Select Faculty Honors & Accomplishments, May 2014

UConn faculty are receiving recognition nationwide and around the world. Read a selection of recent faculty honors.

UConn faculty are making an impact and receiving recognition nationwide and around the world. Read a selection of their recent honors and accomplishments.

College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources

The Medical Lab Sciences Program in Allied Health Sciences was awarded a five year accreditation from its national accrediting body.


Joan Bothell, training/development coordinator in the Department of Extension, received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for her work on lead awareness education. She has led the New England Lead Awareness Committee, which also received an Environmental Merit Award for developing innovative Native American resources to help reduce lead poisoning.

Steve Zinn, professor and head of the Department of Animal Science, has been selected to receive the H. Allen Tucker Lactation and Endocrinology Award from the American Society of Animal Science for excellence in mentoring graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


School of Business

Timothy Folta, professor of management and Thomas John & Bette Wolff Chair in Strategic Entrepreneurship, was recently named editor of Advances in Strategic Management on the topic of “Corporate Strategy and Resource Redeployment” for publication in 2016. He also has been accepted as a Fellow to the University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study; and was appointed to the Editorial Review Board of Strategy Science.

The Association for Information Systems (AIS) Senior Scholars’ Basket of Journals ranks UConn’s Operations & Information Technology Department in the top 15 schools worldwide for research productivity over the last five years; and 10th in the top two premier journals alone.


Neag School of Education

Educational Leadership faculty Morgaen L. Donaldson, assistant professor; Kimberly LeChasseur, assistant research professor; and Casey Cobb, professor and department head, were awarded the 2013 William J. Davis Award for the most outstanding article published in Educational Administration Quarterly during the preceding volume year.


School of Engineering

A research paper, “A New Linear Muscle Fiber Model for Neural Control of Saccades,” by John Enderle, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Daniel Sierra, won the 2014 Hojjat Adeli Award for Outstanding Contributions in Neural Systems from the International Journal of Neural Systems.

George Bollas, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and Ph.D. student Lu Han were awarded a provisional patent for their project, “Reactor for Chemical-Looping Combustion and Reforming of Gaseous Fuels.” Bollas was awarded grants from the UConn Prototype Fund and Physical Sciences Inc. He also attended the Workshop on Combinatorial Approaches to Functional Materials of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.


School of Law


Karen DeMeola ’96 JD, assistant dean of students at the School of Law, has been awarded the Edwin Archer Randolph Diversity Award by the Lawyers Collaborative for Diversity. The annual award recognizes individuals who have succeeded in aiding the advancement and inclusion of lawyers of color and women lawyers in Connecticut’s legal profession.


Patricia McCoy, professor of law, director of the Insurance Law Center at the School of Law, and a nationally prominent scholar in financial services regulation, has been appointed as a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Advisory Committee on Economic Inclusion. The committee provides the FDIC with advice and recommendations on important initiatives focused on expanding access to banking services by underserved populations.


College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Ruth Millikan, professor emerita of philosophy, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious learned societies.

Robin Chazdon, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, received a Research Innovation and Leadership award for Women of Innovation from the Connecticut Technology Council.


A paper by Mark Overmyer-Velazquez, associate professor of history and director of El Instituto, “Good Neighbors and White Mexicans: Constructing Race and Nation on the Mexico-U.S. Border,” won a Latin American Studies Association Outstanding Article Award, the principal national article prize in Latina/o Studies.


Institute of Materials Science

Syam Nukavarapu, assistant professor of orthopaedic surgery at UConn Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was honored with an M1 Mentoring Award from the Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (CICATS). The UConn chapter of CICATS celebrates “successful research-funded faculty who serve as mentors, with the goal of increasing the presence of minority students otherwise underrepresented among academic scientists.” Nukavarapu is one of three recipients of the award. Each honoree will receive $50,000 a year for three years for mentoring activities, including mentorship of individual students, participation in various CICATS initiatives, and minority student mentorship training.


School of Nursing

Paula McCauley, associate dean for academic affairs in the School of Nursing, has been appointed to the board of directors of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses for a three-year term beginning July 1, 2014. AACN is the largest specialty nursing organization in the world, representing the interests of more than 500,000 nurses who are charged with the responsibility of caring for acutely and critically ill patients.

Annette Maruca, assistant clinical professor of nursing, was awarded the Nightingale Award for Nursing Excellence by the Visiting Nurses Association of Southeastern Connecticut. Nurses nominated for this award are recognized for providing outstanding quality of patient care, superior nursing clinical skills, and extraordinary compassion. Maruca specializes in psychiatric nursing.


School of Social Work

Robert Fisher, professor of social work, has received a Fulbright Scholar award to teach and conduct research in Austria during the spring semester of 2015. He will teach social science courses at the University of Innsbruck. His research project “Community and Civil Society in Austria: A Comparative Perspective” will compare state, market, and civil society developments in the U.S., U.K., and Austria. The Fulbright will enable him to expand his research on the “return to community” as an alternative to the welfare state in Austria, a small nation where the social welfare state is still relatively intact. He also received a Fulbright Scholar award in 1986-88 and 1994.

Alex Gitterman, Zachs Professor, has edited the third edition of the Handbook of Social Work Practice with Vulnerable and Resilient Populations (Columbia University Press 2014, 616 pp.). Contained in this best-selling handbook are chapters written by School of Social Work faculty members: S. Megan Berthold, Kay Davidson, Diane Drachman, Ann Marie Garran, Nina Rovinelli Heller, and Cristina Mogro-Wilson. The new edition reflects new demographic data, research findings, and theoretical developments, and accounts for changing economic and political realities, including immigration and health care policy reforms.


Division of Student Affairs

Willena Price, director of the African American Cultural Center, was recently honored by the Greater Hartford NAACP, Women in the NAACP (WIN), in the first annual Celebration for Women of Color in the Greater Hartford community. She was one of 25 women of color who received this honor.

The next Select Faculty Accomplishments post will be published after the summer break.