Thursday, January 4, 2024

Outstanding early career faculty at UTSA receive endowed fellowships

Outstanding early career faculty at UTSA receive endowed fellowships

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023 — Ten UTSA faculty members from various disciplines have been awarded endowed fellowships for the 2023-2024 academic year. The fellowships are granted annually by UTSA Academic Affairs and recognize newly tenured faculty who have demonstrated early career impact through research excellence and by bolstering student academic success.

Arkangel Cordero, Mostafa Fazly, Ginny Garcia-Alexander, Luca Pozzi, Chris Rathbone, Elizabeth Sooby and Bedrettin Yazan received the Lutcher Brown Fellowship; Guenevere (Qian) Chen and Yuanxiong (Richard) Guo were named recipients of the Cloud Technology Endowed Fellowship; and Kimberly Garza was awarded the Pearl Lewinn Endowed Fellowship in Creative Writing.

All three fellowships are one-year, non-recurring honorific appointments that began on September 1. The endowments provide each faculty member with substantive funding to accelerate the success of their research programs.

Cordero is an associate professor in the Department of Management. His research seeks to understand how institutional environments affect the creation of new organizations—both independent new firms like entrepreneurial startups and new foreign subsidiaries of established firms. Cordero plans to leverage the funds to advance his research and mentor doctoral students.

Fazly is an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics. His area of expertise is applied mathematics, with a focus on mathematical biology, mathematical physics and optimization. He is passionate about applying mathematical reasoning and ideas to study equations and problems originating in the sciences and enjoys introducing undergraduate and graduate students to the world of mathematical research. He intends to utilize the fellowship funds to support graduate students, promote mathematical sciences among UTSA students, and advance his ongoing research projects.

Garcia-Alexander is an associate professor in the Department of Sociology and Demography and a faculty fellow in the in the UTSA School of Data Science (SDS). She studies the effects of social disadvantage on health, mortality, and reproductive decisions and outcomes. She plans to use the fellowship funding to advance this research and to support the development of the Data Science for Next-Generation Census Program, a research partnership between UTSA and the U.S. Census Bureau for which she serves as lead investigator and coordinator.

Pozzi, a Romo Endowed Professor in the Department of Anthropology, studies primate biodiversity, conservation, evolution, and the ecological and evolutionary driving factors that shape diversification and speciation. He is the Principal Investigator of the UTSA Pozzi Lab. He plans to use funding from the fellowship to advance his research on the impact of climate and anthropogenic change on primate populations, with the goal of identifying factors that can help predict future extinctions of endangered species.

Rathbone is an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering and is the Principal Investigator of the Rathbone Lab. He seeks to advance developments in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine that could improve outcomes for a wide variety of diseases and injuries. The fellowship will support his initiatives to enhance students’ training and prepare them to obtain advanced degrees and careers in the biomedical industry.

Sooby is an associate professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. She specializes in high temperature materials synthesis and thermal analysis for nuclear energy applications—specifically advanced nuclear fuel fabrication and characterization. She is the Principal Investigator of the UTSA Extreme Environment Materials Lab (EEML). The fellowship funds will help Sooby’s research group explore interesting thermophysical properties of advanced nuclear reactor fuels and provide new research experiences for students.

Yazan is an associate professor in the Department of Bicultural-Bilingual studies. His research interests include language teacher identity, language policy and planning and World Englishes. Yazan will use the fellowship funds to support his ongoing transnational virtual collaborative project between language teachers in Texas and in underserved communities in Türkiye, with a focus on teachers and teacher candidates who were affected by the 2023 earthquake.

Chen is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her research encompasses a wide range of areas in the cybersecurity field. She is the Principal Investigator of the UTSA Internet of Things (IoT) Security Lab, which is dedicated to the research and development of IoT technologies and security. Chen is committed to advancing cybersecurity education and workforce development, with a special focus on empowering underrepresented minorities. The fellowship will fund these initiatives and support her research.

Guo is an associate professor in the Department of Information Systems and Cyber Security and a core faculty member of the SDS. His research interests include machine learning, data science, trustworthy artificial intelligence and their applications in such areas as human-robot collaboration, energy sustainability and health care. Guo intends to use the funding to conduct cutting-edge research, collaborate with fellow UTSA scholars and inspire the next generation of data scientists.

Garza is an associate professor in the Department of English and a core faculty member of the Creative Writing Program. Her teaching and research interests include creative writing, contemporary fiction and nonfiction and Mexican-American literature. Garza’s debut novel, The Last Karankawas, was selected as a New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice in 2022. Garza plans to use the fellowship to finish research for her forthcoming novel, connect with new audiences through conferences, and offer additional resources for her students through author visits and literary journal support.

Learn more about UTSA’s endowed faculty members.
Discover more opportunities for faculty career development and support.

Fellows are nominated by academic leadership and selected by the provost through a competitive process. The fellowships are supported by funds available from unfilled endowed chairs or professorships.

UTSA currently has more than 85 endowed and named chairs, professorships and fellowships that recognize and foster the scholarship and research of the university’s highest achieving faculty.

Chloe Johnson

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University of Texas at San Antonio receives ‘transformational’ $40M gift

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