2021 SFE Award Winners

UNT Foundation Awards

UNT Foundation Eminent Faculty Award

Alicia Re Cruz


Dr. Alicia Re Cruz is a scholar, professor, mentor, mother of three wonderful young Latino men, wife, daughter, and proud to intersect these roles “with her own accent.” Much of her professional life has been colored by her efforts in creating and being part of “communities”; this has been the survival strategy that she learned in El Puente de Vallecas, a low income barrio where she was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. Anthropology is her life’s work, profoundly inspired by Women’s and Gender Studies in nurturing the passion to learn from people, to work with people, to create a philosophy of “togetherness”. For her, it is the essential tool for social justice and equity.

Dr. Re Cruz received her BA degree in Geography and History, with a specialty in American Ethnology and Anthropology from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain, and her MA and PhD in Anthropology from State University of New York at Albany in 1992. This same year she became the third faculty member of the Institute of Anthropology at UNT. Dr. Re Cruz became the Chair of the Department from 2007 to 2011.

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UNT Foundation Faculty Leadership Award

Corey Marks in front of a green background

Corey Marks


Dr. Corey Marks, a University Distinguished Teaching Professor, has taught poetry at the University of North Texas since 2000, and he became Director of Creative Writing for the Department of English in 2005. He’s published two books of poems—Renunciation, winner of the National Poetry Series Open Competition, and The Radio Tree, winner of the Green Rose Prize. His work has also received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Natalie Ornish Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Bernard F. Conners Prize from The Paris Review, and two fellowships from UNT’s Institute for the Advancement of the Arts.

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UNT Foundation Community Engagement Award

Suzanne Enck in front of a grey bakcground

Suzanne Enck

Communication Studies

Dr. Suzanne Enck is Chair of the Department of Communication Studies and an Associate Professor of feminist rhetoric and public culture at the University of North Texas where she also serves as an affiliated faculty member of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program. Suzanne earned her bachelor’s degrees in Political Science, Philosophy, and Foreign Diplomacy from Miami University (Ohio) in 1994; her master’s degree in Speech Communication from Ball State in 1995; and her PhD in Communication & Culture from Indiana University in 2005. Suzanne joined the faculty at UNT in 2009.

A committed feminist scholar and pedagogue, she blends her scholarship and outreach at the intersections of gendered violence and women’s incarceration. She also researches practices of feminist/activist-oriented pedagogy in addition to public enactments of grief. Suzanne has published analyses of gendered violence in Communication & Critical/Cultural Studies, Communication, Culture & Critique, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Women’s Studies in Communication, in addition to chapters in Family Violence: Communication Processes and Mediated Boyhood: Boys, Teens, and Tweens in Popular Culture and Media. With funding from the Organization for Research on Women and Communication (ORWAC), she conducted (36) life history interviews with incarcerated women; the first article from this project was published in Text & Performance Quarterly. She is currently working on a book manuscript tentatively titled Storying Carceral Survival: Exploring Women's Pathways to Incarceration. For her work at the nexus of gendered violence and activism, she earned the National Communication Association’s (NCA’s) Critical & Cultural Studies Division’s 2016 Outstanding Scholar-Activist award.

At UNT, Suzanne teaches courses rooted in social justice and civic engagement including Gender & Communication, Social Movements & Resistance, Feminist Criticism, and Rhetoric & Popular Culture. In teaching the Gender & Communication course, Suzanne’s students coordinated 15 large-scale public outreach events known as the Gender Fair between 2009 and 2018. This day-long interactive event centers students as researchers, offering the opportunity to re-imagine the intersecting constraints of identity including gender, race, sexuality, ability, and class. This event has attracted 500-900 visitors at each of the (15) Gender Fairs.

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UNT Foundation Outstanding Lecturer Award

Karen Dorff in front of a dark background
Karen Dorff


Karen Dorff is the coordinator of the Communication Design program, Graphic Design track and principal lecturer in UNT’s College of Visual Arts and Design. Her career began after graduating in 1985 from UNT (called North Texas State University, at that time) with a BFA in Painting and Drawing. She went to work for the newly-formed Hypergraphics Corporation, a company specializing in the commercial development of the first self-paced, computer-based training, and founded by a former NTSU professor. Using a rudimentary DOS based image editor and one of the first desktop publishing software programs, Karen created digital images and layouts for projects contracted by AT&T, Nortel Networks, GTE and the Texas Back Institute. After honing her layout, typography and tech skills, she went on to work as a successful designer and illustrator for several large corporate firms as well as smaller design studios in Dallas. While working in the industry, she designed award winning annual reports, branding/identity campaigns, collateral design, editorial design, menu design, packaging, promotional materials and travel brochures. Client work included Dr Pepper/7-Up, JCPenney and while working for Benoit Design, Blue Mesa, Cigna, Entergy, Ensco, Excel Communications, Motorola, Nortel Networks, ProNet, Texas Instruments, and The Texas Society of CPAs.

Karen’s design work has been recognized by the CASE Council for Advancement and Support of Education, IABC International Association of Business Communicators, Dallas Tops Awards, the Dallas Society of Visual Communicators, the International Davey Awards, the League of American Communications Professionals, MarCom Creative Awards, and Neenah Paper Collateral Promotions. Her work has been published in Menu Design, Print Magazine and The Black Book AR 100 Competition.

She first began working at UNT as an adjunct professor, teaching an evening class twenty years ago. She was then hired as a visiting professor for several years followed by a brief hiatus from teaching. She returned to UNT as a senior lecturer and was then promoted to principal lecturer. 

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Research Awards

University Distinguished Research Professor

Pudur Jagaseeswaran in front of a green backgroundPudur Jagadeeswaran

Biological Sciences

Dr. Pudur Jagadeeswaran received his Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, where he determined a bacterial 5S RNA sequence. He was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale. He sequenced human globin gene cluster that led to the discovery of Alu families. He served as an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he cloned clotting factor genes and identified hemophilia mutations. He then moved to UTHSCSA as an associate professor and rose to the rank of full professor. He created mouse model of one hemophilia mutation. He then pioneered the zebrafish model to study the genetics of coagulopathies and moved to UNT. Since then, he identified several novel hemostasis genes using zebrafish model.

He published 100 papers, has been funded by NIH and taught medical, graduate, and undergraduate students. He trained 18 postdoctoral fellows, 19 graduate students, and 70 high school, undergraduate, and MD students. He served on the departmental, university, international and national committees, including NIH study section panels. He serves on the editorial board of Blood Coagulation and Fibrinolysis and BBA Molecular Cell Research journals. He organized national and international meetings and chaired in these conferences. He received ASIOA Mario Toppo distinguished scientist and lifetime achievement awards.

Presidential Early Career Professorship

Ifana Mahbub in front of green backgroundIfana Mahbub

Electrical Engineering

Dr. Ifana Mahbub is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of North Texas (UNT), where she is leading the Integrated Biomedical Circuits and Systems Laboratory (iBioCASL). Currently, she is advising (5) Ph.D. and (5) MS students and graduated (1) Ph.D. and (4) MS students. Her research interests include energy-efficient circuits and systems design for wireless telemetry, power transfer, and signal processing applications for implantable and wearable sensors. Her works also focus on the RF and microwave component designs and miniaturized, flexible antenna design. She received the B.Sc. degree (2012) in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and the Ph.D. degree (2017) in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Mahbub is the recipient of the prestigious “Early Career Award” from the National Science Foundation (NSF). She has also received more than $1M federal research grants from NSF and the Office of Naval Research (ONR). In recognition of her outstanding research and teaching achievements, Professor Mahbub received the UNT College of Engineering’s PACCAR Distinguished Fellowship in 2020. Dr. Mahbub has published (2) book chapters, (24) journal publications, and over (47) peer-reviewed conference publications. She currently serves as the publicity chair for the IEEE Circuits & Systems Society, Dallas Chapter. She has served as a guest editor for the MDPI Journal, and as the publications chair for several IEEE conferences. She is also serving as the Graduate Curriculum Committee Chair in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UNT.

UNT Teacher-Scholar

Laura Siebeneck in front of green backgroundLaura Siebeneck

Emergency Management and Disaster Science

Dr. Laura Siebeneck is an associate professor in the Department of Emergency Management and Disaster Science.  As a hazards geographer, her research interests include spatial and temporal dimensions of disaster evacuation and return-entry, risk perception, risk communication, and disaster recovery.   She is currently working on a multi-institutional research collaboration project funded by the National Science Foundation examining disaster resilience, returning home after disasters, and recovery following Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Harvey.

Dr. Siebeneck was selected as a fellow in the NSF’s Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers program and was the 2018 recipient of the College of Health and Public Service Distinguished Researcher Award. She served as chair of the American Association of Geographers Hazards, Risk, and Disasters Specialty Group and currently serves on the FEMA Region 6 Advisory Council.

Dr. Siebeneck is passionate about teaching and regularly offers courses such as Hazard Mitigation and Preparedness, Images of Disaster in Film and Media, Disaster Displacement, and Applied Statistics in Emergency Management.  One of the best parts of being a professor is working with students, and she considers co-leading study abroad courses to Peru, Nicaragua, and Panama with Dr. Brian Richardson in Communication Studies as a highlight of her time at UNT.

Early Career Award for Research and Creativity

Rajeeb Azad in front of green backgroundRajeev Azad

Biological Sciences

Dr. Rajeev Azad joined the University of North Texas in 2011 as an Assistant Professor, with a joint appointment in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Mathematics. Before joining UNT, Dr. Azad had served as a research faculty at the University of Pittsburgh and Case Western Reserve University. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2017. Dr. Azad’s research interests are in the area of Bioinformatics and Computational Biology, particularly, development and application of mathematical and computational methods to understand how organisms, specifically microbes, innovate to adapt to changes in environment, study of large omics datasets to determine how organisms respond to stress at the molecular and physiological level, and development of novel approaches to decipher structural and functional features in genomes and elucidate their relationships in the context of evolution. Dr. Azad and his research group have developed and applied computational methods and pipelines for gene discovery, alien gene identification, genome comparison, and for understanding genome evolution and differential gene regulation. Dr. Azad’s research is supported by funding from NSF and NIH. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters, and has received Faculty Mentoring Award from American Society for Microbiology, Texas Branch, University of North Texas College of Science Faculty Research Excellence Award, and Early Career Award from Mathematical Biosciences Institute.

Toulouse Scholar Award

Jonathan Eaton in front of green backgroundJonathan Eaton

Conducting and Ensembles

Professor Jonathan Eaton serves UNT as Director of Opera and the Winspear Chair in Opera Studies. His stage direction has been seen in North America at many companies, including Chicago Lyric, San Francisco Opera, Philadelphia Opera, New York City Opera (with productions broadcast nationwide on Great Performances Live from Lincoln Center), Dallas Opera and the Santa Fe and Spoleto Festivals. In Europe he has directed at The Royal Opera Covent Garden, English and Welsh National Operas, Dutch National Opera, the operas of Lyons, Nantes and Nancy, and several German companies. He led !SING for Ruhr 2010, Cultural Capital of Europe, with a million singers in (53) cities singing (500) concerts, culminating in the world’s largest staged concert with 58,000 singers in a soccer stadium, televised across Europe. For (21) years he was Artistic Director of Pittsburgh Festival Opera, directing more than forty operas including Pittsburgh’s first Ring Cycle with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He commissioned many new works including a jazz/gospel opera addressing issues of racial tension, which was broadcast on PBS and won a Bronze Medal at the New York International Film Festival.  Professor Eaton has also held Professorships at CCM in Cincinnati, at Carnegie Mellon University and Cleveland Institute of Music.

Decker Scholar Award

Aaron Roberts in front of brick wallAaron Roberts

Biological Sciences

Dr. Aaron Roberts is Director of the UNT Advanced Environmental Research Institute (AERI) and a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. He is considered an expert on the fate and effects of chemical contaminants in freshwater and marine ecosystems. Dr. Roberts earned his bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Missouri and his master’s and PhD in zoology at Miami-Ohio University. He completed his postdoctoral training in environmental toxicology at Clemson University. Dr. Roberts joined UNT as an assistant professor in 2006 and has been Director of AERI since 2019. His group is funded by federal and state agencies as well as the private sector. Many of the projects carried out in his lab have implications for environmental regulation and litigation. This ranges from work in the US and abroad on oil spills and coastal contamination to research on chemicals in fish and shellfish that pose a threat to both ecological and human health. Dr. Roberts credits a fantastic crew of UNT students and postdocs over the years as well as great collaborators for the lab’s successes.

Research Leadership Award

Wonbong Choi in front of green backgroundWonbong Choi

Materials Science and Engineering

Dr. Choi is an internationally recognized researcher in nanotechnology conducting basic and applied research at the frontier of nanomaterials and their applications in rechargeable batteries, electronic devices and bioelectronic sensors. He has been named Materials Research Society (MRS) Fellow as the youngest MRS Fellow in 2009 and received the MRS Medal Award in 2006. One of the remarkable achievements in his research career was the invention of “Carbon Nanotube Field Emission Display”, which was reported in Science and was covered extensively by news media around the world. He has been involved in various cooperative projects such as dye sensitized solar cells, Rechargeable batteries and lab-on-a-chip to name a few. His innovations, reported as news in the TRN News, MIT’s Magazine, Analytical Chemistry, Nanowerk, Nature, and Korean News Daily etc. were the first to show some practical ways of making nanomaterials-based devices. Dr. Choi has received numerous research grants from NSF, AFOSR, DARPA, SRC, DOE (SBIR/STTR), and industry, including Samsung. He is an author/co-author of over 80 patents, 1 book (Graphene), 11 book chapters, and over 250 publications (citations >15,000, h-index 64), Guest editor of Li-S batteries (MDPI), and is a member of editorial boards of six journals.

Regents Professor Award

Francis D'Souza in front of a green backgroundFrancis D'Souza


Dr. Francis D’Souza, currently holds the ranks of University Distinguished Research Professor at UNT. Prior joining UNT in 2011, he was a Professor at Wichita State University, Wichita, KS. He received his  Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, and post-doctoral studies at the University of Houston and University of Dijon, France.

Dr. D’Souza’s research covers wide areas of photonic and electronic materials. Current research interests include developing advanced functional materials for light energy harvesting, developing sensors and biosensors, and developing photo-probes for imaging and therapeutic applications.

Dr. D’Souza has over (460) publications and edited (10) handbooks on Carbon Nanomaterials resulting in over 18,700 citations with an h-index of 71.  He is an Associate Editor of Journal of Porphyrins and Phthalocyanines and the Journal of Electrochemical Society, and editorial board member of few other journals.

Honors and Award include CRSI-Medal from the Chemical Research Society of India (2020), UNT-Toulouse Scholar – UNT (2019), Doherty Research Award for the ACS-DFW Section (2018), Fulbright Specialist Scholar (2018), GIAN Fellow, Government of India (2018), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London (2015), UNT-Distinguished Professor (2013), Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow (2008), Fellow of the Electrochemistry Society (2010), Excellence in Research Award (2006), Young Faculty Scholar Award (1998), among others.

Regents Professor Award

Yan Huang in front of green backgroundYan Huang

Computer Science and Engineering

Dr. Yan Huang is internationally recognized for her contributions to the understanding of the computational structure of very large geospatial datasets. She has developed theoretical frameworks and computational techniques for managing, querying, and analyzing spatially-referenced data. She pioneered research in spatial data mining. She is the author of 120+ technical publications. Her work has be cited ~5,600 time with an h-index of 30 and i10 index of 49 according to Google Scholar (as of February 2021). Her research discoveries have been used in commercial software systems such as Oracle Spatial Analysis and Mining package, which in turn is being used in many application domains including epidemiology, mobile commerce, and smart transportation. Her contributions are recognized with the ACM SIGSPATIAL 10-year Impact Award and an ACM Distinguished Member Award both in 2019. She has served as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, Interim Dean, and Senior Associate Dean & Director of the Graduate Studies of the College of Engineering as well as Interim Chair of Computer Science and Engineering here at the University of North Texas.

Regents Professor Award

Lynn Seaton in front of grey, black and peach backgroundLynn Seaton

Jazz Studies

Professor Seaton’s teaching of young professionals co-exists with his highly active career in performing and recording.  His work at UNT started in 1998 following thirteen years of a professional career in New York.  That period included teaching three years as Adjunct Professor at State University of New York New Paltz and one semester at William Patterson College.  He has performed and recorded with numerous world-renowned jazz musicians including Woody Herman, the Count Basie Orchestra, Tony Bennett, George Shearing, Diane Schuur, Tim Hagans, Maria Schneider, Jeff Hamilton, John Fedchock, Eric Alexander, Bobby Shew, Fred Hersch, and Monty Alexander. He has performed at festivals worldwide including the Bern, Concord, JVC, Kool, Kyoto, Chicago, Nice, Elkhart, Kansas City, Montreal, Edmonton, Newport, North Sea, Perugia, West Coast, San Sebastian, Ottercrest, Topeka, Sarasota, Paradise Valley and Poori. He has performed in 35 countries and forty-nine states (still wants a gig in Alaska!).

Recording credits include over one-hundred-twenty-five albums or CDs (one Grammy, two Grammy nominations). Remarkably, forty-five of those recordings have been released since his arrival at UNT in 1998.  Those credits include five recordings as a leader: Solo Flights, Bassman’s Basement, Live!!!, Puttin’ on the Ritz, and Zoom Blewz. His work as a Director is documented on The Texas Community College All-State Jazz Ensemble Live at TMEA recording. UNT honored Professor Seaton with the Creative Impact Award in 2013.

The career significance of Professor Seaton is recognized in magazine reviews and documented with references in notable history books including: The Grove Dictionary of Music, The Penguin Guide to Jazz, The Virgin Encyclopedia of Jazz, Leonard Feather’s Encyclopedia of Jazz, and several references in The All Music Guide.  Most years he performs about seventy times per year while balancing gigs of national or international significance with local and regional appearances.  During the Covid-19 shutdown, he presented at two international online workshops and presented an Academic Bass Council (ABC) Webinar “From Crisis to Creativity” with almost one thousand participants.  The ABC is a collective of notable teachers and performers formed to share methods, technology, and strategies for teaching with social consciousness and in post -Covid-19 times.  The twenty-five members of the ABC include professors and famous performers from New York, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Washington, Tennessee, Nebraska, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Canada, and Australia.

Career and university highlights since his promotion to full Professor in 2013 include: Induction into the Cincinnati, OH Jazz Hall of Fame 2016, Nine recordings released; over 500 live performances; a headliner concert at the International Society of Bassists convention 2019; named a Fulbright Scholar to teach at the Joseps Vitols Latvian Academy of Music and perform in Latvia 2014/15; All State Conductor in 2020; Active participation in the Academic Bass Council; International Online Bass Summit 2020.

Professor Lynn Seaton’s performance career and professional relationships enhances the image of the UNT jazz program, provides a connection between the academic and professional environment, and supports the recruitment of students.

Regents Professor Award

Nada Shabout in front of light grey backgroundNada Shabout

Art History

Dr. Nada Shabout is a professor of Art History, coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at UNT, and the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA). She is the author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, University of Florida Press, 2007; co-editor of New Vision: Arab Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and co-editor of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018. Notable among exhibitions she has curated: Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, 2010; traveling exhibition, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, 2005-2009; and co-curator, Modernism and Iraq, 2009. Major awards of her research include: Getty Foundation 2019; Writers Grant, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018; The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TAARII) fellow 2006, 2007, Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, 2008. She is currently working on a new book project, Demarcating Modernism in Iraqi Art: The Dialectics of the Decorative, 1951-1979, under contract with the American University in Cairo Press. Shabout is on the Board of Directors, Visual Art Commission, Ministry of Culture, Saudi Arabia, the Board of The Academic Research Institute in Iraq (TARII), and the College Art Association (CAA) Board of Directors (2020-2024).

Teaching Awards

University Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award

Renee Bryce in front of green backgroundRenee Bryce

Computer Science and Engineering

Dr. Renee Bryce earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University in May 2006. She earned her B.S. (1999) and M.S. (2000) degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research areas include Software Engineering, with emphasis on software testing and usability testing and Computer Science Education, with emphasis on software testing education.  She has served as primary investigator on funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Forest Service, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and more.  She was the recipient of two best paper awards co-authored with her doctoral students. Professor Bryce has two decades of teaching experience with a record of excellent teaching evaluations and strong course outcomes. Her courses are challenging and help to increase the competitiveness of our students in the constantly changing tech industry. Her teaching accomplishments extend beyond classroom teaching. She created the Bug Wars Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site that has served 100+ students over the years and the Bug Catcher Software Testing Competition System that has reached 2000+ middle and high school students. She is the founder/advisor for the UNT Women in Computing student organization.

University Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award

Nancy Stockdale in front of green backgroundNancy Stockdale


Dr. Nancy L. Stockdale is an Associate Professor of Middle Eastern History in the UNT History Department, which she joined in 2006. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She is the author of the book, Colonial Encounters Among English and Palestinian Women, 1800-1948, and is currently finishing another book about representations of the Middle East in British and American entertainment since the 19th century. Dr. Stockdale is editing a collection about foodways in the Middle East and North Africa as well. In 2016, she published a well-received chapter analyzing the life and music of Freddie Mercury, which she is expanding into a series of essays. She is the 2016 winner of the UNT President's Council Teaching Award, and the 2019-2020 UNT nominee for the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award. Dr. Stockdale is continually working to innovate her classes - both face-to-face and online - in ways that help her students understand how the global past informs their contemporary lives. When she's not working, Dr. Stockdale enjoys spending time with her family, taking photographs (especially with historical analogue cameras and film), playing with her dogs, traveling to new places, exploring cuisines, and enjoying the outdoors.

University Distinguished Teaching Professorship Award

Carol Wickstrom in front of green backgroundCarol Wickstrom

Teacher Education and Administration

Dr. Carol Wickstrom joined the UNT faculty in 2000 after spending 20+ years as an elementary classroom teacher in Texas, Illinois, and Washington. Currently, she is a Professor in the Department of Teacher Education and Administration in the College of Education. During her time at UNT she has taught literacy courses to undergraduate and graduate students. Since 2003 Carol has been the Director of the North Star of Texas Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project. This is a vibrant network of teachers across the metroplex that provides professional development for teachers and administrators, as well as effective teaching in area classrooms. One of Carol’s guilty pleasures is to learn about the lives and successes of her former students. For example, she recently learned that one of her former first grade students (1979) taught middle school with one of her former UNT preservice teachers (2003). One of her former second grade students (1982) was a speech writer for Hillary Clinton. Several of her former students are published authors and one is an Associate Dean at a local university. Knowing that her teaching has influenced other’s lives brings her great satisfaction.  

J.H. Shelton Excellence in Teaching Award

Jodi Lee Duryea in front of green backgroundJodi Lee Duryea

Hospitality and Tourism Management

Chef Jodi Lee Duryea graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in October 1991, she has a BA in History from SUNY Albany and an MS in occupational Education from Texas A & M Corpus Christi.   Chef Duryea has over a decade working back of the house in restaurants from NYC to, Pittsburgh and Williamsburg, VA.  She was the Executive Chef at Jerry’s restaurant in Soho the last couple of years in New York and then moved to Corpus Christi, Texas to be the Executive Chef at the Corpus Christi Yacht Club.  Chef Duryea (Turetzky) fell in love with teaching at Del Mar College in Culinary and Pastry Arts.  She married James Todd Duryea in 2005 and moved to Denton, Texas, the University of North Texas hired her in the Fall of 2005.  Chef Duryea ran their student restaurant for a year and a half as the General Manager and now is a Principal Lecturer and teaches their Professional Food Preparation, Global Kitchens and Beginning Baking classes in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality & Tourism Management. In 2018, Kendall Hunt published her book, Cooking for the Hospitality Industry.

President's Council Teaching Award

Eric Nestler in front of a green backgroundEric Nestler

Instrumental Studies

Dr. Eric M. Nestler joined the faculty of the College of Music in 1992. Since that time, Dr. Nestler conducted master classes and performed solo recitals in Asia, Africa, Canada, Europe, and the United States, culminating in a 2003 debut recital in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He published numerous, scholarly articles in the peer reviewed Saxophone Symposium focusing on literature for saxophone including a critical edition of the Concerto by Henri Tomasi. Nestler’s students earned teaching positions and professorships at universities in the United States and China as well as professional positions with instrument companies such as Music and Arts and Conn-Selmer. Recently, several of Nestler’s students won national and international competitions, notably, the Music Teacher’s National Association, American Protégé International competition and the Golden Classical Music Awards International competition. Former students have earned positions with the United States’ Marine Band, Navy Band, and Coast Guard Band. In 2009, Nestler was diagnosed with musician’s dystonia. After battling this crippling, neurological disease for many years (and with the help of UNT’s own Dr. Saj Surve), Nestler relearned to play the saxophone and in March 2019, he presented lecture-recital performances of the Sequenza IXB by Luciano Berio, in Mandarin Chinese, at the Sichuan Conservatory, Chengdu, and Sias International University, Zhengzhou, China.

President's Council Teaching Award

Glen Biglaiser in front of green backgroundGlen Biglaiser

Political Science

Dr. Glen Biglaiser is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of North Texas. His areas of specialization include comparative politics, Latin American politics, and economic and political issues in the developing world. Dr. Biglaiser teaches a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level that often are related to Latin America, globalization in developing countries, United States-Latin American relations, and U.S. politics. Beyond his teaching, he is the author of Guardians of the Nation?: Economists, Generals, and Economic Reform in Latin America (University of Notre Dame Press, 2002) and co-author of Politics and Foreign Direct Investment (University of Michigan Press, 2012). His work has also appeared in many journals including Comparative Political Studies, International Organization, and International Studies Quarterly. Dr. Biglaiser attempts to integrate his research and teaching interests into his courses. His philosophy is that good teaching involves: (1) generating interest and enthusiasm to motivate students’ participation in class; (2) supporting effective communication and collaboration; and (3) making himself approachable and establishing rapport. His hope is that the three-pronged philosophy motivates students to be effective learners inside and outside the classroom.

'Fessor Graham Award


SGA Honor Professor Award


Outstanding Online Teacher & Course Award

Allyson Packer in front of a white backgroundAllyson Packer

Art Foundations

Allyson Packer is an artist and educator whose work investigates what embodied experience can articulate at a time when it is increasingly less common to make physical contact with the people, spaces, and institutions that impact us the most. Spanning a variety of media, including installation, video, and performance, her artwork has been recognized by Americans for the Arts Public Art Review and has been shown at Nahmad Projects in London and Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago, among other venues. She is represented by Birds + Richard gallery in Berlin and is currently working on a project for the Centre Pompidou's Journal de l’Université d’été de la Bibliothèque Kandinsky. She lives in Denton, Texas, where she is a Lecturer at the University of North Texas College of Visual Arts and Design.

2020 Piper Professor Nominee

J. Todd Moye in front of a green backgroundJ. Todd Moye


Dr. J. Todd Moye is the Fenton Wayne Robnett Professor of U.S. History at the University of North Texas, the director of the UNT Oral History Program, and a past president of the Oral History Association.  Moye is the author of several articles and books on the history of the modern African American freedom struggle. They include Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II (published by Oxford University Press in 2010), a narrative history of the most significant civil rights struggle of the World War II era based on a collection of more than 800 oral histories; Let the People Decide: Black Freedom and White Resistance Organizing in Sunflower County, Mississippi, 1945-1986 (University of North Carolina Press, 2004), a community study of grassroots civil rights and pro-segregation movements in the Mississippi Delta; and Ella Baker: Community Organizer of the Civil Rights Movement (Rowman & Littlefield, 2013), an intellectual biography of one of the movement’s most important thinkers and strategists. He has also co-created several digital history projects, including Civil Rights in Black and Brown: Oral Histories of the Multiracial Civil Rights Struggles in Texas, The St. John’s Community Project, and The Crisis at Mansfield. At UNT he teaches a range of courses on 20th century U.S. history and oral history, including classes like Civil Rights and Black Power Movements in the U.S., History of the Present, and Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories in U.S. History. A graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Texas-Austin, Moye directed the National Park Service’s Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project before coming to UNT. He lives in Fort Worth, Texas, with his wife and two sons. 

Adjunct Award for Teaching Excellence

Melissa Nelson in front of a blurred backgroundMelissa Nelson


Melissa Nelson is an adjunct lecturer and faculty advisor for the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Texas. In 2001, she received a B.S. from Emory University in Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology, an interdisciplinary degree that combined anthropology, biology, psychology, and neuroscience. In 2004, she earned an M.A. with Distinction in Anthropology at the University of Manchester (UK). Her thesis analyzed the commodification of authenticity of the Scottish kilt fueled by diasporic negotiations over identity. Her second M.A. was awarded in 2008 at the University of Virginia where she also garnered recognition for her teaching from the Seven Society. At UVa, her research on the return migration experience of Greek women again brought into question the politics of negotiated identities. Questions over how identity is defined, claimed, and contested connect her research with her personal experiences as part of the Nicaraguan and Mexican diasporas in the U.S. In her approach to teaching, she strives to bring complexity to how we see ourselves and others.  Since 2015, she has taught undergraduate classes at UNT on a diversity of topics such as: ethnographic field methods; race, ethnicity, and identity; as well as Foucault and social media culture.  

Service Awards

UNT Community Award

Kara Fulton in front of green bushKara Fulton

Applied Arts and Sciences

Dr. Kara Fulton is a Clinical Professor and Program Director for the Applied Arts and Sciences (AAS) multi-disciplinary degree program housed in New College. She is also Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Geography and the Environment. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida and joined UNT in 2019.

Dr. Fulton was nominated by her peers for her consistent, meaningful dedication to improving the UNT experience through service and leadership. As the course lead for BAAS 3000: Pathways to Civic Engagement (a requirement for all AAS majors), she implemented team-based service-learning projects and guided other faculty in doing the same. She’s collaborated with and connected students to over a dozen non-profit community partners. Additionally, she helped launch BAAS 3000 through Coursera for marketing and recruitment to global audiences.

Dr. Fulton’s innovative pedagogical approaches have facilitated the building and enrichment of strong student relationships which will help cultivate a more connected alumni network. Her involvement with initiatives at UNT at Frisco has helped foster integration between students and faculty across disciplines and UNT locations. As part of the Non-Tenure Track Faculty Mentoring Network leadership team, her efforts serve, support, and connect UNT faculty members. 

Ulys & Vera Knight Faculty Mentor Award

Mariela Nunez-Janes in front of blurred buildingMariela Nuñez-Janes


Dr. Mariela Nuñez-Janes (profe) is a Professor of Anthropology and 1.5 generation Latina scholar activist with expertise in education, immigration, and Latinx youth. Her personal experiences with migration anchor these pedagogical and research interests and fuel her commitment to working with vulnerable populations and underrepresented groups inside and outside the university. Some recent examples of her applied scholarship and action pedagogy include the 2020 co-authored book Eclipse of Dreams: The Undocumented-Led Struggle for Freedom, the experiential learning class “Borderlands: The U.S-Mexico Border” involving a Border Awareness Experience at Annunciation House in El Paso, and organizing La Colectiva—a faculty peer-mentoring group for women of color at UNT. Profe is the 2019 recipient of the Nuestra Voz Award by the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas for her advocacy of Latinx students and families in Denton. She also serves as the current President Elect and Program Chair for the Council on Anthropology and Education, a section of the American Anthropological Association.

Citation for Distinguished International Service Award

Chiachih DC Wang in front of a beige backgroundChiachih DC Wang


Dr. Chiachih DC Wang, is an Associate Professor and the Director of the Counseling Psychology Ph.D. Program in the Department of Psychology at UNT. His research areas include cross-cultural variation of adult attachment influences, acculturation and adjustment of immigrants and individuals with minoritized identities, and ethnic/racial identity development. Dr. Wang has had (46) peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, many of which were co-authored with international researchers investigating international psychology issues. His research work has been published in top-tier professional journals, including Journal of Counseling Psychology, The Counseling Psychologist, and International Perspectives in Psychology: Research, Practice, and Consultation. He has served on several leadership positions, including American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Counseling Psychology (SCP) International Section U.S.-based Co-Chair and SCP newsletter editor, and is currently the President-Elect for the Council of Counseling Psychology Training Programs. Dr. Wang has established international collaborations for educational and research programs with several partnered universities oversea. His work and contributions have been recognized by professional organizations, including being selected to be a Fellow of the APA and receiving the 2019 Henry David International Mentoring Award from the APA International Psychology Division.

President's Council University Service Award

Christy Crutsinger in front of a green backgroundChristy Crutsinger

Merchandising and Digital Retailing

Dr. Christy Crutsinger, Professor in UNT’s Department of Merchandising & Digital Retailing, is a long-time UNT servant leader. Throughout her 34-year career, she has held numerous administrative appointments including Department Chair, Associate Dean, Vice Provost for Faculty Success, and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Driven by a passion for people and helping others succeed, she has developed and launched numerous university initiatives that continue to support both student and faculty success. The Office for Faculty Success, the Chair Academy, the Leadership Fellows Program, Faculty Mentoring Grant Program, and the UNT Foundation Salute to Faculty Excellence Awards program, are just a few of her noteworthy, longstanding contributions.

Currently, Dr. Crutsinger serves as UNT’s Faculty Athletic Representative which supports the academic well- being of over 300 student athletes, and she is particularly proud of the collaborative partnership with UNT Athletics to launch the Faculty/Staff Spotlight program. Since her return to faculty in Fall 2019, Crutsinger has envisioned a new Transformational Leadership Academy for undergraduate students in the College of Merchandising, Hospitality, and Tourism, focusing on career preparation through industry engagement. This initiative, which launches in Fall 2021, is yet another testament to her longstanding commitment to student success and the Mean Green.