2020-21 Chancellor's Awards for International Engagement Honorees

Congratulations to the 2020-21 Chancellor’s Awards for International Engagement Honorees

The Chancellor's Awards for International Engagement recognize UC Davis faculty and staff members for outstanding international engagement in carrying out the university’s mission of teaching, research and outreach.

Headshots of 2021 Chancellor's Awardees Katharine Burnett, Jonna Mazet, Scott Palmer


2020-21 Chancellor's Award for International Engagement Honorees

Katharine Burnett

Katharine Burnett with award
Art History Professor Katharine Burnett

In her more than two decades at UC Davis, Katharine Burnett, a professor of art history and faculty director of the Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science in the College of Letters and Science, has been known for her contagious enthusiasm for art history and for tea culture and science.

Award nominators describe Burnett as “a tireless leader with a global vision to build the most unique and comprehensive program for the study of tea culture and science at any university in the world.”

As the founding director of the UC Davis Global Tea Initiative, Burnett leads the world’s only organization aimed at investigating tea from across the disciplines and around the world. She skillfully leverages UC Davis’ academic and research strengths in agriculture, health, the sciences, the humanities and the social sciences in creatinga global platform for the intellectual and cultural exploration of tea.

She also builds lasting interdisciplinary partnerships and brings together students, academics, researchers, government officials, industry leaders, marketers, consumers, and communities across the globe, including from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Europe. One shining example is her international engagement and dedication in leading the international and ever-popular Global Tea Initiative Colloquium at UC Davis, which has been held annually since 2016.

In addition to sharing knowledge through colloquia and symposia, Burnett mentors students in their global research and inspires them in her teaching of the rich history and culture of tea. According to nominators, her global relationships on campus and around the world will “serve UC Davis communities for generations to come.”

Jonna AK Mazet

Epidemiology and Disease Ecology Professor Jonna AK Mazet
Epidemiology and Disease Ecology Professor Jonna AK Mazet

Jonna AK Mazet is a Global Aggie through and through. The professor of epidemiology and disease ecology and founding executive director of the One Health Institute in the School of Veterinary Medicine has earned a total of four degrees from UC Davis, has led groundbreaking research with international partners, and has trained and mentored thousands of students and professionals across more than 30 countries.

Over her more than two decades as a faculty member on campus, Mazet has been a visionary leader who turns ideas into reality.

As award nominators put it: “she combines her service-oriented skills and transdisciplinary approaches to solve critical scientific and societal issues relating to global health and emerging infectious diseases.”

Starkly evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, innovative programs that improve global pandemic preparedness are critical. Her work employs the One Health approach to understand and mitigate disease transmission among animals and people. Under her leadership, the One Health Institute became an international leader in this space, including through Mazet’s directing the USAID-funded PREDICT project and One Health Workforce – Next Generation project. Her teams have partnered with over 100 institutions, discovered over 1,000 viruses, improved global capacity, and trained over 6,000 people across Africa, Asia, and the Americas – many of whom are now vital frontline responders and experts in COVID-19 response.

In addition to her outstanding scholarship and ability to bring together diverse public and private organizations to solve global challenges, Mazet’s nominators describe her as “a gifted lecturer and an exceptional mentor to the future generation of professionals who will impact global health well into the future.”

Scott Palmer

Prestigious Scholarship Advisor Scott Palmer
Prestigious Scholarship Advisor Scott Palmer

Thanks to Scott Palmer, a prestigious scholarship advisor since 2013 in the Office of Undergraduate and Prestigious Scholarships within Financial Aid and Scholarships, UC Davis is one of the preeminent universities in successfully placing students in international scholarship programs. Embodying UC Davis’ goal of Global Education for All students, Palmer provides comprehensive advising, teaches seminars, promotes the most relevant programs to the highest number of students, and increases student participation among 27 competitive scholarship programs.

The results are apparent. Palmer’s efforts have led to a momentous increase in Gilman Scholarship and Fulbright U.S. Student participation, solidifying UC Davis’ ranking as a Top Gilman Producer in 2016-17 and 2018-19 and as a Top Fulbright U.S. Student Producer in 2019. Most recently, in 2020, two students earned Marshall Scholarships, doubling UC Davis’ participation since the highly competitive program began nearly 70 years ago.

According to award nominators, Palmer “shows students that nothing is beyond their reach, that international engagement is not a dream, but a reality—and he is there to help them reach it.”

One student Palmer advised, Estevan Sánchez, a double major in African American and African studies and history, earned three prestigious scholarships (Critical Language, Fulbright, and Gilman) over three years, making it possible for him to learn and live in Oman, Morocco, and Jordan respectively.

Palmer is also committed to furthering his own global learning and intercultural understanding to better advise students. He participated in the National Association of Fellowship Advisors Study Tour and the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program, and served as a Global Affairs Staff Ambassador.