APRIL 23, 2021 — Roadrunner Nation celebrated the fantastic achievements of UTSA faculty and staff during the 2021 University Excellence Awards ceremony, which were livestreamed on Tuesday, April 20. The program featured university leadership—President Taylor Eighmy, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy, Vice President for Inclusive Excellence Myron Anderson and Vice President for Business Affairs Veronica Salazar Mendez—announcing the winners.
All categories of the University Excellence Awards were evaluated through their respective nomination review committees: President’s Teaching Awards selection committees coordinated through the provost’s office, Distinguished Diversity Awards committee coordinated through the inclusive excellence office and the University Excellence Staff Awards committees coordinated by Staff Senate. The University Excellence Awards Program is overseen and managed through a committee with representatives from areas throughout the university.
Awards statuettes will be available to awardees via a drive-thru to be arranged later this month. Those who weren’t able to pick-up their Years of Service certificates and pins should be on the lookout for an invitation to the Great Staff Appreciation event coming up in May.
The 2021 winners in each category:
PRESIDENT’S FACULTY AWARDS
Teaching Excellence — Fixed-term-track faculty
• Victoria Dougherty (Chemistry; College of Sciences)
Teaching Excellence — Tenure-track faculty
• Alexander Testa (Criminal Justice; College for Health, Community and Policy)
Teaching Excellence — Tenured faculty
• John Drew Stephen (Music; College of Liberal and Fine Arts)
Excellence in University Service — Fixed-term-track faculty
• Rita Mitra (Information Systems and Computer Applications; Alvarez College of Business)
Excellence in University Service — Tenured and tenure-track faculty
• Johnelle Sparks (Demography; College for Health, Community and Policy)
Excellence in Core Curriculum Teaching — Fixed-term-track faculty
• Mariah Hopkins (Biology; College of Sciences)
Excellence in Community Engagement — Fixed-term-track faculty
• Liset Vasquez (Health and Kinesiology; College for Health, Community and Policy)
Excellence in Core Curriculum Teaching — Tenured and tenure-track faculty and
Excellence in Community Engagement — Tenured and tenure-track faculty
• Michael Cepek (Anthropology; College for Health, Community and Policy)
Research Achievement — Tenured faculty
• Megan Augustyn (Criminal Justice; College for Health, Community and Policy)
• Nikolaos Gatsis (Electrical and Computer Engineering; College of Engineering)
Research Achievement — Tenure-track faculty
• Ahmad Taha (Electrical and Civil Engineering; College of Engineering)
• Elizabeth Sooby (Mechanical Engineering and Physics and Astronomy; College of Sciences)
• Fengshan (Frank) Chen (Mechanical Engineering and Biomechanics; College of Engineering)
Innovation & Impact (I2)
• Advancing and Strengthening Science Identity through Systematic Training (ASSIST) Team: Gwen Young (Environmental Science and Ecology; College of Sciences); Kenneth Walker (English; College of Liberal and Fine Arts); Jeffrey Hutchinson (Environmental Science and Ecology; College of Sciences); Amaury Nora (Educational Leadership; College of Education and Human Development); Sue Hum (English; College of Liberal and Fine Arts); and external partners Benjamin Tuggle and Juliet Ray
• Kathryn Jill Fleuriet (Anthropology; College of Liberal and Fine Arts)
Performance, Creative and Production
• Sarah Lasley (Art; College of Liberal and Fine Arts)
Richard S. Howe Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award
• Jennifer Beavers (Music; College of Liberal and Fine Arts)
PRESIDENT'S DISTINGUISHED DIVERSITY AWARDS
• Lilliana P. Saldaña (SCCEI & Dreamers Resource Center; Inclusion & Community Engagement Center)
• Rey Villanueva (Anthropology; College of Liberal & Fine Arts)
• G-Force Mentors (student group)
• Microaggressions Awareness Committee: Traci Guinn Buckley; Kalia Glover; Brandi Scott; Yolanda Williams; Vincent Perez; Sara DeTurk; Jessica Dawson; Carol Gonzalez; Alvin Curette; and Anne Margaret Trujillo
UNIVERSITY EXCELLENCE STAFF AWARDS
Richard S. Howe Service to Undergraduate Studies Award
• Ephrem Fernandez (Psychology; College for Health, Community and Policy)
Rising Star Award
• Sara Tate (Advising Administration)
• April Valdez (Learning Technologies)
Team Spirit Award
• UTSA Inventory Department: James Sumner; Mayra Espinoza; and Olinda Ongay (Capital Asset Management)
Extra Mile Award
• Patrick Grant (Athletics)
Order of the Roadrunner Award
• Amy Manning-Thompson (Social Work; College for Health, Community and Policy)
The Dreamer and Undocumented student conversation consists of a panel discussion that will center in the immigrant experience while attending college and as a new professional. Our panelist will discuss their experiences as immigrants from different Latin American countries, and as current or former members of the undocumented community.Virtual Event
Come learn more about the Whataburger Resource Room and what you can do to fight food insecurity on our campus!Student Union, Paseo Principal Staircase, Main Campus
Join us for the grand opening of our new office space! There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony at Noon with an open house at HSU 2.206, and student organization tabling on the Paseo. We will have DJ Loko along with snacks, give aways, and activities.H-E-B Student Union, 2.206, Main Campus
This year we will have a NNO kickoff party at the Downtown Campus - Frio Building breezeway. The event will be on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm. We will have snow cones, music, and door prizes! The is a free event for all our DTC community. The NNO main event will be held at Main campus on October 5.Frio Breezeway, Downtown Campus
A virtual conversation about how we can take action to improve our wellbeing to prevent future mental health burn out.Virtual Event
No matter your first language, Coffee & Conversation can help you expand your horizons. We invite all UTSA students to come spend your lunch hour with Coffee & Conversation, where international and domestic students gather and build inter-cultural connections.Anaqua Room, 2.03.08, Student Union, Main Campus
For Hispanic Heritage Month this year we will be reading two books, starting in September with "I, Rigoberta Menchú", an autobiography. The October book will be "Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas. Students who join the RJBC are eligible to receive the book free.Virtual Event
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.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.