Award recipients honored at UTSA Faculty Honors Convocation

Faculty Honors

Faculty Honors Convocation 2010: From left are (back row) President Ricardo Romo, Ashok Lalwani, retiree Raymond Padilla, Alan Shoho, Bernard Arulanandam, John Alexander and Provost John Frederick; and (back row) retiree Melissa Walschak, Turgay Kormaz, Karen Dodwell, Daniel Tablada, Ermine Orta, Amy Jasperson and Norma Cantu. Awardee Wendy Barker was unavailable for the photograph.

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(May 6, 2010)--UTSA President Ricardo Romo and Provost John Frederick hosted the 2010 Faculty Honors Convocation April 29 in the University Center Retama Auditorium (2.02.02) on the Main Campus. The convocation honors recipients of teaching, research and service awards and acknowledges recent retirees.

Eleven UTSA faculty members were recognized with President's Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Associate Professor Amy Jasperson and Assistant Professor John H. Alexander received President's Distinguished Achievement Awards for Teaching Excellence (tenured and tenure-track faculty).

Jasperson, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Geography, is known for engaging her students in the political process by integrating practical experiences with classroom learning. She frequently brings speakers to campus, and she was instrumental in arranging for UTSA students to attend the Democratic and Republican national conventions in 2008. "Dr. Jasperson is the best professor I have had in my four years at UTSA," said one student. "She completely changed the way I think about the political process. For the first time ever, when I took her Honors American Politics class, I understood why I should care about politics and the political system."

An assistant professor in the Department of Architecture, Alexander brings to his classes an unabashed enthusiasm for teaching architectural history, a fundamental building block for students' design ability development. He is known for generously offering his time to students, and his teaching evaluations are consistently among the highest in the university. Alexander also was the first historian in the department to engage his skills co-teaching a design studio, which he did purely for the opportunity of having another venue to teach Classical design.

Karen Dodwell, lecturer I in the Department of English, received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching Excellence (non-tenure track faculty).

Dodwell teaches a full course load every semester, ranging from introductory core courses to her popular upper-division courses on Jane Austen, George Eliot and Romantic literature. She is innovative in her approach to teaching, making full use of multimedia and film to augment discussion of 19th century literature. She enjoys consistently high student evaluations: as one student wrote, "Dr. Dodwell's ability to stimulate student learning is incredible; her knowledge and enthusiasm got us excited about the books and really got our own creative thinking going."

Professor Bernard Arulanandam and Assistant Professor Ashok Lalwani received President's Distinguished Achievement Awards for Research Achievement.

A professor in the Department of Biology, Arulanandam last year was named associate dean of research for scientific innovation in the College of Sciences. Since he began at UTSA in 2001, he has created a nationally ranked research program in vaccinology and pathogenesis. In collaboration with the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Arulanandam established an exclusive agreement with Merck and Co. Inc. to develop a vaccine for chlamydia -- the first revenue-producing license for any technology developed at UTSA.

Lalwani, an assistant professor in the Department of Marketing, has published more than 30 articles on his consumer behavior research in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and proceedings worldwide; in 2009 alone, he published three articles in the top-tier journals in his field, the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. His research articles have one of the highest citations in his cohort of scholars and have been cited by at least 20 doctoral dissertations.

Poet-in-residence Wendy Barker earned the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Performance, Creative Production or Other Scholarly Achievement.

A professor in the Department of English, Barker is the only two-time winner of the Violet Crown Book Award from the Writers' League of Texas. Since 2005, she has published two full-length poetry collections and two chapbooks, as well as 44 individual poems in elite journals such as Southern Review, Southern Poetry Review, The Georgia Review and Gettysburg Review. Her most recent work is "Nothing Between Us," a collection of prose poems about Berkeley in the '60s. Because Barker is touring to promote the book, department chair Bridget Drinka accepted the award on her behalf.

Professor Alan Shoho received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in University Service (tenured and tenure-track faculty).

In his 16 years at UTSA, Shoho, a professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, has served on countless department, college and university committees. At the university level, he has served on the University Assembly, the Faculty Senate and as chair of the University Faculty Grievance Committee. He served two terms as graduate adviser of record and initiated the ELPS Scholarship Golf Tournament, which is now in its eighth year. Shoho also was a driving force behind UTSA's membership in the University Council for Educational Administration, and he currently serves as president of that group.

Daniel Tablada, lecturer II in the Department of Marketing since 2002, received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in University Service (non-tenure track faculty).

With more than 25 years of industry experience in marketing, consulting and senior management, Tablada had been a leading force in engaging College of Business students in international programs. He pioneered the first UTSA business course taught in Spanish and now coordinates the college's bilingual business certificate program. Tablada is a frequent speaker at community trade events, and his work in the community has enhanced the reputation of UTSA in San Antonio and in key international communities.

Turgay Korkmaz received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Service.

Korkmaz, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science, serves as board member and board president of the Riverwalk Education Foundation (REF), a nonprofit group he helped found in 2002. To carry out its mission to prepare students for success in STEM fields, REF opened the School of Science and Technology for grades 8-12 in 2005 and plans to open three more charter schools.

Professor Norma Cantu received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Advancing Globalization.

One of the world's leading authorities in Latino and Chicano literatures, Cantu has been instrumental in establishing a number of partnerships since joining the Department of English in 2000. Her reputation and expertise in cross-cultural studies and folklore have enabled her to pioneer ties between UTSA and institutions in the Netherlands, France, Italy and Mexico. Most notably, she helped establish a memorandum of agreement with the Universidad de Castilla/La Mancha in Toledo, Spain, where she teaches a graduate seminar course each summer.

Ermine F. Orta received the President's Distinguished Achievement Award for Core Curriculum Teaching.

Orta is a lecturer I in the Department of Management Science and Statistics and is a graduate of UTSA's statistics program herself. She began teaching full-time in 2008. Not only is she extremely knowledgeable in the subject area, but she shares with her students that enthusiasm for the subject. She receives rave reviews from her students, including this one: "I used to hate statistics, but now I love it, and Ms. Orta rocks!"