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2012-2013 Excellence Award Winners

 University Level Winnerindicates University-level winner

Research

Zhijun Qiao, Ph.D.
Zhijun Qiao, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Mathematics
College of Science and Mathematics
  • 2 research monographs; 110+ research articles in prestigious international journals; 70+ invited research presentations at national and international conferences
  • A world leader in the Integrable Systems and Solitons area of Mathematical Physics
  • As PI, won a half-million dollar grant from the US Department of Defense in 2008; won a grant of $145K funded by the TX-NHARP program in 2010; won a grant of $666K funded from the US Department of Education in Fall 2012
 
Francis Andoh-Baidoo, Ph.D.
Francis Andoh-Baidoo, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Information Systems-Quantitative Methods
College of Business Administration
  • 130 citations on Google Scholar; 20 conference articles; 24 peer-reviewed journal articles
  • Recipient of Provost Award for International Studies in November 2011
  • Has served on editorial board of 6 Information Systems journals
 
Ralph Carlson, Ph. D.
Ralph Carlson, Ph. D.
Professor
Department of Educational Psychology
College of Education
  • “Dr. Carlson’s research work with adjusting for nested effects in nested/hierarchical measures advances our thinking, analysis, and interpretation of nested/hierarchical measures.” -- Dr. Bert Green, John Hopkins University and editor of the journal Psychometrika
  • One of three Fulbright Senior Scholars in The University of Texas System invited to participate in and present a paper at the World Science Forum in Budapest, Hungary, 2009 
  • “Adjusting for nested effects in nested/hierarchical measures is a significant contribution to the measurement and assessment of children from diverse sociocultural and linguistic backgrounds”--Dr. Salvador Hector Ochoa, Dean
 
Artem Chebotko, Ph.D.
Artem Chebotko, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • 25 publications since 2008; 485 citations within the last 5 years
  • 8th most cited article of IEEE Transactions on Services Computing
  • 20+ graduate students supervised and awarded M.S. degrees
  • Editor of the International Journal of Cloud Computing and Services Science and reviewer for 10+ journals
 
Shawn Saladin, Ph.D.
Shawn Saladin, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Rehabilitation
College of Health Sciences and Human Services
  • All research involves undergraduate and graduate students
  • Has received external funding in excess of $3M during his academic career
  • Research areas include deafness and incarceration, deaf employees workplace behavior expectations, attitudes toward organ donation, and obesity and diabetes among children with disabilities
 
Thomas Pozorski, Ph.D.
Thomas Pozorski, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Forty-three years of archaeological fieldwork in Peru
  • Since 2007 has published 1 book, 5 articles, 4 encyclopedia entries, 1 book review, and has given 18 national and international presentations
  • Archaeological fieldwork has been funded by 2 NSF grants, 6 URI grants, and 1 FRC grant
  • Over 60 UTPA students mentored in Peru doing archaeological research
 

Service

Lokenath Debnath, Ph.D.
Lokenath Debnath, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Mathematics
College of Science and Mathematics
  • Founding Managing Editor of the International Journal of Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences(IJMMS) and Editor-in-Chief of 2 international journals
  • Proposal reviewer for NSF, National Research Council of Canada, Austrian Science Foundations, & Institute of Theoretical Physics, Italy; frequent External reviewer for T/P in Mathematics & Engineering
  • Organized numerous conferences, including 8 NSF–CBMS research conferences
  • Served on 100 Ph.D. dissertation committees for both US and foreign universities
  • Book reviewer for AMS Math Reviews, SIAM Review, and IEEE, plus Oxford UP, Cambridge UP, Elsevier–Academic Press, World Scientific Publishing & Imperial College Press
 
Sandra Tijerina, Ph. D.
Ramiro Rea, Ph. D.
Professor
Department of Modern Languages
College of Arts and Humanities
  • Served as departmental advisor for UTPA chapter of Sigma Delta Pi and faculty sponsor for the student organization Juventud Hispana
  • Affirmative Action Advocate and presently serves on the College Council
  • Active role in the Student Learning Outcome Assessment process: conducts exit interviews with students & compiles data for evaluation and reporting purposes
  • 9 years as the Coordinator of the Study Abroad Program in Puebla, México; 13+ years as Coordinator of the Salamanca Study Abroad Program
 
Jeffrey McQuillen, Ph.D.
Lai Liu, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Computer Information Systems - Quantitative Methods
College of Business Administration
  • Chinese Translator for McAllen mayor & McAllen Economic Development Corporation
  • Council Member, Track Chairs – SW Decision Sciences Institute
  • Program Chair for RGV Info. Tech. Summit; Program Co-Chair & Proceedings Co-Editor for Symposium of Hybrid Learning
  • Editor, Int. Journal of Services and Standards; Associate Editor, Electronic Government: An Int. Journal and Int. Journal of Mobile Learning and Organization
 
Robert Guinn, Ph. D.
Hilda Medrano, Ph. D.
Professor
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
College of Education
  • Developed a new undergraduate program in Early Care and Early Education Studies
  • Dean of the College of Education for 10 years; extensive leadership experience at all levels
  • Directed the Early Childhood Education (M.Ed) program, the Graduate Reading Program, and a University-Wide Title III Institution Improvement Program
  • Serves on editorial board of “TMC, Inc.” and the Texas Association for Supervision and Curriculum Association (TASCD); serves on editorial board of the Journal of English in Texas and the Effective Schools Project Journal
  • Member of the Policy Advisory Council for the National Evaluation Systems
 
Miguel Diaz-Barriga, Ph. D.
Robert Jones, Ph. D.
Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Co-founder of the new Civil Engineering Program
  • Team advisor for NASA Lunabot Design Competition team
  • Faculty sponsor for Student Think Tank for Innovation and Research (STIR) and Baptist Student Ministry
  • Assistant to the Chair for laboratories and capital planning
 
Javier A. Kypuros, Ph.D.
Willard Baker
Clinical Assistant Professor
Physician Assistant Program
College of Health Sciences and Human Services
  • 5 years on the COHSHS Recruitment Committee
  • Participates in TACRAO Week, Fall in Love with UTPA, Majors Fair, Bronc Round Up, and HESTEC SIMS Lab presentations
  • Serves as Faculty Senator
  • Serves on the Faculty Development Committee
 
Sibin Wu, Ph.D.
Gary Montgomery, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Psychology
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Interim director of the Psychology Graduate Program
  • Assistant Dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Coordinated Program Reviews graduate & undergraduate major programs in 2009-2010
  • Student Learning Outcome (SLO) Coordinator for COSBS & Social Science Core courses
  • Member of the University Curriculum Committee & Stewardship Committee
  • Chaired COSBS Dean Search Committee in the Spring 2011
 

Teaching

Constantine Tarawneh, Ph.D.
Constantine Tarawneh, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Developed 4 new graduate & 2 new undergraduate courses; enhanced course materials for 8 other courses
  • Graduated 14 masters students under the thesis option in a 6-year span
  • Mentored 17 undergraduate students through the LSAMP Research Program, and 12 students through the University Scholars Bridge Program
  • Supervised research of 44 graduate and 58 undergraduate students
  • Co-authored 16 papers with undergrad/grad students
 
Marci McMahon, Ph.D.
Marci McMahon, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of English
College of Arts and Humanities
  • Director of the Graduate Certificate program and MAIS in Mexican American Studies; founding faculty of BA and minor in MAS
  • Develops innovative courses: “Topics in Border Studies,” a hybrid online course taught in collaboration with Kalamazoo College, Michigan which resulted in peer-reviewed journal article
  • Has mentored numerous undergraduate students, many of whom are admitted to prestigious MA and PhD programs
  • 97% excellent/good ratings in undergrad courses from 2008-2012, with many semesters averaging 98-100%
 
Vishal Midha, Ph.D.
Vishal Midha, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Information Systems-QuantitativeMethods
College of Business Administration
  • Received 99% Excellent/Good rating in student evaluations over the last 5 years
  • Experience in teaching at undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level
  • Participated in numerous teaching workshops, including two 8-week Collaborative Learning Workshops
  • Mentored several students that resulted in several Research Days, International Conferences, and journal submissions
 
Karen Chandler, Ph.D.
Karen Chandler
Associate Professor
Clinical Laboratory Science Program
College of Health Sciences and Human Services
  • Uses multiple methods of engaging students in active learning
  • Developed web-based self-instruction modules for difficult areas of course material
  • Numerous invited presentations at the national Clinical Laboratory Science Educator’s Conference
  • Texas Association for Clinical Laboratory Science Teaching Award winner
 
Narayan Bhat, Ph.D.
Narayan Bhat, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Chemistry
College of Science and Mathematics
  • Has educated more than 5,000 students over the past 17 years in Organic and General Chemistry
  • Procured a million-dollar research  grant to support 80+ undergraduate students in research
  • Received the 2005 UT-Chancellor’s Award in teaching
 

Mentoring

Richard Phillips, Ph.D.
Richard Phillips, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Art
College of Arts and Humanities
  • In 2010-2012, mentored 615 enrollment advisees; oversaw 256 degree plans and 122 course substitutions
  • Served as head consultant for UTPA-STC articulation agreement through new Bachelor's degrees in Graphic Design, Studio Art, Art History, and Art Education
  • Five mentees were admitted to graduate school
 
Karen Lozano, Ph.D.
Karen Lozano, Ph.D.
Endowed Professor
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science
  • Thesis director for 18 MS students; thesis committee member for many more
  • Mentored 100+ undergraduates in research projects and published 150+ peer-reviewed articles (with students as co-authors), proceedings, and presentations
  • Developed the largest research team at UTPA, where several junior faculty members have been mentored
  • Mentored K-12 students in STEM competitions and through countless presentations
 
Charlene Blankenship, Ph.D.
Charlene Blankenship, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Rehabilitation
College of Health Sciences and Human Services
  • Advisor to students at all levels: BS, MS, and PhD
  • Chaired University-wide Academic Advisement Council
  • Founding advisor of club for Masters students
  • Has attended every graduation since arriving at UTPA in 2004
  • Raised $1,112,500 in scholarships from two U.S. Department of Education Grants
 
 Shelia Pozorski, Ph.D.
Sheila Pozorski, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Sociology
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Program coordinator and advisor for 110+ students majoring in General Studies
  • Mentor for students who participate in Peruvian archaeological project and learn excavation, mapping, and recording techniques
  • Faculty advocate for student interests through participation in UTPA committees and workshops