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Above: Three faculty represented the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the highly competitive UF International Educator of the Year Award.

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CLAS Well Represented in UF International Educator of the Year Pool

Three faculty represented the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the highly competitive UF International Educator of the Year Award. Senior faculty nominees Jack Putz and Bob Hatch and junior faculty nominee Todd Palmer were nominated.

The UFIC award recognizes outstanding international endeavors by UF faculty members, which supports UF’s strategic goal of internationalizing the campus and curriculum.

A committee was established to judge nominees for the award. Each college was asked to nominate two candidates in the categories of tenured and untenured/recently tenured. Each college was free to develop their own review process, but nominations were endorsed by the deans. Consideration was given to three main factors: research, teaching and service.

Jack Putz is an established world leader in tropical forest ecology and conservation. He has contributed substantially to UF’s international reputation for research in topics such as the development of forest protocols and carbon sequestration through improved forest management in the tropics. His recent publications have had a direct impact on the pioneering new initiative, UN-REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) aimed to help tropical forested countries step up the fight to combat climate change. The university community, especially students, have benefitted greatly from Putz’s innovative research, international connections and service.

Bob Hatch is best known for his research on the role of science in early modern Europe, the so-called Scientific Revolution, where the Nation State first joined hands with the New Science to sharpen national identity, where the Republic of Letters soon evolved into the Public Sphere. He served 12 years as Director of the Cambridge Program, the oldest and perhaps most prestigious program at UF and is an active participant in the UF Paris Research Center. Hatch has played an important role in enhancing UF’s international focus through the courses he has developed and through his challenges to students to think across time and space.

Todd Palmer has been awarded 4 major National Science Foundation grants to conduct research, train students and establish collaborations with scientists in Africa. His UF-based research on Africa has been featured not only in the most prestigious science journals but also in the popular press including The New York Times, American, The New Scientist. He has been featured on NPR’s “All Things Considered”, BBC Radio, The Voice of America, and German Public Radio. His expertise in tropical savannah ecology and community ecology is sought by U.S. and international organizations. Through a study abroad program he has engaged over 100 undergraduates in experiential learning, conservation in developing nations, and rural development projects.

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Margaret Fields

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