucey, assistant professor, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies
Colleen Lucey, assistant professor, Department of Russian and Slavic Studies
The Health Sciences Innovation Building was recognized among ENR Southwest's "Best of the Best" in 2021.
The Health Sciences Innovation Building was recognized among ENR Southwest's "Best of the Best" in 2021.

Professor presented with female vision scientist award

Mary A. Peterson, professor in the Department of Psychology and director of the department's cognition science program, has been chosen to receive the Davida Teller Award.

Presented by the Vision Sciences Society, the award is given to a female vision scientist in honor of significant contributions to the vision science field.

Peterson was selected for the honor in recognition of her work in the study of figure-ground processing, or the eye's ability to differentiate an object and its surroundings. In its announcement, the society stated that Peterson's findings went against previous theories of perception, and that her work has now influenced the field to predominantly operate under the context of her discoveries.

Peterson, along with a team of fellow women scientists, founded Females of Vision, an organization that aims to promote women in vision research.

Peterson's accomplishments will be celebrated next month in Florida at the society's annual symposia. Read more about her achievements and current work on the Vision Sciences Society website.

Student Success District receives architecture award

The American Institute of Architects has selected the Student Success District for a 2023 Interior Architecture Award, which celebrates innovative interior spaces around the world. Judging focused on design achievement, community access, environmental sustainability and history.

The Student Success District encompasses the Main Library, the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library, the Bear Down Building and the Bartlett Academic Success Center. The project began in 2019 with the mission of preserving the University's history and encouraging the academic and personal well-being of students. Resources found within the District include the SALT Center, the Thrive Center, THINK TANK and Counseling and Psych Services.

"The University welcomes an extremely diverse student body," AIA wrote in its announcement about the award. "Many are first-generation university students arriving from family and community conditions that are unable to offer the typical support students take for granted. The programs housed in this new and accessible district are crucial for preparing students for academic and post-graduation success."

The project team will be recognized in June during an event in San Francisco.

The American Institute of Architects is an international organization advocating for the value of ethical architecture and equitable distribution of architectural resources.

Two faculty members receive book prizes

Michelle Téllez, associate professor in the Department of Mexican American Studies, won the 2023 Book Award from the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies for her book "Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas."

The award recognizes an outstanding new book in the field of Chicana and Chicano studies.

"Border Women and the Community of Maclovio Rojas" tells the story of the struggle of Maclovio Rojas, an autonomous community near Tijuana, Baja California, to carve out space for survival and thriving in the shadows of the U.S.-Mexico geopolitical border.

The NACCS selection committee said, "This is a unique contribution to community studies as Téllez tells the story of a community creating a space for survival and opportunities to thrive within the colonial space of two countries. Téllez provides us with how agency is created by women in places like the U.S.-Mexico border," according to an announcement posted on the University of Arizona Press website.

Téllez was honored in March during the NACCS national conference in Denver. The NACCS is a nonprofit organization that supports academic programs and research centers that focus on issues pertaining to Mexican American, Chicano and Latino populations.

Colleen Lucey, assistant professor in the Department of Russian and Slavic Studies, received the 2022 Best First Book prize for "Love for Sale: Representing Prostitution in Imperial Russia," which details media representations and social grappling regarding sex commerce at the end of the tsarist rule.

The prize is awarded by the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, a nonprofit organization seeking to advance the study and teaching of the languages on all academic levels. The prize honors a scholar’s first book in the field of literary or cultural scholarship which demonstrates groundbreaking, original work.

Lucey's research at the University focuses on 19th century Russian culture, gender and sexuality studies, terrorism and literature, and Russian language pedagogy.

"Lucey takes this wonderful study beyond the walls of the brothel and the city streets," according to the association. "Drawing on both literary texts and visual sources, 'Love for Sale' captures how the commodification of love was part of the larger disruption of Russian bourgeois society during a period of rapid modernization and Westernization."

Lucey was honored in February at the 2023 AATSEEL conference.

Planning, Design and Construction named ENR Southwest Owner of the Year

Planning, Design and Construction has been named the Engineering News-Record Southwest 2023 Owner of the Year, which recognizes dedication to collaboration, service to stakeholders and commitment to community service.

PDC's recent accomplishments include the Health Sciences Innovation Building (recognized as ENR Southwest's "Best of the Best" for health care in 2021), the Grand Challenges Research Building, the Applied Research Building and the Chemistry building renovation. Additional projects that are underway include a 50,000-square-foot facility for Arizona Public Media and the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine.

"What really drives us is not just building things that facilitate a function, but that also inspire," said Peter Dourlein, University architect and associate vice president for planning, design and construction. "In the beginning, we shape a building, but eventually the building shapes our own behavior. We can best serve our professors, our faculty and staff on campus by providing something that not only works today but will work for a very long time."

ENR Southwest – serving Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico – provides engineering- and construction-related news and data for industry professionals.

Read more about PDC's accomplishments in this ENR Southwest story.


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@arizona.edu.


Isabel Miranda Kidwell is a University student employee in the Office of Communications.

UA@Work is produced by University Communications

Marshall Building, Suite 100. 845 N. Park Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719 (or) 
P.O. Box 210158B, Tucson, AZ 85721

T 520.621.1877  F 520.626.4121

Feedback University Privacy Statement 

2024 © The Arizona Board of Regents on behalf of the University of Arizona