Richard S. Howe Faculty Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award

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Purpose of Award

The Richard S. Howe Faculty Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award was established in 2002 through a gift to the university by Mrs. Walter W. McAllister Jr. and is named in honor of longtime engineering professor Richard S. Howe. This award is presented to full time faculty (fixed-term track, tenure-track or tenured) who have shown exemplary commitment towards UTSA undergraduates. The recipients of this award must have demonstrated a strong commitment to service to undergraduate students, served as an advocate for undergraduate education, and engaged in activities to promote student access and success. This award is for service outside of normal instructional activities.

Examples of service we are seeking:
  • Exceptional customer service demonstrated to help students find solutions to daily challenges
  • Developing new teaching materials for improving the delivery of a course for undergraduates
  • Providing a quality learning experience for undergraduates through extra-curricular activities
  • Outreach activities or programs that made a difference in getting students to come to UTSA
  • Conducting exceptional academic enrichment programs or services that helped students be more successful


Nominees must be full-time faculty members with at least three years at UTSA and may be either tenured/tenure-track or fixed-term-track faculty. Recipients of the Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award are eligible for re-nomination after a five-year period.

Timeline 2022 - 2023

January 28, 2023: DEADLINE for deans' offices to upload nominations to SharePoint (college faculty award points of contact will receive a link)

February 2023: Award selection committees review nominations and determine recipients

April 2023: Award recipients are formally recognized at the University Excellence Awards Ceremony 


The selection committee will consider the following criteria in selecting winners:

  • Evidence of exemplary commitment towards serving undergraduate students.
  • Demonstration that the service are in addition to the nominee’s daily work responsibilities in serving undergraduate students.
  • Significance of the impact to UTSA undergraduate students.

Nomination Materials

A selection committee composed of faculty will review nomination packets. The nomination packet for this award will consist of only the following, assembled into a single PDF file in the order indicated:

  1. Completed award nomination form
  2. A letter of support from a peer faculty colleague, department chair, or college leader
  3. A narrative statement from the nominee addressing:
    • Describe how the nominee(s) demonstrated exemplary commitment towards serving undergraduate students. Please provide specifics.
    • Describe how the nominee(s)’ efforts are in addition to his/her (their) daily work responsibilities in serving undergraduate students.
    • Describe how the nominee(s)' effort made a significant impact in improving how UTSA serves undergraduate students.
  4. Two letters of support from current or former students that describe the experience and emphasize its impact.
  5. CV of nominee

No additional materials should be submitted.

Each dean’s office should upload completed nomination packets by the deadline.

Each college may submit a maximum number of nominations (based on the size of the college) for this award category: 

College Maximum Number of Nominees
HCaP 4
University College 1
Honors College 1

Past Recipients

Note: Prior to 2022, the Howe Service Award was a single award open to both faculty and staff. In 2022, the award was split into two—one for staff and one for faculty.


Deborah Moon-Wagner, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Anthropology


Gail Taylor, lecturer, Honors College; associate program director, RISE and MARC programs


Ephrem Fernandez, professor, Department of Psychology


Sonja Lanehart, professor and endowed chair, Department of English


Ann Eisenberg, professor of psychology, COLFA; director of the Office of Scholar Development, University College


Edwin Barea-Rodriguez, Roland K. and Jane W. Blumberg Professor in Biosciences, Department of Biology


Yilmaz Hatipkarasulu, associate professor, Department of Construction Science


Donovan Fogt, associate professor of kinesiology, health and nutrition; director of the Office of Undergraduate Research


Gabriel Acevedo, associate professor, Department of Sociology


Student Health Services Team: Ellen Bridges, Amanda Graves, Alonzo Guzman, Amanda Martin, Christina Palafox, Lisa Pecor, Tanya Quinones, Barbara Reyes, Lorelei Salazar and Beth Wichman


Lucila Ek, professor, Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies


Richard Gambitta, associate professor of political science; director of UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs
Manuel Diaz, associate professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering


Anne Jimenez, assistant dean of students and director of UTSA Student Judicial Affairs
John Kaulfus, associate dean of students, UTSA Student Life