Howe award ceremony
From left, Rosalie Ambrosino, Mrs. Walter W. McAllister Jr.,
Edwin Barea-Rodriguez and Richard Howe
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

Edwin Barea-Rodriguez receives 2006 Howe Award

By Tim Brownlee
Assistant Director of Public Affairs

(May 25, 2006)--Edwin Barea-Rodriguez, UTSA associate professor of neurobiology, received this year's Richard S. Howe Award for Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students.

UTSA Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rosalie Ambrosino presented the award at a May 17 ceremony in the Main Building Regents' Room on the 1604 Campus. The award, which comes with a cash stipend, recognizes UTSA faculty and staff who have advanced the undergraduate mission of the university.

"The Howe award doesn't recognize scholarly pursuits, although with Dr. Barea-Rodriguez' accomplishments, it could," said Ambrosino. "Today's recipient personifies caring and passion -- a passion to help his students succeed not only in the classroom, but also in life."

In a brief acceptance speech, Barea-Rodriguez thanked the committee for the award and introduced family members and friends in attendance. He expressed regret that his wife, who passed away two months ago, could not be at the event to see him receive the award.

Winners of the Howe award must have demonstrated a strong commitment to teaching and service to UTSA undergraduate students, advocacy for undergraduate education and engagement in activities to promote student access and success.

According to one nominator, Barea-Rodriguez often uses dramatic props to illustrate the concepts he teaches in biology, including brains in jars. Additionally, he tells humorous stories about his experiences collecting the brains "from animals along Texas roadsides."

An Honors College professor, he also has taught in the Learning Communities seminar program for freshmen. According to a nominator, Barea-Rodriguez is a challenging teacher and an exemplary mentor who has a passion for helping students learn and succeed.

He is involved in many recruiting activities for UTSA and regularly visits high schools to encourage students to attend the university. Additionally, Barea-Rodriguez works with teachers at the UTSA Teacher Summer Institute in Neurobiology and instills in them his passion for teaching.

Another nominator said, "When he sees an effective means of promoting and improving undergraduate success on the UTSA campus, he actively pursues it, generally on his own time, and often with his own finances."

Mrs. Walter W. McAllister Jr. established the Howe award five years ago with a gift to the university. The award is named in honor of retired engineering professor Richard S. Howe. McAllister is vice chairman of the UTSA Development Board and is an active San Antonio community leader.

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