The University of Arizona

UA to Induct New Regents' and Distinguished Professors

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, University of Communications | November 22, 2010

S. James Anaya, professor of law; Edgar Dryden, professor of English; and Marcia Rieke, professor of astronomy, will be inducted as Regents’ Professors, and Mary M. Poulton will be recognized as a University Distinguished Professor.

Mary M. Poulton, UA mining and geological engineering head and new University Distinguished Professor.
Mary M. Poulton, UA mining and geological engineering head and new University Distinguished Professor.
Marcia Rieke, professor of astronomy and new Regents' Professor.
Marcia Rieke, professor of astronomy and new Regents' Professor.
Edgar Dryden, professor of English and new Regents' Professor.
Edgar Dryden, professor of English and new Regents' Professor.
S. James Anaya, new Regents' Professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy.
S. James Anaya, new Regents' Professor and James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy.
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The University of Arizona will induct its newest class of Regents' Professors and a new University Distinguished Professor in a campus ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 9.

The Regents' Professors include S. James Anaya, professor of law; Edgar Dryden, professor of English; and Marcia Rieke, professor of astronomy. The sole University Distinguished Professor this year is Mary M. Poulton. The Arizona Board of Regents approved their designations in June.

The Regents' Professor award is the highest honor accorded by the University to full professors for academic achievements that have earned them national and international acclaim.

The University Distinguished Professor award honors faculty members who have shown a long-term commitment to undergraduate education and have made outstanding contributions at the UA.

Both designations come with a permanent $5,000 annual salary increase.

Mary M. Poulton  

Poulton is an industry and educational innovator. As the head of the UA's mining and geological engineering department, she has worked to advance the department's Web-based and technological learning environment, and with its San Xavier Mining Laboratory – the only mining lab in the U.S. with a working vertical shaft, multiple modes of underground access and multiple working levels – she has made the department a renowned teaching and research facility.

Her leadership has led to collaborations with the College of Engineering and the College of Public Health wherein the UA was awarded $17.7 million from the Science Foundation Arizona and industry partners to found the

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Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, a new global center of mining excellence. The center will create learning and employment opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to advance the workforce in several disciplines in engineering and science.

Her efforts have gained national attention, and she has been recognized by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum with the prestigious Industry Educator Award. She also was honored by the Mining Hall of Fame with the Medal of Merit for her work in minerals education. She has twice been awarded the UA's Mining and Geological Engineering Department's Excellence at the Student Interface Award. She has been nominated by the UA for the national Carnegie Professor of the Year Award and has been named Outstanding Advisor by the UA's Center for Off Campus Students.

She is also a Faculty Fellow of the UA's Women in Science and Engineering program working to bridge the gap in women's employment and interest in the fields and has served as University chair of the Commission on the Status of Women and serves currently on the Provost's Strategic Advisory Committee on Compensation.

Her enthusiasm for mentoring, teaching and industry advancement resonates with students who have benefitted through the department's development of technical internships with professional requirements in local industries – now an industry standard.    

S. James Anaya

Anaya is an international lawyer and scholar known for his global work in human rights for indigenous people. He is also recognized as an engaged human rights advocate who translates scholarly insights into action.

He is the James J. Lenoir Professor of Human Rights Law and Policy at the UA's James E. Rogers College of Law. In 2008, he was named the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of Indigenous Peoples.  

His work with the United Nations involves the investigation and reporting of human rights violations against indigenous people and the promotion of needed legal reforms that are recommended to the U.N. and governments world-wide.

Bartolome Clavero of the Universidad de Sevilla said Anaya has a "well deserved reputation as the best indigenous rights lawyer and advocate in the world," and that his "passion, leadership, and commitment ... will make a difference in the lives of thousands of indigenous people across the globe."

His treatise, Indigenous Peoples in International Law, is recognized as a classic by experts in the field. He also participated in the drafting of the United Nation's Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007.

He was also instrumental in establishing the UA's Indigenous People Law and Policy Program and, since joining the faculty in 1999, has actively worked to involve UA law students in his research. 

Edgar Dryden

Dryden has been called one of the most important literary scholar critics of his field. His studies on Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, two American literary giants, are internationally recognized as classic analytical standards.  

"In addition to professor Dryden's superlative scholarly achievements, he has also – and spectacularly – re-imagined American Studies as a profoundly literary endeavor that nevertheless has political and historical consequences. Quite simply, there is no other scholar I know who has made an equal contribution to literary studies in the United States," said Colin Dayan, Robert Penn Warren Professor of the Humanities at Vanderbilt.

Dryden has received awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guggenheim Foundation. Under Dryden's direction and visionary editorship, the award-winning journal, Arizona Quarterly, has become one of the world's premier journals in American literature and culture and has gained a reputation as one of the most formidable critical venues for writers across fields and genres.

The annual Arizona Quarterly Symposium draws in luminaries of the literary scholarship field to the UA campus to engage in critical exchanges about American life, letters and culture. Eric Sundquist, UCLA Foundation Professor of Literature, notes that invitations to speak at the event are those most coveted by scholars in the field.

Dryden came to the UA to head the department of English in 1978 and soon transformed the department into one of the best-known centers in the country for the study of American literature. He is a legendary and dedicated teacher who has trained and mentored some of the field's most illustrious scholars – to both undergraduates and graduate students for over three generations. 

Marcia Rieke

The history of the universe is becoming clearer thanks to the field of Infrared astronomy and the contributions of Rieke.

Infrared astronomy focuses on the observation of infrared radiation, which contains key information on celestial objects too cool to emit visible light, including infrared galaxies, nebulae, interstellar molecules and brown dwarfs. Rieke is a trailblazing and seminal contributor of the highest stature wherein her research has changed the fundamental views of astronomers' on active galaxies and on the entire process of star formation.

UA faculty since 1979, Rieke has been heralded for the international effort that she has led on the Spitzer space telescope to conduct very deep surveys at far-infrared wavelengths, which will allow astronomers to trace the history of star formation back in time 10 billion years. She also co-authored with Regents' Professor George Rieke a paper on the infrared interstellar extinction law – one of the most cited papers in all of astronomy. Many of her most-cited papers on radiation from galactic nuclei and starbursts in colliding galaxies are classics in the field.

In the field of astronomical instrumentation, she is perhaps best known internationally for her work on space infrared missions and is the principal investigator for the Near Infrared Camera. The camera will be installed on the next generation of astronomical observatory developed by NASA, the James Webb Space Telescope, and promises to provide the most sensitive view of the early universe ever achieved.

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An additional measure of Professor Rieke's international stature is demonstrated by her service as the vice-chair of program prioritization panel for he Astro200 NAS Decadal Survey Committee, an exercise in planning mission and facilities for the next 10 years. Billions of dollars in federal investments will be based on her committee's work, where she helped orchestrate the efforts of hundreds of researchers in the field and judged more than 100 project concepts.