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Congratulations! 2021 Faculty Award Winners Announced


By Sheryl E. Taylor

This week, The University of Houston-Downtown's Faculty Senate presented the Spring 2021 Faculty Awards on April 20. The virtual event recognized faculty members who are dedicated to providing exceptional teaching, service, and scholarship.

UHD Faculty Senate President-Elect Dr. Edmund Cueva served as host with special guests UHD President Loren J. Blanchard and Dr. Eric Link, Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs.

2021 Finalists & Winners (Noted in Bold)

Outstanding Adjunct

  • Elizabeth Cantalamessa, Philosophy
  • Dr. Alia Jasim, Geology
  • Dr. Elias Keedy, Business
  • Dr. Rhonda Scherer, Physicial Education

Outstanding Lecturer

  • Dr. Albert DeJesus, Spanish
  • Dr. Angela Goins, Social Work
  • Dr. Nancy Lopez, History

Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity

  • Dr. Edmund Cueva, Classics & Humanities
  • Dr. Diane Miller, Urban Education
  • Dr. Whitney Botsford Morgan, Management
  • Dr. Steve B. Zhou, Supply Chain Management

Excellence in Service

  • Dr. Michael Cavanaugh, Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Michael Duncan, English
  • Dr. Natalia Matveeva, Communication Studies

Excellence in Teaching

  • Dr. Robert Austin McKee, Management
  • Dr. Adriana Visbal, Biology
  • Dr. Arash Rahmatian, Structural Analysis & Design

Distinguished Faculty Award

  • Dr. Ronald Beebe, Education
  • Dr. Ray Qing Cao, Management
  • Dr. Ryan Pepper, Mathematics & Statistics

Faculty Development Leave Awards

  • Dr. Stephanie Babb, Psychology
  • Dr. Ivan, Communication
  • Dr. Michael Lemke, Health & Behavioral Sciences
  • Dr. Bonnie Lucero, History
  • Daniel Peña, English
  • Dr. Lena Thacker-Kumar, Political Science

Recognition of Faculty Years of Service

20 Years

  • Dr. Anita Chada, Associate Professor of Political Science
  • Dr. Hong Lin, Professor of Computer Science
  • Dr. Lisa Morano, Professor of Biology & Microbiology
  • Dr. David Beck Ryden, Professor of History
  • Dr. Hsiao-Ming Wang, Professor of Criminal Justice

25 Years

  • Dr. José E. Alvarez, Professor of History
  • Dr. Barbara Belbot, Professor of Criminal Justice
  • Dr. Marie Bhattacharjee, Associate Professor of Education
  • Benny John, Lecturer of Mathematics
  • Dr. Karen Kaser, Lecturer of BAAS in Applied Administration
  • Dr. Kurt Stanberry, Professor of Business Law
  • Dr. M. Nell Sullivan, Professor of English

30 Years

  • Anna Rosenthal Simmons, Lecturer of Mathematics & Statistics
  • Robert G. Wilson, Lecturer of Music

35 Years

  • Sangetta Gad, Lecturer of Mathematics
  • Dr. Rolando Palaez, Professor of Finance

40 Years

  • Dr. Shohreh S. Hashemi , Associate 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 60,000 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 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.