Awards and Accolades


We have a new form to submit your Awards and Accolades news. Find more information at the bottom of this article.

Two University astronomy researchers named AAAS Fellows

Dante Lauretta, Regents Professor of planetary sciences

Dante Lauretta, Regents Professor of planetary sciences

Two University of Arizona faculty members have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

The newest class of AAAS Fellows, announced in April, includes 502 scientists, engineers and innovators, including two University researchers who were recognized for their contributions to astrobiology: Dante Lauretta, Regents Professor of planetary sciences and director of the Arizona Astrobiology Center, and Daniel Apai, professor of astronomy.

Lauretta was elected in recognition of "distinguished contributions to the field of astrobiology, particularly for leadership and advancements through the OSIRIS-REx mission," according to AAAS. He was the principal investigator of OSIRIS-REx, NASA's first U.S. mission to collect a sample from an asteroid.

Daniel Apai, professor, Department of Astronomy

Daniel Apai, professor, Department of Astronomy

Apai is being honored for his "distinguished contributions to the field of astrobiology and astrophysics, particularly for advancements in understanding of habitable exoplanets and planetary systems," AAAS stated. He is the principal investigator of Alien Earths, a NASA-funded astrobiology project that explores the potential of nearby planetary systems for supporting life.

"I could not be more proud to have two of our star faculty members in astronomy and planetary sciences receive this prestigious recognition," said University President Robert C. Robbins. "The University of Arizona has long been a powerhouse in space exploration, and the work of talented faculty like Dante Lauretta and Daniel Apai further cements the university's unrivaled legacy." 

The annual Fellows Forum will be held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 21 in conjunction with the 150th anniversary celebration of the AAAS Fellows program. 

Read more about Lauretta and Apai in a story on the University news website.

Bronstein elected member of American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Judith Bronstein, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Judith Bronstein, University Distinguished Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Judith Bronstein, University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, has been elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The academy, founded in 1780, works toward a mission "to cultivate every art and science which may tend to advance the interest, honor, dignity, and happiness of a free, independent, and virtuous people." As a member, Bronstein now joins the likes of Willa Cather, Nelson Mandela and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

Bronstein's research focuses on mutualistic relationships in the natural world – interspecies interactions that are mutually beneficial – particularly regarding pollination in deserts. She has been a member of the University of Arizona faculty since 1989. She previously served as editor-in-chief at The American Naturalist scientific journal, and has received many awards, including an Outstanding Faculty Award and Pillar of Excellence Award from the University and a Distinguished Service Award from the National Science Foundation.

To be elected for membership at the academy, a candidate must be nominated by at least two members and is then voted on by the entire membership body. An induction ceremony and celebration for Bronstein and the other new members will take place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in September.

Read more about Bronstein and her work in a story on the University news website.

Jay Quade elected to National Academy of Sciences

Jay Quade, professor, Department of Geosciences

Jay Quade, professor, Department of Geosciences

Jay Quade, professor in the Department of Geosciences, is among the newest members elected to the National Academy of Sciences. The honor recognizes scientists whose original contributions have significantly advanced the understanding of science.

Quade, who joined the University in 1992, focuses his research in areas including geochemical aspects of soils, weathering or the breakdown of rocks at the Earth's surface, radiocarbon dating and paleohydrology. His work has made significant contributions to the understanding of the evolution of Earth's climate and landscapes over the past 60 million years.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and provides science, engineering and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.

The new members were announced April 30.

Find more information about Quade and his work in a story on the University news website.

Land-Grant Project wins two awards

rendering showing a simple map of a plot of 40 acres of land

The Land-Grant Project includes documentation such as this original attorney's rendition of the 40 acres sold for $1 to the Board of Regents of the University of the Territory of Arizona in 1886. (Photo courtesty of: the Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law)

The University of Arizona Land-Grant Project, which aims to document the story of the University's land-grant status and the designation's impact on Indigenous peoples in Arizona, has won two awards from the American Association of Law Libraries.

The first award is the Public Access to Government Information Award, which recognizes people or organizations that have made significant contributions to protect and promote greater public access to government information. The second is the Excellence in Community Engagement Award, which honors outstanding achievement in public relations activities by an AALL member or group affiliated with the association.

The Land-Grant Project website, which was launched in the fall, was researched and built by a team from the Daniel F. Cracchiolo Law Library in the James E. Rogers College of Law. The project details the 19th-century federal legislation that led to the University's land-grant designation, the forced removal and relocation of Indigenous tribes in Arizona when it was a territory, and the University's founding in 1885.

The American Association of Law Libraries supports and advocates for law librarians and other legal information professionals. The organization was founded in 1906 and has about 3,500 members.

The awards will be presented in Chicago in July.

We want to know about your good news. If you, your team or a colleague has won any major awards, been honored nationally or internationally, or accomplished some other major feat that deserves recognition, let us know about it by filling out this submission form.

Please be prepared to submit the following information:

  • Name of the person, team or unit receiving the honor with full University titles.
  • Information about the award/honor and the organization that granted it. Please include a link to the official announcement of the award/honor.
  • When the honor was announced and when it will be presented (or was presented).
  • A photo of the honoree. If others appear in the photo, please provide their names and identifying information, such as their University title or other affiliation.

Questions? Contact Lo Que Pasa at


Resources for the Media