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National Hispanic Science Network honors Marsiglia

September 25, 2006

The National Hispanic Science Network (NHSN) has awarded Flavio F. Marsiglia, a professor in ASU's School of Social Work, the 2006 National Award for Excellence in Mentorship.

The award, presented at NHSN's annual conference in Scottsdale, recognizes a senior investigator who has provided outstanding mentorship in the area of Hispanic drug abuse to Hispanic graduate students and new investigators, resulting in peer-reviewed publications or successful grant applications.

Eight ASU doctoral students from social work, justice studies and sociology nominated Marsiglia. They are: Francisco Alatorre, justice studies; David Becerra, social work; Jason Castillo, social work; Maria Gurrola, social work; Tanya Nieri, sociology; Monica Parsai, social work; Veronica Pena, social work; and Lorraine Moya Salas, social work.

The students cited five published co-authored papers, five more under review and others in progress, along with 11 co-presentations, 14 poster sessions and three fellowships as testimony to Marsiglia's mentorship, research collaboration and guidance.

“This honor is particularly gratifying since my nomination came from my students,” he says. “But it is also wonderful that NHSN and its funder, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse, validates the important work of mentoring the next generation of Latino social scientists.”

The nomination letter describes Marsiglia's example of excellence and his open-door policy despite a demanding schedule in this fashion: “He sets and maintains high standards, challenging us to be at once productive, inquisitive and ethical. As a first-rate collaborator, he contributes his fair share while creating a space in which students feel they too can contribute. He makes things happen for us – serving on dissertation and exam committees willingly, sharing data, introducing us to his colleagues, finding travel money for us and providing critical encouragement and guidance.”

The nominators also praised Marsiglia's ties to local and international communities and his focus on responsiveness to real-world problems.

Marsiglia, the ASU Foundation Professor of Cultural Diversity and Health and director of the Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center (SIRC), focuses on linking practice and research in drug prevention and service-delivery fields, health disparities among the historical communities of the Southwest, and HIV/AIDS prevention. Since he began his ASU career as an assistant professor in 1994, he has secured nearly $10 million in federal grants while also establishing SIRC.

In 2005, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration recognized Marsiglia's seminal work with Michael Hecht in evidence-based drug resistance strategies as a national model. In 1999 and 2003, Marsiglia's mentoring skills earned him mentorship awards from ASU's Preparing Future Faculty Program, “for helping doctoral students meet the faculty responsibilities of teaching, research, and service.” The National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse also recognized Marsiglia when they named him a fellow in 2004.

Mary Gillmore, director of ASU's School of Social Work, reflected on her colleague's award by stating, “Social work and social science education are enriched by faculty like Dr. Marsiglia. He is a master at creating a stimulating intellectual environment in which he guides students individually and as equal partners in the center's rigorous international research agenda. He assures that students have opportunities to co-author publications and present research results at professional meetings. The result is that his students are exceptionally well-prepared to lead the next generation of social scientists and professionals.”

Marsiglia received his doctorate from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University, and his master's degree in social work from the Universidad de la República in Uruguay.