Tag Archives: Honors Faculty

Commitment to the tenth power

Honors students take pride in their achievements in classes, but it takes a lot of behind-the-scenes work to make Honors programs run smoothly.  Dr. Sue Geller has been chosen as this year’s recipient of the Director’s Award by Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR) to recognize her significant contribution to support the efforts of HUR and honors programs across campus.  

Geller helped establish the Department of Mathematics Honors Program in 1994, one of the oldest Honors Programs on campus, and has been its Director ever since. The success of Mathematics Honors led to Dr. Geller’s spearheading the development of additional departmental Honors Programs on campus.  As a longtime member of the Honors and Undergraduate Research Advisory Committee (HURAC) Geller continues her support of HUR by participating in the creation of new Honors tracks and departmental programs.  Geller also works closely with the faculty in the Department of Mathematics to create Honors courses that will challenge and stimulate the minds of all their Honors students. 

Geller advises current Honors mathematic students, in addition to teaching many courses in mathematics herself.  Her students know she genuinely cares for them and is readily available for their questions and concerns.  Geller’s commitment to her students has resulted in many of them choosing to engage in the Mathematics Honors Program and graduating with a major or minor in Math Honors.

This year the Mathematics department will be recognizing 10 students who will graduate with Honors in May.  Geller is honored with the Director’s Award because of the countless hours she puts in to ensure the success of this remarkable program.

Contact: Chrystina Rago, chrysrago@honors.tamu.edu

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Designing the future

Students wake up before the sun rises in hopes of securing a coveted seat in any of his classes.  He ignites their passion for learning and creating through his thought-provoking discussions.   He propels his students into the 21st century with his Honors environmental design class by asking them to dream up innovative products for the future.  He is an inspiration and an integral part of the Architecture Department and Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR) program. This May Rodney Hill, Professor for the Department of Architecture, has been awarded the Betty Unterberger Award to recognize his many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of HUR.

As a part of his courses Hill encourages students to think about what the future holds.  Hill’s inventive teaching style, which consists of thought-provoking projects, forces students to construct their own concepts for the technology of the future.  After taking his class students have gone on to win national awards for their ideas, such as ‘Seed to Feed’ a project submitted by six of Hill’s students to the Dell Social Innovation Competition.  The ‘Seed to Feed’ project gathers left over or unused gardening tools and seeds to send to hunger-stricken areas.  The group finished 49th in this national competition.

Hill has also held brown bag lunches to mentor students, discuss creativity and instill devotion to life-long learning.  Many of his students are grateful to him for the invaluable advice and education they have received from his classes and discussions. “Professor Hill’s ENDS 101 class is structured very differently than any of the other classes I’ve taken, so I was definitely challenged because I do not consider myself a very creative person,” said Jennifer Bohac, junior animal science major.

Hill uses his knowledge of future studies in combination with social and behavioral sciences and the creative process to create unique educational, self-discovery experiences for every student that sits in his classrooms.

Contact : Chrystina Rago, chrysrago@honors.tamu.edu

HSC Presents Faculty Mentor Awards to Bergbreiter, Caffey

The Texas A&M Honors Student Council will present Dr. David Bergbreiter and Dr. Stephen Caffey with the Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award in recognition of their dedication and commitment to excellence in education at the annual Honors Recognition Ceremony, May 12, at the College Station Hilton and Convention Center.

Wells Fargo Faculty Mentors are nominated and then selected by open voting among students actively participating in the University Honors Program. Award recipients distinguish themselves by extending the mentoring relationship beyond the confines of the classroom, encouraging a spirit of inquiry in their students, being thoughtful teachers, and exhibiting the strongest desire to train a new generation of thinkers and creators. “Providing opportunities for students to develop academic and professional relationships with the very best faculty is a key principle in honors education,” says Jon Kotinek, Assistant Director for Honors and Undergraduate Research and co-advisor to Honors Student Council.

Dr. David Bergbreiter

Professor of Chemistry and holder of the Eppright University Professorship for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence, Dr. David Bergbreiter moved to Texas A&M after receiving his Ph.D. in 1974 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A Presidential Professor of Teaching Excellence, he has also previously received Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Research. In his 36 years at Texas A&M, he has directed the research of over 100 coauthors of his 240 peer-reviewed publications, has been selected as a Fish Camp namesake, and has “had the pleasure of introducing thousands of sophomores to the enchantment of OChem.”

Dr. Stephen Caffey

Dr. Stephen Caffey, Assistant Professor of Architecture, completed his dissertation research at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London and the Terra Foundation for American Art in Giverny, France. He earned the PhD in art and architectural history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, joining the TAMU faculty as Assistant Professor of Art and Architectural History the same year. His courses include surveys of the history of art and architecture from the Renaissance to the present day, History of Modern art, History of American Art and Visual Cultures of Islamic South Asia. Dr. Caffey is a faculty affiliate of the American Studies Program, Assistant Director of the Sustainability and Energy Laboratory and a faculty fellow of the Center for Heritage Conservation.Caffey’s research interests include visual and spatial literacies, the role of empire in identity formation and the integration of passive climate-responsive features from historic architecture into contemporary design practice.

Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentors receive a $1,000 award, made possible by a generous endowment from Wells Fargo. “But we know that good teachers aren’t simply motivated by monetary gain,” Kotinek adds. “The real prestige of this award is in that it is given by students in recognition of the countless hours that honors professors pour into developing and challenging the lives and minds of the student body.”

Students Asked to Nominate Faculty for Mentoring Award

Former Wells Fargo Award Recipient Prof. Rodney Hill (ARCH)
Former Wells Fargo Award Recipient Prof. Rodney Hill (ARCH)

Students in the Honors community have the opportunity to nominate their best professors for the 2010 Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor Award. The award, which carries a cash stipend and public recognition, is given annually to an outstanding Honors Faculty. Students must nominate faculty for this award.

Nomination forms are available at http://honors.tamu.edu/downloads_forms.shtml and are due by Wednesday, March 24, 2010.