New College associate professor wins prestigious national award

Erika Camacho named the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education: Research/Teaching

March 16, 2018

Erika Camacho, associate professor of mathematics at the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, continues to add to her long list of awards.

This month, Camacho was named the Outstanding Latino/a Faculty in Higher Education: Research/Teaching by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE). Camacho was honored at the 13th annual conference in Irvine, California on March 10. Erika Camacho od the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Download Full Image

"I am honored to be recognized by an organization whose mission is to promote the causes that are so dear to me," said Camacho.

The annual award is selected by a panel of experts in higher education for faculty that demonstrate excellence in research and teaching.

"Dr. Camacho is recognized by her contemporaries as a scholar and leader. She has a strong record for pushing boundaries and initiatives that impact educational outcomes," said Loui Olivas, president of the AAHHE.

Camacho conducts research at the interface of mathematical applications to biology and sociology. Some of her projects include mathematically modeling the transcription network in yeast, the interactions of photoreceptors, social networks, and fungal resistance under selective pressure.

In 2017, Camacho was honored with ASU's Outstanding Achievement and Contribution Award, given out by the Commission on the Status of Women for recognition of her outstanding achievements toward advancing the status of women at ASU. In 2016, she was honored by the Victoria Foundation  for her impact in higher education among the Latino community. During Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Mathematical Society also honored Camacho with their Lathisms (Latin@s and Hispanic in the Mathematical Sciences) project. She was featured among 31 other Hispanic or Latino mathematicians.

ASU senior focuses on improving food security

March 16, 2018

Today, there is a lot of focus on ensuring that industries and technologies are sustainable. The world’s agricultural system is no different, and for Mariah Leick, a senior at Arizona State University, food systems sustainability is an important issue to be tackled.

Leick first gained interest in food systems after getting involved with the ASU Grow community garden her freshman year. The club focuses on “square foot gardening, a method that can efficiently grow a large number of plants in a relatively small area,” enabling the group to utilize a more eco- and water-friendly way to grow large amounts of crops. ASU senior Mariah Leick. Download Full Image

In addition to working with ASU Grow, Leick has gotten involved in the local community, working with a group in Chandler in the Faith Community Garden. This garden emphasizes not only sustainable food systems but also building strong ties between “church members, neighborhood individuals and local refugees.” This involves numerous activities, from mulching to recording the group’s meeting minutes.

Leick has also gotten involved with multicultural groups on campus and through study abroad France. In Lyon, she was “involved in two student organizations and obtained a volunteer-ship teaching English and facilitating conversation groups for French nationals through a local non-profit, Le Phare d'Amitié.” She also got involved with ASU’s Global Launch Intensive English program teaching non-native speakers.

“At Global Launch, I befriended and encouraged international learners from around the world to develop their confidence and fluency in English by aiding teachers in the classrooms, facilitating weekly conversation groups, assisting at extracurricular activities and workshops, and engaging with students during cultural events and field trips,” she said.

When discussing her plans post-graduation, Leick said she plans on continuing her work with food systems sustainability “at both the grassroots and institutional levels to enact change in the U.S. and in international contexts.” After gaining more experience, Leick plans on attending graduate school. She then hopes to work with initiatives such as USAID’s Feed the Future or other non-governmental organizations to work toward improving food security.

office assistant, School of Politics and Global Studies