SBS Faculty Receive Prestigous University Awards for Research and Teaching

June 9, 2021


Five SBS professors have received prestigious awards from the University of Arizona in recognition of excellence in teaching and research: Faten Ghosn (University Distinguished Professor); Vance Holliday (Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize); and Antonio José Bacelar da Silva, Stefano Bloch, and Lindsay Montgomery (Early Career Scholars Award).

University Distinguished Professor

The University Distinguished Professor Award recognizes faculty who have a long-term commitment to undergraduate education and have made outstanding contributions at the University of Arizona.

Faten Ghosn
Associate Professor, School of Government and Public Policy

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Faten Ghosn
Faten Ghosn

Ghosn’s research and teaching focus on the interaction of adversaries, be they conflictual or cooperative. Her work examines the causes of disagreements and the strategies adopted by disputants that escalate or de-escalate the situation.

Ghosn is a popular instructor and mentor. She teaches such courses as “The Art of Diplomacy and Negotiation,” “Conflict Management,” and “Introduction to International Relations.” Last year, Ghosn received the Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award. She also was named the Melody S. Robidoux Foundation Fund Professor.

The award committee noted Ghosn’s groundbreaking, highly productive, and impactful research on political science, peace, and conflict processes. She was also lauded for her innovative, creative, and exceptional contributions to undergraduate and graduate education, prioritizing experiential learning. “It is apparent that your mentoring activity has a strong impact on your students, especially those that identify as female, underrepresented, and international,” the award letter stated.

Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize

The Henry and Phyllis Koffler Prize, made possible by donations from late President Emeritus Henry Koffler and his wife, Phyllis, recognizes outstanding accomplishments in three categories: teaching; research, scholarship and creative activity; and public service and outreach. This year's award is in the research, scholarship and creative activity category.

Vance T. Holliday
Professor, School of Anthropology and Department of Geosciences

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Vance Holliday
Vance T. Holliday

Vance Holliday is an archaeologist and geologist who has spent much of his career reconstructing and interpreting the landscapes and environments in which past societies lived and how these conditions evolved. Most of his geoarchaeological research has focused on Paleoindian archaeology on the Great Plains, in the Southwest, and in northwest Mexico. He directs the Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund, which is devoted to understanding the earliest peopling of the Greater Southwest.

One nominator called Holliday a leading figure in North American geoarchaeology, saying he "comes at the discipline equally grounded in both fields, which is truly a remarkable feat."

Holliday has received many prestigious awards including the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research from the Society for American Archaeology and the Rip Rapp Archaeological Geology Award from the Geological Society of America.

“Your pioneering interdisciplinary research has become fundamental for practitioners in several fields,” the award letter stated.

Early Career Scholars Award

The Early Career Scholars Award recognizes early-career faculty who are at the forefront of their disciplines and make highly valued contributions to teaching, creative activity, and service.

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva
Assistant Professor, Center for Latin American Studies

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Antonio José Bacelar da Silva
Antonio José Bacelar da Silva

Antonio José Bacelar da Silva has conducted ethnographic research on the impact of electoral campaigning with a race appeal on Afro-Brazilian voters in Salvador. He is interested in the intersections of race, class, and citizenship on democratic participation in and beyond Brazil. Bacelar da Silva also received the SBS Undergraduate Upper-Division Teaching Award for his innovative work creating and teaching “Black Lives Matter Across America.”

One nominator detailed Bacelar da Silva’s role in revitalizing the University's Brazil Studies Network, which promotes scholarship on different aspects of social and political issues in Brazil. A second said Bacelar da Silva’s sustained activity has led to him being recognized as "an upcoming star in the field of Afro-Latinx studies."

The award committee was impressed by the methodological rigor and theoretical sophistication of Bacelar da Silva’s intersectional approach to democratic participation. “Your unique contributions to the study of black consciousness in Brazil are reshaping the literature on the intersections of race, class, social inequity, and gender in that country,” his award letter stated.

Stefano Bloch
Assistant Professor, School of Geography, Development & Environment

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Stefano Bloch
Stefano Bloch

Stefano Bloch is a cultural geographer who conducts research on neighborhood change, gentrification, criminality, policing, and identity. Bloch also is an expert on LA-based gangs, the history and theorization of graffiti as a socio-spatial practice, and the use of ethnographic and autoethnographic research methods. HIs acclaimed book, Going All City: Struggle and Survival in LA's Graffiti Subculture, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2019.

Bloch recently received the SBS Undergraduate Lower-Division Teaching Award for his devotion and skill in teaching his popular “Crime and the City” course, which has doubled in enrollment to 300 students in three years.

Bloch "has become a rising star in urban and cultural geography," according to one nominator, who said his research on criminalization and policing is "marked by respect for all those he studies, from gang members to the police." Another cited feedback from teacher course evaluation surveys, in which students frequently note that Bloch helped them get excited about course material and learn critical thinking skills.

Lindsay Montgomery
Assistant Professor, School of Anthropology

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Lindsay Montgomery
Lindsay Montgomery

Lindsay M. Montgomery is an archaeologist whose work creates complex counter-histories focused on Indigenous persistence, resistance, and survivance in the North American West. Her work focuses on the material and social histories of equestrian communities living in the Southwest and Great Plains from the 16th-20th centuries. Montgomery’s current research includes a collaborative research project with Picuris Pueblo in northern New Mexico that investigates agricultural practices at the Pueblo between 1400-1750 CE.

One nomination letter touted Montgomery’s work to impart "deep and much-needed changes" in the field of archaeology through the incorporation of Indigenous voices from throughout the country.

The award committee was impressed by Montgomery’s teaching and groundbreaking community-based research approach that combines archaeological survey, oral history, and analysis of museum collections to examine material practices of Indigenous peoples in the Southwest. “Your unique contributions…developing indigenous history as an intellectual paradigm apart from Western dogma centers your work at the forefront of indigenous archaeology,” the award letter stated.

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Additional information on some of the awardees can be found in the LQP story “2021 Awards of Distinction: Honoring groundbreaking research, adaptability and creativity.”