2024 College of Arts and Sciences Awards

Group of CAS award winners posing together

CAS Inaugural Awards Ceremony Celebrates Excellence

On June 5, staff and faculty members came together for the inaugural College of Arts and Sciences Awards and Hallmark Achievement Reception, which celebrated some of the achievements of faculty and staff.  In addition to celebrating some of the college’s faculty members who have received accolades outside of the university, the ceremony featured the college’s first-ever awards that recognize the work of faculty and staff. 

Stay tuned for CAS's announcement on award nomination applications for the 2024-25 academic year.

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CAS Career Faculty Excellence Award

This award recognizes career faculty members who demonstrate excellence in either teaching or research, depending on their appointment, and who exhibit unwavering commitment to the mission of the University of Oregon and CAS.


Margaret “Peg” Boulay

Senior Instructor II in Environmental Studies and Co-Director of the Environmental Leadership Program

Recognized for her exceptional teaching, Peg Boulay’s courses are praised for being professional, inclusive, and engaged. Her Environmental and Ecological Restoration course has been commended as a model of experiential learning.

Harinder Khalsa

Senior Instructor II of Italian in Romance Languages and Yamada Language Center Self Study Language Program Coordinator

Students and peers praise Harinder Khalsa for her exceptional teaching, well-organized courses, and innovative methods. She is known for creating an inclusive and engaging learning environment, and her commitment to student success is evident through her supportive and understanding approach.

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CAS Staff Excellence Award

This award acknowledges individuals or teams who consistently excel in their roles, as recognized by their colleagues. A strong commitment to the missions of both CAS and UO characterizes the recipients.


Christi Mabinuori

Operations Manager, Academic Support Unit 6

Jen Strong

Academic Programs Manager, Academic Support Unit 6

Christi Mabinuori and Jen Strong’s exemplary teamwork led to the creation of a mission statement focused on exceptional customer service, uniting and motivating the Academic Service Unit 6 team. They developed new work processes and systems, including a comprehensive SharePoint site and a SmartSheet request ticketing system, promoting transparency and efficiency.

Lauren Pinchin

Associate Director of Academic Support Unit 5

During a time of immense challenges, Lauren Pinchin has shown unwavering commitment to supporting faculty and staff, especially through the transition to shared services. Her dedication ensures that faculty can focus on their primary roles of research, teaching, and service without administrative burdens.

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CAS Excellence in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award Recipients

This award acknowledges exceptional and innovative contributions to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion across various facets within CAS. From teaching and research to community outreach and organizational change, these recipients have made a lasting impact.


Benjamín Alemán

Associate Professor of Physics, also affiliated with the Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, Materials Science Institute, and Optical Molecular and Quantum Science

Aleman’s visionary leadership of the North Star project has left an indelible mark on our institution, significantly impacting underrepresented minority students in the natural sciences. His selfless dedication and tireless advocacy have not only increased representation within our STEM community but have also instilled a sense of resilience and empowerment among those he mentors.

Lynn Fujiwara

Associate Professor of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies

From her instrumental role in departmentalizing programs like Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies, and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies to her leadership in the creation of the PhD program in IRES, Lynn has tirelessly championed the importance of representation and equity in academia. Her innovative approach has reshaped how we tackle diversity challenges.

UO Chapter of The Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science University of Oregon chapter is a community, a support system, and a voice for underrepresented minorities in the STEM field. The local chapter is driven by their passion and determination to make a difference. 

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CAS Service and Leadership Award

This award celebrates extraordinary contributions to a department, the college, and/or the university. Recipients have made a significant impact through exceptional service and/or leadership.

Paul Peppis

Professor of English and Director of the Oregon Humanities Center

Paul Peppis is concluding a remarkable 11-year tenure as the director of the Oregon Humanities Center. Peppis has curated world-class programming, brought renowned speakers to campus, organized equity-forward conversations, mentored scholars, celebrated colleagues, and engaged the public. Paul has been an unwavering source of inspiration and support for humanities faculty and graduate students, demonstrating the value of the humanities to the wider community.

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CAS Collegiate Faculty Award

The CAS Collegiate Faculty Award is the highest honor the college awards to active tenure track faculty members who warrant the recognition that comes with a named title. These faculty serve as exemplars for our collective aspirations in academia, excel in scholarship, deliver outstanding undergraduate and graduate teaching, and demonstrate significant leadership within their department, the college, or the university.


Josef Dufek

Gwen and Charles Lillis Chair and Professor of Volcanology in Earth Sciences

As a productive scholar, Josef Dufek’s groundbreaking research in volcanology and planetary magmatic systems has earned him prestigious accolades, including fellowship with the American Geophysical Union. 

His dedication to mentorship shines through his commitment to guiding and supporting graduate students, and fostering a nurturing learning environment.

Ernesto Javier Martínez

Department Head and Associate Professor of Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies

Beyond excelling in scholarship, teaching, and leadership, Ernesto Javier Martínez possesses a unique ability to humanize academia, fostering an environment where every participant is acknowledged and honored. 

Whether in the classroom, among faculty and administrators, or in his role as department head, his compassionate leadership style creates a space for collective growth and understanding.

Courtney Thorsson

Associate Professor of English and Clark Honors College Faculty Fellow

Courtney Thorsson's groundbreaking work on 20th- and 21st-century African American literature — particularly her book The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture — has received widespread acclaim for its innovative approach and significant contributions to cultural history.

Thorsson’s pedagogical talent is evident in her commitment to inclusive teaching practices that challenge students to critically engage with complex issues of race, gender, and identity.