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Dr. Camilla Saviz honored with 2020 Distinguished Faculty Award

Interim President Maria Pallavicini surprised Saviz during a Webex meeting with the prestigious award.
Camilla Saviz with other faculty members.

School of Engineering and Computer Science faculty gather for a meeting in John T. Chambers Technology Center.

May 2, 2020
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Dr. Camilla Saviz, professor and chair of the civil engineering department, was named University of the Pacific’s 2020 Distinguished Faculty Award winner. Interim President Maria Pallavicini surprised Saviz during a Webex meeting where senior civil engineering students were presenting their senior projects.

“A faculty member in the Department of Civil Engineering since 1999, Dr. Camilla Saviz has spent two decades being an exceptional professor at Pacific,” said Interim President Pallavicini during her surprise visit. “She’s one of the most versatile professors in the civil engineering department. What do I mean by that? She has developed and taught many courses from fluid mechanics to sustainable engineering; published over 30 peer-reviewed articles; and she is currently serving as the chair of the civil engineering department.”

Students and fellow faculty members applauded Saviz in the Webex chat. “Dr. Saviz, you’re a star!” said Rogelio Garcia ’20, quickly followed by Leah Classen ’20—one of the School of Engineering and Computer Science’s Outstanding Student Award winners—adding, “a star of stars.”

Saviz’s colleagues described her in the nomination as, “an amazing motivator, a demanding professor, a passionate environmentalist, a compassionate humanitarian, and one who selflessly gives her time and energy to her students, to her colleagues and to the university.”

“I am speechless. I truly, truly am … I’m really fortunate to get incredible support from colleagues and to just see our students flourish and our alumni be successful,” said Saviz after the announcement. “I am beyond honored.”

The University Distinguished Faculty Award is Pacific's highest faculty honor. It is given for outstanding accomplishments by a tenured faculty member in any or all of the following areas: teaching, research, creative endeavors and service to the university. Recipients of this award are nominated by colleagues and selected by the University Awards Committee. This year the award presentation will be made during Pacific’s virtual Commencement. A list of previous recipients can be found here.

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