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Apart But Together, Wildcat Strong

At the University of Arizona, the fabric of life and community has always included interaction, discourse and play. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced adaptation and change; new ways of teaching and learning have made many examine their purpose and appreciate helping others. 

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In This Issue Winter 2020

Inspiration that Persists

Alice Paul ’58 ’68 ’78 figures in the earliest childhood memories Karen Francis-Begay ’89 ’98 has of the University of Arizona.

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Celebrating Tucson’s Food Heritage

Carolyn Niethammer ’66 ’80 draws from thousands of years of Tucson food history to explain how it came to warrant the designation.

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Bringing Back Bennu

The University of Arizona-led OSIRIS-REx mission accomplished a first for NASA when the mission spacecraft collected a sample from a near-Earth asteroid on Oct. 20.

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Wonder Makes Me Tell the Story

Lindsay Utz did not originally plan to study filmmaking when she came to UArizona. A history of documentary class hooked her. Now, she’s a highly sought-after Academy Award winner.

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The COVID Cohort

Angela Acuna began her nursing studies in January. “We call ourselves the COVID cohort. I think we were the first ones to get hit hard from semester one,” she says.

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Balancing Life, Passion and Profession

When Garnetta Moman ’09 reminisces about the University of Arizona, she recalls working hard in the Eller College of Management — and relishing every minute of it.

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Step and Stroll

Sounds of step and stroll — traditions shared by historically Black fraternities and sororities, called the Divine Nine — are distinct and joyous.

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Looking Back on 2020: A Year in Review

Here are a few on the stories that impacted us in 2020.

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Compassionate Care

When the University of Arizona’s new College of Veterinary Medicine welcomed its first class this fall, students were immersed in innovative programming and options for learning both in person and online during the coronavirus pandemic.

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‘The World Ain’t Sunshine and Rainbows’

Nathan Levi Esquerra (Chemehuevi) will be the liaison between the university and tribal nations in Arizona and nationwide. He is the first senior vice president for Native American Advancement and Tribal Engagement.

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The Power to Stop COVID-19 In the Palm of Your Hand

The University of Arizona and Covid Watch, a nonprofit organization co-founded by Tina White ’07 ’09, launched a customized coronavirus exposure notification app for the campus community in August.

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The Strength You Build

You always hear them; everyone does. But after a while, the taunts, “jokes” and mean little snickers and smiles, the commerce of bullies everywhere, tend to roll off you. Like with any disease, you build up an immunity to bullying. And success is the best vaccine.

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Remembering a Legend

The Wildcat Nation mourned the passing of Hall of Fame men’s basketball head coach Lute Olson in 2020. Olson led Arizona to a national championship and was an iconic figure in college basketball and Southern Arizona. He died Aug. 27.

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Apart But Together, Wildcat Strong

At the University of Arizona, the fabric of life and community has always included interaction, discourse and play. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced adaptation and change; new ways of teaching and learning have made many examine their purpose and appreciate helping others.

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Boosting Nursing Education Tech

Andrew ’98 and Kirsten Braccia ’98 have made a $1.5 million gift to support students in the College of Nursing, COVID-19 initiatives and student-athletes whose eligibility has been extended.

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Equine Calling

Desert dust, the sound of horses nibbling on hay, and Santa Catalina mountain vistas are all part of the experience for the first class of veterinary medicine students at the University of Arizona.

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Secret History: The Unicorn

Dance major and sculptor Nancy Pohanic created the unicorn sculpture on campus in honor of David Berkey.

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Reimagining the High-Five

Waking at 5 a.m. for a morning lift, swim or team run. Spring and summer trainings in preparation for fall competition. Even a high-five is a habit so ingrained as to be almost automatic. The pandemic is throwing all these things out of balance, but student-athletes at the University of Arizona are reimagining sport and creating new rituals.

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The Most Dangerous Instrument

Flutist Kaissy Yau fell in love with playing in an ensemble. Now, she dreams of one day performing professionally in a symphony orchestra.

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Finding New Ways of Expression

Bringing new light to the mundane is the work of 3D artist and graduate student Trent Pechon. Pechon’s teaching style and art have both changed because of COVID-19.

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Graceful Resilience

Dancers like Hannah Weinmaster, a senior in the University of Arizona School of Dance, are used to dancing freely, side-by-side. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, campus dance studios bubbled with interaction as dancers glided close together, traversing in sync to choreography.

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A Way In, A Way Up

“Thirty-six million Americans started college but didn’t finish,” says Craig Wilson, UArizona vice provost of online and distance education. “In the state of Arizona, that number is just over 600,000. There are actually more people who started college but didn’t finish than are actively in college now.”

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Portrait of a Young Ansel Adams

A new biography of Ansel Adams traces how he went on to teach himself the techniques of a true master, creating a stylistic photo language to teach the world about wilderness.

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A Quantum Leap

In the world of quantum computing, the main actors are qubits — quantum bits, the smallest particles anyone can measure. Professors in the University of Arizona College of Engineering, counted among the world’s top experts, are determined to activate their full potential.

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The Healing Power of Green

Thanks to research at the University of Arizona, new help is available for those who experience migraine headaches. The research found that green light therapy reduced the frequency and intensity of migraines and improved quality of life for migraine patients.

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Message from the President

As you read this, the fall semester has already wrapped up. For the first time — at least in recent memory — most students left campus after the Thanksgiving break and are completing the semester remotely.

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A Place for Wellness

The friendships and relationships I forged at the University of Arizona literally changed my life. That’s where I met my late wife, Sandy, at the end of my sophomore year. When I think of Arizona, I think of her.

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Wonder Makes Us Proud

On Nov. 12, a long-held imperative — to recognize the flags of Arizona’s 22 tribal nations on the University of Arizona campus — came to fruition.

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Paw Prints

Hannah Rosenberg Jones ’07 ’20 and David Yaylali ’18 welcomed future Wildcat Julian Rosenberg Yaylali Oct. 1. He lives in Hermosa Beach, California, and sports his Arizona gear proudly among all the USC and UCLA fans in his neighborhood.

Josh Calton ’14 and Danielle Calton ’13 ’15, who married in 2019, added to their Wildcat family with their first child, Jude, in January. 

Marisa Lopez ’16 ’19 and Benjamin Geller ’16 ’19 recently got engaged in front of Old Main, a place that holds meaning for both of them. The couple live in Southern California.

Nida Khoutakoun ’08 proposed to her significant other in July 2020 and got married in a small, socially distanced wedding in October. In addition to choosing UArizona, she says, it was the best decision she ever made.

Vanessa Holland ’15 married Richard Chandler III Sept. 26 in Austin, Texas.

Photo Spotlight

#MadeFourIt

The University of Arizona women’s basketball team delighted
the Wildcat Nation by making it to the Final Four for the first
time in program history. / Mike Christy photo