UNC Faculty Recognized for Research, Scholarly Work

The University of Northern Colorado's Faculty Research and Publications Board, College Deans, and the Office of Sponsored Programs recognized faculty achievement in research and other academic pursuits at the Distinguished Scholar Luncheon on April 8.

Rick Adams, professor of Biological Sciences, received the 2013 A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar award - given annually to a faculty member who's consistently demonstrated outstanding scholarly performance.

Awards for college scholars were presented to: Robyn Hess, professor of School Psychology; Nicholas Syrett, assistant professor of History; Isaac Wanasika, assistant professor of Management; Robin Macaluso, associate professor of Chemistry; Melissa Malde, professor of Music; and Jennifer Leffler, associate professor and manager of Resource Maintenance at the University Libraries.

In addition, Paula Conroy, associate professor of Special Education, received the Outstanding Achievement in Sponsored Programs Award, and Jill Bezyak, assistant professor of Human Rehabilitative Services, received the Sponsored Programs New Faculty Recognition Award.

About the recipients:

Rick Adams' research encompasses the ecology, evolution and development of bats. His field research is predominately based in Colorado but also takes him to the Caribbean islands, South Africa, Botswana and China. He is best known internationally for his research on the importance of water sources to natural bat populations as well as for using ontogeny (growth and development) as a surrogate for novel insights into the evolutionary origin of bats 60 million years ago. He recently published articles in two of the highest ranking international ecology journals (Journal of Animal Ecology, and Ecology) showing how bats are "canaries in a global coal-mine" for predicting negative ecosystem effects of climate-change. Adams has four books either already published or in-press, and 39 peer-reviewed publications including journal articles, book chapters and monographs. For more about Adams, visit www.unco.edu/news/?3713.

Robyn Hess' research interests are in the areas of school dropout/completion, especially among Latino students; culturally responsive assessment and intervention; systemic interventions; and stress/coping in children. She and a colleague recently started a project to evaluate the effects of cultural adjustment groups on the social and school adjustment of Somali refugees. Her recent articles have appeared in Best Practices in School Psychology-V and The Journal of Special Education. She has co-written two books, Counseling Children and Adolescents in Schools and Public Health Problem-Solving to Address Children's Mental Health Needs. Hess is actively involved in many different school psychology professional organizations in her roles as chair of the School Psychology Specialty Council, chair-elect of the American Academy of School Psychology, and co-chair of the School Psychology Leadership Roundtable.

Nicholas Syrett teaches and researches the history of women, gender and sexuality in the United States. He's the author of The Company He Keeps: A History of White College Fraternities, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2009, and has published journal articles in American Studies, Genders, and The Journal of the History of Sexuality, and has articles forthcoming in GLQ: A Journal of Gay and Lesbian Studies, The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth, the Pacific Historical Review, and a number of edited collections. He has been interviewed about his research by Newsweek, Out Magazine, The New York Times and local and national newspapers and radio programs. He's currently on sabbatical writing a book about the history of child marriage and the regulation of children's sexuality in the United States.

Isaac Wanasika's research interests include strategic deception, transaction cost economics, base-of-the-pyramid strategies and strategic leadership orientations. He's collaborated with internationally-known scholars in the GLOBE studies, the largest international study in management involving 62 countries. His research has been published in prestigious journals such as the Journal of World Business, Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability and the Journal of Managerial Issues. His work has been presented at national and international management conferences including the Academy of Management.

Robin Macaluso has established a research program at UNC that focuses on the synthesis and structural characterization of intermetallic compounds. More recently, she's begun a research program in the synthesis of novel oxynitride compounds for solid-state lighting technology. Hess has published 11 journal articles in the field of solid-state chemistry and has earned more than $1.5 million in external grants, including a highly competitive CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation and funding from the Petroleum Research Fund from the American Chemical Society. For more on Macaluso, visit www.unco.edu/news/?4076.

Melissa Malde has performed with numerous orchestras and opera companies throughout the United States, including Kentucky Opera, the Bangor Symphony and Opera Colorado. She has sung abroad with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the Prague Radio Symphony, the Bad Reichenhall Orchestra, and Vancouver Opera. She's licensed as an Andover Educator to teach Body Mapping and the book she has co-authored on that subject titled What Every Singer Needs to Know about the Body is in its second edition. She is an active clinician and presenter at national conferences for organizations including the College Music Society, the Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation of the Performing Voice and the Physiology and Acoustics of Speech.

Jennifer Leffler is known as the "master of unraveling challenges in user access" because of the leadership she's provided in integrating new applications of technology to library operations resulting in processing efficiencies and enhanced access to resources. She's shared that expertise through presentations at regional and national conferences and in articles in peer-reviewed journals relating to her areas of interest: technical services work flows, use of technology in technical services, use of software tools such as web conferencing and building collections in support of new interdisciplinary degree programs. She's a member of the national editorial board of the Journal of Electronic Resource Librarianship, and serves as a copy editor for UNC's Undergraduate Research Journal.

Paula Conroy has been the project director on several U.S. Department of Education personnel preparation and research grants in the area of culturally and linguistically diverse students with visual impairment, helping to prepare teachers for working with this unique population of student, and has received numerous grants from other organizations in the areas of assistive technology, training and in-service and pre-service teacher preparation. She's published book chapters, juried articles, juried special/technical reports and has conducted numerous professional presentations in her areas of expertise, and has studied the importance of physical education and activity for students who are blind and visually impaired.

Jill Bezyak is a certified rehabilitation counselor with a wide array of clinical interests including psychiatric rehabilitation, substance abuse counseling and counseling individuals with physical disabilities and chronic illness. Her research interests include health promotion of individuals with disabilities, evidence-based practice in rehabilitation counseling and education and implementation strategies for the Americans with Disabilities Act. She currently directs a U.S. Department of Education grant for long-term training in Rehabilitation Counseling. She has numerous juried publications and presentations in her areas of academic expertise, in addition to several non-juried presentations and guest lectures to community health education and vocational rehabilitation programs and groups.

For more information, visit the Office of Sponsored Programs online at: http://www.unco.edu/osp/ or http://www.unco.edu/osp/news/dslunch.html.