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All Things Texas Tech

Texas Tech Integrated Scholars 2010

Fall 2010

"Finding the right work is like discovering your own soul in the world."
- Thomas Moore (1478-1535); English scholar, royal advisor (teacher), and public servant


Bob Smith
Provost

Katie Allen
Senior Editor, Academic Communications

There have been notable responses to the September 2009 All Things Texas Tech (ATTT) article: “Integrated Scholars: You Will Find Many at Texas Tech.” The Texas Tech University (TTU) Strategic Planning Council adopted the integrated scholar concept during preparation of the Texas Tech Strategic Plan for 2010-2020 (Making it Possible . . .). Similarly, the term was used in the TTU Strategic Plan for Research (2010), which was recently reviewed by the TTU Board of Regents and submitted subsequently to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. We also observed TTU faculty members using the terminology in promotion and tenure files considered in the Office of the Provost during 2009-2010 academic year. Thus, we wanted to prepare this redux and share the integrated scholar concept with faculty members joining the university this fall. Simultaneously, we wanted to note the impressive work of a new round of integrated scholars at Texas Tech.

For the edification of new ATTT readers, here is a brief review of the “integrated scholar” concept:

1) Using the metaphor of the “triple threat,” (i.e., in football, the player who excels in running, kicking, and passing; in the performing arts, artists who are great at acting, dancing, and singing), we note parallel academicians who are not only outstanding in teaching, research, and service, but are also able to generate synergy among the three functions.

2) 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. Finally, integrated scholar faculty members plan and execute service commitments to complement their teaching and research goals.

The Integrated Scholar Further Exemplified

Having reviewed briefly the integrated scholar model, we would now like to offer a new set of TTU faculty examples who have developed records as integrated scholars. As noted in the first article of this series, we know that by crafting such a list, some faculty members who have distinct claims to integrated scholarship might feel left out. However, as promised in the first article in this emerging series, the overall list will expand with time, and we hope there will be additional opportunities for all of us to revel in the integrated scholarly efforts of many more Texas Tech integrated scholar faculty members.

For now, and for additional illustrative purposes, we have chosen to highlight 12 of Texas Tech’s “academic triple threats”: Vivien Allen, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Thornton Distinguished Professor of Forages (College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources); Sam Bradley, Associate Professor of Advertising (College of Media and Communication); Hansel Burley, Professor of Educational Psychology and Leadership and Associate Dean (College of Education); Lou Densmore, Professor of Biological Sciences and Chair, Department of Biological Sciences (College of Arts and Sciences); Urs Peter Flueckiger, Associate Professor of Architectural Design (College of Architecture); Susan Fortney, Paul Whitfield Horn Professor and Interim Dean (School of Law); Debra Laverie, Professor of Marketing and Senior Associate Dean (Rawls College of Business Administration); Michelle Pantoya, Professor of Mechanical Engineering (Whitacre College of Engineering); John Poch, Professor of English (College of Arts and Sciences); Christopher Smith, Associate Professor of Musicology and Ethnomusicology and Director of the Vernacular Music Center (School of Music, College of Visual and Performing Arts); Susan Tomlinson, Associate Professor and Director, Natural History and Humanities Program (Honors College); and Anisa Zvonkovic, Hutcheson Professor of Human Development and Family Studies (College of Human Resources).

Meet the 2010 Integrated Scholars

Vivien AllenVivien Allen, Plant and Soil Science

Unless you have engaged in field research, it might be difficult to understand the challenges of a faculty member such as Vivien Allen. Besides requiring extraordinary patience, insight, and forbearance to adjust to factors often out of your control (e.g., weather), when your research also cuts across fields such as animal, plant, and soil sciences, the challenges are magnified—by breath of understanding if nothing else. Yet, Professor Allen has successfully tackled these challenges and more in her work with sustainable agriculture, particularly the co-development and support of animal and plant agriculture, which are all potentially threatened by our declining water resources, changing government policies, environmental concerns, and economic stability. Through the building of a highly diverse and successful team, Texas Tech is home to one of the largest and most productive long-term integrated systems research sites in the U.S. But, through work in such complex systems, Professor Allen has excelled not only in research that has been recognized internationally, but also in the field- and campus-based teaching of her students. And, the notable teaching and research efforts are woven with outreach to the agricultural community in Texas and beyond.

Sam BradleySam Bradley, Mass Communications

Winner of college-level teaching awards and the recipient of student evaluations rated in the top 10 percent among mass communications faculty members, Indiana University PhD recipient Sam Bradley has become quickly established among his peers at TTU. Now, couple his notable teaching record with his research on human psychophysiological responses (e.g., heart rate, skin conductance, and facial muscle activities) to media production—results of which have been recognized by acceptance of papers in top-notch journals and through top-paper awards from the International Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications—and we all take notice. Finally, when you consider Professor Bradley’s teenage experiences from mailroom clerk to research analyst in his family’s advertising business, along with his ability to weave recollections of these experiences into his teaching and research, you realize a sound basis for his demonstrated integrated scholarship.

Hansel BurleyHansel Burley, Education

If you review Hansel Burley’s record, you might find it difficult to determine where the elements of teaching, research, and service begin and end, because they are so tightly woven. Professor Burley’s scholarly pursuits span the practical to the theoretical, from studies of developmental (some say remedial) education to diversity (particularly the success of African American students in higher education) to the concept and application of semantics in World Wide Web programs and learning. The scholarship guides his teaching (e.g., cultural foundations of education, introduction to education statistics, meta-analysis of education research) and informs his service roles—whether through his outreach to College of Education faculty members (through his contributions as associate dean), contributions to the American Educational Research Association and the Traditionally Black Colleges and Universities Association for Institutional Research (wherein he is president), or notable other campus and off-campus causes. Thus, he has become a prime example of an integrated scholar.

Lou DensmoreLou Densmore, Biological Sciences

What do working with crocodiles and more than 20 years teaching at intersession, the TTU Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), and Texas Tech graduate and undergraduate students have in common? Don’t give up—it’s Lou Densmore. He is the integrated scholar who brings these entities together in unique and beneficial ways. Crocodiles connect with landmark molecular systematics, population genetics, and molecular toxicology research focused on the endangerment of these reptiles, now more than five years in the making through collaborations with Dr. Chris Brochu at the University of Iowa. Similar research with a variety of other reptiles drives the teaching and learning in which Professor Densmore engages to the benefit of undergraduate and graduate students alike in his intersession field herpetology class at the Junction campus. And, the TTU/HHMI tie relates to the 17 plus years of continuous funding that a team including Professor Densmore has been instrumental in bringing to the university—all for the benefit of Texas Tech undergraduate and graduate students doing research with faculty mentors. The span of TTU/HHMI Science Education Program support puts the university in the company of many of the top 15 research universities in the country. But, it is Professor Densmore’s vision, dedication, energy, and passion (acknowledged in part through a Presidential Excellence in Teaching Award in 2007) that bring these elements together—elements that reinforce his position as an integrated scholar.

Upe FlueckigerUrs Peter (Upe) Flueckiger, Architecture

As a relatively young College of Architecture faculty member, Urs Peter Flueckiger already has a number of “claims to fame.” He is the recipient of college teaching and research awards (e.g., Barney E. Rushing, Jr. Distinguished Research Award), and in 2009, he received the TTU Presidential Teaching Award and the President’s Book Award. His Swiss heritage supports his reputation as a rigorous and demanding teacher, but he is also one whose student evaluations are typically in the top 10 percent among his architecture faculty colleagues. On the research front, Professor Flueckiger is noted for scholarly work that informs uniquely his teaching and interests in architectural design. For example, consider his latest book, Donald Judd: Architecture in Marfa, Texas, which one reviewer noted as, “the first systematic survey of the architectural contribution in Marfa of the internationally famous Minimalist artist, Donald Judd. What makes this volume a significant contribution is the insight into Judd’s full engagement of his environment . . . an overarching philosophy of spatial relationships.” The same reviewer also commented that the book is, “very readable and accessible to both specialists in the field and interested non-academic readers.” Thus, his work has a very special outreach component to it. Due to his community-based interests in sustainable housing, along with all of his other efforts—integrated superbly—we salute Urs Peter Flueckiger as a 2010 TTU Integrated Scholar.

Susan FortneySusan Fortney, Law

To imagine the integrated scholarly work of Susan Fortney, you have to consider her elected membership (1999) in the TTU Teaching Academy (recognizing many of the university’s best teachers), appointment as a Paul Whitfield Horn Professor in 2008 (the most distinguished recognition the university offers for its faculty), TTU School of Law Distinguished Researcher Awards (2007 and 2006), Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award (2006), Presidential Academic Achievement Award (for teaching, research, and service in 2005), Spencer Wells Award for Creative Excellence in Teaching (2001-02), and President’s Excellence in Teaching Award (2000). And, that is just within the university. Consider further her being designated by the Texas Bar Foundation as the Lola Wright Foundation Award for outstanding public service (2010), being named one of the 30 Extraordinary Women of Texas Law by Texas Lawyer, and being inducted as an inaugural member of the National Institute on Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism (2005), and you see how strong her case is for the integrated scholarship moniker. Formal recognition aside, Professor Fortney is also known among the Texas Tech law students as an outstanding teacher in a variety of areas from bioethics to legal ethics and malpractice to immigration to torts, among others. Her expertise in ethics and malpractice arises in part out of her seminal texts (e.g., Legal Malpractice Law: Problems and Prevention, 2008) and myriad articles and presentations at venues spanning at least three continents. Now with her recent service to the university and TTU’s School of Law as associate dean and currently interim dean, the claim as integrated scholar becomes even more tangible.

Debra LaverieDebbie Laverie, Business

When we offer advice to new faculty members on becoming integrated scholars, we talk about developing teaching skills including the publication of papers on advances in pedagogy. We also advise a research agenda that includes research and scholarly disciplinary and interdisciplinary studies in areas of seminal importance, along with publication of results in front-line journals. Finally, our advice includes involvement in meaningful service-oriented efforts and conscious attempts to integrate all the lessons noted to this point. If Professor Laverie had been a student of the above noted lessons, she would have a received a top grade for her results to date. She is an outstanding teacher who has been recognized by membership and leadership appointments (e.g., Chair, 2000-2002) in the Teaching Academy. Additionally, she is the recipient of the TTU Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching and President’s Excellence in Teaching Awards, along with the Academy of Marketing Science Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2010, she was also awarded one of only 15 statewide Piper Professorships (of the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation), which acknowledge superior teaching at the college level. Not to be just on the receiving end, Professor Laverie has given of herself to teaching excellence through her service as director of the university’s Teaching, Learning and Technology Center during the past five years. Her direction of undergraduate and graduate student research has led to the publication of many research papers in leading journals in her field of marketing. In 2010, Professor Laverie was appointed senior associate dean in the Rawls College of Business where she will be offering a new level of service to Texas Tech and the world of academic business administration. We know the model of her integrated scholarship will not be lost as she comes in contact with greater numbers of faculty members and students through her new administrative role.

Michelle PantoyaMichelle Pantoya, Engineering

When the TTU leadership wished to highlight a science-engineering integrated scholar in the recently developed strategic plan for 2010-2020 (Making it Possible . . .), they chose to highlight an apt exemplar—Michelle Pantoya. Known principally for her work in mechanical engineering, where she studies the synthesis and explosive properties of materials, her academic efforts do not stop there. Professor Pantoya has amassed an instructional record—principally at the graduate level—that blends elegantly directed science-engineering research and learning for future researchers and higher education leaders. But, her life of integrated scholarship does not stop at higher education teaching and research. Her concern for the education and development of the youngest of current generations led her and colleague Emily Hunt of West Texas A&M University to publish a children’s book, Engineering Elephants (2010), illustrated (Molly Stewart) and designed to help children ages 4-8 not only to grasp the concepts of engineering but also to see how vital the field of engineering is to our twenty-first century. In short, the interwoven world and contributions of Michelle Pantoya clearly seal her claim to the tile of integrated scholar.

John PochJohn Poch, English

Akin to many fine poets, John Poch knows that poetry brings together—pithily—rhyme, meaning, and word sound in stunning ways. But, Professor Poch also knows that to insure the future of his art, poems and poetry have to be brought to scholars and the public at large in time-honored and unique ways. John Poch is known as a great teacher in one of the top creative writing programs in the country, right here at Texas Tech. His scholarly credentials record a number of books, including his most recent Dolls (2009). But, the scholarly work does not end with his work alone. It also includes editorial efforts and the production of the print poetry magazine, 32 Poems. Additionally, he is the Series Editor for The Vassar Miller Poetry Prize, which involves responsibility for oversight of one of the most prestigious annual poetry prizes in the country. He has also chaired (2001-2009) the Lubbock-based program Poetry by Heart and has been a contributor to the Highland Park School Literary Festival (Dallas). Additionally, he is a contributing author to the website: From the Fishouse (sic)—an audio archive of emerging poets. Thus, honoring his interwoven life of teaching, scholarship, and research, we acknowledge John Poch as a 2010 integrated scholar.

Christopher SmithChristopher Smith, Music

If you listen to the Texas Tech NPR Station (KOHM) on Friday nights or Saturday mornings, you will hear “Celtic Shores”, the radio program Chris Smith has written, produced, and hosted since 2005. The program is one measure of the integrated scholarship of Professor Smith, who is a Teaching Academy member and responsible for courses in musicology, ethnomusicology, and popular music as general university and honors offerings. Professor Smith’s scholarly work includes studies of American and African American Music, twentieth-century music, folk music including especially that originating from Ireland and other Celtic regions, along with improvisation in musical performance, the intersection of music and politics, and great performances in history. His conference presentations and published works (in journals and magazines ranging from New Hibernia Review to Contemporary Music Review to Lubbock Magazine and many others) include studies of the “Celtic guitar,” the improvisations of Miles Davis, cinematic portrayals of Irish musical culture, among a broad swath of work. His teaching and research is informed and enlivened by performances with Altramar—a medieval music ensemble, co-leadership (with Angela Mariana) of the traditional Irish group, Last Night’s Fun, as well as numerous other presentations nationally and internationally. His outreach activities also include World Wide Web content for the Prentice-Hall music history textbook series, the Buddy Holly Center, and the Banjo Lessons and Tips site. In all, his integrated efforts are as rich and abundant as one could hope for in a TTU integrated scholar.

Susan TomlinsonSusan Tomlinson, Natural History and Humanities

“Prairie woman—through and through,” “artist,” “naturalist,” “scientist,” “teacher,” and “writer,” are words that all apply to Susan Tomlinson—with one rejoinder. Bring them together in all you do and all you contribute to your academic life at Texas Tech. The joining, the weaving, and the integration come together in a remarkable program (which she directs) and degree offered through the TTU Honors College: Natural History and Humanities (NHH). Although relatively small in enrollment, the NHH program offers opportunities for student sojourners to learn and contribute to interdisciplinary scholarship that cuts across art, literature, history, philosophy, and science (particularly environmental and sustainability studies), all with a thrust towards integrated understanding. Professor Tomlinson’s life quest in natural history and humanities comes alive through the courses she has created (e.g., Introductory Fieldcraft: Nature as Text, Women and Nature); her writings, which include the recently published book, How to Keep a Naturalist’s Notebook; and the field experiences she creates for her students. Her excellence as a teacher has been recognized by induction into the TTU Teaching Academy, a President’s Excellence Award in Teaching (2004), and accolades noted frequently by students. The latter came to fruition in 2010 when TTU students voted to designate her as “Honors Faculty Member of the Year.” Professor Tomlinson’s scholarship has been acknowledged through an Editor’s Choice Award (2008) of Isotope—a literary magazine devoted to science and nature writing. We acknowledge her as an integrated scholar because of her bringing together and synergizing teaching, research, and service—an accomplishment of great importance in the education of students who will bring understanding and energy to the sustainability of our shared environment.

Anisa ZvonkovicAnisa Zvonkovic, Human Development and Family Studies

If you study the challenges modern professionals face balancing work and family life, especially where the work-related efforts involve considerable travel, you will come across the name of Anisa Zvonkovic. She has been a leader in related research and funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH)—over $1.4 million in the past five years—which has involved managing a large group of graduate students and research staff in studies that are illuminating the work-family life dynamic, including such notable challenges as job termination. The research and findings are vital to the courses and mentoring that Professor Zvonkovic is known for among human development and family studies master’s and doctoral students (she advises nine graduate students). For example, in 2010 a number of her students won university-wide awards for research/graduate study (e.g., TTU Graduate School Outstanding Social Sciences Master’s Thesis Award, AT&T Chancellor’s Doctoral Fellowship Award) and instruction (TTU Teaching, Learning and Technology Center TEACH Fellowships, Graduate Part-Time Instructor of the Year). Professor Zvonkovic herself was acknowledged through an Outstanding Faculty Mentor award from the TTU Center for Undergraduate Research. Her efforts at outreach and service, which have informed the teaching and research, have involved service on a major NIH scientific review committee (2009-2011) and presentations at numerous national forums. Additionally, she serves on the Berado Mentoring Award committee of the National Council on Family Relations. In the past, she has also chaired the national program for this organization, along with giving service in other organizational areas. On top of all of the above, is the service that Professor Zvonkovic has given in recent years to editorial boards (of three major journals) as well as the College of Human Sciences as chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Thus, she has had to manage her own work-family life dynamic, which has been aided by her integrated approach to scholarship across the teaching-research-service triad.

Thinking Ahead

Now, for the newly appointed TTU faculty member or one who wishes to proverbially reinvent himself or herself, we might ask: “How might I craft a integrated scholarly career path akin to that of a Lou Densmore or Susan Fortney?” Here is some free advice from a provost who has reviewed more than 1,500 promotion and/or tenure portfolios at four research universities (TTU, Washington State University and the Universities of Connecticut and Arkansas at Fayetteville):

Summarizing, we have reviewed some defining ideas about integrated scholarship and integrated scholars. We have also offered examples of 12 Texas Tech faculty members who personify integrated scholarship. Finally, some free and useful advice has been offered for organizing one’s thinking about integrated scholars. Let me 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 bob.smith@ttu.edu.

About the Authors

Bob Smith serves as provost and senior vice president at Texas Tech University, bob.smith@ttu.edu.

Katie Allen serves as senior editor, academic communications in the Office of Communications and Marketing at Texas Tech University, katie.allen@ttu.edu.

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