Tag Archives: Honors Faculty

Daniel Singleton Selected for 2017 Honors Faculty Mentor Award

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. The 2017 Wells Fargo Faculty Mentor Award goes to Dr. Daniel Singleton.

Dr. Daniel Singleton, 2017 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award Recipient

Dr. Singleton earned his B.S. degree in chemistry with highest honors from Case Western Reserve University and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Minnesota. Dr. Singleton is a professor of chemistry, and holds the Davidson Chair in Science. His research involves organic, organometallic, and bioorganic reaction mechanisms, and is aimed at revising fundamental understanding of reactivity and selectivity in organic chemistry. Dr. Singleton has been a member of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry faculty since 1998, and has been selected for numerous awards including the Association of Former Students Distinguished Teaching Award in 1995 and again in 2015, as a University Faculty Fellow, the Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from Texas A&M, and with the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society.

The student who nominated Dr. Singleton writes, “[he] undeniably checks all the boxes any teacher must: he knows his subject, and conveys that knowledge effectively, concisely, and truthfully (truth is unusually scarce in chemistry). Moreover, he has invested at least 12 hours in me personally through supplemental problem and tutoring sessions so far this term. He often shares tales of green flames, metallic bubbles, and unexpected explosions, bringing the human elements of excitement, wonder, and terror to this science of puzzles.

“Everything I listed above could be accomplished by any personable and good-humored expert. Dr. Singleton is more. He truly cares about me and my fellow students. He knows and calls us by name. Early in our teacher-student relationship, he asked after my dreams, as opposed to the common question of how my interests relate to his class. He attended the ring dunk of a former student just last week. It is clear to me that he is personally invested in the wellbeing of his students.

“Dr. Singleton deserves the Wells Fargo Faculty Mentor Award because he is relatable, interesting, informative, and caring. He is teaching me how to be a better scientist, and showing me how to guide and grow people by guiding and growing me.”

Sara Alpern Selected for 2017 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 honors education at Texas A&M. The 2017 recipient of the Unterberger Award is Dr. Sara Alpern.

Dr. Sara Alpern, 2017 Unterberger Award Recipient

Dr. Alpern earned her undergraduate degree in history and English at Western Reserve University, her M.A. in history from University of California at Los Angeles, and a Ph. D. in history from the University of Maryland, College Park.  A member of the Texas A&M History Department since 1977 she taught the first course in U.S. Women’s History in 1979 and helped develop a growing Women and Gender Studies Program.  Her publications within the fields of U.S. Women’s History and late 19th and 20th Century U.S. History include biographies, the history of women in business, the effects of woman suffrage and Jewish women in U. S. history.  In 1991 she became the first President of an officially recognized Women’s Faculty Network (WFN) of TAMU.  In 2016 she received the WFN’s Founder’s Award.  Alpern has also received many awards for her research and teaching including a Texas A&M University Distinguished Teaching.  In 2009 she was selected as one of 12 “Extraordinary Women Faculty” by the Aggie Women.

Dr. Alpern’s significant investment in Honors education at Texas A&M has spanned close to four decades. She served on the Honors Program Committee from 1979-1981 and again from 2004-2007. She was awarded Honors curriculum development grants in 1991, 1994, and 2004, and has taught Honors courses throughout her career ranging from survey history courses to upper-division courses in U.S. Women’s History and U.S. Business Women’s History. Dr. Alpern served as a faculty mentor for students completing Honors theses through the University Undergraduate Research Fellows program (a precursor to the Undergraduate Research Scholars program) in 2003-2004 and 2005-226. She was recognized with the Honors Teacher/Scholar Award in 2005-2006 for enhancing her teaching through her innovative scholarship. Dr. Alpern also helped establish the future of Honors education at Texas A&M by serving on the President’s Task Force on Enhancing the Undergraduate Experience – Subcommittee on Enhancing Honors Opportunities from 2005-2006, the report of which committee set the stage for the growth of Honors opportunities on campus over the last decade.

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.