Campus Life

Texas A&M Montague-Center For Teaching Excellence Awardees Honored

December 11, 2017

MCTE Group photo 2017-2018
Row 1: Dr. Alireza Borhani, accepting for Dr. Negar Kalantar; Dr. Alaa Elwany; Dr. Anna Wiederhold Wolfe; Dr. Natasha Brison; Dr. Anita Rapp; Dr. Jayanth Ramadoss; Dr. James Abbey Row 2: Mr. Jim Montague; Dr. Vishal Gohil; Dr. Peter van Hengstum; Dr. Lei Fang. (Michael Kellett)
By Texas A&M University Center for Teaching Excellence

Ten Texas A&M University faculty members were honored Thursday, Nov. 2 for their commitment to and potential for excellence in teaching. Texas A&M President Michael K. Young, in his welcome address, expressed his gratitude for faculty, whose work in transformational teaching and learning, provide students with the skills and tools to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

The Montague-CTE Scholar award is named in honor of the late Kenneth Montague, a 1937 Texas A&M graduate who was awarded distinguished alumnus status and was a long-serving trustee for the Texas A&M Foundation. He and his wife, Judy, created an endowment in 1991 to benefit Aggies who are life-long learners and dedicated contributors to their communities. Jim Montague and his wife, Vicki, continue the legacy begun by his father while providing a new vision of transformational experiences for both faculty and student alike.

“Previous recipients have shared the significance of this award on their overall academic career. We are forever grateful to Jim and Vicki Montague for carrying on the Montague Legacy. Their contributions to Texas A&M faculty and students are immeasurable,” stated CTE Director Dr. Debra Fowler.

The audience, including University Provosts, College Deans, Department Heads, and special guests, were treated to an inspiring keynote by Dr. Nancy M. Amato, Unocal Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University. She credited the Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence award in 1997 for impacting not only her approach to teaching, but also for creating a more engaging student learning environment. Dr. Amato expanded on the idea, sharing that the process of creating the proposal and testing those changes in the classroom made an impact on the department as well. She continued, an award that incentivizes great teaching provides the opportunity for research faculty, at a Tier One University, to also focus on innovative practices in teaching. All students and faculty benefit from these high-impact experiences.

The Montague-CTE Scholar award is given annually to one tenure-track assistant professor from each College based on their early success in and passion for teaching students. Awardees receive a $6,500 grant to encourage further development of teaching excellence. This award has been bestowed on 251 faculty.

Dr. John R. August, Dean of Faculties and Associate Provost, closed the luncheon sharing his personal thanks to Jim and Vicki Montague for their sustained impact on Texas A&M graduates, and their support for innovative curriculum design and the University’s teaching initiatives. He urged the awardees to continue holding the bar high and congratulated them on their success. He shared that the Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence Award is an indicator of teaching excellence and is one of a number of criteria when looking at the accomplishments of faculty members being considered in the promotion and tenure process. Finally, Dr. August thanked the Center for Teaching Excellence for their important role in faculty professional development in teaching.

The 2017-18 Montague-Center for Teaching Excellence scholars are:

  • Vishal M. Gohil, College of Agriculture & Life Sciences, Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics
  • Negar Kalantar, College of Architecture, Department of Architecture
  • James Abbey, Mays Business School, Department of Information & Operations Management
  • Natasha T. Brison, College of Education & Human Development, Department of Health & Kinesiology
  • Alaa Elwany, College of Engineering, Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering
  • Anita Rapp, College of Geosciences, Department of Atmospheric Sciences
  • Anna W. Wolfe, College of Liberal Arts, Department of Communication
  • Lei Fang, College of Science, Department of Chemistry
  • Jayanth Ramadoss, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Department of Veterinary Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Peter J. van Hengstum, Texas A&M UniversityGalveston Campus, Department of Marine Sciences


Media Contact:, Sherri MacWillie, program manager, Center for Teaching Excellence,, 979-862-1655.

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