Skip to main content

Previous Honorees

2016 - Siqi Li (Accounting)
2015 - Blake de Maria (Art and Art History)
2014- Yongtae Kim (Accounting
2013- Ed Mauer (Civil Engineering)
2012 - Lisa Kealhofer (Anthropology)
2011 - Fabio Lopez-Lazaro (History)
2010 - Michelle Oberman (Law)
2009 - Michelle Marvier (Biology & Environmental Science)
2008 - SunWolf (Communications)
2007 - Sanjiv Das (Finance)
2006 - Michael Carassco (Chemistry)
2005 - Thomas Plante (Psychology)
2004 - Tim Urdan (Psychology)
2003 - J. David Pleins (Religious Studies)
2002 - Nam Ling (Computer Engineering)
2001 - June Carbone (Law)
2000 - John Hawley (English)

The University Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship recognizes scholarly or creative work over the previous five years by a faculty member that represents a major contribution to a field of knowledge or to the arts.


For normination guidelines, please see below:

1. Nominations for the University Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship are invited each Spring by the Associate Provost for Faculty Development. Any Santa Clara University faculty member may nominate a colleague at SCU for the award.

2. All nominations must be completed through the Recent Achievement Nomination form. 

3. A current curriculum vitae of the nominee must be included for consideration. 

4. The following criteria are required for eligibility:

  • The nominee must be a tenured faculty member or senior lecturer whose scholarly or creative work over the previous five years at Santa Clara University represents a major contribution to a field of knowledge or to the arts.
  • The nominee has not previously won this award.

5. Once nominated, a faculty member stays in the pool of candidates under active consideration for two years, and may be nominated again any number of times.

6. The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 19, 2021.

7. The recipient of the University Award for Recent Achievement in Scholarship will be determined by the University Research Committee. Members of the committees who determine the awards and those to whom they report are ineligible for nomination.

  • Image links to full content
    2021 Winner
    On Shun Pak, Department of Mechanical Engineering

    This year’s honoree’s research program has extensively involved both undergraduate and graduate students at SCU, providing invaluable training while elevating their interests in careers in STEM.  Many of his recent research students have continued on to PhD programs at a variety of institutions including Carnegie Mellon, Purdue, Stanford, and the University of Colorado at Boulder. 

    He has also mentored two postdoctoral researchers who have now started their own research programs as faculty members.

    On Shun Pak’s research interests lie in fluid dynamics, where he investigates both fundamental and applied applications.  In the past five years, Dr. Pak has published 22 peer-reviewed papers in leading scientific journals in fluid dynamics and interdisciplinary science and engineering while attracting over $600K in external funds.  His interdisciplinary research program has benefited from collaborations with engineers and scientists across different fields, including faculty colleagues at SCU in the School of Engineering and the College of Arts & Sciences.  Additionally, he has been an invited speaker at several conferences including the keynote talk at the 56th Annual Technical Meeting of the Society of Engineering Science in 2019. 


  • Image links to full content
    2020 Winner
    Jasmín Llamas, Counseling Psychology

    Llamas’ research program focuses on using community-based, mixed methods approaches to address health disparities among underserved populations.  Dr. Llamas’ sophisticated and mission-centric scholarship has linked access to care, educational inequalities, and poverty as interlocking, complex, and nuanced phenomena that significantly impact health.  Her ability to employ mixed methods statistics to her research places her at the forefront of such work, both nationally and internationally. In the last five years, Dr. Llamas has published 17 peer-reviewed journal articles (five first-authored), given 23 professional presentations, and secured 12 grants. 


  • Chris Kitts accepting award
    2019 Winner
    Chris Kitts, Engineering

    In the past five years, Chris Kitts published 14 peer-reviewed articles and four book chapters, received one patent, and was awarded more than $4 million in grant funding. He routinely collaborates with personnel from government organizations, industry, academia, and non-profit institutions. He leads a new multi-university consortium in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle technology, applications, and real-world engineering education. He has won many awards as a result of his research, and his Robotic Systems program was recently recognized by the National Academy of Engineering as an Exemplar Real World Engineering Program for its integrative research and education program.

  • George Cai headshot
    2018 Winner
    George Cai, Information Systems & Analytics

    George joined SCU in 2012 and has published more than 12 refereed journal papers in 5 top tier journals. His growing reputation in his field has led to invitations to be both an Associate Editor for a premier field publication in 2013 and a Senior Editor of another top level journal in 2015. He has won multiple scholarly awards, such as the Shanghia outstanding paper award in social sciences and the Outstanding Associate Editor Award of Decision Sciences Journal. 

  • Image links to full content
    2017 Winner
    Gary Spitko, Law

    Gary has published more than two dozen law review articles, books and solicited papers in areas of arbitration, donative transfers, employment law, and law and sexuality. His scholarship has been cited through over 370 law review articles, casebooks, and court opinions. Gary's scholarship focuses largely on employment arbitration, and the ways in which the law leverages social understandings and influences their evolution. In 2017, he published "Antigay Bias in Role-Model Occupations" which explores how employment discrimination has been used to reinforce social understandings about the inferior nature of gay people by disassociating gay people from certain positive qualities and values while strengthening the association between these qualities and values and the heterosexual majority and i.