2015 UPUTE Recipients
Four members of the Texas A&M University faculty have been honored with University Professorships for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence (UPUTE). The four were recognized as part of Undergraduate Convocation this week.
The award is conferred only upon the university’s most distinguished teachers of undergraduates — faculty who have exhibited uncommon excellence and devotion to the education of undergraduate students.
The 2015 recipients are:
- Shanna Hagan-Burke, associate professor, Department of Educational Psychology — Eppright Professorship
- Timothy J. Jacobs, associate professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering —Eppright Professorship
- Reuben May, professor, Department of Sociology — Glasscock Professorship
- Victor M. Ugaz, professor and Kenneth R. Hall Development Professor, Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering — Thaman Professorship.
“Texas A&M University strives to meet our unique mission for Texas by supporting and recognizing our faculty’s outstanding efforts in teaching, research and service,” offered Karan Watson, provost and executive vice president. “These University Professorships acknowledge the particular expertise these faculty hold in working with our undergraduate students, as they become the future productive citizens of Texas and beyond.”
The professorships are made possible through generous endowments by George and Irma Eppright, Melburn G. Glasscock and Arthur J. and Wilhelmina Doré Thaman.
Hagan-Burke earned her Ph.D. in special education from the University of Oregon. Her research interests include functional analyses of problem behavior, positive behavioral interventions and supports, and early literacy. Hagan-Burke is committed to students at both the undergraduate and graduate level through teaching and through student involvement in research and scholarly presentations. She is known for her abilities to mentor, inspire and encourage her students. Hagan-Burke was honored with an Outstanding Educator Award at the College of Education and Human Development’s Dean’s Round Table and received the Department of Educational Psychology’s Outstanding Teaching Award.
Timothy J. Jacobs
Jacobs earned his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. His teaching interests include thermodynamics, internal combustion engines and experimental methods. He is currently involved in a major redesign of the content and structure for the first course on thermodynamics that will improve students’ understanding of entropy and available energy. Jacobs is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, including the Montague/CTE Scholars Award, the John Weese Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Texas A&M Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma, the Peggy L. and Charles L. Brittan Teaching Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching, the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from SAE International, and the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.
May earned his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. His research expertise includes race and ethnicity, urban sociology and sociology of sport. His research has been widely honored and his book, Living Through the Hoop: High School Basketball, Race and the American Dream, received the book of the year award from the Association of Humanist Sociology. May is known for engaging his students and for the enthusiasm and energy he brings to lectures, including the “rhymes” and occasional instructional rapping he intermixes with the Socratic method. May was the recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King visiting Professorship at MIT and was awarded the Sheila Biddle Ford Foundation Fellowship at Harvard University. He received three teaching awards while on the faculty of the University of Georgia and is a recipient of the Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.
Victor M. Ugaz
Ugaz earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University. His teaching efforts have been recognized by a number of awards including the Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the Tenneco Meritorious Teaching Award, the Celanese Teaching Excellence Award, the Departmental Professor of the Year Award from the student chapter of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers, and a Texas A&M University Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching. Ugaz’s passion for teaching and mentoring is a reflection of his ability to communicate with students. He is known for incorporating innovative educational experiences in the classroom and is always working to introduce new examples from current scientific research, including his own.