UTSA establishes Academy of Distinguished Researchers


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(April 7, 2015) -- As part of its continuing commitment to research excellence, the University of Texas at San Antonio announces the establishment of the Academy of Distinguished Researchers. The purposes of the academy are to honor outstanding faculty who exemplify excellence in research; to foster a culture of exceptional research practices at UTSA; and to create a collective of faculty advocates who can serve as a resource for their colleagues.

The Academy is intended to mirror the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars, which was established in 2012 to uphold exceptional teaching practices. Similarly, promoting the very highest quality of research and scholarly activity supports the university's educational mission, said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs.

"Learning takes place at all levels of the university—from our first-year students to our senior faculty," said Frederick. "For many of our faculty, being actively engaged in discovery and innovation in their disciplines is part of what makes them such effective teachers."

Charter inductees of the Academy are as follows:

Sos Agaian, Peter T. Flawn Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Hamid Beladi, Professor and IBC Bank Senior Faculty Fellow, Department of Economics

Rena Bizios, Peter T. Flawn Professor and Director of the Cellular and Tissue Engineering Laboratory, Department of Biomedical Engineering

William Cooke, Professor and Chair, Department of Kinesiology, Health, and Nutrition

Christopher Ellison, Dean's Distinguished Professor, Department of Sociology

Jeanne Reesman, Professor and Jack & Laura Richmond Endowed Faculty Fellow, Department of English

Ravi Sandhu, Professor and Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security and Executive Director of the Institute for Cyber Security, Department of Computer Science

Joachim Singelmann, Professor and Chair, Department of Demography

John Wald, Professor, Department of Finance

Charles Wilson, Professor, Ewing Halsell Distinguished Chair and Director of the Neurosciences Institute, Department of Biology

Miguel Jose-Yacaman, Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair, Professor and Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy

The charter members were selected by the UTSA Research Advisory Board for the demonstrated academic impact of their research and scholarly activity. Academic impact might include publications in leading journals, citation counts and access counts, academic ranking, editorship or other involvement in peer-review journals, appointments to leadership positions in professional societies, conference invitations, and patents awarded, among other measures. New inductees will be chosen and recognized each year.

Members of the Academy also will serve as advisors to both the provost and the vice president for research.

"UTSA has many, many outstanding researchers, and the inaugural class of the Academy of Distinguished Researchers exemplifies the outstanding research being conducted at the university," said C. Mauli Agrawal, vice president for research. "Each of the faculty who were selected as charter members are accomplished scholars who share the university's vision of being a premier public research university."

Charter members of the Academy will be recognized at a luncheon ceremony April 28. Adam Hamilton, president of Southwest Research Institute, will be the guest speaker.


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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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