13:05 PM

Faculty Awards Recognize Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, Service

UHD held Tuesday its annual Faculty Assembly and Awards Ceremony to honor faculty award winners, announce faculty development leave awards, and recognize faculty for years of service.

"This event is a celebration of creativity, scholarship and service," said President Bill Flores, who opened the ceremony. "Our mission to provide students with high-impact learning opportunities and 21st-century skills is made possible only by our faculty and staff."

Selection committee co-chairs Jerry Johnson and Andrew Pavelich set the stage for the announcement of winners in each category.

"There exists a connection between the advancement of a society and its development in the arts, sciences, politics and education," said Johnson. "It takes dedicated people such as these honorees to ask the next question, challenge the status quo, and explore new frontiers."

Outstanding Adjunct

Johnson presented the Outstanding Adjunct award to Lois Dewey, adjunct professor in the department of criminal justice. Dewey, a UHD alumna and former police officer, is noted for capitalizing on her professional relationships to provide high-impact education experiences for her students. Dewey expressed her appreciation for the award, recalling the warmth she felt as a student here and the continued mentoring she has received as she transitioned to faculty.

Christopher Lay, adjunct professor of social sciences, was named finalist for this award.

Outstanding Lecturer

Kristen Capuozzo, lecturer in the department of social sciences, accepted the award for Outstanding Lecturer. Capuozzo has done extensive research on prejudice and its effects in the courtroom, and has a keen focus on offering real-world applications in the classroom. A former attorney, she expressed her joy to work in teaching, which she believes to be her "second calling."

Richard Ogle, English lecturer, was named finalist for this award.

Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity

Amy Baird, assistant professor in the department of natural sciences, was recognized with the 2015 Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity award. Baird has made significant contributions to science, from serving as a delegate to the International Whaling Commission to discovering new species with help from her undergraduate students. She has earned nearly $1 million in external funding to support her research efforts. In her acceptance, she thanked her parents for their support, and the many colleagues who have supported her in building her program.

Kristen Anderson, professor of social sciences, was named finalist for this award.

Excellence in Service

Hsiao-Ming Wang, professor of criminal justice, was presented with this year's Excellence in Service award. Wang has taken great strides to create opportunities for international exchange at UHD, spearheaded the Bayou Connection program, and brought in more than $2 million in scholarship funds for UHD students.

"I believe that the purpose of life is service," Wang said. "While I am humbled and honored by this award, I hope you will understand, that I simply do what I believe."

Susan Henney, associate professor in the department of social sciences and current faculty senate president, was named finalist for this award.

Excellence in Teaching

Rachna Sadana, assistant professor in the department of natural sciences, received the award for Excellence in Teaching. Sadana is recognized for applying team-based learning strategies and removing obstacles to success in freshman science courses. More than 30 new viruses have been discovered in her freshman biology class, and her first-year students have co-authored numerous journal publications.

"What I remember most from my undergraduate studies are the excellent teachers who were passionate about and genuinely invested in my success," Sadana said. "This informs the way I work,and I'm grateful for every 'aha moment' my students have."

Natalia Matveeva, associate professor in the English department, was named finalist for this award.

Additional Faculty Awards

Associate professors Theresa Case and Katarina Jegdic and assistant professors John Kelly and Sucheta Coudhuri were awarded University-funded, faculty development leave to pursue research and publication projects.

UHD also recognized the following faculty for longevity of service to the University:

40 years

Merrilee Cunningham, Associate Professor English Department

35 Years

Gail Evans, Professor, Management Marketing and Business Administration

Ruth Robbins, Professor, Finance, Accounting & Enterprise Information Systems

25 Years

Victoria Baker, Lecturer, Mathematics and Statistics

Kirk Hagen, Professor, Arts and Humanities

Anisul Islam, Professor, Finance, Accounting & Enterprise Information Systems

Robert Jarrett, Professor, English

Vien Nguyen, Lecturer, Mathematics and Statistics

Jacek Turski, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

Patrick Williams, Associate Professor, Social Sciences

Shishen Xie, Professor, Mathematics and Statistics

20 Years

Susan Baker, Associate Professor, Arts and Humanities

Philip Lyons, Associate Professor, Natural Sciences

JoAnn Pavletich, Associate Professor, English

Tammis Thomas, Professor, English