UA Employees Have Strong '40 Under 40' Showing
Almost a dozen University of Arizona employees have been included in the Arizona Daily Star's annual "40 Under 40" list, which recognizes "Tucson's young community leaders."
The honor is given based on "professional accomplishments, charitable work and leadership skills," according to the company's Web site.
The newspaper and award sponsor Snell & Wilmer named the winners at a ceremony held at the Doubletree Hotel last week. They are:
- Kevin Boesen, founder and director of the Medication Management Center at the College of Pharmacy
- Tracy Brooks, assistant research scientist with the pharmacology and toxicology department
- Juan Ciscomani, senior program development specialist for the Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research at the UAÂ
- Felicia Goodrum, assistant professor of immunobiology and a member of the BIO5 Institute and Arizona Cancer Center
- Elizabeth Jacobs, assistant professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
- David Longoria, second-year graduate student and graduate teaching assistant in the School of Government and Public Policy
- Kristen Pogreba-Brown, senior program coordinator with the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health
- Susie Salmon, adjunct associate professor with the James E. Rogers College of Law
- Dev Kumar Sethi, an adjunct law professor
- George Watts, who maintains a research laboratory at the Arizona Cancer Center and co-directs the Genomics Shared Service
"The recognition for my work as a scientist and a teacher is wonderful," Brooks said, adding that she enjoys "dispelling the fear of cancer."
Brooks works on community outreach and service with the BIO5 Institute and the Arizona Assurance Program. Much of what she does involves students and community groups interested in addressing issues related to cancer.
"It isn't so much â€˜service' as really believing in your community and wanting to see it thrive," she said.
Boesen said: "Service is extremely important to me. I am where I am today because of the influence of others." Â
Boesen also said his recognition stemmed from his decision to create the Medication Management Center, which he directs.
The program, a call center run by pharmacists, offers medication therapy management services to patients who are dealing with a range of conditions, including asthma, diabetes and congestive heart failure.
"While that program touches hundreds of thousands of patients living with chronic disease, my vision is to continue to expand that program," he said.
Pogreba-Brown partners with community organizations and also is involved with Student Aid for Field Epidemiology Response, a program she created to connect public health students with health departments to aid in public health-related events.
"I think it's important as part of the University to keep students a priority as well as how we interact with partnering agencies," she said.Â
"I love my job and everyone that I work with," said Pogreba-Brown, also a doctoral degree student in epidemiology. "It is an honor to be recognized for the program I have created with the help of so many other people."
Longoria said he is mostly concerned with the social and economic welfare of the community.
"I feel this can be achieved by continuously and effectively collaborating with partners who share this desire to make an impacting difference for the good of as many people as possible," said Longoria, who is working toward a master's degree in public administration.
He also is a reinvestment program coordinator for Pima County, working with theÂ Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation department.
Longoria said service is important "because a strong community is only as strong as the weakest individual who resides within it." He also noted that everyone "deserves the opportunity to build up his or her livelihood."
Watts has been involved in a range of organizations and programs, such as the Arizona Cancer Center's Day of Discovery and talks at City High School, a charter school.
"This award was a great surprise. I do the community outreach because I think it's important for people to realize just how promising the research of today is and I enjoy it," Watts said. "I did not realize that anyone would notice, and to find that they did was very rewarding."
For Ciscomani, who works with a group of Credit-Wise Cats students, his objective is to reach out to the UA and Tucson communities through financial literacy workshops.
"Service is what helps our society function. I am a firm believer that it is better to give than to receive," Ciscomani said. "I believe that the desire to help and serve is inside of us and life provides us with the opportunities to bring that desire into action."
Ciscomani was not expecting to be included on the list, and said it was an honor that means much to him and his family.
In speaking with his parents about what the award meant to them, Ciscomani said his mother began talking about the decision to move the family to the United States from Mexico 15 years prior.
"They arrived with the mere hope of a better life in Tucson," he said.
"To have their son being recognized among the leaders of the city that welcomed us means something to them that I will probably never understand," Ciscomani said. "For my wife and I, it was a good day to celebrate the value of service, to be grateful for what God has given us, and congratulate others in the room who have also dedicated much to giving."