Faculty Success

Faculty honored at 2021 University Excellence Awards ceremony

April 23, 2021
Academic Strategic Communications
Faculty honored at 2021 University Excellence Awards ceremony

Earlier this week, outstanding faculty members from across the university were recognized for their dedication and significant achievements in the areas of teaching, research, scholarship, service and outreach during the livestream of UTSA’s annual University Excellence Awards ceremony.

“UTSA faculty are pivotal in creating learning experiences for our students that promote independent thinking, creativity and self-ownership,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy. “The faculty who were nominated for these awards are of the highest caliber and represent the dedication and commitment that all our faculty have for their students.”

This year’s faculty award selection committees reviewed more than 100 nominations across the award categories. Congratulations to all of the nominees and the following 2021 recipients!

President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards

Advancing Globalization
  • Frank Chen, Professor and Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Advanced Manufacturing, Mechanical Engineering
Community Engagement
  • Michael Cepek, Professor, Anthropology
  • Liset Leal Vasquez, Assistant Professor in Practice and Dietetic Director, Nutrition & Dietetics
Core Curriculum Teaching
  • Mariah Hopkins, Lecturer II, Biology
  • Michael Cepek, Professor, Anthropology
Faculty Mentoring
  • Jill Fleuriet, Professor, Anthropology and Acting Dean of the Honors College
Innovation and Impact (I-Squared)

Advancing and Strengthening Science Identity through Systematic Training (ASSIST) Team

  • Gwen Young, Lecturer II, Environmental Science and Ecology (team lead)
  • Jeffrey Hutchinson, Assistant Professor, Environmental Science and Ecology
  • Sue Hum, Associate Professor and Undergraduate Advisor of Record, English
  • Kenneth Walker, Assistant Professor, English
  • Amaury Nora, Professor Emeritus, Educational Leadership & Policy Studies
  • Juliet Ray and Benjamin Tuggle (external collaborators)
Performance, Creative Production or Other Scholarly Achievement
  • Sarah Lasley, Assistant Professor, Art & Art History
  • Megan Augustyn, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor of Record, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Nikolaos Gatsis, Associate Professor and Lutcher Brown Fellow, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Ahmad Taha, Assistant Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering
  • Elizabeth Sooby Wood, Assistant Professor, Physics & Astronomy
Teaching Excellence
  • Victoria Dougherty, Lecturer III and Undergraduate Advisor of Record, Chemistry
  • Alexander Testa, Assistant Professor, Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Drew Stephen, Associate Professor, Music
University Service
  • Rita Mitra, Associate Professor in Practice, Information Systems & Cyber Security
  • Johnelle Sparks, Professor, Demography and Associate Dean of Faculty Success and Administration, College for Health, Community and Policy

Richard S. Howe Excellence in Teaching Award

  • Jennifer Beavers, Associate Professor, Music

Richard S. Howe Excellence in Service to Undergraduate Students Award

  • Ephrem Fernandez, Professor, Psychology 

President’s Distinguished Diversity Award

  • Lilliana P. Saldaña, Associate Professor, Race, Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality Studies

In addition, three faculty members were recognized as part of the Microaggressions Awareness Committee, the faculty-staff group awarded a President’s Distinguished Diversity Award:

  • Sara DeTurk, Professor, Communication
  • Alvin Curette, Lecturer II, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
  • Kalia Glover, Lecturer II, Honors College