ABOR Confirms 6 New Regents Professors at UArizona
The Arizona Board of Regents confirmed the appointments of University of Arizona faculty members Steven Archer, Sonia Colina, Marwan Krunz, Dante Lauretta, Sallie Marston and Ian Pepper as Regents Professors.

By Nick Prevenas, University Communications
April 15, 2021

The Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday confirmed the appointments of University of Arizona faculty members Steven Archer, Sonia Colina, Marwan Krunz, Dante Lauretta, Sallie Marston and Ian Pepper as Regents Professors.

The designation of Regents Professor is an honored position reserved for faculty scholars of exceptional ability who have achieved national or international distinction. The Regents Professor title serves as recognition of the highest academic merit and is awarded to faculty members who have made a unique contribution to the quality of the university through distinguished accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, research or creative work.

"These outstanding members of our faculty exemplify everything we strive to achieve at this university," said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. "We are so grateful to have such world-renowned scholars and teachers as part of the Wildcat family."

Steven Archer
Professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Archer's research concentrates on interactions between grasses and woody plants in relation to soils, climate and land use through remote sensing, geographic information system mapping technology, dendrochronology and stable-isotope chemistry. The results have enabled him to reconstruct vegetation history and to quantify and predict the consequences on sustainability of grazing systems, ecosystem biogeochemistry and land surface-atmosphere interactions.

Archer is known for his unique ability to translate his research in rangeland management to university extension agents so that they can relay the information to ranchers, conservationists and the general public.

His research has advanced ecological understanding of grass-woody plant dynamics. In recognition of his contributions, he was presented with the W.R. Chapline Research Award from the International Society for Range Management in 2019 and was made a fellow of the Ecological Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Archer also served as the lead author of the Arid Lands Section of the U.S. National Climate Change Science Synthesis/Assessment Product 4.3.

Sonia Colina
Professor of Spanish and Portuguese
Director of the National Center for Interpretation
College of Humanities

Colina, a linguist, is an expert in theoretical phonology and translation studies. Her work in translation studies extends outward into medical, social services and social justice fields, which is of significant importance to the university's mission as a Hispanic Serving Institution, and in Pima County, where Hispanics make up 37.6% of the population.

Colina's 2009 book, "Spanish Phonology: A Syllabic Perspective," is considered by many experts to be the most significant contribution to the discipline in the 21st century.

Colina's research has had a significant impact on a variety of areas in the health sciences, including audiology. She has affiliate status in the Department of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences in the College of Science and serves as a co-principal investigator or collaborator on many national and international research grants. In 2008, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, she designed a research-informed evaluation tool to assess the quality of translations produced in the health care field. In recognition of her work, she was given a leadership award by the National Hispanic Medical Association in 2009.

Colina has served as an academic adviser for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Weather Service and the national Medical Spanish Taskforce, and as an expert adviser and scientific committee member for the Research Institute of United States Spanish.

Marwan Krunz
Kenneth VonBehren Endowed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Director of the National Science Foundation's Broadband Wireless Access and Applications Center
College of Engineering

Krunz's research is pivotal for providing guarantees of quality of service for internet-streamed video. He broke new ground with a concept known as statistical multiplexing, which resulted in the ability to stream hundreds of different video-based media from the same server to thousands of internet users.

To determine the effective bandwidth and storage requirements per stream, Krunz provided one of the most accurate statistical models for compressed video in use today. Without his innovations, experts say, services such as Zoom and Netflix would not be effective.

His accomplishments extend to wireless communications, where his theoretical models serve as the basis for the design of wireless systems, with far-reaching impacts on technologies such as Wi-Fi, LTE/5G cellular systems, Internet of Things systems and smart vehicular 

communications. His contributions to wireless technologies have had far-reaching societal impacts in bridging the digital divide between urban and rural communities. His latest effort toward developing a smart 5G wireless repeater will extend 5G coverage to rural and sparse communities, including tribal nations in Arizona.

Krunz has chaired several top-tier conferences and served on major editorial boards. In recognition of his service, the IEEE Communications Society awarded him the 2012 Outstanding Service Award. Krunz has brought and continues to bring high visibility to the university by directing two industry-focused research centers over the past 13 years.

Dante Lauretta
Professor in the Department of Planetary Sciences and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory
College of Science
OSIRIS-REx Principal Investigator

Lauretta serves as the principal investigator of the OSIRIS-REx mission to collect and return material from the asteroid Bennu. OSIRIS-REx, the largest sponsored project ever conducted at the University of Arizona, will likely yield fundamental knowledge about the origin of the terrestrial planets. The recently acquired sample will be delivered to Earth in 2023.

In 2002, Lauretta was awarded the Alfred O. Nier Prize of the Meteoritical Society for "his experimental studies of iron-bearing sulfide formation in the solar system." Sulphides play a critical role in the condensation of solids from the nebula of gas where the solar system formed. Lauretta has also researched the transport of material in the solar nebula, the possibility of a meteorite source for the phosphorous necessary for life on Earth, and the chemical processes occurring within asteroids early in their history. Many of Lauretta's papers on these topics are highly cited.

In recognition of his contributions, Lauretta was selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences in 2008 and was recognized by Discover magazine in 2004 for a top-100 science discovery. In 2006, the College of Science honored him with a Distinguished Early Career Teaching Award.

In addition to his research, Lauretta has taught at all levels, from undergraduate general education to graduate classes. He also has taught in multiple formats, from large-audience lectures and a TEDx talk to small seminar classes. He has served on advisory boards for both the College of Humanities and the Honors College.

Sallie Marston
Professor in the School of Geography, Development and Environment
Director of the Community and School Garden Program
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

Marston was honored in 2012 with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Geographers – the most distinguished honor in her discipline.

She is the second-most cited feminist geographer in the world. She has published more than 80 peer reviewed articles and book chapters, is the editor of five scholarly books and has advised 40 graduate students. Her paper on "The Social Construction of Scale" has been cited 2,400 times and, along with a second co-authored piece, resulted in a decade-long productive debate in the discipline about one of its central concepts. According to her editor, more than 250 colleges and universities across the United States use her co-authored textbooks. "People and Places in Global Context" is the only U.S. human geography undergraduate textbook that has been translated into German and Chinese.

Marston is also noted for her commitment to the Tucson community. The Community and School Garden Program promotes community engagement for UArizona students by training them to support teaching and learning in pre-K-12 Title I school gardens. The program, which matches UArizona students with Tucson Unified School District schools, helps build and manage school gardens and support teachers to transform the lives of children. The program has become a national and international model for a transformative university-school outreach program.

Ian Pepper
Professor in the Department of Environmental Science
Director of the Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Pepper is an internationally renowned environmental microbiologist who has worked at the interface of human health and soils, potable water and municipal waste. A faculty member in the Department of Environmental Science for more than 40 years, he is heralded for his basic and applied research, his exemplary efforts to train the next generation of scientists, and his public- and private-sector collaborations that further science-based decision making.

Pepper has focused on the fate and transport of pathogens in air, water, soils and municipal waste. He helped establish and has been connected to the National Science Foundation's Industry-University Cooperative Research Center for Water Quality for more than 30 years. The list of research centers he has led includes the NSF Water Quality Center, the Environmental Research Laboratory and, most recently, the Water and Energy Sustainable Technology Center, an innovative partnership with Pima County and a unique laboratory for the study of treated wastewater.

Pepper's research addresses real-world problems. His successful efforts to identify and quantify the COVID-19 virus in waste flows from university dormitories have gained international media attention. His team's "wastewater-based epidemiology," which enabled the university to avoid a major campus outbreak, has been implemented in many other locations.

Pepper's collaborative research and educational contributions, including authorship of multiple textbooks, have been recognized by numerous societies. He has been inducted as a fellow by the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society of Agronomy, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recent awards include the 2019 Extraordinary Faculty Award from the University of Arizona Alumni Association and the 2020 Graduate Teaching and Mentoring Award from the University of Arizona Graduate College.

Extra info

A complete list of UArizona Regents Professors and other outstanding faculty can be found on the Faculty Awards & Honors website.

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Nick Prevenas

Director of Media Relations, University Communications