Monday,
October 15, 2018

Monday,
October 15, 2018

Category:

Professors Honored by Students, Benefactors at Investiture Ceremony

Newly invested as an Ashbel Smith Professor, Dr. Theresa Towner took a moment to reflect on her path as a Comet.

“With the endowment of this chair, I have held every academic rank at The University of Texas at Dallas that is possible to hold, from part-time senior lecturer to full professor, and now, a named chair,” said Towner, literary studies professor in the School of Arts and Humanities. “It is a long, long way from the one-bedroom apartment I shared with my husband while writing my dissertation.”

Towner was among 20 faculty members to receive new appointments during the 2018 University Investiture Ceremony, where they were recognized before their families, colleagues, mentors and students.

UT Dallas has more than 120 chairs and professorships that recognize the scholarship and research of senior faculty members.

The honorees were each recognized briefly by a student speaker they selected. They then received a medallion from University President Richard C. Benson and their respective deans.

Dr. Ted Price, associate professor in the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, recalled his days as an undergraduate at UT Dallas.

“I was one of the first people to graduate from this university with a neuroscience degree, and now I’m the program head of the department and have received this award,” Price said. “This is really something else.”

Dr. Nikki Delk receives flowers from her uncle Mike Edwards and aunt Debbie Hampton after the Investiture Ceremony. Delk was appointed Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science.

He credited Dr. Alice O’Toole, whose lab he worked in as an undergraduate, for providing a solid foundation for decades of research.

“She really taught me how to design experiments. I still think back to what I learned from her in 1996-97 when I worked in her lab,” he said. “It has had an effect on everything I do.”

Dr. Rashaunda Henderson, associate professor of electrical engineering in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, thanked the McDermott family, the benefactors for the majority of the endowments bestowed in this year’s ceremony.

“I want to thank them for their vision and commitment to UT Dallas, and the fact that they have stuck with us over the past 50 years knowing that this University was going to do great things,” she said. “I also want to thank my very first mentor, my mother. She was always someone who kept me grounded. When I was in high school, I made straight A’s for the first time, and I called her to tell her about it. She said, ‘Great, now go clean your room.’ ”

For Dr. Mihaela Stefan, associate professor of chemistry in the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, UT Dallas has provided more than just a home for research.

“Here, I met my husband, Michael Biewer, who is also my collaborator,” she said. “I can tell you he is truly special because when we met, I had two cats. Now, we have eight cats.”

Dr. William Anderson, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in the Jonsson School, summed up the spirit of the ceremony by paying tribute to the University as a whole.

“We enjoy a level of professional independence here that is without precedent,” he said. “That is good for the students, good for the University and ultimately good for the country. And it is very much in line for what the McDermotts had in mind for this gift.”

 

Spring 2018 Investiture Honorees

 

Office of the Provost

Dr. Edward Harpham
Mary McDermott Cook Chair in the Hobson Wildenthal Honors College
Dr. Jessica Murphy
Mary McDermott Cook Chair for Undergraduate Education
Dr. Inga Musselman
Cecil H. Green Distinguished Chair of Academic Leadership

 

 

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science

Dr. William Anderson
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
Dr. Leonidas Bleris
Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science
Dr. Alvaro Cardenas
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor

 

 Dr. Robert Gregg
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
 Dr. Kevin Hamlen
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
 

 

Dr. Seth Hays
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
Dr. Rashaunda Henderson
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
Dr. Majid Minary
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor

 

 

School of Arts and Humanities

 Dr. Theresa Towner
Ashbel Smith Professor
 

 

 

School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

 Dr. Gregory Dussor
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
 Dr. Theodore Price
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
 

 

 

Naveen Jindal School of Management

 Dr. Riki Takeuchi
Jindal School Advisory Council Chair
 

 

 

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Dr. Lunjin Chen
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor

 

Dr. Nikki Delk
Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science

 

Dr. Kelli Palmer
Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science

 

 Dr. Mihaela Stefan
Fellow, Eugene McDermott Professor
 Dr. Jie Zheng
Fellow, Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science
 

 

Media Contact: Stephen Fontenot, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4405, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]


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