The University of Arizona

Two Faculty Earn Distinguished Outreach Awards

University Communications | December 17, 2013
Photo credit: The University of Arizona RedBar
Photo credit: The University of Arizona RedBar

Faculty members S. Peder Cuneo and Sally J. Reel are the UA's newly named University Distinguished Outreach Faculty.

S. Peder Cuneo
S. Peder Cuneo
Sally J. Reel
Sally J. Reel

Two University of Arizona faculty members will be conferred with the title of University Distinguished Outreach Faculty on Saturday during the UA's 149th commencement ceremony.

This year, S. Peder Cuneo and Sally J. Reel were selected for the honor, which is given to recognize scholarship-based outreach to the state, nation and the world that has demonstrated sustained excellence in the University’s outreach mission. The award carries a $5,000 increase to each faculty member's base salary.

The work of both Cuneo and Reel epitomizes the UA’s outreach mission, one that is rooted in its land-grant heritage and is reflected in the University's Never Settle Strategic Academic and Business Plan, which advances creative and innovative collaboration with community partners for the benefit of both the campus community and communities beyond.  

The commencement ceremony will be held Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. at the UA McKale Memorial Center. Doors will open at 7:30 a.m., and family and friends are asked to enter McKale through its south entrance.

S. Peder Cuneo, Veterinarian, UA Cooperative Extension Associate Director, University Animal Care

Over his nearly 30-year professional career, Cuneo has made critically important contributions toward improving the health of animals while protecting the nation’s farm animals.

After completing his doctor of veterinary medicine at the University of California, Davis, in 1979, Cuneo became the veterinary medical officer for the state of California in 1986. He joined the UA two years later as the University's farm animal veterinarian.

Now serving as the UA Cooperative Extension veterinarian and associate director of University Animal Care, Cuneo works at the University’s 180-acre Campus Agricultural Center, and oversees the care of the center's large animals.

Highly regarded for his efforts to improve the lives of both humans and animals and for translating scientific research into practical use, Cuneo works directly with livestock producers throughout Arizona, including those on tribal lands. His work, which has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is highly characteristic of the UA’s land-grant mission: Cuneo facilitates agricultural development projects and educational programs in ways that are relevant and easily accessible.

Among his notable efforts is working to improve emergency response and emergency preparedness with a specific focus on diagnosing and responding to possible foreign animal diseases. Also, Cuneo’s work has informed efforts to prevent exposure and infection by agents of biological warfare and has led to new mixes of range minerals for cattle to aid in improved nutrition.

Cuneo was instrumental in launching the Arizona Livestock Incident Response Team, which helped with the diagnosis of unexplained livestock deaths. The model has since been replicated in other states in the region.

And after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, Cuneo was involved, through the Medical Reserve Corps, in caring for animals stranded in the aftermath. In addition to his crucial outreach and service to communities across the state and in other parts of the nation, Cuneo has done comparable work through connections with international communities in Egypt, Mexico and Russia.

Sally J. Reel,  Associate Dean of Academic Practice, College of Nursing

Known as a transformational leader, Reel, associate dean of academic practice at the UA College of Nursing, has earned national attention for her demonstrated scholarship-based outreach across the state and to other communities in the U.S.

Also a clinical professor, Reel has long been attentive to nationwide shifts in the field of nursing, particularly those related to education, training and demand.

In particular, Reel has been lauded for initiating and supporting programs and projects meant to enhance nursing education while also addressing both the faculty and practitioner shortage in the field. She also has gained recognition for enhancing access to quality health care, namely primary and preventive care.

Thus, in the last decade, Reel has generated external funding to establish, among other programs, the college’s programs for rural health professions, acute care nurse practitioners and the doctor of nursing practice.  Such programs exist as a direct response to growing demands in the field.  

Additionally, Reel has generated external funding to establish the UA inaugural interprofessional primary care clinic, which was established to model comprehensive team-based care. During more than one decade of service at the UA, Reel has garnered more than $18 million in funding for various projects.

Deeply invested in engaged scholarship, Reel also directs the Arizona Area Health Education Centers, which is working to improve access to quality health care by improving the supply and distribution of health-care professionals throughout Arizona, particularly in rural and underserved communities. This program supports students and medical residents across all the colleges of the Arizona Health Sciences Center as well as other students and professionals through community-based training through five regional centers.

For her important work, Reel has gained important external recognition.

In 2004, Reel was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Nursing, recognizing her extensive and outstanding contributions to the field. More recently, in 2012, she was appointed to the National Advisory Council on Nurse Education and Practice of the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Reel will serve through Sept. 30, 2016, helping to nurse workforce, education and practice improvement across the nation.

Reel earned her undergraduate degree in nursing in 1982 from Salem College. She went on to earn her master's degree in primary health care from West Virginia University in 1986, earning her doctoral-level degree in nursing from the University of Virginia in 1994.