January 2024

UArizona named No. 1 producer of Fulbright Scholars

By Nick Prevenas, University Communications

The University of Arizona has been ranked the nation’s top producer of Fulbright Scholars, setting a new university record for the number of faculty and researchers to receive Fulbright U.S. Scholar awards.

A total of 17 UArizona faculty members and researchers received Fulbrights in 2022-2023, besting the university’s previous record of 11, set in 2020-2021. That number placed the university at No. 1 nationally, tied with Pennsylvania State University.

“We are thrilled to see so many of our researchers and educators honored as Fulbright Scholars,” said University of Arizona President Robert C. Robbins. “This record-breaking number reflects our institution’s commitment to translating our teaching and research excellence throughout the world.”

Each year, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs announces the top-producing institutions for the Fulbright Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. The 2022-23 data reflects the total number of Fulbright awards offered to individuals affiliated with an institution. The Chronicle of Higher Education publishes the lists annually.

Fulbright Top Producing 2022-2023
The Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program sends American scholars and professionals abroad to lecture or conduct research for up to a year. Below is a list of this year’s UArizona Fulbright Scholar awardees, along with the nations in which they plan to conduct their research and their host institution.

Sarah Abney, researcher in environmental sciences, Mexico, Center for Scientific Research of Yucatan
Albertina Antognini, professor in the James E. Rogers College of Law, Sweden, University of Stockholm
Dr. Jefferey Burgess, professor of public health, Australia, Monash University
Betul Czerkawski, professor of instructional design and technology, Poland, University of Warsaw
Albrecht Classen, University Distinguished Professor of German Studies, Egypt, Cairo University
Wilson de Lima Silva, assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, Colombia, Universidad de los Andes
Richard Eaton, professor in the Department of History, India
Carmen King de Ramirez, associate professor of Spanish and Portuguese, Mexico, University of Sonora
Emily Kotay, assistant director of international research, Germany, The German-American Fulbright Commission
Dr. Richard Lane, professor of psychiatry, psychology and neuroscience, Austria, Sigmund Freud Museum
Benjamin Lawrance, professor of history, South Africa, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Diana Liverman, Regents Professor of Geography and Development, Canada, University of Ottawa
Purnima Madhivanan, associate professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, India, Public Health Research Institute of India and the JSS Academy of Higher Education and Research
Jonathon Reinhardt, professor of English and second language acquisition and teaching, Germany, Leuphana University of Luneburg
Jennifer Verdolin, assistant professor in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, Uganda, Conservation Through Public Health
Mohan Tanniru, adjunct professor of public health, Canada, Lakehead University
Andrew Woods, Milton O. Riepe Professor of Law & Distinguished Legal Scholar, Denmark, University of Copenhagen

In addition, Mercury “Merc” Fox, a researcher at the UArizona Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and executive director of the university’s Center of Excellence in Data for Society, was recently named a Fulbright Specialist and will take part in a project at the Parliament of Uganda.

In October, UArizona was recognized as a Fulbright HSI Leader by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The honor recognizes the university’s high level of engagement, as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, with the Fulbright Program.

In addition to the university being a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, four UArizona students were awarded Fulbright Student awards. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program offers fellowships for graduating college seniors, graduate students, young professionals and artists to research, study or teach English abroad for one academic year.

This year’s student awardees will pursue projects in the following countries.

Alma Anides Morales, a doctoral student in soil, water and environmental sciences, will study and do research in Mexico.
Hannah Doskicz, an undergraduate student in Spanish and biochemistry, will do an English Teaching Assistantship in Mexico.
Nicole Duby, who completed undergraduate degrees in French and psychology, will do an English Teaching Assistantship in Luxembourg.
Samantha Goodrich, a doctoral student in history, will study and do research in Turkey.

“The Fulbright Program is internationally renowned for its ability to translate academic research into meaningful, measurable impact on an international level,” said Elizabeth “Betsy” Cantwell, senior vice president for research and innovation. “I am proud to see University of Arizona faculty and students recognized and supported by a program that exemplifies the best of what we can achieve through cross-cultural collaboration.”

UArizona’s Fulbright Week this year is March 27-31, with several events scheduled.

The Institute of International Education will host a virtual information session for faculty, researchers and staff on the Fulbright U.S. Scholar program at 11 a.m. on March 29. Those interested can register online.
World Learning will host a virtual information session for faculty and staff on the Fulbright Specialist program at 10 a.m. on March 30. Those interested can register online.
There will be an in-person panel presentation on the Fulbright experience with a reception to follow on March 29 from 4-6 p.m. in the amphitheater of the W.A. Franke Honors College.
More information about UArizona’s Fulbright Program can be found on the Research, Innovation & Impact website.
Multiple offices across campus regularly provide workshops on the Fulbright experience and provide application support for students, faculty, staff and recent alumni. The International Student Services and International Faculty and Scholars offices in University of Arizona International support international Fulbright Students and Scholars who come to UArizona to study or conduct research.

The Fulbright Program was created to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Fulbright is the world’s largest and most diverse international educational exchange program. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Fulbright is active in more than 160 countries worldwide and partners with participating governments, host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States. Since its inception in 1946, more than 400,000 scholars have participated in the Fulbright Program. More information is available on the Fulbright Program website.

November 2023

Diamond Children’s Play Zone comes to life for young Tucson patients


Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson officially broke ground Oct. 27 on construction of the Play Zone, a vibrant 7,200-square-foot space for hospitalized children to engage in recreation and therapeutic play as they heal located in the former lobby of the hospital.

Thanks to charitable gifts from more than 200 generous donors and companies, we have raised $2.9 million toward our $3 million fundraising goal to bring the Play Zone to life. The fundraising effort is being led by Tucson business owner and Banner Health Foundation Board member Jeremy Sharpe.

“We are so excited to see construction begin on the Play Zone,” Jeremy says. “This much needed space will provide children an oasis to heal, grow, play and learn. Parents of two young children ourselves, my wife Lexy and I are thrilled to support this effort and to see the Play Zone impact generations to come.”

Designed by Shepley Bulfinch and built by DPR Construction, the Play Zone will open to patients and their families in fall 2024, providing a space for Child Life Specialists to serve up to 40% more patients, building coping skills, addressing their psychosocial well-being, preparing them for procedures and treatments, and giving them a place to relax, rest, read, and have fun away from their hospital room and treatment spaces. Child Life Specialists are specially trained to work with young patients, siblings, and parents with the goal of reducing trauma and recovery time and empowering them along their health journey.

Adjacent to the Play Zone will be the future Ronald McDonald Sibling Center. Ronald McDonald House Charities is funding construction and staffing for this special space designed to serve the young siblings of our patients so they can play, learn and be supported while their loved one is being cared for in the hospital.

“The Play Zone will be one of the largest therapeutic play spaces in the nation, with 10 unique spaces for patients and siblings to visit and explore, encouraging walking and movement, getting out of the hospital room, and providing a distraction from the day to day,” says Hadley Trull, associate director of Child Life at Diamond Children’s. “The Play Zone will allow our Child Life team to provide services to 40% more pediatric patients and siblings and enable our patients to have an emotionally safe space to explore big feelings, to connect with other patients and provide a sense of normalcy all while receiving great medical care.”

With philanthropic support, the Play Zone will include:

Art studio
Medical play area
Media room
Sensory room for special needs
Area just for toddlers and preschoolers
Virtual reality and video gaming area
Basketball arcade
Hospital school program
STEM activities and a 3D printer
Philanthropic support is still needed to reach our fundraising goal and support completion of the Play Zone.

Diamond Children’s Medical Center in Tucson officially broke ground Oct. 27 on construction of the Play Zone, a vibrant 7,200-square-foot space for hospitalized children to engage in recreation and therapeutic play as they heal located in the former lobby of the hospital. »

July 2023

CBRE: Tucson Named a Top City for Tech Talent Growth

TUCSON, ARIZONA (July 26, 2023) — CBRE has released its annual scoring tech talent. This report comprehensively analyzes labor market conditions, cost, and quality in North America for highly skilled tech workers that can help decision-makers fulfill critical business and innovation objectives. Tucson ranks No. 13 among the up-and-coming North American tech talent markets.

Tucson highlights from the report below and linked and attached the reports for convenience.

Tucson’s total tech talent employment of 16,970 increased by 3% from 2017 to 2022.
Tucson’s average tech wage of $87,206 has grown by 13% since 2017.
Tucson’s average software developer wage of $110,530 has grown by 26.1% since 2017.
Tucson generated 1,269 tech talent degree graduates in 2021.

Click here for the full report.

June 2023

Governor Hobbs Announces Future48 Workforce Accelerations in Yuma, Kingman

New workforce development facilities to provide customized training for advanced manufacturing in rural Arizona

PHOENIX, AZ (June 29, 2023) – With advanced manufacturing jobs plentiful, Governor Hobbs announced today two new workforce partnerships to provide advanced skills training in rural Arizona. The new training programs, known as Future48 Workforce Accelerators, will launch in Kingman and Yuma, the first of up to six new Future48 Workforce Accelerators to be overseen by the Arizona Commerce Authority in coordination with higher education and industry partners.

Between 2017 and 2021, manufacturing employment in Arizona increased by 12%, the third-fastest in the country (Lightcast). Arizona’s rapidly expanding manufacturing sectors include semiconductors, bioscience, battery and automotive, aerospace and defense, renewable energy, and more, with demand for skilled workers also growing.

“Arizona has become an epicenter of emerging technologies, which brings good-paying jobs in durable industries, but we also need to make sure our economic boom benefits Arizonans all across our state,” said Governor Katie Hobbs. “That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of these two manufacturing workforce accelerators in Yuma and Kingman, which will provide new opportunities to reach all of our workforce and diverse communities.”

The Yuma Future48 Workforce Accelerator, launched in partnership with Arizona Western College, will offer workforce training in electrical technology, advanced manufacturing, broadband fiber optics, and solar installation in support of the region’s aerospace and defense industries. The partnership will include a 5,600-square-foot expansion of the Wellton Manufacturing Training Center on the Arizona Western College campus. Industry partners will include TRAX International, the United States Army Yuma Proving Ground, the General Motor Proving Grounds, the Gowan Company, Allo Fiber, D&H Electric, Sunray Electric, Yuma Electric and more. The project is expected to be completed in 2024.

“AWC is proud to partner with Arizona Commerce Authority and Governor Hobbs for this Future48 Workforce Accelerator,” said Dr. Daniel Corr, President, Arizona Western College. “This is an example of the college’s commitment to create and support the vibrant diversified economy of our state and enhance workforce development. We expect this Accelerator to transform the training and opportunities of our growing and skilled workforce. These funds will provide an opportunity for thousands of more Arizonans to prepare for high-wage, high-skill jobs through community colleges.”

Established in partnership with Mohave Community College, the Kingman accelerator will support the region’s growing manufacturing, transportation, and mining industries. The accelerator will comprise a more than 30,000 square-foot facility at Kingman Airport and Industrial Park, with industry partners to include NUCOR Steel, Kingman And Mohave Manufacturing Association (KAMMA), Progressive Pipe, Arizona Sommers Cooling and Heating and more. The project is expected to be completed in early 2025.

“Mohave Community College is honored to receive funds to help us build the first Advanced Manufacturing Training Center in Northwest Arizona and are grateful for the support of the Arizona Commerce Authority and Governor Hobbs,” said Dr. Stacy Klippenstein, President, Mohave Community College. “Mohave County continues to see massive industry-sector growth and this new educational center will help us provide the necessary training to meet the workforce needs, produce higher wage jobs and encourage economic prosperity for this region. Companies like Progressive Pipe and NUCOR Steel and the KAMMA organization are ready to partner with us to ensure a skilled workforce for the future.”

The Future48 Workforce Accelerators are part of a $30 million investment approved by the State of Arizona in 2022 to build up to six advanced manufacturing training facilities across the state in partnership with local community colleges. The program is modeled after the successful Drive48 facility in Pinal County. A collaboration between the ACA, Central Arizona College, Pinal County, the City of Casa Grande, and Lucid, Drive48 features multiple assembly robots and individual training rooms to prepare workers for jobs in automotive manufacturing. Since 2021, more than 2,000 students have graduated from Drive48.

“In Arizona, we are known for our innovative and forward-thinking workforce development models that scale talent quickly to meet industry needs,” said Sandra Watson, President and CEO of the Arizona Commerce Authority. “The Future48 Workforce Accelerators represent Arizona’s latest workforce advancement, connecting students with the skills and know-how needed for jobs in the state’s growing advanced manufacturing industry.”

With a fast growing population and excellent higher education institutions, Arizona is consistently recognized as a leading state for workforce development. According to Lightcast, Maricopa County ranks no. 1 for Talent Attraction and Retention, while the state holds the 4th-highest growth in education attainment and the 5th-highest growth in skilled jobs.

Read the full article.