Fulbright College Announces 2018 Winners of King, Nolan and OMNI Awards
The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Arkansas has selected the recipients of several of its most prestigious endowed faculty awards, including:
- Kevin Fitzpatrick, University Professor and Jones Chair in Community in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, who received the John E. King Award for Outstanding Service;
- Anna Zajicek, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, who received the Nolan Faculty Award;
- Song Feng, assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences, who received the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Climate Science Award; and
- Juan Bustamante, assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the Latin American and Latino Studies Program, who received the OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Faculty Award.
The John E. King Award for Outstanding Service was proposed and endowed by Fulbright College faculty members to recognize colleagues who exhibit exemplary service to the campus and community. They named the award for King, a professor of social work, as a tribute to his "leadership and extraordinary ethic and record of good deeds."
Fitzpatrick was an excellent choice for this award because of his extensive community service, which he integrates in all he does, said Anna Zajicek, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, who nominated him. In addition to serving the university for more than 13 years on more than 25 university, college and departmental committees, Fitzpatrick has served on the boards of multiple local non-profits, coalitions and projects.
"Of special note are Dr. Fitzpatrick's specific community-centered projects, including his five-year involvement with Washington Regional Hospital in the creation of a successful proposal that funded a mobile dental unit for NWA; his continued leadership and contributions to the NWA HOPE outreach events to serve the immediate medical needs of homeless and low-income individuals; the point-in-time census of the growing homeless populations providing visibility to the issue of homelessness and helping to bring over $3.5 million of federal funding to serve this population; the collaboration with Serve NWA to develop and implement a no-cost, emergency shelter community for hundreds of unsheltered homeless persons; and multiyear partnerships with the local school districts to assess health, nutrition and food insecurity among the youth," Zajicek said in her nomination letter.
"By any measure, Dr. Fitzpatrick's record is clearly outstanding and impressive," she said.
The Nolan Faculty Award was endowed by the William C. and Theodosia Murphy Nolan Foundation to support the career advancement of faculty members who provide the highest quality teaching research and service to the college.
Lori C. Holyfield, professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, who nominated Zajicek for the award, said Zajicek has been an outstanding mentor, educator and leader for over 20 years and was a natural fit for this award.
"She is a paragon of an interdisciplinary scholar and graduate educator, presenting excellence as teacher and mentor to numerous graduate students and demonstrating superb leadership, enthusiasm and dedication to graduate education," Holyfield said.
Zajicek has served on numerous graduate student-focused committees, and has worked tirelessly to improve graduate curriculum, and develop the Graduate Criminology concentration, graduate policies and requirements. Additionally, Zajicek has chaired 39 M.A. theses, 15 Ph.D. theses and 20 Ph.D. advisory committees, as well as served on 79 M.A. theses committees, and over 25 Ph.D. advisory and theses committees. Her past M.A. students have gone on to some of the most prestigious universities in the sociology discipline. Her Ph.D. students have found jobs in prestigious academic and non-academic careers, and four received awards for outstanding dissertations.
On top of that, Holyfield said, Zajicek is an active scholar and in 2017 alone, she published four articles, had another three accepted for publication, and two under review - the majority of which are co-authored with her students. She also presented seven papers at national or international conferences, six of which were student co-authored.
The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Climate Science Award was created to "promote successful climate science research conducted by Fulbright College faculty and students in developing knowledge of the causes and impacts of global climate change, and in developing tangible solutions to mitigate global climate change and its deleterious effects on humanity and global ecosystems."
Feng was named the award recipient for his internationally-recognized research on past, present and future climate changes and impacts using global and regional climate models and advanced statistical methods.
Feng's research specifically focuses on climate change and physical mechanisms on regional and continental scales; climate change and its impacts on water sustainability and agriculture; and paleoclimate change and variability.
"Dr. Feng exemplifies all that this award stand for," said Peter Ungar, distinguished professor in the Department of Anthropology and director of the Environmental Dynamics Program. "Dr. Feng's work on climate modelling is world-renowned. He is a leader in the field, and is committed to climate change teaching and pre-professional training at the University of Arkansas."
Feng plans to use the stipend from this award to travel to the American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting, which is the largest worldwide conference in the geophysical sciences, attracting more than 20,000 earth and space scientists, educators, students and policy makers annually. He will also use the fund to travel to the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting, which is the world's largest yearly gathering for the weather, water and climate community.
The OMNI Center for Peace, Justice and Ecology Faculty Award was created to "promote the study and teaching of peace and nonviolence in accordance with the insights of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Senator J. William Fulbright."
Bustamante was an ideal candidate for this prestigious award, said Zajicek, who nominated him.
"He has an extraordinary and sustained commitment and record of contributions to examining civil rights and their violations in the U.S. South and the Latin American issues of social justice," Zajicek said. "In all his capacities, Dr. Bustamante has integrated his research, teaching and service to advance peace and non-violence through transnational and international understanding."
As a community-based scholar, Bustamante has worked on furthering trust-based relationships between new Latina/os immigrants and the established local communities. Zajicek said he has spent countless hours working on a comprehensive history of southern Latina/o and migrant life experiences, including the significant events in the lives of the local migrant communities.
"The result is the Life History Archive, entitled The Southern Latina/o and Migrant Voices Project (SLMVP), a unique and incisive project aimed at creating an oral and visual archive of Latino lives in Northwest Arkansas and the South," Zajicek said. "To date, he has singlehandedly collected more than 75 in-depth oral histories and over 1,300 photographs. This expansive long-term project provides much needed insights into the civil rights issues, the vulnerability of immigrant populations, and the symbolic violence and the institutional forces they face."
Bustamante also leads the U of A's study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico and has served on numerous symposiums and committees.
About the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences: The J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences is the largest and most academically diverse unit on campus with 19 departments and 43 academic programs and research centers. The college provides the core curriculum for all University of Arkansas students and is named for J. William Fulbright, former university president and longtime U.S. senator.
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