TEXAS TECH CHANCELLOR’S COUNCIL ANNOUNCES OUTSTANDING TEACHING, RESEARCH AWARDS
December 9, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: Dec. 9, 2005
CONTACT: Sally Logue Post, firstname.lastname@example.org
LUBBOCK – Four faculty members from Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University
Health Sciences Center today were named recipients of the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished
Teaching and Research Awards.
“Both of the universities have many outstanding teachers and researchers. These awards
highlight the quality of our faculty and reflect our commitment to academic quality,”
said David R. Smith, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “Both institutions
have a commitment to quality. The job that these four professors do in educating our
students and furthering our research mission is an example of that commitment.”
The Distinguished Teaching Award goes to Dr. Ellen Peffley, professor of horticulture,
in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.
Barbara Johnston, R.N., Ph.D., professor and associate dean for graduate programs
in the School of Nursing, is the winner at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences
At the Health Sciences Center, the Distinguished Research Award goes to Douglas Stocco,
Ph.D., professor in the Cell Biology and Biochemistry Department. Dr. James Dickens,
associate professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering,
is the Texas Tech winner.
This is the fifth year for the Chancellor’s Council to present the awards. The winners
receive a plaque and a $10,000 cash award. The Chancellor’s Council raises funds to
support student scholarships, faculty recruitment and support, and other programs.
Peffley has been recognized for her teaching with the College of Agricultural Sciences
and Natural Resources Teaching Award, the Texas Tech President’s excellence in Teaching
Award and is a charter member of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy. She has also earned
national recognition with the L.C. Chadwick Educator’s Award from the American Society
of Horticultural Sciences and the L.M. Ware Distinguished Teacher Award by the Southern
Region of the American Society of Horticulture. Peffley is also a key researcher in
the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, working as part of a multidisciplinary
team with NASA to develop sustainable food production systems necessary for extended
space exploration. She joined the Texas Tech faculty in 1986.
Johnston is the associate dean for the graduate program in the School of Nursing.
She is the winner of the 2005 School of Nusing Excellence in Distance Education Award.
Since her arrival in 1998, the graduate enrollment in the School of Nursing has grown
from about 40 to more than 150 students. Many graduate courses are taught online and
Johnston is responsible for the national recognition that has come to the program.
The Graduate Program in Nursing was the only program in the Health Sciences Center
to be ranked nationally by U.S. News and World Report. She has been awarded several
grants that have enabled the development of additional nurse practitioner and nurse
educator programs in online formats. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
has acknowledged her distance teaching expertise through invitations to speak at the
National Student Nurses Association conventions.
Stocco has received national and international awards for his research on the StAR
protein. The StAR protein is a key protein that allows cholesterol to be converted
into bioactive hormones that are necessary for reproduction and the maintenance of
carbohydrate and salt balance in the body. His discovery has allowed much research
into how cholesterol is mobilized and utilized in cells to go forward. Stocco has
also received the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center President’s Academic
Achievement Award, the Dean’s Research Award, the Grover E. Murray Distinguished Professorship,
the Society for the Study of Reproduction Research Award and the British Endocrine
Society Transatlantic Lecture Award. Stocco holds the Robert A. Welch Endowed Chair
in Biochemistry and is a University Distinguished Professor.
Dickens’ research fields include pulsed power, power electronics, high power RF generation
and high power microwaves. He investigates how very short and powerful bursts of electrical
power can contribute toward national defense and space applications. In the six years
he has been at Texas Tech, he has received more than $5 million in grants from the
Department of Defense and private industry. Dickens, who is associate director of
Texas Tech’s Pulsed Power and Power Electronics Center, has won praise nationally
for his work. A colleague working for the United State’s Air Force, which has funded
Dickens’ work for years, says “Jim’s exceptional efforts have provided for the first
time in many years, deep scientific insights.”