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TWU to recognize faculty at Honors Convocation


DENTON — Texas Woman’s University will honor 10 faculty members in a celebration of excellence Thursday, April 24 during Honors Convocation. Ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located at Oakland and Sawyer streets on TWU’s Denton campus.

TWU faculty receiving recognition are:
• Dr. Jim Alexander, professor emeritus of government — the Cornaro Award
• Dr. DiAnna Hynds, assistant professor of biology and Dr. Mark Hamner, associate professor of mathematics and computer science — the Mary Mason Lyon Award
• Dr. Thomas K. Brown, professor of music — the Humphries Award
• Dr. Jeffrey Robb, associate professor of history and government — Distinction in Service
• Ms. Joan Wall, professor of music — Distinction in Teaching
• Dr. Mahesh S. Raisinghani, associate professor of business and economics — Distinction in Scholarship
• Dr. Mary Frances Baxter, associate professor of occupational therapy at TWU’s Houston Center— Distinction in Distance Education and
• Dr. Alfred H. White, Jr., professor and chair of communication sciences and disorders — Innovation in Academia.

Recognition also will be given to Dr. Lynda Uphouse, professor of biology, for being TWU’s nominee for the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, which is given to 15 outstanding higher education faculty in the state.

The Cornaro Award — Dr. Jim Alexander

The Cornaro Award recognizes an outstanding faculty member for excellence in teaching, scholarship and achievement. The award is named in honor of Elena Lucrezia Cornaro de la Piscopia, the first woman ever to receive a doctoral degree (University of Padua, 1678).

Dr. Alexander came to TWU in 1980 and embarked on a distinguished career that included 23 years of service as the Chair of the Department of History and Government before he retired in 2007.

“Dr. Alexander has been a beloved and extremely effective teacher, especially in his signature Constitutional Law Courses,” said Dr. Jeffrey Robb, TWU associate professor of government. “His gift has been to teach students that, although the conflict of ideas is an essential aspect of a liberal arts education, they must strive to learn to agree to disagree agreeably.”

Dr. Alexander also has a long record of making presentations at national and state organizations on criminal justice, leadership and municipal government. He was the guiding force in establishing the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) at TWU, which brings more than 1,600 law enforcement professional to TWU each year for intensive three-week seminars. This program is known internationally for improving law enforcement techniques and has generated more than $8 million in grant funds for TWU.

Dr. Alexander served on the Denton City Council for six years before his term expired in 1992. He has been a member of the Denton Independent School District’s Board of Trustees since 1993.

The Mary Mason Lyon Award

The Mary Mason Lyon Award is presented to faculty members who are developing excellent records of teaching, research and service. Award recipients this year are Dr. DiAnna Hynds, assistant professor of biology, and Dr. Mark Hamner, associate professor of math.

Dr. DiAnna Hynds

Dr. Hynds has been a popular teacher, dedicated researcher and sought-after mentor since joining the TWU biology department in 2003. She consistently receives outstanding evaluations from her students, who named her as their “Favorite Teacher” in 2004.

She was a Chancellor’s Research Fellow in 2005-2006 and has had her research published in the “Journal of Neurochemistry” and the “Journal of Neuroscience Methods” among others. She also has presented at national conferences, including at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. Dr. Hynds also has mentored more than 20 undergraduate and graduate students in TWU’s Multi-Ethnic Biomedical Research Support (MBRS) program, chaired the department’s search for faculty, served on the graduate curriculum committee and was the chair of the Federation Neuroscience Committee, where she organized the annual research symposium.

“Dr. Hynds is a dedicated scientist and teacher,” said Dr. Sarah McIntire, professor and chair of TWU’s biology department. “She shows outstanding progress in her academic career and the promise of continued success into the future.”

Dr. Mark Hamner

Since coming to TWU in 2000, Dr. Hamner has been recognized for his service by his department, college and the university.

His students describe him as fair, challenging, organized, thorough, enthusiastic and effective. He is known for his support of individual student research having served as the chair of five master’s theses, two professor’s papers and on the doctoral committees and thesis professional paper committees of several students.

“I was captivated by Dr. Hamner’s enthusiasm and memorable real world examples of statistics at work,” said Lindsay Renfro, TWU alumna and doctoral candidate in statistics at Baylor University. “With each lecture, he not only provided us with the methods we would need to draw our own conclusions from data, but also poignantly illustrated the importance of questioning and re-evaluating the statistical information we encounter on a daily basis.”

Dr. Hamner is an active and productive researcher, having published four peer-reviewed papers and presented papers at five national and seven regional conferences, including the Mathematics Association of America, the American Society for Engineering Education and the American Statistical Association.

His service to the TWU Department of Mathematics and Computer Science includes as a member of the Graduate Council, the Honors Advisory Council and the MBRS Grant Renewal Advisory Committee. He also has served as a judge for several TWU Science Fairs and for the Exxon-Mobil Regional Science Fair.

The Humphries Award — Dr. Thomas K. Brown

The Humphries Award for Dedication to TWU is presented to faculty who have, through their loyalty and actions, proved to be a model to all and a treasure to TWU.

In his nearly 40 years as a TWU faculty member, Dr. Brown has been highly visible and audible in his role as university organist. He plays at every university Honors Convocation and Commencement Ceremony and has played for the inaugurations of four university presidents. His fine musicianship, innovative programming and dedication to his art have been evident in his annual faculty recitals and at holiday concert performances.

He has served the TWU Music Department as interim chair, newsletter editor and has chaired the peer review and music honors committees. Dr. Brown has served the community and profession through his involvement in both the Dallas and Fort Worth chapters of the American Guild of Organists, membership in the Greater Denton Arts Council and as the organizer and executive director of the Denton Festival of Carols from 1981-1992, an event that brought more than 850 musicians to TWU.

“Dr. Brown is a model of professionalism, courtesy and caring,” said Dr. Pamela Youngblood, TWU professor of music. “His students enjoy his sense of humor and appreciate his devotion to their progress. He also is a superb colleague who cares deeply about the music department as a whole and all of the individuals connected with it.”

The Distinction in Service Award — Dr. Jeffrey Robb

The award for Distinction in Service is presented to a faculty member who has developed an exemplary record of service to one’s component, the university, one’s professional field of study and/or the community.

Since joining the TWU Department of History and Government’s faculty in 1993, Dr. Robb has had a distinguished record of service to his students, department and to the university. He currently serves on three university-wide committees and has recently been named as the chair of the Academic Integrity Committee. He also has had a distinguished career in the TWU Faculty Senate, serving as its speaker from 2006-2007.

Dr. Robb has served on the board of the Denton Musical Theatre and the Denton Christian Preschool for at-risk children. He also has volunteered for the Denton Habitat for Humanity’s Ruth’s Room resale shop since it opened seven years ago.

Professionally, he is currently the president of the Executive Council of the Southwest Pre-Law Advisory Association.

“Dr. Robb has a strong commitment to service and volunteer activism,” said Patricia R. Devereaux, senior lecturer in history and government. “He is the type of person this award was created to recognize.”

Distinction in Teaching — Ms. Joan Wall

The award for Distinction in Teaching is presented to TWU faculty who have distinguished records of teaching and dedication to improving their teaching and the learning of their students.

After 44 years of exemplary teaching and service at TWU, Ms. Wall will retire at the end of the spring 2008 semester. Ms. Wall has noted on more than one occasion that while she loves performing, she is even more passionate about teaching and about sharing her love of music and how to teach it with others.

She has been instrumental in establishing TWU as one of the country’s highest-regarded vocal pedagogy programs. She also is the author of several publications and commercial videos that are widely used at colleges and universities around the country.

“Professor Wall’s long-time commitment and dedication to TWU, its students, to music in general and to teaching music in particular are both impressive and inspiring,” said Dr. James H. Chenevert, professor and chair of the TWU Music and Drama Department.

The Distinction in Scholarship Award — Dr. Mahesh S. Raisinghani

The award for Distinction in Scholarship is presented to a faculty member who has evidenced a distinguished record of scholarship and dedication to improving knowledge and understanding in their discipline

Since joining TWU three years ago, Dr. Raisinghani has made significant contributions in teaching, research and publication. He has authored four books, peer-reviewed 27 chapters and developed supplemental instruction materials for five manuals. In addition, he has peer-reviewed five manuscripts, edited 22 articles and completed two book reviews.

Dr. Raisinghani also has made numerous presentations at local, national and international conferences, all while teaching a full course load.

“Dr. Raisinghani’s in-depth knowledge, coupled with his passion for business has energized his students and fellow faculty members to think outside the box on a global scale,” said Christy Ahsanullah, 2006 TWU EMBA graduate.

The Distinction in Distance Education — Dr. Mary Frances Baxter

The award for Distinction in Distance Education is presented to a faculty member who has made distinguished contributions to e-learning through program or curriculum development or teaching.

Dr. Baxter has served as a mentor to both occupational therapy and physical therapy faculty in developing a model for effective teaching in distance learning. In 2003, she developed the Advanced Pediatric Certificate course, an interdisciplinary occupational therapy/physical therapy graduate certificate course. Since the creation of this program, occupational and physical therapists from all over the country have come to recognize TWU as an institution providing exceptional education opportunities at the graduate level.

In addition to developing the Advanced Pediatric Certificate and being an instructor in two core master’s-level courses, Dr. Baxter also has acted as a consultant with faculty on a number of online courses taught in TWU’s School of Occupational Therapy.

“Her willingness to share her wealth of knowledge with her colleagues in distance education has resulted in the School of Occupational Therapy having a national reputation for quality e-learning graduate instruction,” said Dr. Marsha Neville-Smith, TWU assistant professor of occupational therapy.

The Innovation in Academia Award — Dr. Alfred H. White Jr.

The award for Innovation in Academia is presented to a faculty member who has influenced the university in a manner that continually contributes to new growth and progress.

Dr. White joined TWU in 1975 as the director of deaf education. His colleagues note his visionary and innovation in being one of the pioneers in incorporating distance education technology. He helped to create the TWU Texas Education Telecommunications Network (TETN) Speech Language Pathology program, which has awarded 400 students with a master’s degree since its inception in the early 1990s.

Also, he worked with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the TWU Distance Learning Program to create the online program in deaf education. He also worked with school districts in need of speech pathologists to place TWU graduates at these districts under the supervision of TWU faculty.

“Those of us who work with him day to day have great admiration for the energy and discipline that Dr. White continues to bring to his job after 33 years of service,” said Dr. Delaina Walker-Batson, professor and director of the TWU Stroke Center-Dallas.



Media Contact:

Amanda Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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