The Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards Dinner and Ceremony was held on September 27, 2013 at Apogee Stadium. The black-tie dinner honored faculty members for receiving tenure and promotion, emeritus faculty status and top awards including three cash awards funded by the UNT Foundation, a co-sponsor of the faculty showcase. "Our faculty are committed to furthering our understanding of the world through research and scholarship and then sharing that knowledge and insight with students. That's what makes them such great teachers. They innovate and educate," says President V. Lane Rawlins.
Randolph "Mike" Campbell, Regents professor in History, garnered the top award, the UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award. Cambell says teaching and research draw on the same skills and passion. Campbell was among the first scholars to write about the prevalence of slavery in Texas, and his expertise on Texas' rich past earned him the chief historian role for the Texas State Historical Association. "The key to teaching and being a historian is not just knowing the material. It's a matter of constantly trying to draw people into the material and letting them know that it matters," Campbell says. "I think I'm a better teacher because I'm a researcher and I'm a better researcher because I'm a teacher." No one has changed how we think about Texas' past and its connection to the South more profoundly than Campbell. The renowned scholar, teacher and mentor joined UNT's history department in 1966 and has served as a Regents Professor since 1988. View the Faculty Excellence video featuring Dr. Campbell.
Angela Wilson, Regents Professor of Chemistry and the Director for the Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling (CASCaM), received the UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award. Wilson provides ongoing leadership to advance educational excellence and the research profile at UNT. As a Fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Wilson leads a research team that is working to create a chemical model that will accurately compute energetics across the periodic table. Internationally acclaimed, she has published over 100 peer-refereed articles, garnered over $16 million in external research funding, and has over 5,422 citations to her credit. Wilson's leadership extends far beyond bringing UNT’s computational chemistry program into national prominence. In 2008, she was designated as a lifetime National Associate of the U.S. National Academies for her extraordinary service to the national Research Council in its role as advisor to the nation in matters concerning science, engineering, and health. Wilson has served three times as one of six U.S. delegates to the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) General Assembly to represent U.S. interests. Currently, she is the chair of the U.S. delegation for IUPAC.
Ruthanne ‘Rudi’ Thompson is the recipient of the UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award. Thompson exemplifies community engagement and outreach by providing learning opportunities for citizens of all ages on issues that impact our environment. Thompson’s commitment to working with pre-K to grey learners on responsible environmental decision making began at UNT with her participation in the development of the Elm Fork Education Center in 1995. Over the years, Thompson, has brought in elementary students from more than 65 school districts from the DFW Metroplex to participate in the hands-on inquiry-based science program as well as created outreach events including Family Fun Science Saturday, and the Elm Fork Summer Camp program. All of these initiatives share the aspiration of introducing the greater community to environmental issues and science.
Each of the UNT Foundation Award recipients received a commemorative award and a bronze eagle sculpture was given to the Eminent Faculty award winner. Throughout the year, the bronze eagle is displayed in the honoree’s department to publically recognize their accomplishments and to acknowledge the support of fellow colleagues, administrators, students, and support staff. Unlike other awards, the Eminent Faculty bronze award will rotate each year from department to department as new winners are announced, creating a legacy of pride over time and across the institution.
Article from InHouse and the North Texan. Photos by Junebug Clark and Gary Payne
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