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Presidential Award 2015 Winners


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Teaching

Ann Burnette

Professor/Associate Professor Rank

Ann Burnette
Department of Communication Studies
 

Ann Burnette is an associate professor of Communication Studies. She earned her Ph.D. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University, her M.A. in Rhetoric and Communication Studies from the University of Virginia, and her B.A. in History from the University of Virginia. Burnette, who came to Texas State University in 1991, teaches graduate and undergraduate classes in political communication, American public address, rhetorical criticism, and persuasion. Her students have gone on to careers in politics, law, strategic communication, and teaching. Outside of the classroom, she works with students by helping them present and publish their research on communication and by judging public speaking competitions. She co-founded the Delta Beta chapter of Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Honor Society. In 2013, she received the Texas State University Alumni Teaching Award of Honor.

David Nolan

Assistant Professor/Instructor/Lecturer Rank

David Nolan
School of Journalism and Mass Communication

David Nolan, a senior lecturer in Journalism and Mass Communication, earned his Ph.D. in Education, M.A. in Mass Communication, and B.A.A.S. from Texas State University. He teaches visual communication, media design, visual storytelling, and digital video production. In 2015, he was awarded the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Robin F. Garland Educator Award recognizing his teaching. In 2010, he received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service at Texas State University and in 2008 he was recognized as Honors Professor of the Year at the university. He has hosted the NPPA's Advanced Storytelling Workshop at Texas State since 2009. Nolan's professional career as a military combat photographer and editor included a stint as director of photography for Airman magazine.


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activities

Caitlin Gabor

Professor/Associate Professor Rank

Caitlin Gabor
Department of Biology

Caitlin Gabor, professor of Biology, joined the Texas State University faculty in 2000 after completing National Science Foundation (NSF) postdoctoral research at the University of Texas, Austin. She earned her Ph.D. in Environmental and Evolutionary Ecology and M.S. from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. Her bachelor's degree was earned at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Gabor has secured research grants from NSF, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and the United States Geological Survey, and has published 53 papers in refereed journals including two in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has given 40 invited presentations, is an associate editor for two international journals, and has served on numerous NSF and other grant review panels. She has mentored doctoral, master's, and undergraduate students, many of whom have received external grants, and have been admitted to doctoral programs and medical school. Most recently Gabor has been awarded a Fulbright Specialist Fellowship.

Ziliang Zong

Assistant Professor/Instructor/Lecturer Rank

Ziliang Zong
Department of Computer Science

Ziliang Zong, assistant professor of Computer Science, earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Auburn University, where he received the Distinguished Dissertation award. His M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science were earned at Shandong University. Zong's research focuses on high performance computing, green computing and systems, and big data analytics. He has published 38 peer-reviewed papers, received five National Science Foundation (NSF) grants totaling over $1.5 million, one external industry grant, and four internal grants. Zong regularly serves as an NSF panelist, conference program committee member, workshop co-chair, and reviewer for top journals and conferences. He has supervised many graduate and undergraduate students who are now working at leading information technology companies. Additionally, Zong has mentored two winning high school research teams at the Austin Energy Regional Science Festival and the Siemens competition.


Presidential Awards for Excellence in Service

Steven Beebe

Professor/Associate Professor Rank

Steven Beebe
Department of Communication Studies

Steven Beebe, Regents' Professor of Communication Studies, holds a Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia, M.A. in Speech Communication and a B.S.E. in Speech Communication from the University of Central Missouri. His institutional service includes chairmanship of the Department of Communication Studies for 28 years, associate/assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication for 25 years, and serving on numerous university, college, and department taskforces and committees. Most recently, he served as president of the National Communication Association, the largest academic communication association in the world. He has also helped establish new communication programs in Russia and was co-director of the first Russian Communication Association conference and several subsequent conferences. Beebe is a frequent community speaker for Leadership San Marcos and numerous service, civic, educational, and religious organizations.

Dora Pereira Lopez

Assistant Professor/Instructor/Lecturer Rank

Dora Pereira Lopez
Program in Radiation Therapy

Dora Pereira Lopez, clinical lecturer and the Clinical Education Director in Radiation Therapy, is a registered radiation therapist who earned her Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree from Texas State University. Her distinguished leadership led to the Outstanding Student Organization Service Award, presented to the Radiation Therapy Program by the National Marrow Donor Program for 2012 and 2013. Lopez herself was awarded the College of Health Professions Presidential Distinction Award for Service from 2010-2014 and the Faculty Excellence Award for Outstanding Service in 2009 and 2013. The Texas State Cancer Advocacy Movement for Colleges and Outreach recognized her with the Outstanding Campus Service Award in 2012 and the Outstanding Campus Leadership Award in 2014. Her institutional service includes numerous university, college, and department committees. She serves as an Accreditation Surveyor for the American College of Radiation Oncology.


Presidential Seminar Award

 Carmen Westerberg

Carmen Westerberg
Department of Psychology

Carmen Westerberg, assistant professor of psychology at Texas State University since fall 2011, investigates memory failures from a cognitive neuroscience perspective. Her work in this field has been highly influential, as evidenced by her publication and funding records, in addition to other accomplishments. She regularly publishes in the most prominent journals in her field, including Science, and she has multiple publications that have been cited more than 100 times each. She has also secured nearly $200,000 in external funding as a principal investigator. Due to the high impact of her research, she was invited to join the Memory Disorders Research Society, an exclusive group of the world's most noted memory researchers. Westerberg is active in research both independently and collaboratively. She also spends much time mentoring students in research, and some of them have secured their own funds for research under her guidance.


Previous Presidential Award Recipients