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UW Provost Names First Provost Term Professorship Honorees

January 30, 2023
Amanda DeDiego, Jill Keith, Kam Ng, Clair White, Riley Bernard and Linda Thunstrom

Six University of Wyoming faculty members have been selected for inaugural Provost Term Professorships.

With faculty excellence funding from the UW Board of Trustees and the UW Foundation, Provost and Executive Vice President Kevin Carman announced four Provost Term Professorships beginning this year and two that will start in 2024.

Awardees for 2023 are Amanda DeDiego, an associate professor in counseling; Jill Keith, an associate professor in family and consumer sciences; Kam Ng, an associate professor in civil and architectural engineering; and Clair White, an assistant professor in criminal justice and sociology.

Two faculty members selected to begin their term in 2024 are Riley Bernard, an assistant professor in zoology and physiology, and Linda Thunstrom, an associate professor in economics.

Each of UW’s deans was invited to nominate two tenured or tenure-track faculty members to be recognized as a UW Provost’s Term Professor. Nominees were exemplary faculty whose scholarship, creative activity, research or community-engaged contributions are on a very positive trajectory. Recipients will hold the title of Provost’s Term Professor for three years, and each will be allocated $25,000 for discretionary use.

“I was overwhelmed and incredibly pleased with nominees from our colleges and would have liked to provide this award to all of them,” Carman says. “Our six awardees are among the best at UW, and  I look forward to working with them in the coming years.”

-- DeDiego is primarily based on the UW-Casper campus, where she has worked to establish a hybrid counseling graduate program supporting students across the state. As part of this process, she redesigned 12 counseling courses for online, hybrid and intensive weekend delivery. DeDiego’s research focuses on counselor development across the career and addressing issues of health care equity and access for underserved populations. In 2019, she was recognized by the American Counseling Association with the national Robert H. Rencken Emerging Professional Leader Award. In partnership with the Wyoming Telehealth Network and Wyoming public libraries, she recently was awarded a grant from the State Loan and Investment Board to support her outreach in establishing community-access sites for telehealth care across Wyoming.

-- Keith has worked in the field of nutrition in clinical, community and food service capacities since 2000. She has several publications focused on factors that influence human eating behaviors; the impact of changing diet behaviors on health outcomes; addressing health and education disparities; and culturally relevant educational strategies. She has been working with community members on the Wind River reservation on food sovereignty efforts focused on reclaiming Indigenous food and health and supporting educational pathways for Native American students. She has been nominated for several teaching awards at UW and received the Mortar Board Top Prof award in 2022.

-- Ng’s research focuses on transportation and energy geotechnics, and innovative construction materials. He has mentored one postdoc, three Ph.D. students and 16 master’s students. He is currently supervising one postdoc, five Ph.D. and five master’s students. He has published more than 90 papers, received more than $6 million in research funding and filed 10 provisional patents. He has received several awards from national organizations and UW.

-- White joined the Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology in 2018. Her research focuses on crime and place/communities, issues in police legitimacy and the criminal justice system’s response to mental health problems. Currently, her work examines police responses to mental health crisis calls, and social problems and health issues at crime hot spots more broadly. While at UW, she has been a member of the Albany County Mental Health Board, where she has been working with local agencies in Laramie and Albany County, as well as Laramie County, to develop and evaluate alternative responses to mental health crises.

-- Bernard is an applied wildlife ecologist whose research focuses on the ecology and behavior of small mammals and amphibians on topics such as foraging, competition, invasive species interactions, the effects of disease on community structure, species susceptibility and survival. She also uses tools from decision science to ensure the questions she seeks to answer provide the best information for wildlife and natural resource managers to make tractable and robust decisions.

-- Thunstrom’s teaching spans classes from more general introductory-level economics to behavioral economics graduate-level courses. Her research is in the intersection of behavioral economics, experimental economics and health economics. The topics covered by her research include the value of information; people’s responses to informational nudges; the interaction between public and private coping mechanisms in the face of natural disasters; the response to control policies during epidemics; and determinants of altruism and risk preferences. She is the 2022 McMurry Research Fellow in the College of Business, and she is an associate editor of the Journal of Benefit-Cost Analysis and the Journal of Risk and Uncertainty.

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