Faculty and Staff Receive Awards

Jan 6, 2014

The College of Geosciences honored outstanding faculty and staff members for their achievements in 2013.

The Dean's Outstanding Achievement Awards were presented Friday night, Dec. 6, at a dinner in conjunction with the annual holiday reception. Dean Kate Miller presented a framed certificate and check to the following:

Dr. Chris Houser, associate professor of Geography, was recognized as an innovative teacher who makes extensive use of evidence-based pedagogic methods.” He received the Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching.

Dr. Steven F. DiMarco, professor of Oceanography was honored with the Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Research, and was recognized as “A leader in the Gulf of Mexico physical oceanography community who has made important contribution to understanding basic physical processes in the Gulf.”

Assistant professor of Geography, Dr. Brendan Roark, was honored with the Dean’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Faculty Service. His nominators said, “Dr. Roark has worked tirelessly over the past five years to develop a world-class isotope facility that serves the College of Geosciences.”

The Dean’s Award for Faculty Administrative Service went to Dr. Vatche P. Tchakerian, professor and head of Geography. He was recognized for his ability to “Heal rifts by, amongst other things, his very inclusive, effective, low-key style of governance.”

Three staff awards went out to Barbara Bayer, assistant dean for administration and finance; Karen Riedel, communications manager; and David Lehnert, materials specialist.

Bayer was recognized for “her leadership of all business functions and staff,” Riedel for “her effective communication of the College of Geosciences’ mission and accomplishments,” and Lehnert for “his attention to detail and keeping his fingers on the pulse of the industry.”

The Association of Former Students (AFS) presented two faculty members, Dr. Christian Brannstrom, professor of Geography, and Dr. Shaima Nasiri, associate professor of Atmospheric Sciences with the College-Level Teaching Award.

Eleven receive tenure and promotion

The awards ceremony also honored faculty members who were tenured and promoted in 2013. The following were promoted to associate professor and granted tenure.

Geology and Geophysics, Drs. Benchun Duan and Michael M. Tice 
Atmospheric Sciences: Dr. Robert L. Korty
Oceanography: Dr. Matthew W. Schmidt

The following were promoted to professor:

Atmospheric Sciences: Dr. Courtney Schumacher 

Geography: Drs. Christian Brannstrom and Charles W. Lafon
Oceanography: Drs. Steve DiMarco, Alejandro Orsi, and Robert D. Hetland
Geology and Geophysics: Dr. Richard L. Gibson 

Additional achievements recognized
Dr. Peter Liss, TIAS Fellow and visiting professor of Oceanography and Atmospheric Sciences, was named 2013 American Geological Union (AGU) Fellow, and Dr. Ping Yang was honored with the AGU Ascent Award.

Dr. Schumacher received the AGU Editor’s Citation for Excellence in Refereeing for EOS and was also honored with the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award.

The AMS recognized Dr. Andrew E. Dessler as recipient of the Louis J. Battan Author’s Award.

Dr. Oliver Frauenfeld is the 2013–14 Montague-CTE Scholar. Dr. Wendy Jepson received the Richard Stadelmann Faculty Senate Service Award. Dr. John Nielsen-Gammon, was recognized as 2013 Outstanding Science Communicator by the Texas A&M Chapter of Sigma Xi, received the Texas A&M SEC Faculty Achievement Award, and won the 2013 Educational Aids Blue Ribbon Award for his entry into the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE).

Eliana Mijangos

January 3, 2014


Karen Riedel
Communications Manager
Tel.: (979) 845-0910