The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions recognized five faculty and four staff members for outstanding service to the college during the 2019-2020 academic year.
As Vice Dean Cynthia Lietz described the honorees, Dean Jonathan Koppell presented a crystal statuette to each one during the March 5 semi-annual meeting of the entire college faculty and staff.
These five faculty members were honored:
- Katie Stalker received the Emerging Public Service Educator Award, given to an assistant professor or contract year-to-year faculty member with teaching responsibilities with less than five years’ experience. Lietz said Stalker is known to her students as an excellent instructor, committed to experiential learning, incorporating digital teaching tools and using real-world applications to ensure students are engaged and challenged. One student said, “Dr. Cotter is an exceptional instructor with the unique ability to engage students while providing clear instruction regarding highly complex content.” Another student said, “Dr. Stalker did a wonderful job making difficult concepts digestible. I never thought I would say this, but I now love statistics!”
- Tamara Rounds, clinical associate professor in the School of Social Work, is the recipient of the Public Service Educator Award, given to tenured professors or senior contract faculty members with teaching responsibilities with five or more years of experience. A Watts College faculty member for more than 15 years, Rounds is known as an excellent instructor, Lietz said. One nominator said that Rounds “has a rare talent for creating bridges so that complex information makes sense and is connected to real world application.” And a student said that “her class has helped me to be more thoughtful about my practice and has provided me skills that I will use far beyond the classroom; she is absolutely making a difference in the social work profession.”
- Stacia Stolzenberg Roosevelt received the Emerging Community Solutions Scholar Award,
Stacia Stolzenberg Roosevelt
presented to a Watts College assistant professor who is advancing effective, researched-based community solutions. Roosevelt is an assistant professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice. Lietz said Roosevelt is a productive scholar with more than 20 peer-reviewed articles, and is advancing an impressive portfolio of grants including an early career award from the National Institute of Justice. Roosevelt is principal investigator on a National Science Foundation grant, and she has a large subaward for a grant from the National Institutes of Health. This work is being translated to new practices at ChildHelp and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, demonstrating her ability to conduct and disseminate research leading to real world application.
- The Community Solutions Scholar Award, given to a tenured professor who is implementing research that demonstrates a positive impact to the community, was presented to Natasha Mendoza, associate professor in the School of Social Work and director of the Center for Applied Behavioral Health Policy (CABHP). Lietz said Mendoza is advancing evidence-based solutions that offer real world impact. “Since taking on her leadership role at CABHP, she has engaged firefighters, police officers, correctional personnel and other emergency medical professionals to increase understanding regarding the importance of taking a trauma-informed response,” Lietz said. Mendoza also garnered a new federal grant to respond to the opioid crisis in partnership with several community entities.
- Gyan Nyaupane is the recipient of the Anne Larason Schneider Community Research Award, a
financial award granted via an application process for a small amount of funding to support a community-embedded project. Building upon previous scholarship, Nyaupane, professor in the School of Community Resources and Development, will use the award to support his research using a case study approach to analyze community resilience in three indigenous communities in Nepal, Lietz said. The pilot data will be used to prepare a larger grant application to the National Science Foundation.
These four staff members were recognized:
- The college’s Outstanding New Staff Member is Nadia Roubicek. Roubicek, project manager for the Tucson Innovation in Community Based Crime Reduction Project in the School of Social Work, was described by the award committee as “a valuable asset who represents the college’s mission. She not only understands the importance of community engagement, she serves as a facilitator, trainer and leader who works as a cross-sector partner.” She has become known as “a gifted community organizer and has been a tremendous asset in building community capacity in Southern Arizona.”
- The recipient of the Outstanding Business Operations Award is Shimara Mizell. Mizell, associate director of Watts College Business Services, has been at Watts College since 2012. A nominator described her as one who “leads by example and never fails to positively reinforce the college and university ideals. We should all strive to emulate her work ethic and professionalism.” Another nominator was “amazed at how graceful and calm Shimara is; she always demonstrates compassion, even in difficult situations.”
- Receiving the Excellence in University Service Staff Award was Linda Garcia, office supervisor in the new undergraduate advising center. Lietz said Garcia has done a great job in helping to create and maintain the center as the first point of contact for students visiting the advising center and for staff who work in the CASA. As her nominator said, “Linda has truly demonstrated a strong commitment to our college because of her dedication, energy, creativity, and hard work which has had an incredible impact on both our students and our staff.”
- Robbin Cooley received the Outstanding Advisor Award. Cooley, graduate advisor in the School
of Social Work, helped accomplish real change by serving as “a key player in the advocacy of several initiatives intended to remove barriers for students,” according to her award committee. Lietz said Cooley is known for putting students’ needs first with a constant eye to find ways to improve the student experience.
Caption for above group photo: Recipients of 2020 Watts College Awards pose after receiving crystal statuettes recognizing outstanding service to the college. From left, Shimara Mizell, Linda Garcia, Tamara Rounds, Natasha Mendoza, Katie Stalker, Nadia Roubicek. Not pictured: Stacia Stolzenberg Roosevelt, Gyan Nyaupane, Robbin Cooley.