Tag Archives: Honors Faculty

Dr. Sarah Misemer Selected for 2016 Unterberger Award

In 2004, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of high-impact education at Texas A&M.

The 2016 recipient of the Unterberger Award is Dr.Sarah Misemer.

Dr. Sarah Misemer 2016 Unterberger Award Recipient
Dr. Sarah Misemer 2016 Unterberger Award Recipient

LAUNCH: Honors extends a warm thank-you to Dr. Misemer for her contributions to Undergraduate Research and her support of students in the humanities! Dr. Misemer was recognized by Dr. Sumana Datta, executive director of LAUNCH, at the LAUNCH Recognition Ceremony in the MSC on Thursday, May 12th. Says Dr. Datta, “Dr. Misemer’s contributions to and support of Undergraduate Research as an administrator and her initiative in promoting and developing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program are changing the perceptions of how Humanities students can successfully experience these life-changing activities. Her care for our student’s well-being and their education is obvious and much appreciated.”

To see a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

Bio

Dr. Sarah M. Misemer is an associate professor in the Department of Hispanic Studies and the 2016 recipient of the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education, which celebrates a faculty member’s commitment to Undergraduate Research. In 2004, the Unterberger Award was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of honors education at Texas A&M.

Dr. Misemer has impacted research in the humanities at Texas A&M by establishing the Glasscock Undergraduate Summer Scholars program. Through this program, a tenured faculty member leads a two-week seminar on a specific topic, and students in the seminar develop a research question to study under the faculty member’s mentorship during the following eight weeks. In this second half of the program, students engage in peer writing activities at the Glasscock Center and in writing studios custom-designed for the program by the University Writing Center. The final outcome is students’ public presentations of their written proposals for future research through the Undergraduate Research Scholars Program. The faculty mentor meets with students every two weeks throughout the summer to guide the development of the project and then serves as the research advisor for students’ participation in the Undergraduate Research Scholars program the following year.

In addition to serving as the associate director of the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Dr. Misemer is the author of Secular Saints: Performing Frida Kahlo, Carlos Gardel, Eva Perón, and Selena (Tamesis, 2008) and Moving Forward, Looking Back: Trains, Literature, and the Arts in the River Plate (Bucknell UP, 2010). Her publications on contemporary River Plate, Mexican, Spanish, and Latino theater have appeared in the journals Latin American Theatre Review, Gestos, Symposium: A Quarterly Journal in Modern Languages, and Hispanic Poetry Review, among many others. Additionally, Dr. Misemer’s work with the Latin American Theatre Review includes serving as the editor of its book series and on the editorial board of its journal. She is the past president and vice president of the Asociación Internacional de Literatura y Cultura Femenina Hispánica. Dr. Misemer holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of Kansas and has been a professor at Texas A&M since 2004.

Dr. Chris Houser Selected for 2015 Unterberger Award

In 2004, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of high-impact education at Texas A&M.

The 2015 recipient of the Unterberger Award is Dr. Chris Houser.

Dr. Chris Houser, 2015 Unterberger Award Recipient
Dr. Chris Houser, 2015 Unterberger Award Recipient

Honors and Undergraduate Research would like to thank Dr. Chris Houser for his dedication to undergraduate research and Honors programming within the College of Geosciences. Dr. Houser has been instrumental in pushing forward a number of important initiatives in the College of Geosciences including the zero-credit-hour 491 option to enable tracking of undergraduate research experiences. Dr. Houser has also been the force behind the newly approved College of Geoscience Honors Program and the Honors Programs in Geography and GIST. These opportunities will enrich the educational accomplishments of many students and help us meet the Aggies Commit challenge.

Bio
Chris Houser is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate and Faculty Affairs in the College of Geosciences and is responsible for increasing the number and diversity of High Impact experiences in the college with a focus on undergraduate research.

Dr. Houser is also Texas A&M University’s Global Faculty Ambassador through the Global Programs Office and responsible for the development of sustainable undergraduate education and research programs at the Soltis Center for Research and Education in Costa Rica. He has also been the Director of an interdisciplinary Research Experiences for Undergraduates program funded by the National Science Foundation to close the water budget of a small watershed at the Soltis Center for Research and Education involving 10 undergraduate students per year mentored by 12 faculty from 5 departments and 3 colleges.

Through his interests in coastal geomorphology, tropical ecohydrology, and undergraduate education Dr. Houser has provided outstanding domestic and international undergraduate research opportunities for a large number of students, many of whom have continued on to graduate school.

Thank you, Dr. Houser, for your dedication to enhancing the undergraduate experience at Texas A&M! We will be presenting the Unterberger Award to Dr. Houser at the HUR Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2015. To see a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

 

Dr. Donald J. Curtis, Jr. Selected for 2015 Director’s Award

The Director’s Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Programs was created in 2010 to recognize significant contribution to and support of the efforts of the University Honors Program on campus.

The 2015 recipient of the Director’s Award is Dr. Donald J. Curtis, Jr.

Dr. Don Curtis, 2015 Director's Award Recipient
Dr. Don Curtis, 2015 Director’s Award Recipient

Honors and Undergraduate Research thanks Dr. Curtis for his unending support of University Honors and Honors education at Texas A&M in general. His dedication to and high standards for the Cornerstone Honors Program in the Liberal Arts as well as his willingness to give of his time and energy to mentor colleagues across campus in the art of Honors is greatly appreciated. Dr. Curtis also provided critical insights and suggestions as we revised University Honors and developed the Common Honors Information page and Common Honors Application. His close personal attention to the College of Liberal Arts Honors Program enabled many students to have enriching educational and personal experiences while at Texas A&M.

Bio
Dr. Don Curtis currently serves as the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Public Health Studies in the Texas A&M Health Science Center, a position he has held since March 2015.

Dr. Curtis has been at Texas A&M since 1993 and previously served as Honors Programs Coordinator in what was then the Office of Honors Programs and Academic Scholarships, Director of Undergraduate Student Services for the College of Liberal Arts, and Assistant Dean for High Impact Programs in Liberal Arts.

He has undergraduate degrees in biological science and history from the University of Nebraska and an MA in military history from NU  as well.

Dr. Curtis received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2000 with a specialty in American Military and Diplomatic History.  He is the author of Hard Times Come Again No More:  General William S. Graves and the American Military Intervention in Siberia 1918-1920.  Dr. Curtis has authored several articles in military history and the applications of  honors programs and learning communities in higher education.

Dr. Curtis was named the Wells Fargo Faculty Mentor of the Year in 2014 and was a 2013 Fish Camp Namesake.  He is a past President of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society at Texas A&M and has served as a University Scholars Faulty Mentor.

Dr. Curtis has been married to his wife Kari for sixteen years.  They have a nine year old son, Ben, a lab/hound mix and an antisocial cat.

Our warm congratulations and well-deserved thanks go to Dr. Curtis for his strong support of Honors. We will be presenting the Director’s Award to Dr. Curtis at the HUR Recognition Ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2015. For a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

 

In Memory of Dr. Scott Austin

We in Honors and Undergraduate Research are saddened by the loss of Dr. Scott Austin. Dr. Austin was a Senior Associate Professor of Philosophy and the Undergraduate Program Director for the Department of Philosophy. He, along with Dr. Michael LeBuffe, helped establish the newly-formed departmental Honors in Philosophy. In correspondence with our office, Dr. Austin was excited to report that he expected the first departmental Honors graduates in Spring 2015.

Dr. Scott Austin Photo courtesy of Glenn Kulbako www.KulbakoPhoto.com
Dr. Scott Austin
Photo courtesy of Glenn Kulbako, http://www.KulbakoPhoto.com

In addition to teaching Honors philosophy courses, Dr. Austin was generous with his time in accepting Honors course contracts and directed undergraduate research theses. Dr. Austin’s mentorship was recognized with the first-ever Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award, given by Honors Student Council in 2002-03.

Many students have posted remembrances on Dr. Austin’s Facebook page. Posts from his family indicate that they are planning a campus memorial to be held in the Spring.

Dr. Kenith Meissner Selected for 2014 Director’s Award

The Director’s Award for Outstanding Service to Honors
Programs was created in 2010 to recognize significant contribution
to and support of the efforts of the University Honors Program on
campus.

2014 Director's Award Plaque
2014 Director’s Award Plaque

The 2014 recipient of the Director’s Award is Dr. Kenith Meissner.

To see a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

Dr. Suma Datta presents the 2014 Director's Award to Dr. Ken Meissner
Dr. Suma Datta presents the 2014 Director’s Award to Dr. Ken Meissner

Bio

Dr. Ken Meissner, 2014 Director's Award recipient
Dr. Ken Meissner, 2014 Director’s Award recipient

Dr. Meissner is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the director of the Engineering Honors program. Dr. Meissner has been actively involved with Engineering Honors since shortly after his arrival at Texas A&M. He served as departmental coordinator from 2005-2010 and has served as Director since 2010.

Dr. Meissner earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Lehigh University and received his doctorate from the University of Arizona in 1994.

Dr. Meissner’s Nanomaterials and Biophotonics Lab focuses on using nanostructured materials and optical techniques for biomedical imaging and sensing applications.

Dr. Christopher Quick Selected for 2014 Unterberger Award

In 2004, the Betty M. Unterberger Award for Outstanding Service to Honors Education was created and presented to Dr. Unterberger in recognition of her many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of high-impact education at Texas A&M.

2014 Unterberger Award Plaque
2014 Unterberger Award Plaque

The 2014 recipient of the Betty M. Unterberger Award is Dr. Christopher Quick.

To see a list of previous recipients, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

Dr. Suma Datta presents the 2014 Unterberger Award to Dr. Chris Quick
Dr. Suma Datta presents the 2014 Unterberger Award to Dr. Chris Quick

Bio
After earning a Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering, Dr.

Dr. Christopher Quick, 2014 Unterberger Award recipient
Dr. Christopher Quick, 2014 Unterberger Award recipient

Christopher Quick made the unusual decision to pursue research in cardiovascular science and accept a faculty position in the  Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology at Texas A&M University in 2002.

After failing repeatedly to find potential graduate students that were both interested and prepared to enter the esoteric field of computational physiology, he worked with faculty and students to turn his lab into an incubator for developing novel approaches to integrate research and education. The most successful approach so far has been the development of the “Research-Intensive Community” model. Pairing experienced students seeking leadership experience with a multidisciplinary team of students seeking research experience, he found that he could radically increase the number of research opportunities for undergraduates and lower the barriers to participation.

Dr. Quick applied this model to create the DeBakey Undergraduate Research Program in 2004, which has since steadily grown to create research opportunities for over 100 undergraduates per semester. To expand this team-based approach beyond the DeBakey Institute, he worked with faculty and the Office of Honors and Undergraduate Research to create the Aggie Research Scholar Program, which had over 140 participants in the summer of 2013.

Dr. Quick’s efforts to develop sustainable models that are effective, efficient, and scalable have been recognized by the award of four competitive education grants from the NIH and NSF and an Association of Former Students Distinguished Award in Teaching in 2014.

HSC Presents Faculty Mentor Award to Dr. Don Curtis

The Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award recognizes and rewards Honors faculty members whose dedication and
commitment to excellence in education is truly outstanding.
These faculty members encourage a spirit of inquiry in their students, are thoughtful teachers, and exhibit the strongest desire to train a new generation of thinkers and creators. This award is of special significance because recipients are nominated and selected by Honors Students.

2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Plaque
2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Plaque

The 2014 recipient of the Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award, presented by Honors Student Council, is Dr. Donald J. Curtis, Jr.

Dr. Curtis was nominated by Honors Student Travis Askew. In the nomination statement, Askew writes:

Dr. Don Curtis is a man who truly cares for all the students within the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M. He is the Assistant Dean of Liberal Arts and the head of Liberal Arts Honors. Additionally, he is the head of the Cornerstone Liberal Arts Honors Program, which he puts a majority of his time into maturing. His goal with Cornerstone Program is to take some of the greatest students the Liberal Arts College has to offer and turn them into great critical thinkers and leaders. He teaches his students how to think critically and gives them the opportunity to gain international experience. In everything he does, it is truly evident that he cares for his students. He makes himself completely available to his students, whether they have important questions, or just need to talk: he is always there for his students. Furthermore, he truly cares for the development and advancement of his students inside and outside of the classroom. He doesn’t make his classes easy. He gives his students challenging assignments that take them outside of their comfort zone so that they will grow and be better prepared for the challenges that life and college will throw at them in the future. Dr. Curtis goes above and beyond the call of duty. He takes being an instructor and an adviser to whole new level and leaves a lasting, positive impact on all the students who have the privilege to spend any amount of time with him.

The distinction also comes with a $1000 monetary award. To see a list of previous awardees, visit the TAMU HUR Faculty Awards page.

HSC President Kathryn Kudlaty presents the 2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award to Dr. Don Curtis
HSC President Kathryn Kudlaty presents the 2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award to Dr. Don Curtis

Bio

Dr. Don Curtis, 2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor
Dr. Don Curtis, 2014 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor

Dr.  Don Curtis is Assistant Dean for High Impact Programs for the College of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. He is also a visiting assistant professor of American History and Director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program. Dr. Curtis is Director of the Cornerstone Program Honors Learning Community, a group of some of the best and brightest Liberal Arts majors at Texas A&M

Dr. Curtis received his doctorate from Texas A&M University in 2000 with a specialty in American Military and Diplomatic History. He has been at Texas A&M since 1993 and has previously served as Honors Program Coordinator for the University and Director of Undergraduate Student Services for the College of Liberal Arts. He has undergraduate degrees in Biological Science and History from the University of Nebraska and an MA in Military History from NU as well.

He is the author of Hard Times Come Again No More: General William S. Graves and the American Military Intervention in Siberia 1918-1920. Dr. Curtis has also authored several articles in military history and the applications of honors programs and learning communities in higher education.

Dr. Curtis had the honor of being a Fish Camp namesake in 2013 and was a TEDx TAMU speaker in 2014.

Dr. Curtis has been married to his wife Kari for fifteen years. They have an eight year old son, Ben, a lab/hound mix dog and a 100% antisocial cat.