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Posted: 6/14/17

TAMIU Faculty Member Tashtoush Receives SHPE Region 5 Jaime Escalante Award as Outstanding Educator, Advisor


Dr. Tariq Tashtoush
Dr. Tariq Tashtoush  

A Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) faculty member was recently recognized by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) for making a big difference in students’ lives.

Dr. Tariq Tashtoush, assistant professor of Engineering, and advisor of TAMIU’s SHPE Student Chapter, was recently awarded the Jaime Escalante Award for being an outstanding educator and advisor in SHPE’s Region 5. He recently received the award at the SHPE Region 5 Regional Leadership Development Conferences (RLDC 2017) at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

A SHPE newsletter states that Dr. Tashtoush, regardless of his relatively young membership with the organization, has made a huge impact on his Chapter and the life of the students.

“He wants to continue learning more about SHPE so that he may further assist the needs of his Chapter,” the newsletter states, “He is willing to learn Spanish so that he can strengthen his communication methods with his students.”

SHPE was founded in Los Angeles, CA., in 1974 by a group of engineers employed by the City of Los Angeles. Their objective was to form a national organization of professional engineers to serve as role models in the Hispanic community.

The concept of networking was the key basis for the organization. SHPE quickly established two student chapters, beginning a network that would grow to encompass the nation, as well as reach countries outside the United States. Today, SHPE enjoys a strong, but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation.

The Jaime Escalante Award is named after Bolivian educator Jaime Escalante. He was an educator known for teaching students’ calculus from 1974 to 1991 at Garfield High School, East Los Angeles, CA. Escalante was the subject of the 1988 film, Stand and Deliver, and was portrayed by Edward James Olmos. 

Dr. Tashtoush received both his Ph.D. and M.S. in Systems and Industrial Engineering from State University of New York at Binghamton. His B.S. in Mechatronics - Mechanical Engineering was earned at Jordan University of Science and Technology.

Aside from his research and teaching responsibilities at TAMIU, Dr. Tashtoush leads TAMIU’s DustyTRON and DustySWARM Robotics teams. The teams annually participate in NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition (RMC) and Swarmathon at Kennedy Space Center, and both have placed in the competitions.

In 2016, the School of Engineering awarded Dr. Tashtoush its “Teacher of The Year” Award, and in 2017, he was awarded the “Teacher of The Year” Award for the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition, he was awarded the “Advisor of The Year” with a  University Life Award.

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