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Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award

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Purpose of Award

In recognition of former UTSA College of Engineering professor and mentor Richard “Dick” Howe and with support from community leader and philanthropist Edith McAllister, this award recognizes UTSA tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure-track professors for developing signature learning experiences for undergraduates.

Signature undergraduate experiences include creative applied or experiential learning beyond the traditional classroom environment. Examples include, but are not limited to, extending understanding of the discipline by

  • Leading students in a study abroad experience,
  • Designing and overseeing community-based or service-learning experiences,
  • Actively mentoring undergraduates in research

Specific examples of previous recipients’ undergraduate signature learning experiences include:

College of Business: The award recipient supervised a yearlong experience including a two-semester sequence on wealth and asset building in low-income communities followed by a paid summer internship in community economic development. In addition to the course content on asset building, the courses included service projects on financial literacy with middle and high school students, which were supported by grants from the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.

College of Liberal & Fine Arts: The award recipient took classroom learning to the community. In a course on the Holocaust, students organized community lectures on anti-Semitism as well as raised funds for a UTSA scholarship for the study of human rights. For a course on food politics, students worked in the community cooking and delivering meals through Meals on Wheels. Students engaged in discussions of fair housing while assisting with home building through Habitat for Humanity.

College of Sciences: The award recipient mentored undergraduate students for a sustained period in a research laboratory so they could complete thesis research. Student were also mentored and provided opportunities to present their results at national and international scientific conferences.

Typically there are two Howe Award recipients. Each recipient receives $2,000 from the Richard S. Howe Endowment. 

NOTE: This is a separate award from the Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award, which is open to faculty and staff.


Nominees must be full-time faculty members with at least three years at UTSA and may be either tenured/tenure-track or non-tenure-track faculty. Recipients of the Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award are eligible for re-nomination after a five-year period.

Timeline 2020-2021

January 22, 2021: Deadline for deans' offices to upload nominations to SharePoint (college administrative staff will receive a link)

February 2021: Award selection committees review nominations and determine recipients

April 2021: Award recipients are formally recognized at the University Excellence Awards Ceremony 

Screening Process and Nomination Packet

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 by either the dean or the department chair that includes a thorough description of the signature experience and its impact and value for undergraduate students
  3. Two letters of support from current or former students that describe the experience and emphasize its impact. Emails are acceptable.
  4. Nominee’s current curriculum vitae that emphasizes teaching accomplishments

No additional materials should be submitted.

Each dean’s office should upload completed nomination packets to SharePoint by the deadline. [Specific SharePoint links will be provided to each dean's office.]

Two recipients will be selected to receive the award. Each college may submit a maximum number of nominees (based on the size of the college) for the award. 

College Maximum Number of Nominees
HCaP 3
University College 1
Honors College 1

Past Recipients


Gina Amatangelo, lecturer II, Department of Public Administration
Sue Ann Pemberton-Haugh, assistant professor in practice, Department of Architecture


Jill Fleuriet, associate professor, Department of Anthropology
John Drew Stephen, associate professor, Department of Music


Teja Guda, assistant professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Matthias Hofferberth, associate professor, Department of Political Science & Geography


Matthew W. McCarter, associate professor, Department of Management
Shelley E. Roff, associate professor, Department of Architecture


Bridget Drinka, professor, Department of English
Jamie Newsome, assistant professor, Department of Criminal Justice


James Johnson, senior lecturer, Mechanical Engineering


Kolleen Guy, associate professor, Department of History
Jason Yaeger, professor, Department of Anthropology


Donovan Fogt, associate professor, Department of Health and Kinesiology
Anita Leffel, senior lecturer, Department of Entrepreneurship and Technology Management
Ronald Sweet, lecturer II, Department of Finance


Lucila Ek, associate professor, Department of Bicultural-Bilingual Studies
Mary McNaughton-Cassill, associate professor, Department of Psychology
Richard Jones, professor, Department of Political Science and Geography
Robert Lengel, associate professor, Department of Management


Cory Hallam, senior lecturer, Department of Information Systems
Lisa Montoya, senior lecturer, Department of Economics
Valerie Sponsel, associate professor, Department of Biology