09:35 AM

2020 UHD Faculty Award Winners Announced


By Sheryl E. Taylor

The University of Houston-Downtown's Faculty Senate presented the 2020 Faculty Awards on Sept. 22. The virtual event recognized faculty members who are dedicated to providing exceptional teaching, service, and scholarship.

Faculty Senate President Dr. Ronald Beebe (Professor of Educational Research) welcomed guests and presenters followed by remarks from UHD Interim President Antonio D. Tillis, Ph.D.

“I am delighted to join the Faculty Senate members of the UHD Family to virtually recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of colleagues throughout the University,” said Tillis. “This celebration applauds the world of UHD faculty who aim to work in the spirit of excellence in teaching, service, and scholarly activities. We pause during this moment to note our commitment to putting students first and teaching and engaging the UHD and Houston communities through unwavering service and understanding the importance of producing scholarship that advances knowledge in your respective fields, thus impacting generations.”

2020 Finalists & Winners (in bold)

Outstanding Adjunct

  • Richard Powers, Criminal Justice
  • Elizabeth Cantalamessa, Philosophy

Outstanding Lecturer

  • Luke Fedell, Theatre & Acting
  • Dr. Angela Goins, Social Work
  • Thomas A. Jackson, Accounting

Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity

  • Dr. Benjamin Soibam, Computer Science
  • Dr. Edmund Cueva, Humanities
  • Dr. Rachna Sadana, Biology

Excellence in Service

  • Dr. Windy Lawrence, Communication Studies
  • Dr. Matthew Fugate, Urban Education
  • Dr. Jace Valcore, Criminal Justice

Excellence in Teaching

  • Dr. Yuan (Connie) Kang, Biology
  • Dr. Anand Pore, Management
  • Dr. Arash Rahmatian, Engineering

Distinguished Faculty Award

  • Dr. Hsiao-Ming Wang, Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Emund Cueva, Humanities
  • Dr. Ryan Pepper, Mathematics & Statistics

Faculty Development Leave Awards

  • Dr. Emund Cueva, Professor of Classics & Humanities
  • Dr. Omprakash Gupta, Professor of Management
  • Dr. Anisul Islam, Professor of Economics
  • Dr. Katrina Rufino, Assistant Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Michael Tobin, Associate Professor of Biology

Recognition of Faculty Years of Service

20 Years

  • Dr. Mark Cervenka, Professor of Art & Director, O’Kane Gallery
  • Dr. Peter DeVries, Professor of Management Information Systems
  • Dr. Johanna Schmertz, Professor of English
  • Dr. Leigh Van Horn, Professor of Education

25 Years

  • Dr. Susan J. Baker, Professor of Art History
  • Dr. Philip Lyons, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Dr. JoAnn Pavletich, Associate Professor of English
  • Dr. Tammis Thomas, Professor of English

30 Years

  • Dr. L. Kirk Hagen, Professor of Humanities
  • Dr. Anisul Islam, Professor of Economics
  • Mr. Vien Nguyen, Lecturer of Mathematics
  • Dr. Patrick S. Williams, Associate Professor of Psychology
  • Dr. Shishen Xie, Professor of Mathematics

40 Years

  • Dr. Ruth R. Robbins, Professor of Management Information Systems


About the University of Houston-Downtown

The University of Houston-Downtown (UHD) – the second-largest university in Houston – has served the educational needs of the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1974.

As one of four distinct public universities in the University of Houston System, UHD is a comprehensive four-year university led by President Loren J. Blanchard. Annually, UHD educates more than 15,000 students; boasts more than 61,000 alumni and offers 45 bachelor’s, nine master’s degree programs and 16 fully online programs within five colleges (Marilyn Davies College of Business; Humanities & Social Sciences; Public Service; Sciences & Technology; and University College).

For the fourth consecutive year, U.S. News & World Report ranks UHD among universities across the nation for Best Online Criminal Justice Programs (No. 27 and No. 15 for Veterans) and Best Online Bachelor’s Programs.

UHD has the most affordable tuition among four-year universities in Houston and one of the lowest in Texas. U.S. News ranked the University among Top Performers on Social Mobility and awarded UHD a No. 1 ranking as the most diverse institution of higher education in the southern region of the U.S. The University is noted nationally as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Minority-Serving Institution and Military Friendly School. For more on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit www.uhd.edu.