A&M International Faculty Named Scholars of the Year

Texas A&M International University has begun a new tradition of annually recognizing an outstanding faculty member from each of the University's four Colleges with a College Scholar of the Year award.

The first recipients of the newly established award are Dr. Cecilia Garza, Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Department of Psychology and Sociology; College of Arts and Humanities; Dr. Balasundram Maniam, Associate Professor of Finance in the Department of Economics and Finance, College of Business Administration; Dr. Linda Medearis, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education and Chair of the Department Special Populations, College of Education; and Dr. Michael Roth, Assistant Professor of Physics in the Department of Natural Sciences, College of Science and Technology.

The College Scholar of the Year recipients were selected by a College Selection Committee appointed by the Dean of the College. Selections were based on the candidate's teaching, scholarship, service and collegiality, and student and peer evaluations.

The four College Scholars are now finalists for the University Scholar of the Year Award. A selection committee chaired by Dr. Larry Boyd, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, will select the recipient and confer the award in conjunction with Spring Commencement.

The University Scholar of the Year recipient will receive a golden medallion which will be worn as part of the recipient's academic regalia. The award may also include a small stipend and a designated reserved parking space.

The College Scholar of the Year Award and University Scholar of the Year Award were developed by the University's faculty organization, the Faculty Senate, to annually recognize outstanding professionalism among the members of the University faculty.

Dr. Stephen E. Lunce, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Faculty Senate President, explained that the awards provide a public recognition for exceptional professionalism, as it is defined by colleagues, peers and fellow professors.

"Exceptional professionalism is measured by different criteria in different disciplines. It may be recognized by publication in scholarly journals, through performance arts, through curricular development, or it may be recognized by the successes of the scholar's students. However, regardless of how it is measured, it is extremely important that outstanding professionalism be recognized," Lunce said.

Dr. Cecilia Garza, Scholar of the Year for the College of Arts and Humanities, holds a B.A. from the University of Texas at Austin, a M.A. from Texas A&I University, and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Balasundram Maniam, Scholar of the Year for the College of Business Administration, holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from Arkansas State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Mississippi.

Dr. Linda Medearis, Scholar of the Year for the College of Education, holds a B.S. and M.Ed. from Texas Woman's University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Michael Roth, Scholar of the Year for the College of Science and Technology, holds a B.S. and Ph.D. from Colorado State University.

For more information on A&M International's College Scholars of the Year awards, contact Lunce at 326-2502.

University office hours are 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Friday.

Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu