University honors experts in history, homelessness with faculty awards
February 22, 2021
Sacramento State has honored two of its educators – one noted for expanding public knowledge of how women have contributed mightily to democracy and human rights, the other spotlighting the harsh challenges of homelessness – with the 2019-20 University Awards for Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity.
History Professor Mona Siegel, who has taught at Sac State since 2003, is the Senior Faculty recipient, and Arturo Baiocchi, assistant professor of Social Work since 2015, receives the Early-Career Faculty award.
The award includes a $2,500 professional development grant and three units of release time for each professor, provided by the Offices of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development (ORIED).
A virtual reception hosted by ORIED and the Faculty Senate’s Research and Creative Activity (RCA) subcommittee is at noon Friday, Feb. 26. Both award recipients will give presentations relative to their work. Registration is available online.
Siegel plans to begin her talk with the 2017 Women’s March and work backward in time to help explain why so many women worldwide have mobilized in defense of democracy and human rights.
“Historians trade in context, complexity, and contingency, which are vital, critical skills for all citizens to refine as we seek to shape America’s collective story moving forward,” Siegel said.
Baiocchi’s talk is titled “Changing the Story of Homelessness in California: A Time for Bold Revisioning.”
His funded research includes the statewide evaluation of California’s Homeless Emergency Aid Program (HEAP). In 2017 and 2019, he was principal investigator for Sacramento’s point-in-time study of the city’s homeless population.
“Sacramento State has a long tradition of recognizing its outstanding faculty at various points in their careers, and these two teacher-scholars join an illustrious list of their colleagues singled out for excellence in contributing to the body of knowledge in their disciplines,” said Christine M. Miller, interim vice provost for Strategic Services.
“Historians trade in context, complexity, and contingency, which are vital, critical skills for all citizens to refine as we seek to shape America’s collective story moving forward.” - Mona Siegel
“We are incredibly proud to honor them for conducting studies that impact their respective fields, inform their teaching, and contribute to the public good, all hallmarks of great research.”
The University Awards program supports faculty research, scholarly and creative activity, and encourages faculty to contribute to their disciplines. The senior faculty award was established in 1961. The award for early-career faculty (previously called the President’s Award) dates to 1989.
“I feel honored to be recognized by Sacramento State, because this award is an affirmation of the importance of faculty research at our institution,” Siegel said. “The award recognizes that scholarly engagement makes me a better teacher.”
During her time at Sac State, Siegel has pursued historical research that speaks to important issues of contemporary life, including human rights, war, and peace.
“I am lucky to work at such a public-facing and public-serving university that supports and celebrates the community-based research projects I have been able to do.” - Arturo Baiocchi
She has had two books published while at Sac State. The Moral Disarmament of France: Education, Pacifism, and Patriotism, 1914-1940, which was released in 2004, received an award from the History of Education Society. Her latest work, published in 2020, is Peace on Our Terms: The Global Battle for Women’s Rights After the First World War.
“My scholarly work directly informs my teaching, as I engage my students in reading, critiquing, and creating cutting-edge scholarship in my areas of expertise,” Siegel said.
Baiocchi said he has seen a startling growth in homelessness in California over the last decade. He will note in his lecture that though programs help many people transition into stable and secure housing, the scope of homelessness is beyond the capacity of current services and programs.
The pandemic and its aftermath could send millions of households to the brink of homelessness or possibly result in more robust and universal welfare policies, he said.
“I am humbled for the award and appreciate the various ways that the Sac State community has supported me and my work these last five years,” Baiocchi said. “I am lucky to work at such a public-facing and public-serving university that supports and celebrates the community-based research projects I have been able to do.”
Each spring semester, the RCA subcommittee selects two finalists for the annual University Awards after interviewing multiple candidates.
After the campus was closed in March 2020 because of the pandemic, the subcommittee postponed the now-virtual event until Feb. 26.
The University Awards for 2020-21 will be announced later this semester.
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