Honoring Our Best


Thursday night, I had the privilege of saying “thank you” on behalf of the whole University family to some of our top faculty and staff for the work that they do every day.

Two faculty members received the Civitatis Award, given each year to reward service to the University above and beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research, and writing:

  • Larry Abraham, associate dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies, whose work focuses on enriching the undergraduate curriculum across the University and who also is a professor of kinesiology and health education.
  • Pat Davis, a professor and senior associate dean in the College of Pharmacy, who is admired across our campus for being a leader in advancing teaching innovation and the use of instructional technology.

The Arno Nowotny Medal, which goes each year to a staff member of the Division of Student Affairs who follows the late Dean Nowotny’s example, was awarded to:

  • Tany Norwood, the retired longtime pillar of the Office of the Dean of Students.

The President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award went to these eight outstanding professors who exemplify the University’s commitment to excellence in undergraduate education:

  • Andrew D. Ellington, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Leanne Heath Field, Biology and Public Health
  • Cynthia A. LaBrake, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Brad Love, Advertising and Public Relations
  • Karl Hagstrom Miller, American History
  • Elizabeth M. Richmond-Garza, Humanities and Comparative Literature
  • Hector D. Ruvalcaba, Mexican Literature and Culture
  • Lori K. Holleran Steiker, Social Work

We should all take great pride in the quality of faculty and staff these honorees represent.

Bill's Signature

University Awards recognize key members of UT family

Tonight, I have the pleasure of awarding the University’s highest honors, starting with the Presidential Citation, which will go to four vital members of The University of Texas family. This year’s recipients are:

  • Joe Jamail, one of America’s most successful trial lawyers, an alumnus, and a long-time UT benefactor in numerous areas
  • Peter O’Donnell, one of most generous supporters of UT in its history and the namesake of the O’Donnell Building for Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences
  • Pamela Willeford, a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein and an alumna who has been one of the most active volunteer leaders in the University family, and
  • Judith Zaffirini, an alumna and the second longest-serving senator (and highest-ranking female and Hispanic senator) in the Texas Senate who has long supported UT in many critical ways

Other honorees tonight will include recipients of the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching:

  • Jane Arledge, Lecturer, Department of Mathematics
  • Ruth Buskirk, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences
  • Michael Scott, Senior Lecturer, Department of Computer Science
  • Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology
  • Patrick Davis, Senior Associate Dean and Professor, College of Pharmacy

The Arno Nowotny Medal, which is awarded to staff members of the Division of Student Affairs, will go to David H. Stones, a former associate registrar and database coordinator who was instrumental in modernizing our registration process among many other accomplishments.

The Civitatis Award, presented to a faculty member who has shown exemplary campus citizenship throughout a career of service at UT, will go to Sue A. Greninger, an associate professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science who has served for nine consecutive years as secretary of the General Faculty and the Faculty Council.

I’m so proud of all of this year’s recipients. The Tower will glow orange tonight in their honor.

Bill's Signature

2012 President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards

I’d like to share with you the winners of this year’s President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award. This $5,000 award recognizes great teaching of undergraduates in the core curriculum. Winners must also have been involved in curriculum reform and educational innovation. This year’s winners are:

  • Jane Arledge, Lecturer, Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences
  • Ruth Buskirk, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, Biological Sciences, College of Natural Sciences
  • Michael Scott, Senior Lecturer, Computer Science, College of Natural Sciences
  • Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer, College of Liberal Arts
  • Patrick Davis, Professor and Senior Associate Dean, Pharmacy

The recipients will be honored with a banquet in the spring. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners. You make the University a better place to teach and to learn.

What starts here changes the world.