Posted: 3/19/15

TAMIU Professor Inducted into Chancellor’s Academy



A Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) faculty member was one of 11 professors from around The Texas A&M University System recently recognized by A&M System Chancellor John Sharp for significant contributions to the field of teacher education.

Dr. Rohitha Goonatilake, mathematics professor and chair of the Department of Mathematics and Physics, was inducted into the Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators at the recent Chancellor’s Century Council annual meeting in Austin.

The Academy recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of teacher education and highlights the role of the A&M System in producing K-12 teachers for the State of Texas.  

In 2014, Dr. Goonatilake served a pivotal role as the principal grant investigator who helped bring TAMIU a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant funds the Robert Noyce Mathematics Scholarship, providing scholarships of up to $10,000 per year for students who upon graduation from TAMIU wish to teach mathematics in grades 7-12 in a public or private school serving students in high-need areas.

“The Texas A&M System is known for producing some of the best teachers in the country,” Chancellor Sharp said, “But it takes exceptional teachers at the college level to help prepare those teachers for the classroom. The Academy is a way for us to recognize those teachers who go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure their students are getting the best education possible, so that they in turn can share that experience and knowledge with their own students.”  

Goonatilake said he is honored to be inducted into the Academy.

“I am deeply honored and humbled to have been selected for this award, and I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the University, faculty and TAMUS Selection Committee,” he said.

Inductees are selected by past Academy members. University faculty, staff and students are able to nominate any full-time faculty member who has had a significant impact in teacher preparation.

Aside from the recognition, Academy members also receive a $1,000 stipend, commemorative medallion, and certificate.

Goonatilake, who joined TAMIU in 1999, holds his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from Kent State University. His M.A. in Actuarial Science was earned at Ball State University. He also holds an M.A. in Applied Mathematics from Kent State University and a M.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. His Post Graduate Diploma in Mathematics and B.Sc. in Mathematics and Sciences were earned at the University of Peradeniya.

Other Academy inductees also include Dr. David W. Allard, Texas A&M University-Texarkana; Dr. Gary E. Briers, Texas A&M University; Dr. Joe Gillespie, Tarleton State University; Dr. Sandra K. Kimbrough, Texas A&M University-Commerce; Dr. Karen A. McCaleb, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi; Connie McKee, West Texas A&M University; Dr. Allen H. Redmon, Texas A&M University-Central Texas; Dr. Greta L. Schuster, Texas A&M University-Kingsville; Dr. Patricia A. Smith, Prairie View A&M University, and Dr. Debbie J. Vera, Texas A&M University-San Antonio.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices locate in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 268.

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

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