Josiah Townsend, an associate professor in the Biology Department, recently traveled to receive the 2017 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from the University of Florida’s Center for Latin American Studies on September 29. The award was presented during
the Center’s ninth annual Reception at the University House in Gainesville, hosted by the Center for Latin American Studies and the UF Association of Hispanic Alumni and featuring live music and over 150 guests in attendance.
The occasion was used to present two new awards, the Outstanding Young Alumni Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Dr. Townsend has demonstrated a commitment to outreach and professional development for biologists and conservation practitioners in Honduras, and he really exemplifies the mission of the Center in his commitment to collaborative research and outreach
in both Latin America and the United States, and to the long-term development of the biological research community in Honduras,” remarked Philip Williams, director of the UF Center Latin American Studies, during the awards ceremony.
Townsend, who received his master’s degree in Latin American Studies from UF in 2004, was honored by the award. “To be selected to receive this award from such an outstanding, internationally-recognized program is truly humbling. I know there are many exceptional alumni
of the program that are building impactful careers throughout the region, in fields ranging from business to law to history to anthropology, and I am really delighted that the alumni board saw fit to recognize my own contributions.”
While visiting the University of Florida, Townsend also gave a special seminar to about 30 undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, the department where he earned his BSc and PhD. The seminar,
titled “Evolutionary Diversification of the Chortís Herpetofauna,” detailed research advances and future initiatives of the Townsend Lab at IUP.
As part of the seminar proceedings, Townsend participated in a luncheon with a dozen WEC graduate students, where they discussed research experiences and planning for careers in academia.