By: Stephanie Reitz
Two UConn faculty members recognized for exceptional distinction in scholarship, teaching, and service have been designated as Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors, the University’s highest honor for educators.
In addition to joining a select group of UConn educators, Mark A. Boyer and Linda S. Pescatello have something else in common: They credit their success to the pure joy of learning about new topics, sharing the insights with students and fellow researchers, and working at a university that encourages scholarly curiosity and exploration.
Boyer and Pescatello are professors in the departments of political science and kinesiology respectively, and have long histories of producing intriguing research, engaging students with new challenges and ideas, and working closely with other faculty on interdisciplinary projects.
UConn’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously and enthusiastically at its meeting in April to designate Boyer and Pescatello as “Board of Trustees Distinguished Professors,” a title that only 49 other faculty members have been granted in the 15 years since it was established.
Pescatello, who holds three degrees from UConn and has taught at the University since 1998, is an internationally recognized leading scholar on blood pressure response to exercise among people with hypertension. Pescatello, a lifelong athlete, also is studying the influence of exercise on cancer survivors, and is in the early stages of new research on the use of yoga to help manage stress and reduce substance use among college veterans and among methadone users.
“I’m so fortunate because I’m getting paid to study things that are intrinsically interesting to me anyway,” says Pescatello ’77 (CLAS), ’81 MS (ED), ’86 Ph.D. (ED), “but having the opportunity to always be challenged by new ideas and new approaches also keeps me going and excited about my work.”