Many of unt's 1,500 faculty members are national and international experts in their fields, earning top honors, fellowships and awards. The university's Salute to Faculty Excellence Week celebrates faculty for excelling as teachers and scholars. The celebration this fall paid tribute to the best of the best, culminating with a black-tie dinner at UNT's Apogee Stadium.
"Our faculty are committed to furthering our understanding of the world through research and scholarship and then sharing that knowledge and insight with students," says President V. Lane Rawlins. "That's what makes them such great teachers. They innovate and educate."
Faculty awards and recognition
Showcasing faculty greatness is at the heart of Salute to Faculty Excellence Week, but it's also an opportunity for students to say thanks to teachers for their hard work. UNT's faculty members help students by challenging and supporting them -- principles embodied in UNT's new Succeed at UNT campaign. This fall's week of celebrations and networking events included the Thank-A-Teacher Ice Cream Social, at which students shared an ice cream sundae with their favorite professors. UNT also bestowed 30 awards and cash prizes on faculty for their accomplishments in teaching, research, leadership and service. The top three awards are supported by the UNT Foundation.
Eminent Faculty award
Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, Regents Professor of history, earned the UNT Foundation's Eminent Faculty Award. The award recognizes a faculty member who has made outstanding and sustained contributions to scholarly-creative activity, teaching and service. Campbell, Lone Star Chair of Texas History and chief historian for the Texas State Historical Association, is a leading historian on Southern and Texas history and through his scholarship has changed how we think about Texas' past and its connection to the South. As one of the highest faculty achievers at UNT, the Eminent Faculty Award recipient serves as an inspiration for the entire UNT community.
Faculty Community engagement award
Ruthanne "Rudi" Thompson, associate professor of biological sciences, was honored with the UNT 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. Since joining UNT, Thompson has gained recognition for bringing innovative environmental research and education to her laboratory and classroom and to K-12 schools through outreach. In 1995, she helped develop UNT's Elm Fork Education Center and since that time has introduced 65 school districts in the North Texas region to hands-on science and created events to engage 1,000 families in environmental science activities at UNT.
Faculty Leadership award
Angela Wilson, Regents Professor of chemistry, received the UNT Foundation's Faculty Leadership Award. The honor acknowledges a faculty member who makes a significant impact on the academic enterprise through innovative initiatives, leadership and service. Wilson has excelled in this respect, earning national and international awards for being a trailblazer in the field of computational chemistry. She is leading a research team that is working to create chemical models that will accurately compute energetics across the periodic table. She also is a fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.