The University of Arizona

Winter Commencement to Honor Faculty, Alumni Outreach

By Rebecca Ruiz-McGill, December 12, 2011

Awards will be presented during the UA’s Winter Commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. in McKale Memorial Center.

Efforts by professor Carol Bender have resulted in thousands of undergraduates participating in research at the UA with many of them taking on projects abroad as well.
Efforts by professor Carol Bender have resulted in thousands of undergraduates participating in research at the UA with many of them taking on projects abroad as well.
Alumni achievement award recipients Brenda and William “Bill” Viner have dedicated themselves to help make the Tucson Festival of Books one of the nation’s most successful annual book festivals.
Alumni achievement award recipients Brenda and William “Bill” Viner have dedicated themselves to help make the Tucson Festival of Books one of the nation’s most successful annual book festivals.
Edward Fraser Reid II, a Faculty Fellow, is exemplary in his dedication to musical outreach, working to secure funding for student foreign travel and building collaborations to fund graduate student ensembles to perform.
Edward Fraser Reid II, a Faculty Fellow, is exemplary in his dedication to musical outreach, working to secure funding for student foreign travel and building collaborations to fund graduate student ensembles to perform.
Alumni William "Bill" and Brenda Viner, whose community involvement has resulted in community literacy efforts and the building of the new Student Union Memorial Center.
Alumni William "Bill" and Brenda Viner, whose community involvement has resulted in community literacy efforts and the building of the new Student Union Memorial Center.

During the University of Arizona's 145th Commencement ceremony on Dec. 17, the University will recognize the contributions of two outstanding faculty members and two community members who helped make their love of reading a festival of national proportions.

Carol Bender, professor in practice of molecular and cellular biology, and Edward Fraser Reid II, professor of trumpet performance and music education, will be honored with Distinguished Outreach Faculty Professor Awards.

Also, Brenda and William "Bill" Viner, members of the UA class of 1971 who are credited with helping to start the Tucson Festival of Books, will be honored with Alumni Achievement Awards.

The Viners also were instrumental in leading the $15 million capital campaign to build the new Student Union Memorial Center, directly assisting in fundraising efforts by personally garnering support from friends, colleagues and the Tucson community.

Alumni Achievement Awards

The UA Alumni Association will present Alumni Achievement Awards to Brenda Viner and William "Bill" Viner for their dedication and countless hours in support of the University and Tucson communities.

Inspired by their shared commitment to higher education, love of reading and deep concern over the local high-school dropout rate, the Viners have dedicated themselves to help make the Tucson Festival of Books one of the nation's most successful annual book festivals. Their efforts have resulted in accumulated financial event sponsorships of more than $500,000 to various regional organizations that promote literacy.

Brenda sits on the board of the Pima Library Foundation. The nonprofit ensures the continuing vitality and excellence of our library system by developing and sustaining a permanent endowment fund for the long-term benefit of the Pima County Public Library system.

Bill is the chief executive officer of Pepper Viner Homes, a custom home developer. Pepper Viner has received numerous awards for its near-zero energy construction model for production builders nationally and has created a test home that is 81 percent more energy efficient than a typical home.

Bill also founded the annual Fort Lowell Shootout soccer tournament, now in its 20th year, which draws teams from throughout the Southwest and Mexico.

In 1999, Brenda was awarded the Junior League of Tucson's Ann-Eve Johnson Award in recognition of her significant volunteer work.

The UA is honored to present the Alumni Achievement Award to the Viners and to recognize them and their efforts as exemplary Wildcats for life.

Distinguished Outreach Faculty Professor Awards

The Distinguished Outreach Faculty Professor Awards recognize outstanding faculty members whose scholarship-based outreach to the state, nation and the world has demonstrated sustained excellence in the University's outreach mission. These awards are given by the UA senior vice president for academic affairs and the provost.

Carol Bender

Carol Bender's outreach activities draw upon the expertise of the research community at the UA. Over the past 23 years, she has worked to develop high-impact educational outreach experiences that have achieved national and international opportunities for students.

She serves at director of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program, or UBRP, and Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open Program, or BRAVO! Program.

UBRP provides undergraduates with the opportunity to work in research. Through her efforts, UBRP has grown to support 140 students a year who work with faculty mentors in 43 UA departments and also in off-campus research institutions in Tucson and Phoenix.

Nearly 2,000 students have benefited directly from UBRP, which is supported in part by grants from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, the Beckman Foundation, and participating faculty mentors' research grants.

The BRAVO! Program was started in 1992 and works to give research-experienced undergraduates exposure to the international scientific community by enabling them to do research in other countries. Since its inception, more than 210 BRAVO! students have done research in 37 countries.

She founded the Arizona Chapter of the Fulbright Association, a state-wide organization dedicated to promoting international understanding, and has served as chapter president for several years.

Bender also has coordinated numerous programs through the UBRP office to provide science experiences for Tucson elementary students. More than 100 high school and community college students have participated in research on the UA campus through programs Bender organized.

Nancy Hensel, executive officer of the Council on Undergraduate Research, said, "Carol is committed to the mentoring of students, to stimulating enthusiasm for science education and science discovery and to providing experience in research for as many students as possible. It is her resourcefulness and ability to make connections within and beyond the University, I believe, that have made the programs at UA exemplary."

Edward Fraser Reid II

Edward Reid's scholarship is in the area of trumpet performance and music education. A natural leader who recently was appointed assistant director of the UA School of Music after serving as coordinator for the wind and percussion area for more than 10 years, Reid has been the recipient of the College of Fine Arts' Charles and Irene Putnam Excellence in Teaching Award as well as the School of Music's Maestro Award for student achievement. He has also been a Faculty Fellow since 2006.

Reid is one of three solo cornetists with The New Sousa Band, a professional group that tours throughout the U.S., China and Japan. During a visit to Beijing, China in 2001, he presented several master classes and lectures.

In addition, he has played in Taipei, Taiwan and Morelia, Mexico.

In Mexico, he is currently working on creating collaborations for grant proposals to fund graduate student ensembles to perform, provide instruction and coach throughout Mexico and in tribal villages in Arizona.

An active soloist, Reid, premiered the "Double Concerto for Trumpet, Trombone and Symphony Orchestra," by composer Eric Ewazen, written specifically for Reid and Thomas Ervin and commissioned by the UA School of Music.

Reid also shares his expertise with the community, serving as the principal trumpet of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra and a member of the orchestra from 1987-2010.

He works to provide international experiences for his students, including securing complete funding for their foreign travel. Over the past six years, he has led a contingent of 22 UA brass performers to Bangkok, 21 to China, and several smaller groups to Greece, Mexico, Canada and Australia.

Outside of the UA classroom, he regularly teaches group sessions for under-privileged students in the community; coordinates guest visits, competitions and conferences by experts in the field to enrich student experiences; and frequently visits public schools in many communities for performance and coaching sessions.

Joe Swinson, associate director of development the UA College of Fine Arts, said of Reid, "To my knowledge, there is no other member of the School of Music faculty who teaches a full load and spends as much time outside of the studio/classroom doing outstanding community service and outreach as Ed Reid. His membership and service to the profession, to the University and Tucson community is meritorious. The numerous awards he has garnered are well deserved and will, no doubt continue in the future."