UTSA - The University of Texas at San Antonio

04/16/2024 | News release | Archived content

UTSA to celebrate staff, academic excellence on April 30

The 2024 nominees are:


Richard S. Howe Excellence in Teaching Award

Recognizes tenured, tenure-track and fixed-term-track professors who are developing signature learning experiences for undergraduates.

  • Abraham P. DeLeon
  • Diane Abdo
  • Eva Wikberg
  • Gary Jacobs
  • Joanne Ford-Robertson
  • John Zarco
  • Laura Gaviria
  • Lilian L. Cano
  • Mel Webb

Richard S. Howe Faculty Service Award

Recognizes full-time faculty (fixed-term track, tenure-track or tenured) who have shown exemplary commitment to UTSA undergraduates.

  • Arturo Ponce Pedraza
  • Jennifer Holt Dilley
  • Paul Ardoin

Teaching Excellence Award

Recognizes faculty whose command of their respective disciplines, teaching methodologies, communication skills and commitment to learning translate into a superior learning experience for students.

  • Ali Atabey
  • Favor Campbell
  • Gary Jacobs
  • James McDonald
  • Jimi Francis
  • Johnelle Sparks
  • Jose Francisco Herbert Acero
  • Karen Engates
  • Keying Ye
  • Marguerite Newcomb
  • Mimi Yu
  • Nehal Abu-Lail
  • Nicolas Large
  • Reza Aghayan
  • Rita Mitra
  • Yeonjoo Park

Core Curriculum Award

Recognizes distinguished performance in teaching one or a set of core curriculum courses during the academic year of the award; innovation and involvement in core development projects; and excellence in teaching as demonstrated by standard measures of performance.

  • Alyssa Vikesland
  • Andrea Aleman
  • Cynthia Roberts
  • John Frederick

University Service Award

Recognizes tenured and tenure-track faculty who are exemplary in their commitment to service within the university and whose service has had a major impact on UTSA students and/or faculty.

  • Eddie Hernandez
  • Henry Griffith
  • Jason Yaeger
  • Jodi Peterson
  • John McCarrey
  • Mahmut Sonmez
  • Mehdi Shadaram
  • Minghe Sun
  • Rebecca Weston
  • Sakiko Oyama
  • Susan Thomas

Advancing Globalization Award

Recognizes an individual or a team of faculty who have significantly expanded UTSA's involvement in the global arena.

  • Catherine Nolan-Ferrell
  • Derek Plantenga
  • Devon Donohue-Bergeler
  • Elizabeth S. Sooby
  • Jessica Eise
  • Maria Veronica Elias

Innovation & Impact Award (I2)

Recognizes creative and innovative team projects of high impact which involve partnerships across boundaries (within UTSA and/or elsewhere) and have potential for future expansion.

  • Cansin Ilayda Cetin
  • Guillermina Zabala Suarez
  • John Herrera
  • Juan B. Gutierrez
  • Marta Solis
  • Paul Ardoin

Community Engagement Award

Recognizes faculty who are exemplary in their service and civic scholarship outside of the university, providing leadership and making significant contributions to the public good.

  • Jessica Nowlin
  • Johnathan Votion
  • Kellie Lynch
  • Stephanie Westney
  • Su Liang
  • Tracy Cowden
  • Victor Villarreal
  • Yufang Jin

Research Achievement Award

Recognizes tenure and tenure-track faculty who have conducted high-quality, high-impact research that has or has potential to be translated into national and international recognition and has made a substantial contribution to the faculty member's field.

  • Brian Hermann
  • Cindy Ermus
  • David Restrepo
  • Dina V. Krasikova
  • Ian Thacker
  • Jeffrey T. Howard
  • Jihye Jung
  • Katelyn Sileo
  • Marie Kirkpatrick
  • Minghe Sun
  • Neel Baumgardner
  • Richard Anantua
  • Seok Kang
  • Ying Huang
  • Yongcan Cao

Mentoring Award

Recognizes faculty who are exemplary in their commitment to mentoring within the university and whose service has had an impact on the opportunities and development of UTSA faculty by providing mentoring in critical areas such as teaching and research.

  • Dixie Shaw-Tillmon
  • Emily J. Nicklett
  • Gilberta H. Turner
  • Hector Aguilar
  • James D. Calder
  • Jeremy Sullivan
  • Rena Bizios

Performance, Creative, Production Award

Recognizes individuals whose performance, creative production or other related scholarly achievement in arts or design has manifested exceptional excellence and merit.

  • Christie Blizard
  • Joe Harjo
  • Malgorzata Oleszkiewicz-Peralba
  • Maryam Singery
  • Valeria Meiller

Darrell Balderrama and members of the Najim Center team pose on the orange carpet after they all won in 2023.