ENHP's Colleen Munoz Awarded Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize

May 07, 2020
Submitted By: Office of Marketing and Communication
Colleen Munoz

Consistently demonstrating a deep commitment to excellence in her work as a teacher, scholar, and University colleague, Colleen Muñoz, PhD, is the winner of this year’s Belle K. Ribicoff Junior Faculty Prize. The award recognizes an outstanding junior faculty member—an assistant professor in a tenure-track position, but not yet tenured—who demonstrates combined excellence in teaching, scholarly or creative activity, and service.

Muñoz, assistant professor of health sciences in the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, teaches upper-level courses on a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. Her expertise, presentations, and publications related to stress physiology have begun to establish UHart as a key research center for hydration science.

“At this stage of her career, Colleen’s scholarly productivity is nothing short of extraordinary,” says Daniel DeMaio, associate professor of radiography and director of the radiologic technology program. “The numbers speak for themselves: more than 30 peer-reviewed journal publications, two textbook chapters, and many, many peer-reviewed abstracts and conference presentations. Most importantly, Colleen’s work is in a relevant and vital area of health science, directly related to the current curriculum and future directions of our department, our programs, and the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions.”

Students give Muñoz near-perfect marks in course evaluations, with students raving about her expertise, her passion for the subject matter, and her ability to explain challenging concepts in an understandable manner.

While scholarly achievements such as winning the Hydration for Health Initiative Young Researcher Award in 2016 point to her growing international reputation, what is most striking according to colleagues is the degree to which Muñoz has been able to integrate undergraduate students into her work and to provide them the opportunity to participate in meaningful undergraduate research.

“It is not hyperbole to state that over the past year, these students have conducted research in a manner that simply would not have been possible without Colleen’s leadership, passion, and commitment to undergraduate learning,” says DeMaio.

“I have had the opportunity to see Colleen’s outstanding classroom work firsthand,” DeMaio adds, “where I was duly impressed by the many engaging activities and techniques she employs to establish and maintain student engagement and learning.”