Scott Mensing, does not find awards, but they have discovered him, and deservedly so. Now, as the Fred D. Gibson, Jr. Endowed Professor in Science, Regents Professor and Basis Professor prepares to retire, his career-lengthy history of substantial contribution to school enhancement, community outreach and programmatic innovation at the University has been recognized. At the yearly University of Nevada, Reno Honor the Finest ceremony on May 11, 2021, Mensing been given a Distinguished Faculty award.

“It is really good to be equipped to receive an award for doing a thing you simply enjoy performing,” Mensing mentioned.

Mensing joined the Office of Geography in the Higher education of Science in 1993.

“One purpose I chosen UNR was for the reason that school at my Ph.D. establishment, UC Berkeley, indicated that UNR experienced fantastic likely and that it would be a great spot for my vocation – and they ended up ideal,” he mentioned. “As my mentors encouraged me, this has been a really good institution to guidance my development as a college member.”

Mensing recounts the Section of Geography as developing from six college members to 15 in excess of this time. A master’s method was began and a Ph.D. method extra. It made from principally a educating office to staying powerful in analysis funding and publications as effectively.

“As the university grew and expanded its mission, our division was component of that and it is incredibly gratifying to have been section of that approach,” he claimed.

Mensing has been regarded for remarkable training quite a few occasions:


  • In 2005 he acquired the LeMay Award for Excellence in Training, which is awarded to the top rated instructor in the College of Science,
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  • In 2006 he gained the F. Donald Tibbitts Distinguished Trainer Award, which is the University’s highest educating honor,
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  • In 2007 he acquired the Regents Educating Award, an yearly award presented by the Nevada Procedure of Greater Schooling to the professor all over the entire technique with the most distinguished training history,
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  • In 2010, he was named Nevada Professor of the Yr by the Carnegie Foundation for the Development of Instructing and its partner in the awards method, the Council for Improvement and Guidance of Training.
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“I’ve constantly had the attitude that when I walk into course it must be the ideal class I’ve at any time experienced,” Mensing reported in a 2007 job interview. “I know it is not attainable each and every time, but for me, I’m unhappy if I don’t at the very least commence with that mind-set.”

At that time, Gary Hausladen, chair of the Section of Geography and one of the University’s most adorned professors and instructors, termed Mensing a exceptional trainer. Hausladen, who passed away in 2013, admired Mensing’s potential to established the phase, electrical power and expectations for just about every class.

“You have to come in, and you have to have the capacity to allow the class know, ‘This is my classroom and this is how we’re going to learn—this is likely to be constructive, this is going to be enjoyment, and in spite of yourselves you are heading to study some thing,’” Hausladen claimed. “Now keep on restricted, because below we go.”

A biogeographer and paleoecologist with an completed report of investigate and mentorship to student researchers, Mensing assisted form yet another dimension of the college student knowledge at the College – undergraduate exploration. He served in the aspect-time purpose of director of undergraduate investigate from 2015 to 2019, and led the creation of the Pack Analysis Expertise Software (PREP), which immediately positive aspects underrepresented students with an academic standing of freshman or sophomore, and the Neighborhood-Centered Exploration Expertise to help undergraduate exploration that addresses group-based challenges. He worked carefully with ASUN in the enhancement of these possibilities and “came absent deeply impressed with the top quality and competency of our pupil government.”

Mensing taught and traveled with USAC in Italy, France and Spain, and this led to his worldwide research collaborations in Italy. It also impressed him to direct advancement of an global system to spouse undergraduate learners with investigation programs and labs in other countries.

In presenting the award, University President Brian Sandoval explained Mensing as “a shining example of an tutorial who has excelled in educating, investigation and services.”

“I have experienced the option to perform with faculty throughout the campus in study, training, committee operate and by way of the Undergraduate Research method. I have experienced an possibility to get the job done with individuals in the higher administration on funds evaluations, redesign of the main curriculum, strategic preparing, overview of our academic packages and even evaluation of the president,” Mensing explained. “These have been possibilities that taught me a large amount about the College and gave me great regard for my colleagues.

“Looking back across the yrs it has been a really prosperous and fulfilling encounter,” stated Mensing, who moves to section-in retirement in July 2021, functioning towards comprehensive retirement in June 2022. “I am really grateful for possessing been acknowledged with this award.”

Note: Jane Tors, analysis communications director, and John Trent, senior editor information and characteristics, contributed to this story.