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Chancellor’s Council Recognizes TTU System’s Top Faculty

Chancellor Robert Duncan presented teaching and research awards to esteemed faculty throughout the Texas Tech University System.

January 31, 2018 | Contact Scott Lacefield

Texas Tech University System Chancellor Robert Duncan recently recognized 14 faculty members from the system’s four component institutions as recipients of the 2018 Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards. These awards recognize excellence in academics and research, and are the most prestigious honors granted to faculty members throughout the TTU System.

“The quality academic experience available to our students in the Texas Tech University System is a direct result of the hard work, commitment and dedication of our faculty members,” Duncan said. “They pursue groundbreaking, impactful research and guide our students in reaching new heights of excellence. On behalf of our institutions, it is an honor and a privilege to recognize our world-class faculty.”

The awards are made possible through philanthropic gifts to the Chancellor’s Council, which recognizes top teaching and research faculty across the Texas Tech University System. Since the teaching and research awards were established by the council in 2001, 165 faculty have received awards totaling $1,035,000. 

The Chancellor’s Council was originally created in 1967 as the President’s Council to recognize donors who helped Texas Tech University accomplish its highest goals. The program was renamed and expanded in 1996 with the establishment of the Texas Tech University System. Today, the Chancellor’s Council plays a vital role in creating opportunities for all four universities. The council supports student scholarships, faculty awards and top scholar recruitment.

Award recipients each receive a $5,000 stipend and an engraved medallion.


TTU Chancellor's CouncilPresident Lawrence Schovanec, Venugopal Mendu, Courtney Meyers, Fethi A. Inan, Heather Warren-Crow, Wendy-Adele Humphrey, Ron Milam, Chancellor Robert Duncan


Those recognized at Texas Tech University for teaching excellence were:

Wendy-Adele Humphrey, J.D.

Humphrey is an associate dean and professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law

She works in the nationally respected Legal Practice program, teaching first-year law students fundamental skills such as legal research, legal writing, alternative dispute resolution, contract drafting and appellate advocacy. She oversees all aspects of the law school’s recruitment and admissions efforts and assists with the law school’s compliance with ABA and regional assessment standards.

For her extraordinary service to Texas Young Lawyers Association and the State Bar, Humphrey received the TYLA President’s Award of Merit for five consecutive years. In 2017 she was the sole recipient of the statewide Judge Sam Williams Award.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Westminster College as well as a master’s in curriculum and instruction and a juris doctorate from Texas Tech University.


Courtney Meyers, Ph.D.

Meyers is an associate professor in agricultural communications and the graduate studies coordinator for the agricultural education and communications department in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

Meyers teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in website design, public relations and online media. Meyers also serves as an academic adviser and teaches a section of Raider Ready, Texas Tech’s first-year seminar course to help freshmen develop skills for college success. Integrating service learning, social media, research and multimedia case studies into her courses has enhanced the critical and creative thinking abilities of her students.

Recognized as a Texas Tech Integrated Scholar, Meyers is a member of Texas Tech’s Teaching Academy and has received a number of teaching awards at the college, university and national levels. One of her recent teaching awards is the 2015 U.S. Department of Agriculture’s New Teacher Award, which is given to only two recipients nationwide each year.

Meyers earned a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University, a master’s degree from the University of Arkansas and a doctorate from the University of Florida.


Ron Milam, Ph.D.

 Milam is an associate professor of military history for the College of Arts & Sciences.

He specializes in the Vietnam War and is the interim executive director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict, which includes the world-renowned Vietnam Center & Archive. Milam is the author of Not a Gentleman’s War: An Inside View of Junior Officers in the Vietnam War. As a Fulbright Scholar, he taught the History of U.S. Foreign Policy in Vietnam and teaches study abroad in Southeast Asia during most summer sessions.

Milam is one of eight American scholars writing the history of America’s wars for the new Education Center at “The Wall” in Washington, D.C., and in 2015 he was recognized for his teaching of military history by being inducted into the Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame at the Infantry Museum in Fort Benning, Georgia.

Milam earned a doctorate at the University of Houston.


Those recognized at Texas Tech University for research excellence were:

Michael Findlater, Ph.D.

Findlater is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Since establishing his independent career at Texas Tech, he has achieved national and international prominence for his work in catalysis research. Findlater is a National Science Foundation CAREER award recipient, one of the foundation’s most prestigious awards. His work is also supported by grant funds from the Robert Welch Foundation, one of only seven Welch grants on the Texas Tech campus.

Findlater is originally from Scotland. He received a bachelor’s degree, with honors, in applied chemistry from the University of Strathclyde, earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


Fethi A. Inan, Ph.D.

Inan is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the College of Education.

He teaches graduate courses in instructional technology research and online learning. His research interests are adaptive learning, individual differences and technology integration. Inan has been the Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several privately and federally funded research projects. He has pioneered the development of several educational hypermedia and adaptive learning systems. His work has often been published in highly reputable journals listed in the Social Sciences Citation Index.

Inan earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in computer education and instructional technology from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey. He received a doctorate in instructional design and technology from the University of Memphis.


Venugopal Mendu, Ph.D.

Mendu is an assistant professor of cell and wall biology in the Department of Plant and Soil Science in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

His research focus is on discovery and functional characterization of genes involved in plant development, biotic and abiotic stresses. This includes cotton fiber initiation, development and cellulose biosynthesis. In addition, his lab also works on plant biomass based biofuels and natural antibiotic products. His lab works on several crop species such as cotton, sorghum, corn, soybean, white teak and peanuts.

Mendu received a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Acharya N. G. Ranga Agricultural University in India and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky.


Heather Warren-Crow, Ph.D.

Warren-Crow is an assistant professor in the Department of Fine Arts in the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts.

A versatile scholar and artist, Warren-Crow has developed innovative ways to investigate the relationship between media technologies and subjectivity in 20th and 21st century contexts. Her research outputs range from academic publications to creative texts to live performance, video art and south art.

Warren-Crow is also a practicing artist specializing in live and recorded performance. She has worked solo and collaboratively, exhibiting at galleries and in performance spaces around the world. Despite the formal diversity of her creative output, her practice has one central concern: the role of the voice in performing identity, emotion and labor.

Warren-Crow earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and has a doctorate in performance studies from the University of California, Berkeley.


TTUHSC Chancellor's Council Chancellor Robert Duncan, Phil S. Sizer, Eric J. MacLaughlin, Kendra P. Rumbaugh, Simon C. Williams, President Tedd L. Mitchell


Those recognized for teaching excellence at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center were:

Eric J. MacLaughlin, Pharm.D

Dr. MacLaughlin is a professor and chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, and a clinical professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, School of Medicine.

His practice specialty is family medicine and he is an expert in the management of hypertension. His teaching, practice, and research focus are in the area of chronic cardiovascular diseases, especially high blood pressure and team-based care. He is an author and the only pharmacist on the 2017 national guidelines for the treatment of high blood pressure in adults recently released by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology.

Dr. MacLaughlin has been the recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, Most Influential Professor Award and 10 additional School of Pharmacy teacher or teaching team of the year awards.

He received his bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from Albany College of Pharmacy, Pharm.D. from Medical University of South Carolina and completed a Primary Care Specialty Residency at the University of Colorado.


Simon C. Williams, Ph.D.

Simon Williams is an associate professor in the Department of Medical Education and associate dean for Academic Affairs, School of Medicine.

He joined TTUHSC in 1995. His research interests focused on the genetics of human leukemia, regulation of male reproduction and molecular interactions between pathogenic bacteria and human cells. After several years as a successful researcher, he changed career focus to education and administration, and greatly contributed to innovative initiatives such as the three-year accelerated track for students interested in careers in family medicine. Williams played a major role in guiding the School of Medicine through two successful accreditation cycles by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. In recognition of this, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the School of Medicine in 2008 and was appointed University Distinguished Faculty in 2015.

Williams was born in Dublin, Ireland and completed a bachelor’s degree in genetics at Trinity College, Dublin. He began a doctorate program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a component institution of the State University of Buffalo, New York. In 1990, he completed a degree in cellular and molecular biology and went on to postdoctoral training in the area of gene regulation and cancer at the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland.


Those recognized for research excellence at TTUHSC were:

 Kendra P. Rumbaugh, Ph.D.

Rumbaugh is an associate professor in the Department of Surgery, with joint appointments in the departments of Cell Biology & Biochemistry and Immunology & Molecular Microbiology.

Her research focuses on understanding and treating wound infections, and she is especially interested in how biofilms, polymicrobial interactions and cell-to-cell signaling contribute to infection. Rumbaugh’s research has been consistently funded, receiving approximately $2.5 million in extramural awards, over the last 10 years. She has served on organizing committees or as a session chair and invited speaker at several national and international conferences.

Rumbaugh received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Texas at El Paso. She attended graduate school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, where her doctoral work focused on the role of quorum sensing in the pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. After receiving her doctorate in medical microbiology, Rumbaugh did postdoctoral training at the University of California at San Francisco.


Phil S. Sizer, P.T., Ph.D.

Sizer is an associate dean for Research and ScD Program Director in the School of Health Professions.

His primary research interests include clinical pathoanatomy, sensorimotor control and functional biomechanics of the spine and extremities, as well as tissue and movement screening. Sizer has lectured at more than 400 national and international courses and conferences in musculoskeletal pathoanatomy, diagnostics and management, sensorimotor control and pain science. He also serves as the director of the Clinical Musculoskeletal Research Laboratory, as well as senior faculty in the Rehabilitation Sciences and Medical Pain Fellowship programs.

Sizer received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, as well as a master’s degree in exercise science and a doctorate with a motor control emphasis from Texas Tech University. He is a President’s Distinguished Professor.


ASU Chancellor's Council President Brian J. May, Kanisorn WongsrichanalaiSusan Badiola, Chancellor Robert Duncan


Recognized for teaching excellence at Angelo State University was:

Susana Badiola, Ph.D.

Badiola is a professor of philosophy in the College of Arts and Humanities.

She is an innovative instructor who helped create the curriculum for ASU’s philosophy degree program. Her passionate commitment to philosophy and education guided her vision to expand what was previously a minor in philosophy into a full-grown program, which was implemented in 2013. She also continually develops new courses. By participating in faculty development workshops and incorporating the latest technology in her classroom, she promotes student engagement and provides extensive feedback to her students. She also reaches students across campus by incorporating elements of philosophy into the university’s core curriculum.

Outside the classroom, Badiola sponsors educational films on campus and takes students to philosophy presentations and professional conferences where their research is presented. She also advises the student Philosophy Club and has organized and participated in numerous philosophy forums, debates and presentations on campus, in the community and on various media.

Badiola received a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and Spanish literature from Saint Louis University and earned a doctorate of philosophy from Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain.


Recognized for research excellence at Angelo State University was:

Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, Ph.D.

Wongsrichanalai is an associate professor of history in the College of Arts and Humanities.

He exemplifies the model of the teacher-scholar. He has developed and taught 10 courses for both the department and the ASU Honors Program and has received outstanding teaching evaluations, all while remaining committed to his scholarly pursuits.

Wongsrichanalai is co-director of a $99,982 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, co-director of ASU’s ongoing Great War Commemoration Lecture Series, and previously co-directed ASU’s grant-funded “Latino Americans: 500 Years of History” project that included a popular lecture series from 2015-16.

In addition to winning prestigious grants and coordinating the corresponding projects, Wongsrichanalai shares his research at professional conferences and is widely published in historical journals, popular blogs and other media. He has also published two books and is working on a third.

Wongsrichanalai earned a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and his master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Virginia.


TTUHSC El Paso Chancellor's Council President Richard Lange, Maureen Francis, Chancellor Robert Duncan


Recognized for teaching excellence at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso was:

Maureen D. Francis, M.D., MS-HPEd

Dr. Francis is a professor in the Department of Medical Education.

Dr. Francis has been involved in teaching students and residents for more than 30 years. Since joining the department at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, she has worked closely with medical students as a college master and co-director of the medical skills course.

She currently teaches Master’s Colloquium, a discussion based course on medical ethics and professionalism. Dr. Francis is active in clinical practice and supervises students and residents on the inpatient teaching service and in the internal medicine clinic. She serves as one of the medical directors of the medical student-run clinic while working closely with students to improve the health of the community.

Since 2014, Dr. Francis has served as an assistant dean for clinical instruction and has worked closely with the clerkship directors to continuously improve coordination, instruction and assessment of the third and fourth year medical students.

She was born and raised in Philadelphia and was the first in her family to attend college. Dr. Francis received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and recently earned a master’s degree in health professions education from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute for Health Professions. She received her medical doctorate degree from Jefferson Medical College. She received a scholarship for medical school through the Army’s Health Professions Scholarship Program and served on active duty for six years.


About the Texas Tech University System 

Established in 1996, the Texas Tech University System is one of the top public university systems in the state of Texas and nation, consisting of four universities—Texas Tech UniversityTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterAngelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso.

Headquartered in Lubbock, Texas, the TTU System is a $2 billion enterprise focused on advancing higher education, health care, research and outreach with approximately 20,000 employees, nearly 53,000 students, more than 330,000 alumni and an endowment over $1.2 billion.

In its short history, the TTU System has grown tremendously and is nationally acclaimed, operating on 17 campuses statewide and internationally. Under the dynamic leadership of Chancellor Robert Duncan, the TTU System has set forth a bold vision of excellence, collaboration and innovation and continues to prove that from here, it’s possible.