NSM Faculty/Staff Newsletter

From the Office of the Dean

Sixteen NSM Faculty and Two Graduate Students Honored with UH Faculty Excellence and Research Excellence Awards

Congratulations to the 16 College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics faculty members and two graduate students recognized for excellence in teaching, mentoring, scholarship, and research. These exceptional faculty members and students were honored at the 2024 Faculty Excellence Awards celebration on April 25.

The awards are among the highest honors bestowed by the University of Houston.

“The 18 individuals recognized represent the best in teaching, research, and mentorship,” said Dan E. Wells, NSM dean. “Their efforts are making a tremendous difference in the lives and career paths of our students.”

Esther Farfel Award - Zhifeng Ren

Zhifeng Ren, Paul C. W. Chu and May P. Chern Endowed Chair in Condensed Matter Physics and director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at UH, received the Esther Farfel Award, the highest honor accorded to a University faculty member. The award is a symbol of overall career excellence. Recipients are chosen for the significance and national/international impact of their research or creative activity, outstanding teaching ability, and distinctive and exemplary service to the University, the profession, and the community. The award carries a cash prize of $10,000.

Moores Professorships

Mini Das, Physics
Seema Khurana, Biology & Biochemistry
This five-year, renewable professorship is given to faculty in recognition of outstanding teaching, research, and service.

Teaching Excellence Awards

Distinguished Leadership in Teaching Excellence

Donna Pattison, Biology & Biochemistry
This award is given in recognition of faculty who have made sustained and significant contributions to education within the context of their responsibilities as a full-time faculty member.

Teaching Excellence

Chin-Yo Lin, Biology & Biochemistry, CNRCS
This award is given to faculty in recognition of outstanding achievements in teaching.

Teaching Excellence - Provost Core

Ann Cheek, Biology & Biochemistry
Tai-Yen Chen, Chemistry
This award is given to faculty who have demonstrated outstanding teaching in undergraduate core curriculum courses.

Teaching Excellence - Instructor/Clinical

Cathy Poliak, Mathematics
This award is given in recognition of outstanding teaching by faculty instructors, clinical faculty, research faculty, artist affiliates, and lecturers.

Teaching Excellence - Graduate Teaching Assistant

Lukasz Krzywon, Mathematics
Elliot Lagueux, Biology & Biochemistry
This award is given to graduate students who have demonstrated excellence in teaching.

Teaching Excellence - Group Teaching

Paige Evans, teachHOUSTON-Mathematics
Jacqueline Ekeoba, teachHOUSTON-Mathematics
Ramona Mateer, teachHOUSTON-Mathematics
Rachel Glenn, teachHOUSTON-Mathematics
This award recognizes faculty who demonstrate a strong commitment to teaching and student success, who have worked together collaboratively to improve student outcomes.

Outstanding Graduate Mentor

Jeremy May, Chemistry
This award recognizes a faculty member who has had outstanding success in mentoring graduate students.

Undergraduate Research Mentor

Melissa Zastrow, Chemistry
This award acknowledges faculty who are making a significant impact in their field by supporting and mentoring undergraduate students in research and scholarship endeavors and who have demonstrated at least five years of mentorship involvement.

Awards for Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

Research Excellence - Professor

Gopal Pandurangan, Computer Science
This award recognizes faculty who have a substantial continuing record of outstanding research, scholarship, and creative activities.

Research Excellence - Assistant Professor

Weiyi Peng, Biology & Biochemistry CNRCS
This award recognizes faculty who have demonstrated great potential in research, scholarship, and creative endeavors by virtue of the exceptional quality of their early contributions.

Kathy Major, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics