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Top Awards for Teaching, Research Awarded by UCR Academic Senate

Top Awards for Teaching, Research Awarded by UCR Academic Senate

(May 25, 2000)

A plant scientist, dancer and chemist at the University of California, Riverside were honored today (Thursday, May 25) by the Academic Senate with the campus' top awards for teaching and research.

Eugene A. Nothnagel, professor of plant physiology, and Susan Rose, professor of dance, were named recipients of the 1999-2000 Distinguished Teaching Award. Dallas Rabenstein, professor of chemistry, was named the Faculty Research Lecturer for the year 2001.

The campus' Distinguished Teaching Award is conferred on the basis of student evaluations and peer review.

Nothnagel, who joined UCR in 1983, has had a profound impact both as an instructor and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students, according to the Academic Senate's committee on distinguished teaching. Among the undergraduate courses he teaches is Biology 5A, Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology - a class required of all majors in biological sciences, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, chemical and environmental engineering, conservation biology, entomology, environmental sciences and neuroscience. It is a course for which he routinely receives outstanding student evaluations.

In addition, he has served as the graduate advisor in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences and has mentored a number of graduate and undergraduate students doing research. Wrote one student: "I am so thankful for his guidance and his humor, it has helped me look to better opportunities in all that I do."

In her 11 years at UCR, Rose has six times been the artistic director of the annual "UCR is Dancing" performance. She is also co-director of the UCR Gluck Dance Touring Ensemble that take dancers into the community.

The distinguished teaching nominating committee cited Rose's contribution to the department, spending long hours in the dance studio, mentoring young choreographers and developing curriculum for the proposed Master of Fine Arts program in experimental choreography.

One of her students told the committee that Rose encourages young dancers to support and encourage each other, rather than compete. "Professor Rose is a master teacher," wrote Stephen Cullenberg, chair of the nominating committee. "She combines passion, dedication, scholarship and creativity in her classroom teaching and broader pedagogy. She is richly deserving of the Distinguished Teaching Award."

In addition to the Distinguished Teaching Award, the Academic Senate annually chooses a renowned scholar to be named Faculty Research Lecturer. As the recipient for 2001, Rabenstein will deliver a major lecture on his research next spring.

Rabenstein, who joined UCR in 1985, has developed an international reputation for his innovative research in nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and its application to problems in biological and bioanalytical chemistry. A current focus of his laboratory is studying how heparin, an anticoagulant drug, binds to proteins and peptides. Knowledge gained in the molecular-level studies may lead to new therapeutic agents to treat such diseases as cancer.

Rabenstein currently serves as chair of the Department of Chemistry. During the 1993-94 academic year, he served as interim dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences. In 1995, he was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and, since 1997, has held the title of Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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