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UTEP Faculty Earn Outstanding Teaching Awards From UT System Regents

Jim Becvar
Dr. Jim Becvar
Beth Brunk Chavez
Dr. Beth Brunk Chavez
Art Duval
Dr. Art Duval
Pat Nava
Dr. Pat Nava
Juan Noveron
Dr. Juan Noveron
Rockie Pederson
Dr. Rockie Pederson
William Robertson
Dr. William Robertson
Mary Stevens
Ms. Mary Stevens
Steven Varela
Mr. Steven Varela

Faculty members from The University of Texas at El Paso recently received high marks from The University of Texas System Board of Regents. Nine UTEP faculty members were presented with the Board of Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Awards recognizing their performance, innovative teaching techniques and commitment to teaching at the undergraduate level.

UTEP earned almost 25 percent of the 38 awards given to instructors at eight universities. The Board of Regents honored the recipients with a recognition dinner in Austin, Texas.

The winners received a one-time monetary award of $30,000 for tenured faculty, $25,000 for tenure-track faculty and $15,000 for contingent faculty.

The tenure awards were bestowed upon James Becvar, Ph.D., professor of chemistry; Art Duval, Ph.D., professor of mathematical sciences; and Patricia Nava, Ph.D., professor of electrical and computer engineering.

The tenure-track winners were Beth Brunk-Chavez, Ph.D., associate professor of English; Juan Noveron, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry; and William Robertson, Ph.D., assistant professor of teacher education.

The contingent faculty honorees were Mary Stevens, senior lecturer, accounting; Steven Varela, lecturer, English; and Rockie Pederson, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of kinesiology.

“It underscores our commitment to excellence in both teaching and research, and that is the hallmark of a great research university,” said Richard Jarvis, Ph.D., UTEP provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Our students are taught by some of the finest professors in Texas, and these awards make it official.”

Candidates for the teaching awards were nominated at the campus level, then evaluated on several criteria, including student and peer evaluations, teaching portfolio and student learning outcomes.

The awards program was established by the Regents in August 2008 as the latest in a series of UT System initiatives aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching, research and commercialization endeavors at all 15 UT System institutions.

A total of 73 faculty members from The University of Texas System academic institutions were selected to receive these honors and will share $2 million in awards.

“Clearly, we have a mandate to provide an exceptional education for our students, but our universities also play a critical role in ensuring the economic vitality of Texas,” said Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., UT System chancellor. “We believe these efforts will foster success in the areas of pedagogy and research, and that they will significantly enhance the educational experience for our students and sharpen the competitive edge of our science and technology activities.”