Volume 4, Number 2; September 2012
Texas Tech Integrated Faculty Scholars
Written and produced by Bob Smith, Rachel Pierce, and Scott Irlbeck
Photography by Neal Hinkle
“The environment at Texas Tech fosters Integrated Scholars. We don't push people so hard into being research scientists or researchers that we forget that to truly be a scholar, you have to be able to teach, you have to be able to communicate, and you have to be able to get across what you do and why you do it to the general public.”
—Llewellyn D. Densmore (1952- )
Each August at the new faculty orientation during the past four years we have offered the recommendation that our newest Texas Tech University (TTU) colleagues consider becoming Integrated Scholars. The suggestion is followed by a description of integrated scholarship and allusions to the TTU Integrated Faculty Scholars for that year. Indeed, when one of us made that presentation on August 23 of this year, the Integrated Scholars featured in this paper were highlighted for the 2012 cohort of new TTU faculty members. With the 2012 newcomers in mind and some of our more seasoned faculty colleagues who may be less familiar with the Integrated Faculty Scholar concept, we dedicate this paper. Also, we take this opportunity to announce and share a bit of the professional life stories of twelve TTU faculty members who—through their integrated scholarship—bring added value to our academic community on the high plains of Texas.
A Brief Review of the Integrated Faculty Scholar Concept
This paper is the fourth in a series of works (Smith, 2009; Smith and Allen, 2010; Smith, Allen, and Irlbeck, 2011) on integrated faculty scholarship, which many at TTU have come to embrace as an academic paradigm involving the following concepts:
- Using the metaphor of the "triple threat" (i.e., in football, the player who excels in running, blocking, and passing; in theater, artists who are outstanding at acting, dancing, and singing), we note parallel academicians who are not only outstanding in teaching, research, and outreach or service, but also are able to generate synergy among the three functions.
- Faculty members who are integrated scholars consistently promote active learning, and infuse the results of their research and scholarship in courses and other learning experiences. Integrated Scholars publish results of their teaching innovations in peer-reviewed journals. Also, Integrated Scholar faculty members plan and execute outreach and service commitments to complement their teaching and research goals. Moreover, their outreach efforts inform all that they do in the domains of teaching/learning and research, scholarship, and creative efforts.
The Integrated Faculty Scholar Exemplified
With the Integrated Faculty Scholar model in mind, we now offer a new set of TTU faculty members whose records of accomplishment exemplify integrated scholarship. As noted in earlier articles of this series, we know that by making specific selections, some faculty members who have distinct claims to integrated scholarship may feel slighted. However, we intend to continue this series through the current decade so the overall list will expand with time, thereby providing many more opportunities for our academic community to revel in the integrated scholarly efforts of Texas Tech's faculty members.
For now, and for illustrative purposes, we are adding twelve new "academic triple threats" to Texas Tech's previous assemblage of thirty-six Integrated Faculty Scholars (Integrated Faculty Scholars at Texas Tech, 2012): Linda J. S. Allen, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics (College of Arts & Sciences); Jennifer S. Bard, associate dean for faculty research and development, Alvin R. Allison Professor of Law (School of Law); Dominick J. Casadonte Jr., Minnie Stevens Piper Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry (College of Arts & Sciences); Bruce Clarke, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Literature & Science, Department of English (College of Arts & Sciences); Genevieve Durham DeCesaro, associate professor, head of Dance Program, and associate chair, Department of Theatre & Dance (College of Visual & Performing Arts); Guy Loneragan, professor of epidemiology and animal health, Department of Animal & Food Sciences (College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources); Audra Morse, associate dean for undergraduate studies, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering (Whitacre College of Engineering); Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz, associate professor of bilingual education and diversity, Department of Curriculum & Instruction (College of Education); William R. Pasewark, Webster Professor of Business (Rawls College of Business); Christian R. Pongratz, professor and director, Digital Design & Fabrication Program (College of Architecture); Anna Christina Soy Ribeiro, associate professor of philosophy, Department of Philosophy (College of Arts & Sciences); and Trent Seltzer, associate professor and chair, Department of Public Relations (College of Media & Communication).
Linda J. S. Allen
For Horn Professor Linda Allen, finding solutions to mathematical problems has always been a source of great enjoyment, as has discovering nature's mysteries. These two distinct pursuits combine to form Allen's academic specialties of mathematical biology and mathematical epidemiology. She applies a mathematical context to events arising in ecosystems, particularly the spread of infectious diseases, and her research holds increasing relevance to societies as scientists seek to understand the complexities of disease proliferation. Moreover, Allen helps to ensure that future generations can comprehend such topics by sharing modeling techniques in her undergraduate and graduate math classes, and serving as a presenter in mathematics short courses and workshops for novice and experienced students alike. Allen also involves students in her research projects; currently, she and her students are developing models of immune responses and lytic bacteriophage phenomena. Indeed, engaging with students has been key to Professor Allen's integrated scholarship, and she adds that it continues to be the most enjoyable aspect of her work. Learn more about Linda Allen >
Jennifer S. Bard
The road to Texas Tech has been a long one for Professor Jennifer Bard, but her responsibilities to educate law and medical students has helped to ensure that the journey has been worth all the years of study, practice, and commitment to integrated scholarship. Bard calls her dual appointment at the TTU School of Law and the Health Sciences Center a "dream job," allowing her to follow in the path of the late Professor Angela Holder, a leading voice in health care law. Bard's lectures and research focus on health-related topics, including bioethics, the insanity defense, and whistleblowing. Her research has been published widely, and her engagement in teaching has been noteworthy, earning her the recognition of the university and peers; in recent years, Bard has received the TTU President's Excellence in Teaching Award and was elected to the American Law Institute, in addition to other professional achievements. Also, her service contributions have included work with Texas Tech's Research Advisory Council and Teaching Academy, as well as volunteerism with her congregation. Learn more about Jennifer Bard >
Dominick J. Casadonte Jr.
An appreciation for music has helped to drive the integrated scholarship of Professor Dominick Casadonte Jr. As a student of both chemistry and classical trombone, Casadonte combines elements from those areas in the study of sonochemistry; his research involves using high-intensity sounds to propel chemical reactions in nanomaterials, alternative fuels, and environmental remediation processes. Additionally, Casadonte carries out research in supramolecular photochemistry and chemistry education. His studies, especially in the latter research area, have carried over into laboratories and lecture halls; Casadonte's interests in chemistry education have led him to flip the traditional lecture-homework paradigm in his honors general chemistry classes. His desire to ignite the scientific interests of both young and old has led him to perform more than 250 chemical demonstration shows over two decades and to prepare teacher's aides for science class settings. Also during his more than 20-year career at Texas Tech, Casadonte has served as an adviser for more than half a dozen student organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, the Catholic Student Association, and Iota Tau Alpha. Learn more about Dominick Casadonte Jr. >
Literature and its interconnections with science are central to the academic work of Horn Professor Bruce Clarke. He has spent more than two decades researching and teaching about this emerging area of literature, crafting his findings into scholarly articles as well as lectures. His commitment to the field recently brought to Texas Tech the Earth, Life & System Symposium—dedicated in honor of the late Professor Lynn Margulis, whose scholarship on cell biology shaped the study of evolution and made a deep impression on Clarke. Also, Clarke's service to his field and to the university have likewise been great. He has been president of the Society for Literature and Science and is interim chair of the English Department in the College of Arts & Sciences, in addition to appointments on administrative committees and as an editor of INTERTEXTS: a Journal of Comparative and Theoretical Reflection, which is published by TTU Press. In addition to his recognition as one of this year's Integrated Scholars, Clarke was named a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in 2011. Prior to his career in academia, Clarke was a founding member of the pop band Sha Na Na during his days as an undergraduate at Columbia University. Learn more about Bruce Clarke >
Genevieve Durham DeCesaro
A true artist in academia, dance Professor Genevieve Durham DeCesaro has made performing arts front and center in her integrated scholarship. Her knowledge of dance choreography and performance are not reserved just for the studio and classroom, but is ever-present in DeCesaro's research and service projects. One of DeCesaro's research interests involves blending performing arts with traditional written scholarship; she is interested in examining ideas that are typically expressed through prose and reinterpreting them kinesthetically, in an effort to reach a more diverse audience. As part of a collaboration with human sciences Professor Elizabeth Sharp, DeCesaro is choreographing a performance based on American women's ideologies of marriage and motherhood. In a separate effort, DeCesaro is examining how the arts are understood and valued by colleagues and administrators in higher education, as their points of view can further cultural understanding. DeCesaro's service projects also maintain a focus on the performing arts. She advises several student organizations on campus—chief among them is Chi Tau Epsilon, an honors dance society that promotes community service—and she gives back to her profession as a board member of the American College Dance Festival Association. Learn more about Genevieve Durham DeCesaro >
As an epidemiologist in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences, Guy Loneragan concentrates on the beginning of the farm-to-table continuum, in an effort to ensure food safety early on in the production process. Professor Loneragan's appointment at Texas Tech is wholly focused on research that mitigates pathogenic E. coli and Salmonella species, and antibiotic resistance. He works with several graduate students and trains them in epidemiological methods and analysis. Additionally, Loneragan and his colleagues in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources have research partners throughout the US, as well as in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Argentina, France, and Australia. Loneragan's work has led him to serve on the food safety committees of beef producers and to work with pharmaceutical companies. Additionally, he collaborates with such organizations as the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Texas Cattle Feeders Association, as well as with industry stakeholders and legislators. His engagement in epidemiology and food safety began early in life; growing up, Loneragan helped his father, a veterinarian, in his medical work and in managing their family's ranch in Australia. Learn more about Guy Loneragan >
Inspired by the teachings of her own civil engineering professor, Audra Morse also strives to ignite her students' interests in the classroom and the laboratory. Morse says Texas Tech Professor Heyward Ramsey triggered her fascination with the field of environmental engineering, and she hopes to have a similar influence as a professor and an administrator by integrating her teaching, research, and service activities. Morse's research concentrates on wastewater treatment and reuse, and she believes that this focus will make a lasting impact on future generations and societies. Complementing her research efforts, Morse teaches a service-learning course on wastewater reuse for industrial applications. She also devotes time to the next generation of engineers through her participation in organizations such as Women in Science and Engineering, Shake Hands with Your Future, and the American Society of Civil Engineers at Texas Tech. Originally from Houston, Morse is a Red Raider through and through; she earned her bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees in environmental and civil engineering from TTU. Learn more about Audra Morse >
The plight of the immigrant child is a foremost concern in the integrated scholarship of bilingual education Professor Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz. The daughter of immigrants herself, Muñoz noticed while growing up that she was singular among friends to be on track for a college education. A desire to work with students that had backgrounds similar to hers led Muñoz, while an undergraduate, to rewarding work and volunteer opportunities that laid the foundation for her research into children's educational experiences. She ultimately earned a doctorate, and through her own teaching and research, Muñoz has impacted the pedagogy of many educators and the learning experiences of many more students. Additionally, Muñoz's expertise has enabled her to serve with numerous organizations, committees, and advisory panels at the state and national levels, however, her contributions within the local community—thanks to Muñoz's emphasis on relationships with area teachers, administrators, and districts—have been the most valuable to her work. Learn more about Zenaida Aguirre-Muñoz >
William R. Pasewark
Through his teaching, research, and service, accounting Professor William Pasewark is educating the newest leaders in business. He lectures on a range of topics, including financial analysis and advanced accounting. His research centers on behavioral issues in the field, and along with a colleague, Pasewark is conducting research about customer payment behaviors under a grant from accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Moreover, Pasewark is editor of the scholarly journal Issues in Accounting Education. As part of his service to the Rawls College of Business, Pasewark is an adviser for the audit internship program, which places accounting students at CPA firms in large cities. Pasewark is a native of Lubbock and returned to his hometown to work at Texas Tech after teaching at the University of Houston and the University of Georgia. Before joining academia, Pasewark worked in the banking and energy sectors. Learn more about William Pasewark >
Christian R. Pongratz
By melding his admirations of science, technology, and design, Professor Christian Pongratz has crafted an impressive career in architecture and accomplished much as a Texas Tech Integrated Scholar. Pongratz is based in Lubbock during the academic year, teaching and directing the college's Master of Science Program in Digital Design and Fabrication (DDF). Extending learning opportunities to the summer months, he leads a study abroad program for architecture students, allowing them to travel to Verona, the stone-producing center of Italy, where Pongratz operates an architectural firm with his wife, Professor Maria Perbellini, chair of instruction in the College of Architecture. Pongratz's work has focused largely on the building envelope, essentially a structure's skin, which divides a building's interior from the outdoors. He has conducted research into design computation and geometry, building materials and assembly, and construction assembly processes. Pongratz's designs have been exhibited throughout the US, Europe, and Asia. Born in Germany, Pongratz came to the US to pursue graduate studies in the field of architecture and eventually founded the DDF Program at Texas Tech. Learn more about Christian Pongratz >
Anna Christina Soy Ribeiro
Helping her students to understand human nature through the examination of creative expression is at the core of philosophy Professor Anna Ribeiro's integrated scholarship. Ribeiro explores the philosophy of art, concentrating on the aesthetic aspects and cultural significance of poetry, in her research and her classes. She is writing a book that sifts through global poetic traditions from their origins through modern times in order to provide a comprehensive view of the art form. This past summer, she developed an introductory philosophy course for students participating in the College of Engineering's study abroad program in Spain. As part of her service to the university, Ribeiro is collaborating with colleagues to update the core curriculum requirements in the component area of language, philosophy, and culture. Ribeiro, originally from Brazil, says she always had a fondness for poetry, but her appreciation for philosophy took root during her undergraduate years at Hunter College in New York. When she heard the words of René Descartes (known for imparting, "I think, therefore I am"), Ribeiro says she "never looked back." Learn more about Anna Ribeiro >
Public relations Professor Trent Seltzer is fascinated by politics, and his passion is reflected through his teaching, research, and service projects. Seltzer's scholarship revolves around relationships management in public relations, and he examines social media and the strategic communications of political parties and campaigns to gauge their influence on the public. Seltzer notes that his research helps to inform his teaching, and correspondingly, his teaching and emphasis on service combine in his Public Relations Campaigns courses, which primarily involve partnerships with local and regional nonprofits. Since he recently took on the role of department chair, Seltzer is committed to strengthening the image of the university's public relations program. He also aims to resurrect the student public relations firm, establish a PR journal, and organize a regional conference for public relations practitioners. Seltzer was born into a politically active family. He recalls that his father was always running for office locally— and as a young man he became interested in the media side of campaigning, which led him to graduate school. Learn more about Trent Seltzer >
Whether newly appointed or seasoned TTU faculty member, one might ask: "How might I craft an integrated scholarly career path akin to that of a Jennifer Bard, Bruce Clarke, Audra Morse, or William Pasewark?" From our experience interviewing and studying Integrated Faculty Scholars, we would suggest:
- Maximize your teaching effectiveness. Sign up for workshops sponsored by the Teaching, Learning, and Professional Development Center (TLPDC). Find out about the Teaching Academy, and get to know the Teaching Academy Executive Council member who represents your college or school.
- If you don't already—learn to love students!
- Determine how instructional efforts might lead to scholarly contributions. Many fields such as chemistry, education, engineering, and marketing have journals that provide excellent outlets for related scholarly efforts. If you have developed innovations in teaching/learning, particularly in the areas of active learning (internships, service learning, study abroad, and undergraduate or graduate research) that you would like to share with your colleagues, we will be happy to consider publishing your work in All Things Texas Tech. See the footnote below for getting in touch with us.
- Choose wisely your scholarly and research interests, and focus areas. Pick areas, topics, and projects where you can make important contributions. Give consideration to collaborations with well-established scholars and researchers. See how you might engage in interdisciplinary efforts that embrace your background and talents. Look and apply for grants that could support your research and scholarly work, as well as undergraduate and graduate students who can engage in research. Use the services of the Office of Research Services and the area of faculty development in the Office of the Vice President for Research to assist in grant development efforts.
- Present papers at first-rate venues, including meetings of well-recognized scholarly organizations.
- Publish articles in top-tier journals. If your area of scholarship emphasizes the publication of original work in books, seek out the very best university or commercial presses for publication. Robert Mandel, managing director of the Texas Tech University Press, and his staff can provide some sage advice along the way. If your scholarly work is in the areas of visual or performing arts, seek advice on creative scholarship from mentors at Texas Tech or other major research universities.
- Develop a plan for rendering service to the university, professional organizations, and society. In most tenure-based units, there are light expectations for university service at the assistant professor level, but service expectations should not be nil. Choose university assignments wisely. Think about enlarging your commitments as you become tenured and anticipate promotion to full professor. After joining and participating in one or more professional organizations, think about seeking a place on organizational service committees or running for office. Consider service on editorial boards of noted journals. Seek out outreach opportunities through service-learning courses or scholarly efforts that contain unique engagement efforts.
- Keep your chair and dean informed of notable accomplishments in teaching, research/scholarship/creative activities, and outreach/service. As Provost, I have asked the deans to keep me informed so that we may suitably acknowledge your successes either through publication or university awards.
- Seek ways to integrate all of your efforts at Texas Tech. Ask for pointers from your chair and trusted colleagues. Place the topic of integrated scholarship on the agenda for a future faculty meeting.
Summarizing, we have reviewed some characterizing traits of integrated scholarship and Integrated Faculty Scholars. We also have offered examples of twelve Texas Tech faculty members who personify integrated scholarship. Finally, we have presented some suggestions for organizing one's thinking about Integrated Faculty Scholars. In another article in this issue, one of us (Smith, 2012) offers some advice to faculty in tenure-track positions—faculty who are thinking about effective approaches to tenure. The advice emanates largely from the recently revised and adopted (by the Board of Regents) OP (32.01) for Promotion and Tenure Standards and Procedures. Tenure-track and tenured TTU faculty members should note how the university through OP 32.01 has now elaborated much more carefully what is desired in teaching, research, and outreach/service excellence to earn tenure and promotion. As you read through OP 32.01, you should also perceive similarities with the characteristics of integrated scholarship contained within this article. It is no accident! As always, let us know what you think, either through e-mail or snail mail. If you craft a thought-provoking piece, we'll consider it for publication in All Things Texas Tech. Ideas and suggestions are welcome and can be directed to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Integrated Faculty Scholars at Texas Tech, TTU Provost website, 2012; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/scholars/index.php.
- Smith, Bob. "Integrated Scholars: You Will Find Many at Texas Tech." All Things Texas Tech, 1 (2), September 2009; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2009/09/integratedscholar.php.
- Smith, Bob and Katie Allen. "Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2010." All Things Texas Tech 2 (2) 2010; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2010/09/integratedscholars.php.
- Smith, Bob, Katie Allen, and Scott Irlbeck. "Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2011." All Things Texas Tech 3 (2) 2011; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2011/09/integratedscholars.php.
- Smith, Bob. "A Letter to Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty." All Things Texas Tech 4 (2) 2012; http://www.depts.ttu.edu/provost/attt/2012/09/tenure.php.
About the Authors
Bob Smith serves as provost and senior vice president, and professor of chemistry at Texas Tech University.
Rachel Pierce and Scott Irlbeck are senior editors of research and academic communications at Texas Tech University.