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Chancellor's Council Announces Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards

Fifteen faculty members from throughout the Texas Tech University System were honored.

Written by Dailey Fuller

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Texas Tech University System Chancellor Kent Hance announced Dec. 7 the recipients of the most prestigious honors awarded to faculty members from throughout the system.

The 12th annual Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards were presented to seven faculty members from Texas Tech University, six faculty members from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) and two faculty members from Angelo State University.

“Our professors and researchers are world-renowned experts in their fields, and their unrivaled dedication exemplifies the wealth of talent present throughout the system,” Hance said. “These individuals’ outstanding accomplishments continue to drive our institutions forward, and I am pleased to recognize such deserving faculty members.”

The Distinguished Research Awards went to the following individuals:

  • Noureddine Abidi, Ph.D.
  • Noureddine Abidi is an associate professor in the Department of Plant & Soil Sciences and head of biopolymer research at the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute at Texas Tech University. His research evaluates and modifies biopolymers and cotton fibers to advance the quality of cotton and its functionalities. Joining Texas Tech in 1999, Abidi has received more than $3.8 million in external research grants and secured one patent and four invention disclosures. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Morocco and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Montpellier II in France.

  • Carol Boswell, Ed.D., RN, CNE, ANEF
  • Carol Boswell is a professor in the TTUHSC School of Nursing at Odessa and has been instrumental in advancing the school since joining the faculty in 1999. She has earned national and international recognition for her presentations on health literacy, evidence-based practice and nursing education issues. An experienced clinician, Boswell also serves as director of the Permian General Hospital Board, co-director of the Center of Excellence in Evidence-Based Practice, and is the James A. “Buddy” Davidson Charitable Foundation Endowed Chair for Evidence-Based Practice. She received her bachelor’s degree in nursing from TTUHSC and her Doctor of Education from Texas Tech University.

  • Qing Cao, Ph.D.
  • Qing Cao is the Jerry Rawls Endowed Professor of Management Information Systems and assistant director of the Center for Internet Buyer Behavior in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University. Cao’s research focuses on information outsources, information security, and social media and business performance. He has published more than 42 research papers in prominent business journals, 18 of which were published or accepted for publication in the last three years. Cao holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Shanghai JiaoTong University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin System and a Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

  • Russell James, Ph.D., J.D., CFP®
  • Russell James is an associate professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University where he serves as the director of Graduate Studies in Charitable Planning and is the CH Foundation Chair in Personal Financial Planning.  An internationally known expert sought out by major media outlets such as CNN, The New York Times and USA Today, his research is cutting-edge and focuses on uncovering practical and neurocognitive methods to encourage generosity and satisfaction in financial decision-making.  James has published more than 100 refereed publications and served as an adviser to top government officials in South Korea regarding legislation and policy planning. He holds a law degree from the University of Missouri School of Law and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

  • Mansoo Ko, Ph.D.
  • Mansoo Ko is an assistant professor of physical therapy in the Department of Nursing and Rehabilitation Sciences at Angelo State University. Honored for his progressive research, Ko works to develop innovative rehabilitation strategies for the functional improvement of adults with neurological deficits due to strokes, traumatic brain injury, diabetes and Parkinson’s Disease and was instrumental in establishing the Gross Motor Control/Motion Analysis laboratory, a research facility stocked with state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment.  Securing more than $200,000 in grants, Ko has furthered his research efforts by collaborating with several Tier I research universities in Texas. He received his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the Daegu University in South Korea and completed his Ph.D. in the rehabilitation science program at the University of Florida.

  • Lorenz Lutherer, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Lorenz Lutherer joined the TTUHSC faculty in 1972 and serves as executive director of the Clinical Research Institute, providing guidance to clinical research investigators through each phase of the research process. He has conducted extensive basic and clinical science research and has obtained grant funding to support other investigators as well.  Lutherer has developed and implemented several educational programs and is well-versed in federal and institutional policies. He is a member of the American Physiological Society, the Society of Clinical Research Professionals, and Academy of Pharmaceutical Physicians and Investigators. Lutherer received his doctoral degree in physiology from the University of Florida College of Medicine and his medical degree from TTUHSC.

  • Douglas Stocco, Ph.D.
  • Douglas Stocco is TTUHSC’s executive vice president of research, a professor and interim chair of the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry and serves as the dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. This year’s recipient of The Society for the Study of Reproduction’s Carl G. Hartman Award, Stocco is a world-renowned expert in the field of reproductive biology who has been funded by the National Institutes of Health since 1984 and published more than 200 peer-reviewed original scientific articles, book chapters and review articles throughout his research career. The Dean’s Faculty Excellence in Research Award in the School of Medicine was renamed the Douglas M. Stocco Scholarship/Research Award in his honor. Stocco received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Toronto.

  • James Yang, Ph.D.
  • James Yang is an assistant professor and director of Human-Centric Design Research Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. Joining Texas Tech in 2008, Yang’s research involves human modeling and simulation, ergonomics and bioengineering to develop computer human models that assess products and human performance by replacing traditional physical prototypes to improve efficiencies. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Jilin University in China and his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards went to the following individuals:

  •  Lee Cohen, Ph.D.
  • Lee Cohen is a professor and chairman of the Department of Psychology at Texas Tech University. Joining the faculty in 2000, he has been instrumental in enhancing curriculum and training programs for psychology students at all levels, specifically elevating Texas Tech’s doctoral program in clinical psychology as a national model. Recognized nationally for teaching excellence, Cohen was elected as a Fellow to the prestigious American Psychological Association and has received nearly $2 million in grants throughout his career. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego and holds a master’s and Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University.

  • Donna Davis, Ph.D.
  • Donna Davis is an associate professor in the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University where she holds the Georgie G. Snyder Professorship in marketing. An executive member of the Teaching Academy at Texas Tech, Davis’ devotion to teaching excellence is exemplified in her innovative methods and through her efforts that established the Global Supply Chain Management program to better train students in this critical and high-demand area of business. She earned her master’s degree in business administration and Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Tennessee.

  •  Michael Dixon, Ph.D.
  • Michael Dixon is an assistant professor of biology in the College of Arts and Sciences and curator of the Collection of Reptiles and Amphibians at Angelo State University. Dedicated to advancing knowledge, Dixon’s inventive teaching methods reach beyond textbooks and incorporate techniques such as studying abroad in Costa Rica or conceiving educational card games. He studied biology at Miami University in Ohio and the University of Miami in Florida.  Dixon earned a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Texas.

  • Dorothy “Dottie” Durband, Ph.D., AFC
  • Dorothy Durband is a professor in the Department of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University where she has been a member of the faculty since 2000. Durband also is the founding chair of the Department of Community, Family, and Addiction Services and director of Red to Black®, an outreach program that offers financial coaching services to Texas Tech students. Established by Durband, the unique program was the first of its kind in Texas and is recognized as the model for universities across the nation. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Louisiana State University, a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech.  

  • James Hutson, Ph.D.
  • James Hutson serves as TTUHSC’s associate vice president for research and is a professor in the Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry. A member of the graduate faculty since 1976, he serves on the Educational Operations Committee that assists in the oversight of the first-year curriculum for medical students. Among numerous accomplishments, he established the Iles Elementary School Mentoring Program (2002 – 2010) to foster life-long relationships between medical students and disadvantaged children in the Lubbock area and has been awarded “Outstanding Teacher of the Year” by the Student Senate of the School of Medicine seven times and the John A. Buesseler Memorial teaching award twice throughout his career. Hutson received his bachelor’s degree from Peru State College and his Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska.

  • Paul Lockman, Ph.D.
  • Paul Lockman is the associate dean for Outcomes Assessment and Simulation and an associate professor in the TTUHSC School of Pharmacy at Amarillo. A 2007 recipient of the prestigious American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy Innovations in Teaching award, Lockman actively teaches pharmacology, toxicology and anatomy. He is the author of more than 60 scientific manuscripts and has also received more than $2.5 million in research funding from the Department of Defense, National Institutes of Health and private drug companies. Lockman earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from West Texas A&M University and received his Ph.D. from TTUHSC.

  • Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D., MT (ASCP)
  • Lori Rice-Spearman serves as assistant dean and program director for the TTUHSC School of Allied Health Sciences and is a professor in the Department of Laboratory Sciences and Primary Care. A faculty member and student mentor for more than 20 years, Rice-Spearman is a member of the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and serves as laboratory consultant for the Student Health Services, successfully driving the office to achieve exemplary certification from the Commission on Laboratory Accreditation. She received her master’s degree and Ph.D. from Texas Tech University.

Each winner receives a commemorative medallion and a $5,000 award. The Chancellor’s Council raises funds for student scholarships and recruitment, faculty awards and support, and various other programs of excellence.

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