UNT faculty go above and beyond in teaching and in creating national and international connections through their research. The university honored that dedication this fall as part of our Salute to Faculty Excellence Week in September. The week's festivities culminated with an awards dinner at Apogee Stadium, where we celebrated the contributions of outstanding faculty, including the UNT Foundation's top four honorees.
"Our dedicated faculty members are standout teachers, internationally prominent researchers and scholars, and caring mentors," says Finley Graves, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "This year's event was extra special because it coincided with our 125th anniversary celebrations, making for a great occasion to reflect on our founding as a teachers college and the dedication of those who make UNT a great place to study and learn."
Angela Wilson, Regents Professor of chemistry, earned the UNT Foundation's Eminent Faculty Award, for outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service. Through the Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling, which Wilson founded and directs, UNT has formed one of the largest computational chemistry programs in the country and has brought together researchers from chemistry, physics, materials science, computer science and other areas to solve problems common to those fields. She is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and national associate of the U.S. National Academies, a National Science Foundation CAREER Award recipient, a fellow of the American Physical Society and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Watch a video about Wilson's work.
Lesli Robertson, principal lecturer in fibers, received the foundation's new Outstanding Lecturer Award. The award recognizes a full-time lecturer who has made significant and sustained contributions to the university as evidenced by the quality of his or her teaching and service. Robertson brings a creative spark to her work and students thanks to her expertise in installation artwork, community engagement, weaving and Ugandan cultural arts. She recently led workshops exploring new weaving patterns based on traditional patterns found in Bedouin culture as a Fulbright Specialist in Kuwait and as a College of Visual Arts and Design faculty member who teaches advanced weaving students.
Donna Emmanuel, associate professor of music education, received the foundation's Faculty Community Engagement Award. The distinction is given to a faculty member who has the sensitivity to understand and work across organizational boundaries and the leadership to build bridges among community institutions. Emmanuel founded and coordinates UNT's Mariachi Águilas, an ensemble for credit within the College of Music, open to any student on campus. She also directs a residential mariachi summer camp for middle and high school students. Emmanuel serves as the chair of the College Music Society's national committee on community engagement, looking at meaningful ways that university members can interact with the broader community, both on and off campus.
David Mason, Regents Professor of political science, was honored with the foundation's Faculty Leadership Award. The award acknowledges a faculty member who makes a significant impact on the academic enterprise through innovative initiatives, leadership and service. Mason is co-founder of UNT's Castleberry Peace Institute, the only peace science and human security research center in the southern United States. The institute has become internationally recognized for its research on conflicts within and between nations, attracting substantial amounts of grant funding and producing some of the most widely cited studies on civil conflict and conflict resolution.