The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Board of Regents selected two highachieving UNLV faculty for Regents’ Awards, which honor accomplishments that increase NSHE’s stature in five areas: teaching, academic advising, creative activities, research, and early-career (or “rising”) research.
Artistic director and professor of film Francisco Menendez received a Regents’ Creative Activities Award, which came with a $5,000 stipend and a medal. Menendez joined UNLV in 1990 and has received two Charles Vanda Awards for excellence in the arts. In 2008, Menendez was approached by Academy Award-winning producer and director Roger Corman.
Corman suggested that Menendez write and direct a film that Corman could serve as executive producer on. The feature Stealing Las Vegas is now in commercial distribution in countries around the world. Several UNLV faculty and students appear in the credits for the film, whose proceeds return to UNLV.
Lincy Assistant Professor of Anthropology Alyssa Crittenden received a Regents’ Rising Researcher Award, which came with a $2,000 stipend. Crittenden joined UNLV in 2011. She’s spent the last decade researching the evolution of the human diet and how it affects family development to forward our understanding of how we evolved and what makes us unique. She’s received several grants, including funding from the National Science Foundation. Her work on the gut microbes of Tanzania’s Hadza hunter-gatherer group has garnered worldwide attention and has been featured in media outlets including National Geographic, Science, New York Times, Wired, NPR, and more.
The UNLV Executive Vice President and Provost’s Office selected four standout faculty members for Barrick Scholar Awards, which recognize UNLV faculty members who have produced a significant amount of high-quality, interdisciplinary research or creative output recognized by scholars and journals within and outside their primary disciplines.
Seyhmus Baloglu, professor and Harrah Distinguished Chair in the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, received a Barrick Distinguished Scholar Award, which provided $5,000 in recognition of his lengthy service in academia after receiving his terminal degree. Baloglu came to UNLV in 1996 and is one of the college’s most frequently cited authors, with more than 10,000 citations to date. One area of Baloglu’s research focuses on consumer behavior in hospitality and tourism; little was known about consumers’ perceptions of hotel brands or customer loyalty prior to the late 1990s.
Dennis Bazylinski, professor of microbiology in the School of Life Sciences, also received a Barrick Distinguished Scholar Award. He joined UNLV in 2006. An elected fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, Bazylinski researches a bacteria that orient themselves with the Earth’s magnetic field, which has implications in the debate about life on Mars. His interdisciplinary work has resulted in several publications, including articles in Science and Nature. An internationally recognized scientist, Bazylinski’s work has been cited more than 10,000 times.
Julia Lee, former professor of English in the UNLV College of Liberal Arts, won a Barrick Scholar Award, which acknowledged the achievements she made in her academic career and carried a stipend of $2,500. She joined UNLV in 2013. Lee studied the intersection of African-American, Caribbean, and British literature, exploring the boundaries of race and culture. Her research agenda included a mix of peer-reviewed books and articles, essays, interviews in public venues, and conference presentations. She has been featured in national and international media, including The Atlantic and The Huffington Post, for her groundbreaking research in race and cultural studies, and she collaborated with acclaimed novelist Jamaica Kincaid on two projects.
Daniel Gerrity, professor of engineering in the Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, won a Barrick Scholar Award. He joined UNLV in 2012. A former postdoctoral researcher for the Southern Nevada Water Authority, Gerrity studies water reuse; the rise of antibiotic resistance; water quality; the social and environmental implications of homelessness; and innovations at the nexus of food, energy, and water systems. He’s produced 30 peer-reviewed journal articles with 858 citations. His work has opened the door to numerous interdisciplinary collaborations with peers on campus, at other institutions, and in the private sector in the areas of engineering, life sciences, nursing, film, education, and sociology.
All of these professors were recognized at UNLV’s Academic Achievement Awards Ceremony in April.