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UTEP Faculty Earn Multiple Awards From Regents

Dr. Patricia Nava
Dr. Patricia Nava
University of Texas at El Paso faculty members are receiving high marks from The University of Texas System Board of Regents. Nine faculty members are being presented with the Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards. Honorees were selected for their performance, innovated teaching techniques and commitment to teaching at the undergraduate level.

UTEP earned almost 25 percent of the 38 awards given to eight universities. The regents will honor the recipients with a special dinner tonight in Austin.

The recognition comes with a one-time monetary award of $30,000 for tenured faculty, $25,000 for tenure-track faculty, and $15,000 for contingent faculty.

The tenure awards go to James Becvar, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry; Art Duval, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences; and Patricia Nava, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The tenure-track winners are Beth Brunk-Chavez, Ph.D., associate professor of English; Juan Noveron, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry; and William Robertson, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education.

The contingent faculty honorees are Mary Stevens, senior lecturer, accounting; Steve Varela, lecturer, English; and Rockie Pederson, clinical assistant professor, kinesiology.

“It underscores our commitment to excellence in both teaching and research, and that is the hallmark of a great research university,” said Richard Jarvis, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our students are taught by some of the finest professors in Texas, and these awards make it official.”

Candidates for the teaching awards were nominated at the campus level, then evaluated on several criteria, including student and peer evaluations, teaching portfolio and student learning outcomes.

The awards program was established by the Regents in August 2008 as the latest in a series of UT System initiatives aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 UT System institutions.

A total of 73 faculty members from the UT System academic institutions were selected to receive the awards, for a total of $2 million in monetary awards.

“Clearly, we have a mandate to provide an exceptional education for our students, but our universities also play a critical role in ensuring the economic vitality of Texas,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., UT System chancellor. “We believe these efforts will foster success in the areas of pedagogy and research, and that they will significantly enhance the educational experience for our students and sharpen the competitive edge of our science and technology activities.”