Each year, the Office of Research, Innovation and Impact (RII) solicits nominations for the Women of Impact Award from across the University of Arizona, and ultimately select 30 remarkable faculty and staff who have each contributed significantly to our identity as a world-class research enterprise. Named awardees are carefully selected based on their commitment to UArizona’s purpose, mission and values, unique skills in driving discovery and innovation, community impact, and willingness to empower others. Their contributions build the groundwork for a brighter future.
The College of Science is proud to celebrate six outstanding inductees from our departments, majors, and programs to the 2023 Women of Impact class.
Dr. Susan Beck is a Professor of Geosciences at the University of Arizona. Her primary expertise is the tectonic processes associated with subduction zones, convergent margins and mountain belts using seismological methods including seismic tomography. She also is an expert on earthquakes and rupture processes in subduction zones. Much of her work has been understanding crust mantle interactions associated with the South America convergent margin. Dr. Beck has worked all over the world including the U.S., Costa Rica, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador, and Turkey.
She is author or co-author on over 140 publications and has participated in 12 major seismic deployments in many remote regions of the world and was Department Head from 2000-2007 and is currently Director of Graduate Studies in geosciences. Dr. Beck received her B.S. (1979) and M.S. (1982) degrees at the University of Utah and went on to obtain her Ph.D. (1987) from the University of Michigan and joined the University of Arizona in 1990, where she has been a full Professor since 2000.
Dr. Gurtina Besla, an Associate Professor in the Department of Astronomy and an associate Astronomer at the Steward Observatory, focuses her research on the formation and evolution of low mass dwarf galaxies, which are the most common class of galaxies found in our universe at any epoch in time.
Through numerical simulations, Dr. Besla explores the impact of gravitational interactions on the observed properties of low mass galaxies in various environments. She is a world expert in the study of the closest example of an interacting pair of dwarf galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. Readily seen by the naked eye in the southern hemisphere, the Magellanic Clouds are our Milky Way Galaxy's largest satellite galaxies. Dr. Besla's research on these galaxies has overturned conventional wisdom, illustrating that the Magellanic Clouds are likely recent interlopers in our neighborhood rather than long term companions to our Galaxy.
Dr. Laura Condon is an Associate Professor in the Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Her research explores large-scale water sustainability and the dynamic behavior of managed hydrologic systems in the context of past development and future climate change. Her work combines physically based numerical modeling with observations and statistical techniques to evaluate large systems using rigorous quantitative methods. In addition to her academic experience, she worked as an engineering consultant (2008-2011) and as a hydrologist for the Bureau of Reclamation (2011-2015) working on water resources management issues in Colorado and across the Western US.
Prior to joining the faculty at UA, Dr. Condon was an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University. She received a BS in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Hydrologic Science and Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines.
Dr. Carmala “Carmie” Garzione is the Dean of the College of Science at the University of Arizona. In her role, Dr. Garzione works with faculty and staff from the College’s fourteen departments, five schools, and five major disciplinary areas of study to advance the College’s mission, strengthen efforts around inclusive excellence, and build on ways to support students and increase their success while raising the College’s profile locally, nationally, and globally.
A distinguished earth scientist, Dr. Garzione’s research interests include the interaction between climate and tectonics, stable isotopes in terrestrial paleoclimate-paleoenvironmental studies, and sedimentary basin evolution and tectonic history of mountain belts. Dr. Garzione was an early pioneer of methods to estimate the past elevations of mountain belts, which have allowed scientists to understand the timeframes and geodynamic processes that build mountains and the role that mountain belts play in the evolution of regional and global climate. Her research focuses on the interface between tectonics and climate systems in the Andes and the Himalaya-Tibetan Mountain belts. In addition to her research efforts, she serves as President Elect of the Geological Society of America (GSA) and is an active member of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In January 2023, Dr. Garzione was elected as an AAAS Fellow, a distinct honor in the scientific community.
Dr. Mary Peterson, Professor & Director of the Cognition Science Program, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS); of the American Psychological Association (APA); the Association for Psychological Science (APS), and the Psychonomic Society. She also serves as Chair of the Cognitive Science Graduate Interdisciplinary Program while being an elected member of the Society of Experimental Psychologists (SEP) and the International Neuropsychological Symposium (INS).
Dr. Peterson has served on the Governing Boards of the Vision Sciences Society and the Psychonomic Society and as the Chair of the Governing Board of the Psychonomic Society. She is a founding member of the Configural Processing Consortium and served as the President (2016 – 200). She served twice as a member of the National Science Foundation, Human Perception and Action panel, as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, WIRES: Cognitive Science, and the Journal of Vision, in addition to reviewing articles for many journals and international granting agencies.
Dr. Shufang Su is a Professor of Physics, whose primary research interests are in theoretical particle physics, focusing on important connections between theory and experiments as well as links between particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology. She was elected as American Physics Society (APS) Fellow in 2014 for her fundamental contributions to the phenomenology of Higgs bosons, dark matter, supersymmetry, and other physics beyond the Standard Model, which have stimulated and guided experimental search programs. She served leadership roles in the APS, including chair of the APS Four Corners Section and chair of APS Committee on Scientific Publications. She also served on several advisory committees in the US and abroad.
Su is the faculty advisor for the Women in Physics Club, mentor for the Steps in the Scholar Journey Program, and a mentor for the UA Mentor Institute of the Faculty Development Communities for Promotion Program. She is a UA faculty senator and serves on the Committee of Eleven. She is also one of the founders of the Faculty of Chinese Heritage Association at UA and serves as the first president of the association. She was named a College of Science Galileo Circle Fellow in 2023. She received her Ph.D. from MIT in 2000, was the John A. McCone Postdoc Fellow at Caltech from 2000 to 2003 and joined the UArizona faculty in 2003. She was named Head of the Department of Physics in Fall 2023.