Chancellor's Council Announces Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards

Thirteen faculty members from Texas Tech, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and Angelo State University were honored.

Written by Robert Giovannetti

Texas Tech University

The highest awards given by the Texas Tech University System to faculty members at its member institutions were announced today (Dec. 9) by Chancellor Kent Hance.

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

“We have outstanding faculty at each of our component institutions, and these individuals represent the best in academic instruction and research,” Hance said. “Not only are their efforts benefiting students and colleagues, but their influence is also helping advance our reputation statewide and nationally.”

The Distinguished Research Awards went to the following individuals:

  • Christie Blizard, M.F.A.
  • Blizard is an assistant professor of painting in the School of Art at Texas Tech. From the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh to the SIM Artist Residency in Iceland, Blizard has been featured with several renowned art figures in more than 50 national and international art exhibitions.
  • Stacy L. Carter, Ph.D.
  • Carter is an associate professor in the College of Education at Texas Tech. With more than 10 years experience in developmental and psychiatric centers, Carter is a leading researcher in behavioral studies of individuals with developmental disabilities and autism, and has published the first and only clinical research book that comprehensively presents the concept of social validity.
  • Dimitri Pappas, Ph.D.
  • Pappas is an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at Texas Tech. Previously serving as a senior scientist at Johnson Space Center, Pappas has earned national and international recognition for his work using new chemical methods to study and detect illnesses such as heart disease and cancer, and has been noted as one of the top bioanalytical chemists in the nation.
  • Brandon Weeks, Ph.D.
  • Weeks is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech.  A recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award and a former staff scientist at Lawrence Livermore in the weapons materials group, Weeks is a world-renowned expert in energetic materials and conducts research focused on crystal growth and nanoscale patterning of high explosives.
  • C. Patrick Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D.
  • Reynolds is a professor in the Departments of Cell Biology & Biochemistry, Pediatrics, and Internal Medicine and director of the Cancer Center at TTUHSC.  One of the nation’s leaders in cancer research, Reynolds focuses on developing and testing treatments to fight adult and pediatric cancers in the laboratory and in clinical trials. He pioneered the development of a drug that is now used worldwide to cure certain childhood cancers and is actively developing other novel forms of cancer chemotherapy.
  • Leslie Shen, Ph.D.
  • Shen is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology and researcher at the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at TTUHSC. With more than 15 years experience in bone pathology investigating diseases such as osteoporosis, Shen’s research on bone health in women was selected as a feature project by the National Institutes of Health and is now highlighted on more than seven million websites worldwide.
  • Quentin Smith, Ph.D.
  • Smith is a University Distinguished Professor and Grover E. Murray Professor, as well as the senior associate dean for sciences at TTUHSC in Amarillo. After transferring from the National Institutes of Health, Smith joined TTUHSC in 1997 to help build the School of Pharmacy and is conducting groundbreaking research in drug development and delivery to the central nervous system for the treatment of brain tumors, stroke and neurodegenerative disease.
  • Robert C. Dowler, Ph.D.
  • Dowler is the Mr. and Mrs. Victor P. Tippett Professor of Biology and curator of mammals in the Department of Biology at Angelo State. During his 22-year career at Angelo State, Dowler has conducted research in ecology and systematics of mammals throughout much of the U.S. and Mexico, as well as in Guyana, Indonesia, Australia and the Galapagos Islands, and has published more than 50 research papers.

The Distinguished Teaching Awards went to the following individuals:

  • Janice Killian, Ph.D.
  • Killian is a professor and chair of music education in the School of Music at Texas Tech. With nearly three decades of teaching and research experience in many levels of public education, Killian, editor of the Journal of Music Teacher Education, is known statewide, nationally and internationally for her ability to translate research results to music education practitioners and frequently publishes in peer-reviewed music journals and presents at music education venues.
  • Kathryn McMahon, Ph.D.
  • McMahon is a college master and professor in the Department of Medical Education at the TTUHSC Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, as well as the Jonathan and Patricia Rogers Endowed Chair. A national expert in Team Learning, McMahon has been with TTUHSC for 24 years and pioneered the Paul L. Foster College Master Program and Innovative Curriculum.
  • Yondell Masten, RN, Ph.D., WHNP-BC, RNC-OB
  • Masten is interim dean, associate dean and a professor in the Anita Thigpen Perry School of Nursing at TTUHSC. Teaching at TTUHSC for more than 25 years, Masten has prepared generations of nurses and been frequently recognized as a distinguished authority in the health care industry.
  • Steven Urban, M.D., FACP
  • Urban is a professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at TTUHSC in Amarillo. Joining TTUHSC in 2000, Urban also serves as Internal Medicine Student Clerkship Director, holds an endowed professorship in Internal Medicine and is the author of Internal Medicine Pretest, a best-selling McGraw Hill review of Internal Medicine.
  • Kimberly Livengood, Ph.D.
  • Livengood is an assistant professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Angelo State. Livengood works to educate culturally-conscious, secondary teachers who build successful long-term careers in the classroom and has taught all levels of secondary mathematics, biology, chemistry and physics in public and private schools.

This is the 11th year for the Chancellor’s Council to present the awards. The winners each receive a medallion and a $5,000 cash award. The Chancellor’s Council raises funds for student scholarships and recruitment, faculty awards and support, and various other programs of excellence.