Academic Recognition: Congratulations to faculty, staff and student award winners

Feb. 14, 2013



In addition to communicating more regularly to faculty and staff with fuller explanations and analysis of our academic initiatives, the Provost’s office intends to communicate as well to recognize and highlight the many academic achievements of our faculty, staff and students.  So for this week’s ProvostNews message, we are delighted to announce and recognize several important academic awards for our faculty, staff and students.

First, I am delighted to announce that a statewide faculty and student committee has recommended that the Nevada Regents’ Teaching Award for four-year institutions be awarded to a UNLV faculty member, Megan Becker-Leckrone, Associate Professor in the Department of English.  (Her award, and others to be conferred by the Regents, are subject to ratification vote by the Board at the upcoming February 28-March 1 meeting). This recognition is based upon her most impressive record of teaching achievement, including a teaching portfolio and superlative student evaluations. Professor Becker-Leckrone will also be nominated for next year’s “Professor of the Year” competition, awarded by Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support for Education. (This past year’s award for Carnegie/ CASE Nevada Professor of the Year went to UNLV Architecture Professor Alfredo Fernández-González.)

Dr. Becker-Leckrone is also one of four winners of the UNLV Foundation Distinguished Teaching Award for 2013 -- the others being  Michael J. Sullivan, Department of Finance (Lee Business School);  Elizabeth White Nelson, Department of History (Liberal Arts); and  David Hames,  Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology (Lee Business School).

Another UNLV faculty member, Mei Yang, Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,  will receive recognition as a Regents’ Rising Researcher, in recognition of her pioneering work on computer networks.

I’d also like to congratulate  Professor John Tuman, Department of Political Sciencewho has been named the Outstanding Chair/ Director of 2013. The hard and often thankless work of chairing an academic department is so frequently left unrecognized, and it is particularly gratifying to recognize Dr. Tuman for what his own faculty described in his nomination letter as his transparent, patient, responsive and effective leadership style.

As a research university faculty, we are committed to fostering high achievement among undergraduates and the advising of graduate students. In this regard, the winner of the 2013 UNLV Graduate Academic Advisor Award, David Holland, Associate Professor in the Department of History, exemplifies  the best our faculty has to offer  in guiding our graduate students .(In addition to this award, Professor Holland in 2011 won the Carnegie/CASE Nevada Professor of the Year award.)

As or maybe an even more impressive reflection of faculty achievement is when our students win awards. In this respect, I would like to congratulate Erik Ringdahl, a Ph. D. student in the Department of Psychology (under the supervision of Daniel Allen), who has won the Regents’ Scholar Award for graduate student research, and Emilya Terry, a triple major in History, Psychology and Women’s Studies (working under the direction of Marta Meana, Dean of the Honors College) who has won the Regents’ Scholar Award for undergraduate student research.

Our faculty are supported in our mission by the outstanding work of our professional academic advisors, and I am therefore delighted to acknowledge the winner of the 2013 UNLV Undergraduate Academic Advisor award, Kia Vichaikul, Assistant Director of Advising in the College of Hotel Administration.

In the coming weeks, committees will determine winners of other University awards, such as the Spanos Award, the Part-Time Teaching Award, and the Distinguished Professor nomination for this year. Many college level awards are being determined as well, and all these academic achievements will be presented formally and recognized at the UNLV annual academic recognition ceremony, April 25, at 3:30 pm (in the Ham Hall lobby).

With thanks, pride and recognition for the academic achievements of all our faculty, staff and students,
John Valery White
Executive Vice-President and Provost