UTRGV faculty recognized: Annual awards given for excellence

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Ten faculty members from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s various campuses have been named recipients of the 2021-2022 UTRGV Faculty Excellence Award.

The university bestows the award each year to faculty who have demonstrated outstanding work in seven areas in teaching (tenure, tenure-track and non-tenure track), online teaching, research, service, student mentoring, community-engaged scholarship, and sustainability education. The awards come with a $5,000 prize for each faculty members. Two new categories were added this year: Distinguished Career and Emerging Scholar.

Six of the 10 awards this year went to faculty in UTRGV’s Department of Biology in the College of Sciences.

The recipients are Horacio Vasquez, professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science (Teaching, Tenure and Tenure Track); Salma Mahmood, lecturer III, School of Mathematics and Statistical Sciences, College of Sciences (Teaching, Non-Tenure Track); Karl Berg, associate professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Research-Scholarship-Creative Work); Kathryn Perez, associate professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Online Teaching); Robert Dearth, professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Service); Pushpa Soti, assistant professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Student Mentoring); Christopher J. Vitek, professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Community-Engaged Scholarship); Sylvia A. Robles, assistant professor, International Business and Entrepreneurship, Robert C. Vackar College of Business and Entrepreneurship (Sustainability Education); Mohammed Farooqui, professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Distinguished Career); Alejandro Lopez-Juarez, professor, Biology, College of Sciences (Emerging Scholar).

Janna Arney, UTRGV executive vice president and provost said the university is “proud to celebrate our esteemed faculty and all they have accomplished.”

“UTRGV is fortunate to have exceptional faculty shaping our students and having an impact on the university and the Rio Grande Valley community,” she said. “These awards recognize their dedication and their successes, and I am grateful they are Vaqueros.”

The awards are sponsored each year by the university’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost; Office of Faculty Success and Diversity; Division of Research; Center for Online Learning and Teaching Technology; and Division of Institutional Advancement.