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2017 UNT Major Award Winners

Salute to Faculty Excellence 2017 Award Winners

Congratulations to the outstanding recipients of the major UNT Faculty Awards for 2017 listed below, all of whom will be honored at the Salute to Faculty Excellence Dinner and Award Ceremony on October 20th. Please join us at the fall event to celebrate these inspirational faculty members and their great accomplishments. The event will be held at the Union, Ballroom 314, with a reception at 6:30 followed by the dinner awards ceremony.


UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award

     Dr. Thomas Cundari, Regents Professor of Chemistry, was born in Brooklyn, NY and obtained a B.S. in Chemistry at Pace University. After completing his Ph.D. at the University of Florida, he spent a postdoctoral year at North Dakota State University. He joined the faculty of the University of Memphis in 1991, and in 2002 he moved to UNT. Professor Cundari has supervised 38 PhD students, 7 postdocs, and 61 undergraduate students in his 26-year faculty career. His research group has published 340 refereed scientific papers, primarily in the leading journals of the American Chemical and Royal Chemical Societies. Professor Cundari has given 150 invited lectures across the U.S. and abroad. His team has managed 69 grants and contracts for federal, private and industrial donors, totaling more than $10 million. Cundari Group alumni have gone on to research positions in national labs, industry and academia.

Name: Thomas Cundari
Department: Chemistry
College: Science


UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award

     Dr. John Ishiyama is University Distinguished Research Professor of Political Science and has been at UNT since 2008. From 2012 to 2016 he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the American Political Science Review, the world’s leading political science journal and was the founding editor of the APSA Journal of Political Science Education. He is currently principal investigator and director of the National Science Foundation-Research Experience for Undergraduates (NSF-REU) program on Civil Conflict Management and Peace Science. Professor Ishiyama’s research interests include democratization and political parties in post-communist Russian, European, Eurasian, and African politics, ethnic conflict and ethnic politics, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Recently he has also authored several research articles on the politics of North Korea, a country which he has followed closely for many years. He has published extensively on these topics, producing eight books and over 130 journal articles. He was a member of the American Political Science Association (APSA) Executive Council, and an executive board member of the Midwest Political Science Association and Pi Sigma Alpha (the national political science honorary society). He has also served as the President of the International Studies Association-Midwest Region and is currently a Vice President of Midwest Political Science Association.  Professor Ishiyama has received numerous awards including the International Studies Association’s Quincy Wright Distinguished Scholar in 2009, the 2010 APSA Heinz Eulau Award for Best Political Science journal article by the APSA, the 2016 Charles Bonjean Best Article Award by the journal Social Science Quarterly, and the 2015 Distinguished Teaching Award, the highest award for teaching conferred by the APSA. He has received major grants from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Department of State, and the APSA.

Name: John Ishiyama
Department: Political Science
College: Liberal Arts & Social Sciences


UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award

     Dr. Mariela Nuñez-Janes is Associate Professor in UNT’s Department of Anthropology. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University, and a master’s and Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico before joining UNT’s faculty in 2003. An applied anthropologist, Professor Nuñez-Janes conducts action-oriented research involving migrant and Latino youth in order to address educational and social injustices. She is the lead editor of the open source book Deep Stories: Practicing, Teaching and Learning Anthropology with Digital Storytelling and a founding member of La Colectiva, a UNT faculty mentoring group for women of color. She has published numerous books, book chapters, journal articles, and other scholarly works.  

Name: Mariela Nunez-Janes
Department: Anthropology
College: Liberal Arts & Social Sciences


UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award

     Dr.  Rossana Boyd, Principal Lecturer in UNT’s Department of Teacher Education and Administration, earned a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras, a master’s degree in education from Southeastern Louisiana University, and a Ph. D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Louisiana State University. Dr. Boyd specializes in bilingual and English as a second language teacher preparation. Her academic passion is to prepare teachers to provide instruction to students whose language other than English in grades pre-kindergarten to 12.th.  Her advocacy efforts include active participation as an executive board member of the National Association for Bilingual Education, including a stint as president in 2011-2012.

    Professor Boyd also serves as the director of her department’s Bilingual/English and a Second Language Education Programs. She is the main advisor for the Student Organization, BESO and is a strong advocate of English as a Second Language and bilingual pre-service teachers. Professor Boyd has secured scholarship funding from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for the past 10 years totaling $1.2 million and funding from the US Department of Education winning for the Title III National Professional Development Project NEXUS. She recently learned that she and her team have been awarded a 5-year $2.8 million grant from the US. Department of Education to implement another competitive Title III National Professional Development grant, Project SUCCESS in Language and Literacy Instruction.

     As principal investigator, over the past ten 10 years Professor Boyd has brought to her department more than $4.5 million in internal and external funding to help develop the bilingual/ESL teacher education program and to benefit a large number of pre-service teachers with scholarships and other support. Professor Boyd also collaborates on cross-disciplinary projects with colleagues from other departments and colleges at UNT. These collaborations have resulted in more than $1.5 million in research funding.

Name: Rossana Ramirez Boyd
Department: Teacher Education & Administration
College: Education


UNT Special Recognition Award

        Dr. Richard Smith is Associate Professor in the Department of Behavior Analysis. Professor Smith specializes in assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders. A particular passion is identifying underlying basic mechanisms that are involved in creating, maintaining, and treating these disorders. Major contributions include innovations in the assessment of severe behavior disorders to reduce risk to clients and caregivers. These include the development and validation of indirect methods of assessment as well as identification and functional analysis of precursor behaviors. This allows more effective assessment of such severe behaviors as self-injury and aggression without actually having to observe those behaviors directly.

Name: Richard G. Smith
Department: Behavior Analysis
College: Health and Public Service


Bob Rogers Service & Community Engagement Award

          Dr. Thomas Evenson retired this fall after 37 years as a UNT faculty member and administrator. His last position was Dean of the College of Health and Public Service. A priority as both a faculty member and as an administrator was creating, promoting, and facilitating collaboration between the academy and the community. To that end, key teaching and research interests included undergraduate education, and individual professionalism and service. Dean Evenson oversaw the recent transition of the College to the preparation in professional specializations including emerging health-related areas, the establishment of the Public Affairs and Community Engagement program, the UNT-TWU joint Master of Social Work program, and the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Health Services Research launched this fall.

Name: Thomas Evenson, Dean
College: Health & Public Services


Citation for Distinguished International Service Award