aerial shot of campus

Sonja Lyubomirsky wins top faculty award for 2023-24

Richard Cardullo, Jack Eichler, Jimmy Calanchini are also Academic Senate honorees

May 22, 2024
Author: J.D. Warren
May 22, 2024

Sonja Lyubomirsky has received the highest honor bestowed on faculty by the UCR Academic Senate, the 2023-24 Faculty Research Lecturer Award. Lyubomirsky is a distinguished professor of psychology and a world-renowned researcher on happiness.

Lyubomirsky, who was recently named a AAAS fellow, “is considered as perhaps the top researcher in the field of well-being science,” according to her nomination, one of seven nominations received for the award by the Academic Senate and signed by colleagues across disciplines at UCR.

“Scholars like Sonja Lyubomirsky come along only once or twice in a generation,” one of the nominations reads. Reads another: “Professor Lyubomirsky has emerged as one of the absolute leading ambassadors for psychological science within the broader national and international community.”

Her research includes exploring questions of how and why people can become happier, including through practicing curiosity and high-quality listening, expressing gratitude, and performing acts of kindness. She is among the most highly cited researchers in her field, has published two general-audience books, and is quoted regularly in the national media.

Lyubomirsky was among several UC Riverside faculty members honored by the Faculty Senate at its May 21 meeting.

UCR Distinguished Professor Sonja Lyubomirsky traveled by invitation to India in April to participate in a two-day leadership and happiness retreat with His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Photo by Tenzin Choejor/Office of His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Richard Cardullo, who plans to retire from the UCR administration this summer and from the faculty in summer 2025, received the 2023-24 Distinguished Campus Service Award.

Cardullo, a professor in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology and associate dean for Undergraduate Education, has been on the UCR faculty for 33 years, serving in numerous leadership roles. He has since 2014 been faculty director of University Honors, which has grown from 300 students to almost 1,000 during his tenure. He has also been a department chair, divisional dean, and led Undergraduate Education.

The award notes Cardullo “sustained an extraordinary service that by any metric has risen above and beyond normal expectations in his variety of roles in his department, senate, college, campus, and community for more than 32 years. This service has had a very large impact on UCR’s research, teaching, and outreach missions.”

Richard Cardullo takes part in an experiment as part of his human physiology laboratory course, which he was teaching remotely in 2020. Photo by Stan Lim/UCR

Jack Eichler

Jack F. Eichler, a professor in the Department of Chemistry for 14 years, was awarded the 2023-24 Distinguished Teaching Award.

A nomination letter asserts Eichler “aims to foster an understanding of chemistry concepts while promoting student engagement and addressing real-world issues. To achieve these goals, he employs innovative teaching approaching, including active learning, problem-based case studies, and flipping the classroom.”

Jimmy Calanchini, an associate professor of psychology, was the 2023/24 awardee of the Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentor award. 

Calanchini, who joined the UCR faculty in 2018, has established himself as a leading expert in bias.

Jimmy Calanchini

“… In this relatively short time, (he) has impressed faculty and students with a deep commitment to mentorship and… a passion for encouraging and supporting diversity within his own lab and the department,” according to his award letter.

The award notes the many distinctions earned by Calanchini’s graduate students, and that nominations came from a myriad of sources, including from “those that have been in challenging situations and received his guidance and support.”