Pamela Shockley-Zalabak, chancellor and professor of communications at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, has joined a Who's Who list of outstanding local women and men as the Pikes Peak Range Riders' Silver Spur Award winner.

The honoree, kept secret until the Range Riders' annual dinner preceding the July Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo, was announced Sunday. The dinner and award announcement, a local tradition since 1960, typically wrap up the Range Riders' five-day horseback ride through the mountains to publicize the rodeo.

Because of the Black Forest fire, however, the Range Ride was canceled this year - only the second time in the group's 65-year history. The first was during the Hayman Fire in 2002.

Range Rider Chris Jones said the Silver Spur Award recognizes the very best in Colorado Springs and that Shockley-Zalabak was honored for her impact on the community and on UCCS which. he said, is "ranked ninth among Western regional universities and among the fastest growing universities in the state as well as the nation."

UCCS, said Jones, "boasts the fourth largest public university graduate enrollment in Colorado and this fall will exceed 10,000 on-campus students. It now offers 36 bachelor's degrees, 19 masters and five doctoral degrees."

An Oklahoma native and graduate of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Shockley-Zalabak earned her PhD in organizational communications from UCCS in 1980.

She became chancellor in 2002 and has published eight books and more than 100 articles and productions on organizational communication.

Although Shockley-Zalabak isn't a native of Colorado, she embodies "the Western spirit and tenacity that makes us proud she has chosen Colorado Springs as her home," Jones said.

Previous Silver Spur Award recipients include Thayer Tutt, Nick and Bambi Venetucci, Bob Norris, Harry Hoth, David Jenkins Cindy Fowler, Joe Reich and Russ Wolfe.