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Call to Honor Winners

UNM Alumni Association To Honor 2013 Award Winners at ‘Call to Honor’ Dinner Feb. 21

The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion has announced the recip­i­ents of its pres­ti­gious James F. Zim­mer­man, Bernard S. Rodey, Erna S. Fer­gus­son, and Fac­ulty Teach­ing Awards. They include: Derek J. Smith — James F. Zim­mer­man Award; James G. Ellis — Bernard S. Rodey Award; Angie Vachio — Erna S. Fer­gus­son Award; and John D. Benavidez — Fac­ulty Teach­ing Award.

“The recip­i­ents of the 2013 awards are out­stand­ing in every way,” said Karen Abra­ham, exec­u­tive direc­tor, UNM Alumni Asso­ci­a­tion. “The awards cel­e­brate peo­ple who have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions to honor the Uni­ver­sity in the areas of edu­ca­tion lead­er­ship, research, Uni­ver­sity ser­vice, and teach­ing and ser­vice to students.”

The alumni recip­i­ents will be hon­ored at the Alumni Association’s “Call to Honor” din­ner on Thurs­day, Feb. 21 at Hotel Andaluz. Cock­tails are at 5:45 p.m., din­ner is at 6:30. The pub­lic is invited to attend; tick­ets cost $40 per per­son. To RSVP and to pur­chase tick­ets, call the Alumni Rela­tions Office at (505) 277‑5808 by Feb. 15.

Derek J. Smith

Derek J. Smith

James F. Zim­mer­man Award: Derek J. Smith (‘94 MS, ‘97 Ph.D.), Cam­bridge, Eng­land
Derek Smith is Pro­fes­sor of Infec­tious Dis­ease Infor­mat­ics in the Zool­ogy Depart­ment at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity. He is direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Pathogen Evo­lu­tion and direc­tor of the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) Col­lab­o­rat­ing Cen­ter for Mod­el­ing, Evo­lu­tion, and Con­trol of Emerg­ing Infec­tious Dis­eases, both at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity. He is also a mem­ber of the Depart­ment of Virol­ogy at Eras­mus Med­ical Cen­ter in The Netherlands.

He is a mem­ber of the WHO influenza vac­cine strain selec­tion com­mit­tee, and is also involved     in vac­cine strain selec­tion for other human and non-human pathogens for the United Nations Food and Agri­cul­ture Orga­ni­za­tion and the World Ani­mal Health Organ­i­sa­tion. His research focuses on how pathogens evolve, to what extent this evo­lu­tion is pre­dictable, and deter­min­ing pub­lic and ani­mal health mea­sures against such ever-changing pathogens. He received a United States National Insti­tutes of Health Director’s Pio­neer Award in 2005 for his work on Anti­genic Car­tog­ra­phy, a method that enables detailed study of pathogen evolution.

James G. Ellis

James G. Ellis

Bernard S. Rodey Award: James G. Ellis (‘68 BBA), Los Ange­les, Calif. Ellis is dean of the Mar­shall School of Busi­ness at the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (USC), where he is respon­si­ble for the edu­ca­tion of approx­i­mately 5,700 grad­u­ate and under­grad­u­ate students.

In addi­tion, he has held a full-time appoint­ment as pro­fes­sor of mar­ket­ing since 1997. Prior to being appointed dean, Ellis was Vice Provost of Glob­al­iza­tion for USC, respon­si­ble for build­ing the university’s name worldwide.

He holds an MBA from Har­vard Busi­ness School and sits on three cor­po­rate boards of directors.

Angie Vachino

Angie Vachino

Erna S. Fer­gus­son Award: Angie Vachio (‘75 MA, ‘02 HOND), Cedar Crest, N.M. Vachio, co-founder of the Peanut But­ter & Jelly (PB&J) Ther­a­peu­tic Preschool and Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Emerita of PB&J Fam­ily Ser­vices, Inc., head­quar­tered in Albu­querque, has ded­i­cated her life to pro­tect­ing chil­dren at risk of abuse and neglect.

The PB&J Ther­a­peu­tic Preschool is a child abuse pre­ven­tion pro­gram that uses inter­ac­tive par­ent­ing to help fam­i­lies develop the skills to pro­vide safe and lov­ing homes for their chil­dren. It has evolved from a vol­un­teer orga­ni­za­tion into a nation­ally accred­ited, com­pre­hen­sive fam­ily ser­vices agency with pro­grams in five coun­ties in cen­tral New Mexico.

Under Vachio’s lead­er­ship, PB&J is one of the few agen­cies in the U.S. to have devel­oped effec­tive pro­grams to serve the chil­dren of incar­cer­ated par­ents. PB&J’s ImPACT pro­gram, oper­a­tional in four New Mex­ico cor­rec­tional facil­i­ties, is designed to re-unify chil­dren with their incar­cer­ated par­ents and to re-establish the fam­ily unit once the incar­cer­ated par­ent is released. In 2002, Vachio received an hon­orary Doc­tor of Humane Let­ters from UNM in recog­ni­tion of these achievements.

John Benavidez

John Benavidez

Fac­ulty Teach­ing Award: John D. Benavidez (’94 BBA, ’97 MBA), Albu­querque, N.M.
Benavidez has been teach­ing at UNM since 1997. His teach­ing focuses on mar­ket­ing, includ­ing but not lim­ited to adver­tis­ing, dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing, pro­mo­tions man­age­ment, and mar­ket­ing management.

Benavidez serves as fac­ulty advi­sor for UNM Col­le­giate DECA and is a fac­ulty rep­re­sen­ta­tive on the UNM Stu­dent Union Build­ing Board. In 2009, Benavidez received the Wall Street Jour­nal Dis­tin­guished Pro­fes­sor Award. He received the UNM Out­stand­ing Lec­turer of the Year Award in 2004.

For addi­tional infor­ma­tion, visit: UNM Alumni Awards.