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Recognition Roundup 2019

The College of Liberal Arts is known for having highly-regarded faculty members and students. Here, we compiled just a few of the recent recognitions this year.

ACE Awards

The Accountability, Climate, and Equity (ACE) Awards acknowledge and honor students, faculty and staff for their demonstrated commitment to the Texas A&M core value of respect, by promoting respectful treatment of others, affirming and encouraging individuals to take pride in their social and cultural identities, and including all in their definition of the “Aggie Family”. The ceremony for this award was held on Wednesday, April 10, at 11:30am in the Bethancourt Ballroom.

The ACE Awards were given to 18 recipients this year, four of which are from the College of Liberal Arts:

Dr. Dwight Roblyer, Lecturer in Department of Political Science, was awarded the Partners in Learning Award of Excellence, which recognizes a staff member, faculty member, or administrator who has actively removed barriers for students with disabilities on campus.

Zachary Huebschman, senior in the Department of Political Science, was awarded the Phyllis R. Frye Advocacy Award which recognizes work done in welcoming transgender faculty, students, and staff into the Aggie Family through creating safe spaces and raising the dialogue surrounding transgender realities at the interpersonal and institutional level in the higher education setting.

Dr. Joan Wolf, associate professor in Women’s and Gender Studies, was awarded the Women’s Progress Faculty Award, honoring a faculty member who encourage and promote sensitivity to and awareness of issues that relate to women, and foster an environment that is supportive to the needs of women and provide class content and lectures that are inclusive in their approach and sensitivity to women’s issues.

Ashali Chimata, senior in the Department of International Studies, was awarded the Women’s Progress Student Award, honoring a student who demonstrate commitment to an improved environment for women students and commitment to women’s issues through volunteer work, an elected position, advocacy, and/or other forms of leadership on or off campus.

Arts & Humanities Fellowships

Texas A&M University presented 2019 Arts & Humanities Fellowships to eight faculty members on May 9. Each fellowship includes a three-year grant of $15,000 to support a scholarly or creative project.

Texas A&M Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau said, “While science and technology often grab the headlines, it’s important that we recognize the importance of the arts and humanities in our civilization’s history and its future. We look forward to the results of these outstanding projects from our 2019 Arts & Humanities Fellows and the scholarship and creative work these faculty members will produce.”

Arts & Humanities Fellowships for 2019 were presented to the following six College of Liberal Arts faculty members:

  • Heidi Campbell, professor in the Department of Communication, who will produce a book and video illustrating how memes communicate, the common messages of bias they spread about religion, and how they can engage in ways that encourage open dialogue about religious and cultural diversity.
  • Amy E. Earhart, associate professor in the Department of English and affiliated faculty of African Studies, who will produce sections of a monograph and accompanying digital project that reveal how seemingly naturalized technological infrastructures impact meaning in African-American authored literary texts.
  • Melanie Hawthorne, professor, Department of International Studies, who will generate the first book in English devoted entirely to the life and work of the Anglo-American writer Pauline Tarn, better known to literary history as Renée Vivien, offering a timely re-appraisal of her work for a contemporary audience.
  • Felipe Hinojosa, associate professor, Department of History, who plans to complete research and writing for a book about Latina/o activists protesting urban renewal in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, and their church occupation strategy—an area of research that remains sorely understudied in U.S. history.
  • Hoi-eun Kim, associate professor in the Department of History, who will examine the lives and activities of Japanese physicians in colonial Korea from 1910–45, using both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, with plans to produce one journal article, draft four chapters and secure a book contract.
  • Chaitanya Lakkimsetti, assistant professor, Department of Sociology, who will produce a monograph about the intersections of religion, sexuality and gender in contemporary India, with a focus on how male, female and transgender sexualities are co-constituted through devotional practice.

Distinguished Achievement Award

Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students have selected 24 outstanding members of the school’s faculty and staff to be honored with 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards. The university-level Distinguished Achievement Awards were first presented in 1955 and have since been awarded to more than 1,000 professionals who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.

The 2019 Distinguished Achievement Awards was presented on Monday, April 29. In recognition of their achievements, each recipient received a cash gift, an engraved watch and a commemorative plaque.

This year, four of the award recipients are from the College of Liberal Arts:

For Teaching:

Claire Katz, Department of Philosophy

Nancy Street, Department of Communication

For Staff:

Krista May, Department of English

For Graduate Mentoring:

Guy Whitten, Department of Political Science

Distinguished Graduate Students

The Office of Graduate and Professional Studies and The Association of Former Students have named fifteen doctoral students as Distinguished Graduate Students for 2019. Students are recognized for exemplary accomplishments in one of two categories:  Research and Teaching.

The recipients were honored during the 2019 Distinguished Day programming April 29 in Rudder Forum. Each recipient was presented a framed certificate and custom gold watch from The Association. 

For Research:

Yoandy Cabrera Ortega, Department of Hispanic Studies, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Hilaire Kallendorf

For Teaching:

Adebayo Anthony Ogungbure, Department of Philosophy & Humanities, Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Tommy J. Curry

Deanna Stover, Department of English, Faculty Advisor: Dr. Claudia Nelson

Graduate and Professional Student Council Award

Sally Robinson, associate professor in the Department of English, was selected as the 2019 recipient of the Graduate and Professional Student Council Kunze Award in April. This honor is nominated by students that have been greatly impacted by a faculty member.

The Kunze Award is an annual achievement award that recognizes a faculty or staff member of Texas A&M University that has made outstanding contributions to the success and prosperity of the welfare of a graduate student or group of graduate students.

The award was presented at the the Graduate and Professional Student Council (GPSC) banquet on Monday, April 29, 2019.

National Humanities Center 2019-2020 Fellowship

Olga Dror, associate professor in the Department of History, was selected as one of 37 recipients of the National Humanities Center 2019-2020 Fellowship. Chosen from 647 applicants, Dror is the only scholar selected from Texas for her work Ho Chi Minh’s Cult in Vietnamese Statehood. The fellowship will give her the opportunity to work on an individual research project and present ideas at lectures and conferences at the Center.

Dror specializes in modern East Asia and Vietnam, and is the author of the 2007 book Cult, Culture, and Authority: Princess Lieu Hanh in Vietnamese History, as well as the editor and translator of two volumes on Vietnamese and Chinese religions.

Phil Gramm Fellowship

Two of the five Gramm Doctoral Fellowship recipients for 2019 are College of Liberal Arts graduate scholars: Grace Ellen Brannon in the Department of Communication and Desirae L. Embree in the Department of English.

According to the fellowship’s description, the U.S. Senator Phil Gramm Doctoral Fellows Award “was established to promote, encourage and reward outstanding teaching and research by doctoral students whose command of their respective disciplines exemplifies the meaning of scholar/mentor in the highest sense.”

Named for Phil Gramm, who was a faculty member at Texas A&M for 12 years and served over two decades in the U.S. Congress and Senate, this prestigious award recognizes the research and scholastic accomplishments of Texas A&M doctoral students. Students are nominated by their departments and chosen by a selection committee.

Award recipients were recognized at a ceremony in the MSC Stark Galleries on April 4 where they presented a brief feature about their academic achievements.

President’s Meritorious Service Award

Two College of Liberal Arts staff members have been awarded the 2019 President’s Meritorious Service AwardRebekah Luza with the Department of Anthropology and Maria Rubi Ruiz with the Department of Communication.

“The President’s Meritorious Service Awards recognize and reward staff for their commendable service to our great university,” said President Young. “Recipients of this highly prestigious award have demonstrated their commitment to the Aggie core values of excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.”

Luza and Ruiz were honored along with the other 23 staff member award recipients at a ceremony in MSC Bethancourt Ballroom on April 22, 2019.