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) is the second-largest university in Houston and 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 approximately 14,000 students, boasts more than 66,000 alumni, and offers 45 bachelor’s degrees, 12 master’s degrees, and 19 online programs within four colleges: Marilyn Davies College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service, and College of Sciences and Technology. UHD has one of the lowest tuition rates in Texas.

U.S. News and World Report ranked UHD among the nation’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs for Applied Administration and Best Online Master’s Programs in Criminal Justice, as well as a Top Performer in Social Mobility. The Wall Street Journal/College Pulse ranked UHD one of the best colleges in the U.S. for its 2024 rankings, with notable distinctions: No. 1 for diversity (tied) and No. 3 for student experience. The University is designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, a Minority-Serving Institution, and a Military Friendly School. For more information on the University of Houston-Downtown, visit uhd.edu.