Texas Tech University

Karen Ray Receives Award

Karen Ray, the one-act play coordinator for the University Interscholastic League (UIL), received the first Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials Service Award on April 24 in Austin.
Olga Achourkina , current director of UIL and College Connect through the Division of Diversity, Equity Inclusion , said Ray is responsible for Region I UIL one-act play competitions for class 4A and 5A schools, directors' workshops and a summer camp. Achourkina thinks Ray deserved the recognition because of her dedication to the students.
“Karen Ray is well known in the community for her successful one-act plays and extensive expertise in the theater,” Achourkina said. “She is an outstanding teacher who is always enthusiastic, engaging, and caring toward students and others. She is an extraordinary, kind and caring person who gives back to community.”
Ray said her goal as the coordinator is to raise the standards for schools across the region in competitions. She helps train teachers who help grow the programs in the region.
“We are trying to build programs that will continue to be successful,” Ray said.
Lynn Elms , former director of the UIL for Region I at Texas Tech, said no one deserves this award and statewide recognition more than Ray.
“I know no one who works harder or with more passion than Karen Ray,” Elms said. “Karen received the award because she is consistent and committed to her work as a professional. Receiving this award reflects the importance Karen has given to the limitless responsibilities attached to managing one-act plays.”

Aliza Wong Selected as 2019 Piper Professor

Aliza Wong, an associate professor in the Department of History and the associate dean of the Honors College, was selected as a 2019 Piper Professor by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. She is one of only 10 selected in the State of Texas.

The Piper Professor Program began in 1958 to recognize outstanding professors from public and private two- and four-year colleges and universities in Texas. Each university selects one professor for the nomination. This year, it was Wong's name that was recognized.

“I am very honored and humbled to be chosen as a Piper Professor,” Wong said. “It's been several years since someone from Texas Tech was selected, so I am very fortunate to have been the candidate put forward for consideration and even more privileged to have been chosen as a Piper Professor.”

In recognition of being named a Piper Professor, Wong will receive a $5,000 honorarium, a gold pin and a certificate commemorating the award.

Erin Justyna Named President of NACADA

Erin Justyna, director of the Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (TrUE), did not anticipate her professional career developing at Texas Tech University upon the start of her undergraduate degree, she said. However, after 21 years at Texas Tech, Justyna holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies, a Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies and a doctorate in Education Curriculum and Instruction.

As the director of TrUE, Justyna is working to promote high-impact practices, she said. As a tier one research institution, Texas Tech incorporates high-impact practices for students such as research, service learning, internships, study abroad, capstone courses, learning communities and student organizations sponsored by colleges. These hands-on opportunities have shown to be transformative for student learning.

Justyna's passion for student success is what has fueled her involvement in The Global Community for Academic Advising (NACADA), she said. Justyna has been voted the president of NACADA and will transition from her year-long term as vice president to president at the annual conference in October. NACADA believes effective advising directly affects the success of students. The organization aims to develop the profession of academic advising in higher education through innovation, research and practice.

Stephen Bayne Has Book Published

Stephen Bayne, associate chair for graduate studies and a professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering , recently co-authored a book titled “Modeling and Electrothermal Simulation of SiC Power Devices,” which was recently published. The primary goal of the book is to provide a sound understanding of wide bandgap Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductor device simulation using Silvaco© ATLAS Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) software. Read more about the book here.

Architecture Professor Named Second Vice President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture

Robert González , director of the architecture program at Texas Tech University at El Paso , was selected as the 2019 selected for the 2019 Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture 's (ACSA) second vice president.

González will serve a four-year term on the ACSA board beginning July 1. He will serve as second vice president his first year, first vice president/president-elect his second year, president his third year and past president his fourth year.

González also reaches an important feat by being the first member from Texas Tech to be named president of ACSA.

“I'm thrilled to report that I'll soon proudly lead the ACSA, an organization that, in its 107 years of existence, will finally have an ACSA president from Texas Tech University,” González said. “I look forward to guiding our 200-member architecture schools in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Middle East at a moment when the stakes are particularly high.

“I'm eager to see how ACSA can better influence the profession through our diverse institutions. I believe, as an organization, we can learn from what Texas Tech has been doing to improve career pathways and strengthen community engagement, especially in our border communities.”

González has ignited new conversations about architecture among his community, some of which is reflected in the AULA: Architecture & Urbanism in Las Américas journal, a scholarly publication he co-founded. His research has allowed him to work collaboratively with notable organizations, such as the Environmental Design Research Association and the Society of Architectural Historians.

As director of the El Paso Architecture Program, González is working to change the professional landscape by focusing on two underrepresented groups in his field, women and Latino/as. Under his leadership, the program has tripled in size with the female student body quadrupling and the female faculty more than doubling.

Dario Carbone Presented at Annual American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting

Dario Carbone, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics & Astronomy , recently presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, D.C. The AAAS annual meeting offers a unique, exciting, interdisciplinary blend of more than 120 scientific sessions, plenary and topical lectures, flash talk sessions, e-poster presentations and an international exhibit hall. Each year, the community of leading scientists, educators, policymakers, and journalists gathers to discuss cutting-edge developments in science, technology and policy.

Kishor Mehta Receives Award From Structural Engineers Association of Texas

Kishor Mehta , Horn Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering in the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering , received the Wilbur C. Schoeller Award from the Structural Engineers Association of Texas. Mehta was recognized for his outstanding contributions to the structural engineering profession.

John Gilliam Featured Speaker at International Conference

John Gilliam, an associate professor of Personal Financial Planning in the College of Human Sciences, recently was a featured speaker at the European Financial Planning Organization's International Conference on Financial Advice, “From Expertise to Success,” in the Czech Republic. Gilliam's presentation focused on the functioning of financial consultancy in the U.S., including its comparison with European standards; the conditions and legal requirements of financial advisors; and the criteria that determine their competitiveness.

Seshadri Ramkumar Wins Award

Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor in the Department of Environmental Toxicology, received the Indian Science Monitor's 2018 Sir J. C. Bose Memorial Science Award on Feb. 28 in Coimbatore, India. The award is named for the father of radio waves, a pioneer in microwave options and plant science, who founded the Bose Institute. Now in its 15th year, the prize recognizes Indian and foreign scientists who have done pioneering work in science and contributed to the welfare of society at large. Eight scientists were recognized this year from fields such as astrobiology, materials science, bio textiles, biomedical imaging and yoga science. Later in the day, Ramkumar gave a presentation on "Cotton Oil Absorption Technology," with a practical demonstration, which was attended by over 200 people and many in the audience evaluated the technology as well.

Weindorf Joins Composting Council Research & Education Foundation Board

David Weindorf, a research faculty fellow with the Office of Research & Innovation and the BL Allen Endowed Chair of Pedology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources, has been named to the U.S. Composting Council Research & Education Foundation's Board of Trustees.

Loretta Bradley Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award

Loretta Bradley, the Paul Whitfield Horn Professor of Counselor Education and a coordinator in the Counselor Education Program in the College of Education, was recently honored with a lifetime achievement award from the International Association for Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC).

Bradley's career in counseling and higher education spans more than five decades, beginning in a school in Wichita, Kansas, where she worked as a teacher and counselor. She has been at Texas Tech University since 1987, coming to the university after serving as a professor at Vanderbilt University and a vice dean at Temple University.

Her many professional affiliations include serving as former president of several counselor organizations, including IAMFC and the American Counseling Association (ACA). Additionally, Bradley is the recipient of three national and international research awards from ACA, the Association for Counselor Education and Supervision and the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

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