Longtime Professor and Associate Dean Ursula Shepherd is taking a bow after almost two decades of a successful career at The University of New Mexico.

A Last Lecture and Reception, sponsored by UNM’s Honors College, Alumni Chapter and Alumni Association, will take place on Tuesday, May 10 from 4-6 p.m. in the Bobo Room in Hodgin Hall.

“While on some level I knew that Ursula would retire, the reality still hasn't fully sunk in,” said Kate Krause, dean of the Honors College. “Ursula and I have shared so many laughs, a few shrieks, and little bit of angst over the last few years. I wouldn't have wanted anyone else to help lead the transition from Honors Program to Honors College. While I wish Ursula all the best, I will so miss her.”

Shepherd received her B.A. and M.A. in Social Sciences and Communication Arts from the University of the Pacific. She worked as a personnel manager in Silicon Valley for several years before returning to school to pursue a Ph.D. in Ecology and Biogeography.

She joined the faculty of the UNM Honors Program in 1998 and has taught interdisciplinary courses in natural history, ecology, biogeography genetics, history of science and writing about the natural world. 

For several years she directed the NSF funded, Biodiversity of Australia Undergraduate Research Program and most recently has acted as the Associate Dean for the UNM Honors College.

This year Shepherd was the recipient of the UNM Alumni Association Faculty Award. In 2011, she was named the CASE/Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year and from 2009-2011 she was the UNM Presidential Teaching Fellow.