The University of New Mexico Alumni Association has announced its prestigious 2014 award recipients including: Gerald McNerney, James F. Zimmerman Award; James Anaya, Bernard S. Rodey Award; Breda Bova, Erna S. Fergusson Award; and Feroza Jussawalla, Faculty Teaching Award.
“This year’s awards recipients are making important contributions to our national, indigenous and university communities,” said Karen Abraham, executive director, UNM Alumni Association. “They are a distinguished and diverse group of talented individuals.”
The alumni recipients will be honored at the Alumni Association’s Winter Award Dinner on Thursday, Feb. 6 at Sheraton Uptown. Cocktails are at 5:45 p.m., dinner is at 6:30. The public is invited to attend; tickets cost $40 per person. To RSVP and to purchase tickets online, visit Winter Award Dinner or call the Alumni Relations Office at (505) 277-5808 by Friday, Jan. 31.
James F. Zimmerman Award - Gerald “Jerry” McNerney (’73 BS, ’75 MS, ’81 Ph.D.), Stockton, Calif.
Congressman McNerney, D-Calif. (District 9), is a leader in renewable energy in the U.S. House of Representatives where he is serving his third term. Before running for office, McNerney worked as a contractor in wind engineering at Sandia Labs and US Windpower, as a consultant to various energy clients and as CEO of a startup wind-turbine company. He is co-author of “Clean Energy Nation” (Amacom, 2011), which covers the history and future of fossil fuels in the U.S.
Bernard S. Rodey Award - James Anaya (’80 BA), Tucson, Ariz.
James Anaya is the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Long a champion of the rights of indigenous people, Professor Anaya teaches at the University of Arizona and travels the globe to report on the status of native populations.
He participated in the drafting of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People. He was also the lead counsel in a landmark case against the Nicaraguan government that for the first time upheld indigenous rights as a matter of international law.
Erna S. Fergusson Award - Breda Murphy Bova (’79 Ph.D.), Albuquerque, N.M.
As the former advisor - largely as chief of staff - to five UNM presidents, Professor Bova frequently represented the university to all its constituencies: students, faculty, staff, alumni and community. Currently, she is special assistant to the dean of the College of Education where she has taught for 34 years.
Her research into generational characteristics and relationships - in the workplace and in learning environments - has informed her career. A 2011 recipient of the State of New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award, Bova has chaired the board of the United Way of Central New Mexico. She also serves as faculty representative to the NCAA.
Faculty Teaching Award - Feroza Jussawalla (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Feroza Jussawalla’s specialty of postcolonial literature in the UNM English Department lends itself to teaching at a minority-majority university. Jussawalla earned her BA at a women’s college in India before furthering her studies at the University of Utah. She taught at UTEP for 21 years before coming to UNM in 2001. In her classes, Jussawalla relates the experiences of international writers who lived under colonial rule to the experiences of the myriad cultures in the Southwest. She embraces the importance of teaching and research, and works to see her students succeed at both.