Each year, the University of Utah recognizes the achievements of members of its faculty. This year’s honorees include:
Distinguished Teaching Awards
“What I’ve always found extraordinary about Roger, and a quality distinct among his peers, is his deliberate, nuanced and steadfast dedication to exercising student character coincidentally with their academic acumen. Roger unflinchingly strides into more challenging territory with his students and pushes them to develop internally, professionally and emotionally through innovative course structures and interpersonal interaction,” one nominator wrote. Altizer is a co-founder of the Entertainment Arts and Engineering program, which is one of the top-ranked academic videogame programs in the nation. He believes that people are at their best when they play and transfers this attitude to all of his students. He authored the “design box method” to teach students how constraint breeds creativity, and it is now embedded in game curriculum worldwide. This method helps develop students’ creativity in a constructive and directed way, and prepares them for a successful future working in the videogame industry. Altizer is passionate about using play as a tool for changing lives, whether it be through learning, experience or medical therapy. His largest project is the Therapeutic Games and Apps Lab (The GApp), where he sponsors between 20 and 35 students a year to build medical and other serious games and apps where they work with real people on real projects solving real problems. The students in the EAE program remark on how Altizer is the most annoyingly lovable professor they’ve had the privilege to work with.
Adrienne has a unique ability to reach all of the students in her classes, wrote one nominator: “Through sometimes unorthodox, and often experiential methods, she strives to make learning a personal and emotional journey for her students.” Adrienne, who is highly respected by her students and peers, has been at the forefront of transformative, community-engaged learning in the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program for a decade. Her approach to teaching is a fusion of active learning and graduate-level seminar discussions. She is a passionate advocate for interdisciplinary and community-engaged research. Adrienne connects students to the larger community to create collaborative and lasting networks for projects focused on building a more sustainable and just society. Adrienne’s focus on community extends beyond the classroom and her students; she has devoted significant time to the Salt Lake City Food Policy Task Force, the U’s Real Food Challenge and the Glendale Community Learning Center. Adrienne is a recipient of the Superior Teaching award from the College of Social and Behavioral Science, the Innovation in General Education Teaching award, the Public Service Professorship award from the Bennion Center, the Enlightened 50 award from the Community Foundation of Utah and the Equity and Diversity award from the Office of Equity and Diversity.
“Dr. Cloyes is one of the most intelligent, innovative and thoughtful educators I have had to pleasure to work with in nearly 45 years of academia. She teaches one of the foundational courses for the PhD program in nursing and has an extraordinary impact on every student,” said one nominator. Cloyes’ colleagues and students regard her as a master teacher, and praise her ability to communicate complex ideas in an accessible and compelling manner. Her areas of expertise include the philosophical foundations of scientific inquiry, qualitative and critical research methods, and scholarly writing. She eagerly adopts new teaching technologies and pedagogical approaches by using innovative and current teaching methods to their full potential. During the past five years, she has served on 16 doctoral student committees, and chaired nine students to success; seven have gone on to academic positions as nursing faculty and one was awarded a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at a major cancer research center. In 2009 Cloyes received the College of Nursing Outstanding Teaching award. In Spring 2017 she was nonminated for the University of Utah Distinguished Graduate Mentor Award, and in both Spring and Fall of 2017, students nominated her for the University of Utah Health Sciences Outstanding Educator Award of Health Sciences Graduate Students. These award and nominations support what one nominator said that all students know to be true: “[S]he invests completely in the success of her students.”
“In and outside of the classroom, Lynn practices what she teaches. She inspires all of her students to be strong leaders not only in the healthcare setting, but also in the community,” wrote a former student of professor Lynn Hollister. Hollister played a key role for each nursing student throughout their College of Nursing career; her unique teaching talent created an honest and engaging classroom style that helped students explore the depth of the nurse’s role in patient care. She specialized in critical thinking, curriculum development and community engaged learning. She implemented a program of study pathway within the undergraduate nursing program, so that students could participate in a CEL course section each semester and meet the requirements for Bennion Center Community Engaged Scholar designation. She served as a leader in the Hospital Nursing Student Intern program, board member on the College of Nursing and President of the Westminster Nursing Alumni, and she continues to mentor her students well after graduation. She served as a board member of Sigma Theta Tau International, Gamma Rho chapter, the International Nursing Honor Society and was recognized for her excellence in teaching by that organzaiton. Hollister’s two Excellence in Teaching awards from the College of Nursing and the Utah Nurses Association Clinical Educator of the Year award further exemplify her excellent teaching and scholarship.
“Lori has mastered the art of helping students to think critically about the assumptions they bring to topics such as traditional versus nontraditional families, marriage, divorce, remarriage and romantic love. Lori earns high marks from students for her approachability, upbeat attitude, and use of multiple teaching methods,” wrote a colleague. Lori’s teaching is marked by enthusiasm, wit, dedication and a positive impact on student success. She has perfected state-of-the-art delivery methods like a hybrid class that mixes online and face-to-face elements. This past year, Lori developed a fully online interdisciplinary course that will serve students from a number of majors interested in the intersection of medicine and social science. She is an engaged mentor to both students and colleagues. Lori serves on numerous graduate committees, guiding students with research projects and career development opportunities. Many students approach Lori to be on their committees, including some whose research interests do not align with hers. She takes great care to provide timely, constructive feedback, creative ideas and challenges that motivate them to complete their best work. Her excellence as a teacher is seen in the Department of Family and Consumer Studies, as well as the Masters of Public Policy program, which led to her receipt of the College of Social and Behavioral Science’s Superior Teaching award in 2016.
Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Awards
As a condensed matter scientist, Christoph Boehme has made ground-breaking discoveries that are fundamental to the next generation of electronic and computer technologies. “Professor Boehme is one of those rare experimental physicists who has developed new cutting-edge experimental techniques and devices, [whereby discovering] fundamental new physical phenomena in substances that are of great current practical and technological importance,” remarked a colleague. “A common thread in his work is the use of elegant, innovative, and creative experimental techniques to reveal the most fundamental quantum properties of matter.” One of his most important breakthroughs was developing the pEDMR technique, a method for observing the quantum mechanical motion of charged electron spins in semiconductors. This has led to one of his multiple patents and has been instrumental in the development of new electronic and optoelectronic materials. He has published 93 papers in archival reference journals, and received multiple prestigious awards for his research, including a CAREER Award of the National Science Foundation and the silver medal in Best Physics Research from the International EPR Society. During Boehme’s 12 years at the U, he has supervised 28 postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate students in their research. Professor Boehme’s creativity, productivity, and his impact on future technologies make him a deserving recipient of the Distinguished Scholarly and Creative Research Award.
Patricia Kerig’s research on trauma, family processes and developmental psychopathology is nationally recognized and is making an enduring impact across psychology and multiple other disciplines, as one colleague noted. Her research focuses on the developmental processes that account for risk and resilience among children and adolescents exposed to adversity. Kerig examines the impact of exposure to violence, maltreatment and family conflict, on children’s well-being and development, particularly in regard to delinquency and gang membership. She has more than 130 published articles and chapters to her name. Kerig also is the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Traumatic Stress and associate editor for other scholarly journals. Kerig has used her research for community service, leveraging the key role of childhood trauma interventions to promote youth well-being and reduce delinquency. She is currently investigating emotional, cognitive, interpersonal and psychophysiological processes underlying youth involvement in the juvenile justice system with a grant from the National Institute of Justice and is implementing a training to bring trauma-informed services to the Gang Reduction and Youth Development program of the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office. Kerig also has served as a consultant for the World Health Organization’s internet-based field studies for the forthcoming new edition of the International Classification of Diseases; the Utah Juvenile Defender Attorneys; Utah Department of Human Services; and the Utah Juvenile Court. Her work and expertise is having a positive impact nationally and in the immediate community.
“Professor Porter’s work is a hallmark of what research and scholarship at our university must be about. It is difficult to identify others in his areas of scientific research who have had a comparable impact,” said a nominator. Porter is best known for his work on self-assembled monolayer immunoassays, specializing in surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) detection platforms. Porter and his team have also made a number of groundbreaking innovations in the SERS immunoassay arena, ranging from the ultralow detection of infectious diseases (i.e., tuberculosis) and cancer (i.e., liver and prostate), to the identification of trace levels of potential bioterrorism agents (i.e., anthrax and botulism). Early disease diagnosis is crucial for improved patient outcomes, and Porter’s group is dedicated to advancing the field of early detection for patients in all areas, and especially for those in low- and middle-income countries. His work continues to focus on exploiting the capabilities of SERS as a diagnostic platform, aiming to translate the technology from the laboratory to the point-of-need environment. In addition, Porter worked closely with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Johnson Space Center to develop mission critical water quality monitoring systems; these systems are currently deployed on the International Space Station.
Distinguished Faculty Service Award
“Dr. Julie Metos is an exceptional leader and educator who infuses dignity and compassion into her advocacy for community health,” said one colleague. Currently the associate chair in the department of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology, Metos is lauded by her colleagues as a passionate, collaborative and innovative leader whose dedication is as infectious as it is inspiring. Specializing in obesity and diabetes prevention, Metos acts as an advocate for children’s nutrition and has served on the Utah Health Education Core Standards committee to help craft the guidelines used across Utah schools. Perhaps the most notable of Dr. Metos’ efforts in educating children about the importance of nutrition is her work with the family and child programs of Driving Out Diabetes. These programs include “Crush Diabetes,” a week-long curriculum for middle school students that focuses on healthy eating and physical activity, and Food, Movement and You, a program for homeless families Beyond her contributions to better children’s nutrition, Metos is an advocate for emboldening young women and currently serves as the president of the board for Girls on the Run, an organization which empowers girls through physical activity and educational programs. Metos is a member of the Academy of Health Science Educators and has been published in “The Journal of Adolescent Health” and “Journal of School Health.”
Distinguished Innovation and Impact Awards
“[Dr. Nalini Nadkarni] brings creativity, energy, compassion and intelligence, weaving together threads of seemingly distant and different worlds to create new ways of seeing, understanding and improving our world,” said one nominator. In addition to her extensive career as a forest canopy ecologist and teacher, Nadkarni is a champion for science education and engagement. She has developed innovative ways to connect people with science and nature through means that best speak to them. She studied the holy scriptures of major world religions, finding references to the spiritual importance of trees, and developed sermons on “Trees and Spirituality,” which she has delivered from the pulpits of churches of many religions. Nadkarni developed “Treetop Barbie” to teach young girls about the benefits of careers in science. Her Blue Room project, which allows inmates in solitary confinement to experience nature through videos and which reduced prison violence, was recognized by TIME magazine as one of “The 25 Best Inventions of 2014.” Nadkarni has delivered TED talks about the deep connections between nature and humans of all kinds. Herself the daughter of immigrants, she devotes effort to encouraging young women and minorities in science. She serves on the Governing Board for the Ecological Society of America as the vice president for Education and Diversity.
Jeffrey Rosenbluth has promoted a vision of health, independence and an active lifestyle for individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) in the Intermountain West since 2001. In 2003, he developed the University of Utah’s TRAILS Program (technology, recreation, access, independence, lifestyle, sports) with a goal of maximizing quality of life after SCI through innovations in wellness, sports, recreation, education and advocacy. TRAILS provides 14,000 community program hours, and Rosenbluth believes strongly in incorporating University of Utah students from diverse backgrounds into all aspects of program development and support. One colleague noted, “Dr. Rosenbluth has dedicated his career toward improving the lives of individuals with SCI, bringing awareness of the impact of disability to students of design, engineering and computer science to influence product design and accessibility for improved quality of life.” His work on TRAILS has attracted widespread support from leading funding organizations in the field, including the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation, the United States Olympic Committee, and the United States Veterans Administration. Over the last 13 years, Rosenbluth has obtained more than $3 million in support for innovative product and program development for individuals with complex disabilities. In 2013, Rosenbluth received the Craig H. Neilsen Presidential Endowed Chair of Spinal Cord Injury Medicine.
Calvin S. and JeNeal N. Hatch Prize in Teaching
“Dr. Hecht is beloved by his students and widely praised for his command of the subject matter, for his engaging lectures and for his genuine concern for his students’ well-being,” said one nominator. As associate chair of the Mathematics Department, he developed a course management database to collect student data and enforce prerequisites for courses, ensuring students were able to perform in the classes they enrolled in. During his 40-year tenure at the University of Utah, Hecht has brought his personal passion and compassion into his teaching, devoting time to his students with genuine care into their well-being. Hecht believes in taking a hands-on approach to teaching, and has been known to devote extended office hours for group and personal sessions outside of scheduled times to ensure graduate students are well-prepared for their mathematics qualifying exams. His goal is for students to maximize their potential, both in his courses and beyond.
Community Engaged Teaching & Scholarship Award
Rosemarie Hunter joined the University of Utah in 1995 and is a dedicated member of the social work faculty, where she focuses on building community partnerships within underrepresented and oppressed populations. She served as director of University Neighborhood Partners from 2006-2015, helping to foster partnerships across institutions of higher education, community organizations and schools. During Hunter’s nine-year tenure as director, U enrollment from individuals residing in west-side neighborhoods increased dramatically — from less than a dozen to more than 500 students. Today, Hunter’s work is focused on partnerships that extend social work higher education to individuals living in marginalized settings, often where social work education does not exist or where there is little access to higher education. Through online learning platforms and global partnerships, these programs are building the global social service workforce by preparing case managers, family and youth advocates, women empowerment workers and community health workers. Hunter serves as director of the Bridging Borders project, a university-community partnership between the U’s College of Social Work, Division of Occupational Therapy and Asia Center. Her significant contributions include serving and training refugee communities on the Thailand-Myanmar border and working with other institutions to develop the first undergraduate social work program in the country. She is currently the chair of the Board of Campus Community Partnerships for Health, an international network of scholars and practitioners engaged in campus-community collaborations around a range of community wellbeing issues.
Distinguished Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Mentor Award
University Professor (two-year term: 2018 to 2020)