2019-20 Chancellor's Awards for International Engagement Honorees

Congratulations to the 2019-20 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.

Chancellor's awardees with leadership

(L-R:): Chancellor Gary S. May, Chancellor's Awardee Whitney Cheung, Chancellor's Awardee Paulina Zielinska Crook, Chancellor's Awardee Huaijun Zhou, Global Affairs Associate Vice Provost Michael Lazzara, Global Affairs Vice Provost and Associate Chancellor Joanna Regulska at the 2020 International Connections Reception. Not pictured: Chancellor's Awardee Michael Wilkes. Bonnie Shea/UC Davis.

2019-20 Chancellor's Award for International Engagement Honorees

Whitney Cheung

CheungAn executive analyst for the associate vice chancellor for interdisciplinary research and strategic initiatives in the Office of Research, Whitney Cheung is well-respected for her passionate and diligent approach to advancing global initiatives on campus and around the world. According to one award nominator, Cheung is “an enthusiastic employee with a tenacity for fostering a global culture on campus.” She fosters this culture by representing the Office of Research on the campus Global Education for All Steering Committee and by frequently connecting faculty with the world, including supporting the development and execution of research seed funding programs and planning joint research workshops with partners including University College Dublin and University of Sydney.

Cheung is also a triple Aggie alumna who consistently demonstrates exceptional dedication to UC Davis and to supporting its research in addressing some of the world’s most pressing challenges. Her commitment includes supporting the development of research partnerships, programs, and funding opportunities with universities and industry partners, non-profits, and funding agencies—all of which lead to continued collaborations and opportunities for students, faculty, and staff.

Paulina Zielinska Crook


As director of the Office for Global Programs in the School of Veterinary Medicine, Paulina Zielinska Crook works tirelessly to ensure students have access to global learning experiences—both near and far—while ensuring they have the resources and intercultural skills to tackle global health challenges. In describing Crook, one nominator says, “I have never met an individual who more embodies the spirit of UC Davis nor one more committed to Global Education for All students.” 

A skilled teacher and inspiring mentor, Crook has been the advisor for the student-led Knights Landing One Health Clinic since its opening, supporting veterinary students in providing services in this rural California community. She developed global fellowship programs through which graduate and professional students receive funding and training for community projects. She was instrumental in developing One Health field courses for students from varied disciplines. In all of this, she brings her compassion and commitment to diversity, equity, and cultural awareness and is a mentor for future generations of health professionals.

Michael Wilkes


A professor of internal medicine and director of global health sciences in the School of Medicine within UC Davis Health, Michael Wilkes displays creativity and cultural humility in developing interactive global education, building partnerships, and bringing together disciplines to serve communities—as near as Sacramento and Yolo County and as far as Rwanda.

According to one award nominator, Wilkes is a “resource for and an inspiration to colleagues and the community on global engagement.” He has served as a visiting professor at universities across three continents and supports even more universities in developing their health science programs. His commitment to making global opportunities more accessible, including through virtual collaboration, has benefited students across the colleges and schools including agricultural and environmental sciences, engineering, letters and science, medicine, nursing, veterinary medicine, and management. Throughout his more than a decade on campus, Wilkes has been a driving force behind student opportunities such as global exchanges, major and certificate programs, and One Health courses, as well as community programs such as healthcare for refugees in Sacramento—all of which bridge disciplinary and geographic boundaries for the global good.

Huaijun Zhou


Huaijun Zhou holds many titles. He is a professor of animal science in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, he is director of the USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry, and he is chair of the immunology graduate group. He was also recently named a Chancellor’s Fellow at UC Davis. 

One award nominator describes Zhou’s commitment to global research, to colleagues and students, and to exchanging knowledge around the world as “premier at all levels.” His cutting-edge research extends the promise of animal genomics to improve food security on a global scale, is the first of its kind to be supported by USAID, and brings together researchers, including graduate students, from Ghana, Tanzania, and the U.S. Another award nominator adds, “there is no ivory tower for this Aggie,” as Zhou’s approach ensures graduate students engage with communities, farmers, and partners, and enables them to realize the role global research can play in alleviating poverty, improving gender equity, and solving other global challenges.