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Five Faculty Recognized for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence



Five members of the Texas A&M faculty were honored with the University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE). The award is conferred upon the most accomplished teachers of undergraduates at Texas A&M University. These professors are not only exceptional instructors, but also are innovators in pedagogy, exploring new teaching methods, and seeking engagement with other educators in pursuit of excellence.

University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence carry a three-year stipend and a bursary to support teaching and expand opportunities for professional development. Faculty members who are selected for these professorships are expected to be actively involved in faculty development programs for teaching for the duration of their award.

These professorships are made possible through generous endowments by George and Irma Eppright, John I. Kincaid, and Arthur J. and Wilhelmina Doré Thaman.

The 2022 recipients of the University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence are:

Alaa Elwany
Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
College of Engineering

Dr. Alaa Elwany is an Associate Professor and Mike and Sugar Barnes Career Development Faculty Fellow I at the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. He acquired a PhD in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009 and joined Texas A&M University in August 2013. Dr. Elwany has been recognized with four undergraduate and graduate education awards on the department level (Professor of the Year, 2014), college level (Dean of Engineering Excellence in Teaching, 2016), university level (Montague Center for Teaching Excellence, 2017), and national level (American Society for Engineering Education Global Excellence in Industrial Engineering Education Award, 2020). He has also been recognized with young investigator awards including the National Science Foundation Early Career Development (NSF CAREER) Award, Society of Manufacturing Engineers Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Young Engineer Award, and IBM Faculty Award. He also contributes to education and workforce development policymaking on the national level at his current service assignment as 2021-2022 Federal Government Fellow and Assistant Director at the Advanced Manufacturing National Program Office (U.S. Department of Commerce). His office coordinates projects and initiatives across U.S. government agencies to secure America’s talent pipeline through guiding and informing education policies, including undergraduate education. Undergraduate students that Dr. Elwany was fortunate to teach and directly mentor are now outstanding ambassadors to Texas A&M through their positions in leading organizations including Dell, Lockheed Martin, and many others. Since 2017, Dr. Elwany has been actively contributing to Texas A&M College of Engineering’s mission as a global university through leading and coordinating multiple study abroad programs for undergraduate students. Programs that he led were featured in national and international news outlets, emphasizing Texas A&M’s global leadership in undergraduate education.

Sharon Matthews
Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture
College of Education and Human Development

Dr. Sharon Matthews is a Clinical Associate Professor of Literacy in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture (TLAC), and has served as faculty since September 2014. She earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction in 2007. Dr. Matthews has been recognized as an exemplary teacher through multiple awards including the Provost Academic Professional Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards at the college and university levels, and as a Transforming Lives Faculty Fellow for her work with the Undergraduate Peer Mentor program which employs undergraduate students in support of TLAC writing-intensive courses. She utilizes her public classroom teaching experiences, informed by ongoing field-based course supervision, research and translation of evidence-based practices to guide preparation of knowledgeable, decisive, and agentive preservice teachers across three degree programs. Dr. Matthews’ teaching and pedagogical leadership have been acknowledged by her selection as the incoming TLAC Associate Department Head for Undergraduate Studies. In this capacity, she will continue teaching and while guiding one of the largest teacher preparation programs in Texas through curriculum realignment in response to a new Bachelor of Science in Education degree.

Michelle Pine
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Michelle Pine, DVM, PhD has been employed by Texas A&M University for 22 years. She began her career in academia as a Veterinary Research Associate while she was pursuing a graduate degree. She loved Texas A&M University and continued with teaching and research within the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. She is currently a Clinical Associate Professor, teaching Biomedical Anatomy, Peer Teaching in Biomedical Anatomy, and Veterinarians in Society. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Missouri in 1991 and a PhD in Toxicology from Texas A&M University in 2002. Dr. Pine has earned the following prestigious teaching awards: Association of Former Students University Level Teaching Award (2018), Richard H. Davis Teaching Award (2017), and the Teaching Excellence Award (2011). She was also chosen to be a Texas A&M University Fish Camp Namesake in 2017. Her current research is focused on two avenues: integrating artistic practices into anatomy learning and creating interactive kinetic models and virtual reality teaching tools to enhance anatomy education. She is a PI on the 2021 Presidential Transformational Teaching Grant “Art & Anatomy Integration for Interdisciplinary Collaborative Education”. Previous research funding includes an Innovative Pedagogy Grant through TAMU Instructional Technology Services, and a 2015 Tier One Grant: Creative Anatomy Collective.

Linda Radzik
Department of Philosophy & Humanities
College of Liberal Arts

Linda Radzik (Ph.D. Arizona), Professor of Philosophy, has taught at Texas A&M University since 1997. Her research addresses the moral issues that arise in the aftermath of wrongdoing, including the ethics of forgiveness, reconciliation, criminal punishment, tort law, collective responsibility, and the roles third parties play in practices of accountability. She has been the recipient of two research fellowships from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany) and was the 2018 Descartes Lecturer at Tilburg University (Netherlands). She is the author of Making Amends: Atonement in Morality, Law and Politics (Oxford, 2009) and The Ethics of Social Punishment: The Enforcement of Morality in Everyday Life (Cambridge, 2020). As part of her commitment to excellence in undergraduate education, she has served as President of Texas A&M’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa and a mentor in the Glasscock Summer Scholars Program. She is currently Director of Undergraduate Studies in her department and directs the Honors programs for both Philosophy and University Studies in Society, Ethics and Law.

Jennifer Whitfield
Department of Mathematics
College of Sciences

Dr. Jennifer Whitfield is an Instructional Associate Professor is also the Assistant Head in the Math Department where she assists with the overall teaching operations in the department. She received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on Mathematics Education in 2017. Her M.S. and B.A are both in Mathematics. She joined the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M University as a Senior Lecturer in 2001. Dr. Whitfield's research focuses on secondary mathematics teacher preparation and the effects of scholarships for high school science and math teachers. Recently, she played a lead role in redesigning the format and curriculum of MATH 140 and MA TH 142 to help improve the student experience and student success rates in these courses. She also helped lead Open Education Resource (OER) efforts in MATH 140 and MATH 142 with the implementation of OER textbooks in these courses. She has received over $2.6 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation and over $3.6 million in funding from other agencies. Dr. Whitfield has co-authored three peer­reviewed journal articles as well as numerous book chapters. She has chaired 19 masters' committees and served as a member on 27 other graduate student committees. Dr. Whitfield has received numerous awards including the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement College-Level Awards in Teaching for the College of Science in 2021, the Distinguished Ph.D. Honor Graduate in 2017, Texas A&M Chancellor's Academy of Teacher Educators Award in 2014, was an A&M Fish Camp Namesake in 2013, and has received both teaching and services awards from the TAMU Department of Mathematics.

Published on 05/05/2022