Tom Rost advised Pakistani teachers

UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus/a Professor Award

The UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus/a Award honors outstanding scholarly work or service (e.g., service in professional, university, Academic Senate, emeriti/ae, departmental, editorial posts or committees) performed since retirement by a UC Davis emeritus/a. The award is administered by the UC Davis Emeriti Association (UCDEA).

Award Details

The call for nominations takes place in the fall, and is open to all Emertae/i.

Distinguished Emeritus/a Award recipients receive a plaque and a cash award of $1,000. The award is typically announced at the annual Emeriti and Academic Retirees Luncheon in January of each year.

For Further Information

Please contact the UCDEA Awards and Recognition Committee through the UC Davis Retiree Center.

2022 Call for UC Davis Distinguished Emerita/us Award

Please consider nominating an outstanding emerita/us for the 2021-2022 UC Davis Distinguished Emerita/us Award. This annual award honors outstanding scholarly work or service (e.g., service in professional, university, Academic Senate, emeriti/ae, departmental, or editorial posts or committees) performed by a UC Davis Senate emeritus or emerita since retirement. The award is given by the UC Davis Emeriti Association (UCDEA), and the honoree is selected by the association's Awards and Recognition Committee. Deans, department chairs, the provost, and members of the UCDEA may nominate individuals for the award. The award will include recognition at the Chancellor's Emeriti Luncheon, a plaque, and a $1,000 award.

Nominations should include a letter that outlines the candidate's distinctive scholarly work and/or educational service since retirement, a copy of the nominee's CV since retirement, and three references who can speak to the nominee’s work. Please submit nomination materials electronically to Juliane Crowley at the Retiree Center ( by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 1, 2021. 

Additional information about this award can be found on the UCDEA Awards website, The 2021-2022 award will be announced in January 2022.


MRC Greenwood
President, UC Davis Emeriti Association

Barbara Horwitz and Judith Kjelstrom
Co-Chairs, UC Davis Emeriti Association Awards and Recognition Committee

Professor Emeritus Tom Rost Awarded 2021 UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus Award

Thomas Rost
2021 UC Davis Distinguished Emeritus Professor Thomas (Tom) Rost

Professor Emeritus Thomas (Tom) L. Rost, Department of Plant Biology in the College of Biological Sciences has not slowed down since he retired in 2006. He actually expanded his scholarly and humanitarian efforts to the developing world. He worked with the Global Engagement Office in CA&ES to extend his distinguished academic career in service to the university’s global vision for “international engagement in learning, discovery and action”. His courageous efforts to disseminate UC Davis research on sustainable agriculture and food security to the Middle East, East Asia, etc. and create effective agricultural education programs will have an impact in these regions for years to come. 

Dr. Nancy J. Allen, Global Engagement Office (GEO) in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences stated that since retirement in 2006, he has shared his scholarship and extensive academic expertise with scientists across the developing world. She had the honor of working closely with Professor Rost on projects in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Egypt. Mark Bell, Vice Provost of Strategic Initiatives and Statewide Programs, UC ANR wrote that he had spent 30 years working in international development and had engaged with people from Presidents to field hands.  He stated, “This experience has given me reason to be impressed by Tom’s resilience and commitment in the face of harrowing and at times highly undesirable circumstances.  For example, how many of us have been overrun by bedbugs in Pakistan or had our lap and shoes filled with drink – albeit accidental - by an unapologetic and drunken contractor as you flew into Kabul?” 

He has received numerous awards for his research in plant biology since retiring. A few notable awards include: Charles Edwin Bessey Award, Botanical Society of America, Distinguished Fellow, Botanical Society of America, Fulbright Senior Specialist award, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia, and Fulbright Senior Specialist award, Yezin Agricultural University, Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

In addition, to his international service, Prof. Rost has been generous in his service to the campus: Academic Senate, College of Biological Science, Campaign Leadership Council 2018 – current, Gamma Sigma Delta, Honor Society of Agriculture and the UCD Emeriti Association. 
He currently serves as President, Davis Botanical Society and is on Editorial Board free access journal – Plants. On a lighter note, Professor Rost is an actor with the Winters Theater Company, CA State Capital Volunteer Association, Living History and Little Orchard Players.

Professor Rost spent his entire professorial career in the Plant Biology Department of UC Davis (1972-2006). He is an expert in plant root structure and continues to publish and present his findings at professional meetings. He is a beloved teacher and has co-authored a stellar text entitled Plant Biology. Before he retired, he served as Associate Dean of the College of Biological Sciences and led the construction of the Life Science Lab Building. 

Professor Emeritus Rost is a multidimensional scholar, teacher, servant leader and human being.
He is most deserving of the Distinguished Emeritus Award for 2020-2021.

Past Recipients