Chancellor’s Council Honors Top Faculty at Texas Tech
Six faculty members at Texas Tech University were awarded Chancellor's Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards.
February 11, 2015 | Contact Doug Hensley
Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan today (Feb. 11) announced the Texas Tech University recipients of the annual Chancellor’s Council distinguished faculty awards. Recognizing excellence in academics and research, these awards represent the most prestigious honors granted to faculty members throughout the TTU System.
“It is truly exciting to be able to present our dedicated faculty members with these honors,” Duncan said. “In my first months as Chancellor when visiting our campuses, one of the first things I noticed was the strength of our faculty, especially here at the Texas Tech University. The accomplishments of our faculty and the impact they leave on our students make them a vital asset to our team.”
Additionally, two faculty members from Angelo State University, four faculty from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and four faculty members from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso received the honors for a total of 16 recipients.
"These recognitions are hard earned and well deserved," Texas Tech University President M. Duane Nellis said. "I am proud of these individuals, who represent the fabric of high quality teaching and research of all faculty on campus. We appreciate the support of Chancellor Duncan for his recognition of these outstanding faculty members."
Each winner receives a commemorative medallion and a $5,000 award. The Chancellor’s Council raises funds for student scholarships and recruitment, faculty awards and support, and other programs of excellence.
The Distinguished Teaching Awards went to the following individuals:
- Dr. James “Jim” Brink
- James “Jim” Brink is an associate professor in the Honors College. He has served in numerous roles during his 38 years at Texas Tech, 10 years of which were spent with the Office of the Provost where he served as senior vice provost for academic affairs, among other leadership positions. He was the founder of the Tech Transition freshman seminar and the founding chair of the Teaching Academy. Brink has developed and taught more than 10 different courses and has won each of the major teaching awards during his career at Texas Tech. Outside of the classroom, he organized Advanced Placement workshops in European History, presented Public Education lectures and recently conducted a World History summer workshop on the American Revolution. Brink also is a vital part of the prestigious ring ceremonies, presenting the features of the ring to students and guests. He received his undergraduate degrees in French and history from the University of Kansas and graduate degrees in early modern European history from the University of Washington.
- Jorge Ramírez, J.D.
- Jorge Ramírez has more than 14 years of dedicated service to the Texas Tech University School of Law and serves as a professor and associate dean for international programs. Known for his commitment to student growth, Ramírez directs the international exchange law programs, acts as the director for the Summer Law programs in Guanajuato, Mexico, and Kaunas, Lithuania, and has taught courses in Bolivia, Costa Rica and Paraguay, among many others. After serving as a visiting professor at Vytautas Magnus University (VMU) in Lithuania, Ramírez was instrumental in developing a student/faculty exchange agreement and summer program with that institution and was later honored with VMU’s "Man of the Year" award, recognizing his educational contributions to VMU. He also developed the Master of Laws program in US Legal Studies, greatly diversifying educational opportunities for both students and faculty at Texas Tech. He earned his law degree from Harvard University, from which he had previously received a bachelor’s degree in economics.
- Dr. Aliza Wong
- Aliza Wong serves as associate dean of the Honors College and associate professor of history, specializing in race, national identity and popular culture in modern Italy. Since arriving at Texas Tech in 2002, she has taught 16 different courses and has been consistently described by her students as engaging, enthusiastic and supportive. In 2012, Wong initiated the Open Teaching Concept, which encourages faculty members to reach across disciplinary boundaries and promoted a dialogue about the importance of teaching, mentoring, diversity, access and opportunity. The program effectively engages students and faculty across departments and colleges and now involves more than 25 faculty members across all 11 colleges. She also developed a scholarly exchange with the University of Milan, where her willingness to go the extra mile for her students translates across borders during her annual research trips. Wong is a two-time Fulbright award winner and also has received the Department of History's Distinguished Faculty Teaching award, the Hemphill-Wells New Professor Excellence in Teaching award and the President's Excellence in Teaching award during her time at Texas Tech. She has served as Faculty Senate president and devotes her time as Mortar Board adviser. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
The Distinguished Research Awards went to the following individuals:
- Dr. Carla Davis Cash
- Carla Davis Cash is an associate professor of piano and piano pedagogy in the School of Music at Texas Tech. Cash has become a leader in the design and implementation of empirical studies related to music learning, and her research in the growing field of memory consolidation has begun clarifying the processes by which musicians acquire and refine motor skills. Known for the collaborative nature of her research, she aims to convey and translate important ideas about understanding the process of skill learning for music teachers and performers. Cash has published her work in leading national journals and presented research and pedagogical presentations at international and national venues. A reflection of her groundbreaking work, she has twice received an Outstanding Research Award from the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy. She serves in leadership roles for several state and national organizations of music teaching and is an editorial board member of Texas Music Education Research and Journal of Research in Music Performance. Outside of her research, Cash is an active and distinguished performing artist and serves as a supportive mentor to graduate students pursuing their own research. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in keyboard performance and pedagogy from the University of Miami and her doctorate degree in philosophy with a major in music and human learning from the University of Texas at Austin.
- Dr. Changzhi Li
- Changzhi Li began his career at Texas Tech in 2009 and is an associate professor in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering. His research focuses on the study of integrated circuits and energy efficiency of microelectronics, and his work is frequently referred by other researchers in his field, having authored 70 peer-reviewed journal papers in highly ranked journals. In his research, Li uses portable radar technology to track tumor motion for lung cancer treatment in patients, paving the way for the exploitation of radar sensors in new and promising applications such as practical medicine. His research has been recognized and sponsored by the Cancer Prevention Research Institution of Texas, which is a rare feat for electrical engineers. Li has presented at more than 79 national and international conferences and secured more than $1.2 million in grant funding. He currently serves as the associate editor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Transactions on Circuits and Systems II and recently served as area editor for the International Journal of Electronics and Communications. Among many accomplishments, Li received the IEEE-HKN Outstanding Young Professional Award, the Frederick Emmons Terman Award from the American Society for Engineering Education, and the National Science Foundation CAREER award. He received his bachelor’s degree from Zhejiang University in China and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Florida.
- Dr. Shu Wang
- Shu Wang is an associate professor in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech and boasts a significant international research reputation, specializing in nutrition and nanomedicine. Her research assesses the interplay between diet and chronic diseases, including obesity and cardiovascular disease, and she is a pioneer in using biocompatible and biodegradable nanocarriers to enhance bioactivities of nutrients and natural compounds to prevent and treat these diseases. She has been active in professional service, serving on the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry and as a scientific peer reviewer in the grant review panel of American Heart Association. Since 2009, she has published 21 refereed articles in very competitive journals, one of which is ranked as the second most downloaded article published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. Wang also has secured more than $850,000 in funding from several areas, including the National Institutes of Health. Among numerous accolades, she was a finalist for the American Heart Association’s Young Investigator Award and received the Outstanding Research Award from the College of Human Sciences. Wang received her medical degree from Jilin University in China, her master’s in biochemistry and molecular biology from Capital Medical University in China, and her Ph.D. in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from Tufts University in Massachusetts.
About the Texas Tech University System
The Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the nation, consisting of four component institutions—Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso—and operating at 12 academic sites and centers. Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University System has an annual operating budget of $1.7 billion and approximately 17,000 employees focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach.
In 2014, the Texas Tech University System’s endowment exceeded $1 billion, total research expenditures were approximately $200 million and total enrollment approached 47,000 students. Whether it’s contributing billions of dollars annually in economic impact or being the only system in Texas to house an academic institution, law school, and health institution at the same location, the Texas Tech University System continues to prove that anything is possible.