UConn Provost Announces Awards for Outstanding Service

The Provost’s Outstanding Service Award (POSA) is designed to honor and recognize those who have demonstrated excellence in service to the University of Connecticut. The award will honor faculty whose service is exemplary and has made an indelible impact in one or more areas to enhance the University’s mission in teaching, research, service, or engagement

Aerial shot of UConn's main campus in Storrs.

(UConn Photo)

The University of Connecticut proudly announces the recipients of this year’s Provost’s Outstanding Service Award, a prestigious recognition of faculty members who have exemplified exceptional dedication and contribution to the university’s mission across teaching, research, service, or engagement. This award underscores the university’s commitment to honoring service as a cornerstone of its mission and elevating the important work faculty engage in that goes above and beyond their expected duties.

Each year, the award celebrates excellence in two distinct categories: the Emerging Provost’s Outstanding Service Award and the Distinguished Provost’s Outstanding Service Award. These accolades spotlight those whose service activities have significantly enriched our university, reinforcing the importance of their efforts in shaping an academic community that thrives on engagement and excellence.

Please join us in congratulating the following 2024 awardees in both the Distinguished and Emerging categories. Details on a reception this fall to celebrate these awards will be shared in the coming weeks.


Dr. Caroline Dealy

Caroline Dealy.

Dr. Caroline Dealy, Ph.D., is an extremely active Associate Professor at UConn Health, holding appointments across four departments: the Departments of Orthodontics and Biomedical Engineering in the School of Dental Medicine; and the Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Cell Biology in the School of Medicine. A proud alumna of the University of Connecticut, she earned her doctorate in Molecular & Cell Biology and has since dedicated over 30 years to establishing and expanding her research program at UConn Health while serving the University’s missions in education, innovation, and outreach. Dr. Dealy’s research interests span a wide spectrum, including development, stem cells, regenerative medicine, ageing, and EGFR axis signaling. Her current focus is to develop clinically feasible approaches to repair and restore damaged knee cartilage in patients with traumatic joint injury and osteoarthritis. Dr. Dealy champions the translation of university discoveries into practical benefit. She is an inventor on three patents and founder of two biotech startups from her own research, and her education programs have provided innovation and entrepreneurship experience for over 400 college students from UConn and across the State. She is a two-time Connecticut Women of Innovation honoree; a new inductee in the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering; and a cohort member of the nationally recognized Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine program. Through mentorship, collaboration and service, Dr Dealy inspires and empowers the next generation of bioscience and technology leaders.


Dr. Steven A. Zinn

Steven Zinn.

Dr. Steven Zinn, Ph.D., is a renowned professor in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Connecticut and best known for his expertise in growth biology and lactation across various livestock species, including cattle, swine, and sheep. Dr. Zinn’s research delves into the intricate interactions between nutrient intake and hormones. His recent investigations center on unraveling the impacts of maternal nutrition on offspring growth and metabolism, pre- and post-natal.  Acknowledged for his outstanding teaching, advising, and mentoring, Dr. Zinn was honored as a University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow in 2016. With a remarkable track record, he has secured over $6.25 million in extramural funding from federal sponsors such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF), alongside substantial internal funding. Dr. Zinn’s prolific research output comprises over 100 peer-reviewed manuscripts, two book chapters, and over 130 abstracts. In 2015, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and was further recognized with the prestigious 2021 Morrison Award from ASAS, cementing his legacy as a trailblazer in animal science. Through groundbreaking research, Dr. Zinn has significantly advanced the understanding of animal physiology and health.



Dr. Michael Finiguerra

Michael Finiguerra.

Dr. Michael Finiguerra has proven to be an outstanding Associate Professor-in-Residence in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut, Avery Point campus. Dr. Finiguerra is dedicated to advancing both mentorship and research endeavors. Dr. Finiguerra is a marine evolutionary ecologist who specializes in using experimental evolution to learn how zooplankton are affected by a changing world, co-authoring studies published in the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals. In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Dr. Finiguerra is deeply invested in fostering student success and faculty development within the university community. Dr. Finiguerra has been a faculty mentor to nearly 40 early career in-Residence faculty in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. At Avery Point he expanded the undergraduate mentorship program and helped start a faculty onboarding mentorship program. Most notably, Dr. Finiguerra created, and directs the expansion of, the Campus Change Peer Mentor Program. A now University-wide initiative designed to facilitate the success of the more than 1,000 students each academic year who transition from a regional campus to Storrs to complete their degree. This innovative program, rooted in peer mentoring and holistic student success, exemplifies Dr. Finiguerra’ s commitment to nurturing student academic, mental, emotional, and social well-being. Through his exemplary mentorship of students and faculty alike, Dr. Finiguerra epitomizes the spirit of service and dedication at the University of Connecticut.