Friday,
May 31, 2019

Friday,
May 31, 2019

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Professors Earn University Honors for Mentoring Aspiring Researchers

June 3, 2019

Two educators at The University of Texas at Dallas were honored recently with 2019 Provost’s Awards for Faculty Excellence in Research Mentoring.

The awards recognize faculty members who demonstrate leadership in guiding and supporting UT Dallas students in their research endeavors. The undergraduate honor has existed since 2013; the graduate award was established in 2017.

Dr. Ronald Smaldone, associate professor of chemistry who earned the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, received a plaque during Honors Convocation. As the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Graduate Research Mentoring, Dr. Richard Scotch, program head of sociology and professor of sociology and political economy, received a medallion during the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

 

Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring

Dr. Ronald Smaldone with Provost Inga Musselman

Dr. Ronald Smaldone, associate professor of chemistry

School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

How long have you taught at UT Dallas?

“Almost seven years, starting in September 2012.”

What has been the most rewarding part of your teaching experience here?

“Working with undergraduates in the lab has been a lot of fun for me, and the students have an enthusiasm for research. UT Dallas has a lot of ambitious and dedicated undergraduate students who want to get involved with research and are willing to devote a lot of their time to it. Watching a student evolve from a passive observer in the lab into a confident and productive researcher is one of the most rewarding parts of my job.”

What advice would you give to aspiring student researchers?

“Get started early. It usually takes a semester or two to really get adjusted to lab work. If you give yourself a couple of years, you have the opportunity to be really productive and get a very strong background in research going into the next level of your education or career.”

 

Provost’s Award for Faculty Excellence in Graduate Research Mentoring

Dr. Richard Scotch

Dr. Richard Scotch, program head of sociology and professor of sociology and political economy

School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences

How long have you taught at UT Dallas?

“I began teaching at UT Dallas in the fall of 1983. I was attracted here by the lively interdisciplinary faculty and the diverse student body. Many of our students then were in their 20s and 30s, and they came to us with significant prior life experiences, which made teaching them sociology both interesting and challenging. They were highly committed to advancing their educations and brought perspectives to the classroom that made for lively interchanges as they engaged with the material. These characteristics are still true of UT Dallas students and enrich teaching here.” 

What has been the most rewarding part of your teaching experience here?

“Teaching has many short-term satisfactions — when you connect with students in the classroom or work through some problem together in individual instruction. However, it is very gratifying to encounter students years after they have left the University and to hear from them that what they have learned here has been meaningful to them in some way.”

What advice would you give to aspiring researchers?

“To be productive, research requires the ability to both exercise imagination to set goals and a painstaking sustained effort to attain them.” 

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Media Contact: Amanda Siegfried, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4335, [email protected]
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected]

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