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2023 A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar Announced

Emily Holt

December 5, 2022

Emily Holt, Ph.D., a professor of Biological Sciences in the College of Natural and Health Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado, has been chosen as the 2023 A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar by UNC’s Faculty Research and Publications Board.  

The award, which recognizes demonstrated continued excellence in scholarly activity at UNC for at least five years, comes with a $2,000 monetary award and the designation as an A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Professor for the rest of the honoree’s time at UNC. The selected scholar is also invited to deliver the A.M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar address in the spring. The date and time for the address will be announced in the spring. 

Holt’s research has dual foci in lichen ecology and biology education scholarship. Most of her discipline-based scholarly activity has investigated how disturbance impacts lichen communities. She has studied how grazing, fire and bark-beetle epidemics have affected lichen communities in both arctic and temperate ecosystems. Additionally, Holt’s bioeducation scholarly activity broadly centers on evaluation and development of research instruments. For nearly a decade, her lab has explored metrics of learner-centeredness, including observation protocols, surveys and artifact rubrics, to quantify their overlaps and potential discrepancies. Holt’s lab has also been a key developer of novel instruments. The lab recently developed a novel concept inventory to quantify undergraduate students’ biotic climate literacy. 

Holt enjoys the research in which she engages, but even more so, she values collaborative opportunities and mentoring graduate and undergraduate researchers. Over a third of her published works in the past six years include undergraduate co-authors and nearly two-thirds contain graduate co-authors. Moreover, she infuses many of her courses with authentic research experiences, of which several have resulted in student-authored manuscripts.

About Albert Winchester

Albert Winchester, Ph.D. served as a professor of biology and genetics from 1962-1973. Dr. Winchester was a widely acclaimed specialist and prolific writer in the fields of genetics and related biological sciences. He authored 16 books and wrote for a variety of publishers. A collection of his books and manuals are now housed with the UNC Archives. Dr. Winchester earned a B.A. at Baylor University and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas, with post-graduate work at Harvard University, the University of Michigan and the University of Munich. In 1973, Dr. Winchester was presented with the university’s Distinguished Scholar Award; an award that he later endowed through the UNC Foundation for the benefit of future faculty, which now bears his name.