This year’s scholars were selected from a field of 32 high-quality nominees.
Texas Tech University Provost Michael Galyean has named nine faculty members as Integrated Scholars for 2020.
Integrated Scholars are faculty members who demonstrate the desire and commitment to advance Texas Tech's mission to educate and serve while achieving significant success in combining teaching, research and service. Each Integrated Scholar has demonstrated the ability to combine the result of their scholarship and creative activities into high-quality learning experiences for students.
"We are very pleased to honor this year's group of Integrated Scholars," Galyean said. "These are special people who have a remarkable ability to infuse what they do in the classroom with their scholarship and creative energy. Moreover, they understand that the classroom and their professional activities can be extended beyond normal borders and become a force for service to our community and beyond. These unique individuals make Texas Tech a special place for our students and for their colleagues."
The nine integrated scholars were chosen from a field of 32 nominees, representing a wide array of academic disciplines, touching on areas from science and performing arts to agriculture and engineering.
The nine new Texas Tech Integrated Scholars are:
Atila Ertas, Professor and Director of Transdisciplinary Studies, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering
Ertas joined the faculty at Texas Tech in 1985 after earing his masters and doctoral degrees from Texas A&M University. His research interests include transdisciplinary design and related research topics, material galling and coating, tribology, nonlinear dynamics, acoustics, test method development and 3D printing. He is a Fellow with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Society for Design and Process Science (SDPS) and the Academy of Transdisciplinary Learning & Advanced Studies.
Lisa Garner Santa, Professor of Flute and Associate Director of Learning & Teaching, School of Music, J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts (TCVPA)
Santa is a skillful combination of teacher, performer, soloist and chamber musician in the Texas Tech School of Music. Her versatility ranges from classical to jazz with a passion for contemporary flute repertoire inspired by the early works of Lowell Libermann. Her teaching is known throughout the U.S. and around the world, including masterclasses in London, New Zealand and China. She is an active member of the National Flute Association (NFA) and has performed at numerous conventions and coordinated various NFA events and competitions.
Bill Gelber, Associate Professor of Acting/Directing, School of Theatre & Dance, TCVPA
As an associate professor and director of theatre, Gelber has been on the Texas Tech faculty since 2002. He is a 2012 recipient of the President's Excellence in Teaching Award and teaches acting, directing, pedagogy and period styles. He has directed more than 50 productions of plays from the likes of Chekhov, Pinter, Williams and Pirandello. His research focuses on acting and directing methods, theatre pedagogy, the theories and practices of Bertolt Brecht and early modern staging, particularly that of Williams Shakespeare.
Raegan Higgins, Associate Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts & Sciences
Higgins joined the faculty at Texas Tech in 2008 after earning her master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Nebraska. Her research is in the area of time scales with a focus on oscillation criteria for certain linear and nonlinear second order dynamic equations. She also is interested in the application of time scales to mathematical biology and issues that affect the ability of pre-service teachers to effectively teach mathematics. She also is passionate about encouraging women in STEM and increasing leadership opportunities for women in mathematics.
Thomas Maccarone, Presidential Research Excellence Professor, Department of Physics & Astronomy, College of Arts & Sciences
Maccarone is a Presidential Research Excellence Professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy. His research interests include population studies of X-ray binaries and globular cluster black holes, understanding accretion in black hole and neutron star X-ray binary systems, and stellar mass and supermassive black holes. Maccarone led the discovery of the first globular cluster black hole X-ray binary; the discovery of an isolated young stellar object, CX330; and the discovery of new sources of supersoft X-ray emission.
Dimitri Pappas, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Arts & Sciences
Previously a senior scientist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Pappas is an associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry who has earned national and international recognition for his research using new chemical methods to study and detect certain illnesses like heart disease and cancer. He is considered one of the top bioanalytical chemists in the nation. His research uses several analytical techniques to study disease, using three biomarkers to detect sepsis.
Emily Skidmore, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences
Skidmore joined the Texas Tech faculty upon earning her doctorate in history from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2011. Her research interests are in U.S. women's and gender history, cultural history and queer studies. Her book, "True Sex: The Lives of Trans Men at the Turn of the 20th Century" was published in 2011 by NYU Press. Her works have also been featured on the NPR Backstory podcast as well as Bitch magazine and the Lit Hub and Notches websites.
Chris Taylor, Associate Professor and Director of Land Arts of the American West, College of Architecture
Taylor is an associate professor and director of the Land Arts of the American West in the College of Architecture. His research focuses on land art, landscape, embodied fieldwork and making-based design. He developed Land Arts as a semester abroad program in 2001 to investigate the intersection of human construction and the evolving shape of Earth, which is explored in his two books, "Land Arts of the American West" and "Incubo Atacama Lab." He helped design and build the Great Salt Lake Exploration Platform in 2015.
Chuck West, Thornton Distinguished Chair, Department of Plant and Soil Science, College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources (CASNR)
West is the Thornton Distinguished Chair in the Department of Plant and Soil Science and director of the CASNR Water Center, which disseminates information and cooperative opportunities focused on water resource conservation. His research interests vary from tall fescue toxicosis to phosphorous runoff from pastures; drought and pest resistance in tall fescue; the effects beef cattle production on pastures; and simulation modeling of switchgrass growth as a biofuel crop.