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24 Honored With 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awards

Caitlin "Cait" Shields '11 March 26, 2021 1:38 PM updated: April 8, 2021 10:44 AM

For more than 65 years, Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students have recognized the most deserving faculty and staff members with one of the university’s highest professional honors—the University-Level Distinguished Achievement Awards.

This year’s recipients were chosen for their stellar performances in teaching, research, student relations, continuing education, staff service and graduate student mentoring. Since the award’s inception in 1955, it has been presented to 1,136 professionals (including this year’s recipients) who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.

In recognition of their achievements, honorees will receive a cash gift, an engraved watch and a commemorative plaque. The 2021 Distinguished Achievement Awards ceremony is planned to be held virtually in late May. 

Through the generous support of former students and friends of Texas A&M, The Association of Former Students is able to support A&M faculty and staff through programs like the Distinguished Achievement Awards. The Distinguished Achievement Award is an award of excellence, and each of the 24 recipients is more than worthy of the distinction. Please join us as we congratulate the recipients of the 2021 University-Level Distinguished Achievement Awards.

FOR TEACHING 

This award is presented to superior classroom teachers: individuals whose command of their respective discipline, teaching methodologies, pervasive caring, communication skills, and commitment to the learning process exemplify the meaning of “teacher” in its highest sense.

  • Joanna Goodey-Pellois, Department of Chemistry, College of Science
  • Gregory Heim, Department of Information and Operations Management, Mays Business School
  • Rupak Mahapatra, Department of Physics and Astronomy, College of Science
  • Ibere Nascentes Alves, Department of Petroleum Engineering, College of Engineering
  • LeeAnn "Mysti" Rudd, Liberal Arts Program-English, Texas A&M University at Qatar
  • Jennifer Strong '02, Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • Andrew Tag '03, Department of Biology, College of Science
  • Aakash Tyagi, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Andra Voges '91, Department of Veterinary Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
  • Robert Woodward '97, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development

FOR RESEARCH 

This award recognizes and rewards those individuals whose research efforts have been particularly significant and whose outstanding work is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally.

  • José Luis Bermúdez, Department of Philosophy and Humanities, College of Liberal Arts
  • Mahmoud El-Halwagi, Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Margaret Ezell, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts
  • Beverly Irby, Department of Educational Administration and Human ResourceDevelopment, College of Education and Human Development
  • Marcia Ory, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health
  • Svetlana Sukhishvili, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, College of Engineering

FOR INDIVIDUAL STUDENT RELATIONS 

This award recognizes, encourages, and rewards those employees whose professional relationships with students are particularly helpful and inspiring. 

  • Krista Bailey '99, Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, College of Education and Human Development
  • Elizabeth Robinson '95, Department of English, College of Liberal Arts

FOR ADMINISTRATION

This award recognizes, rewards, and encourages an administrator who has contributed to the welfare of Texas A&M University through outstanding administrative service beyond the expectation of the position.

  • Joyce Alexander, Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education and Human Development

FOR EXTENSION, OUTREACH, CONTINUING EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

This award is presented to a staff member, faculty member or administrator who has brought credit to Texas A&M University through his or her dedication, enthusiasm, attitude, and effectiveness in the particular field of extension, continuing education or professional development in which he or she is engaged. 

  • Larry Stein '79, Department of Horticultural Science, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

FOR STAFF

This award recognizes, rewards, and encourages a staff member who has contributed to the welfare of Texas A&M University through outstanding staff support beyond the expectations of the position.

  • Laura Hammons '96, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
  • Melissa Shehane '04, Department of Student Activities, Division of Student Affairs

FOR GRADUATE MENTORING

This award recognizes, encourages, and rewards superior faculty mentors of graduate students—those faculty who go well beyond advising by bringing their skills and commitment to students’ learning and professional development as future teachers, practitioners, researchers, and scholars through mentoring.

  • Gerard Coté, Department of Biomedical Engineering, College of Engineering
  • Christine Stanley '85, Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development, College of Education and Human Development

 

For more information about this year’s recipients, visit the Dean of Faculties site.

The Association of Former Students is the oldest organization serving Texas A&M University in support of the ever-growing Aggie Network. We are HERE for Aggies during their days as students and former students, THERE for Aggies as they make their way around the world and EVERYWHERE the Aggie Network needs us to be. To help us help more Aggies, visit tx.ag/Give.



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