By Torie Michelle Anderson
The Commerce Journal
In November the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Texas A&M University-Commerce held its inaugural Excellence in Research and Sponsored Programs Awards in the conference rooms of the Rayburn Student Center.
The award luncheon honored faculty and staff members who have developed groundbreaking research projects and those who have been essential in managing and securing funding for research as well as sponsored programs.
“You’re all exceedingly integral to the research process and growth here at the university,” said Dr. Arlene Horne, vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies. “We understand the sacrifices that you make and the intensity of the work that you produce to manage your grants, and we thank you for that hard work, that dedication and that commitment to innovation, the pursuit of knowledge, productive collaborations and the support, most importantly, of our students in the research process.”
Following Horne’s welcome, A&M-Commerce President Dan R. Jones and Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Adolfo Benavides offered opening remarks.
“You spend countless hours investing your intellectual capital and your knowledge to create more knowledge. We recognize and appreciate the product of your efforts,” said Benavides.
The award winners were: Distinguished Principal Investigator for Excellence in Research, Dr. Matt Wood, professor and head of the physics and astronomy department; Distinguished Principal Investigator for Excellence in Sponsored Programs, Veronica Reed, director of the TRiO Programs; Distinguished Research Mentor of the Year, Dr. Allan D. Headley, professor of chemistry; and Research Administrator of the Year, Kay Parrish, administrative assistant for the College of Science, Engineering and Agriculture. Dr. Curt Carlson, assistant professor of psychology, and Dr. Ruiliang Yan, assistant professor of marketing, were named the Junior Faculty Research Award winners.
Each award recipient was presented with a plaque and a monetary prize up to $1,500.
The College of Science, Engineering and Agriculture was named Outstanding Research College of the Year, which recognizes its faculty for amassing the most sponsored research funding. Dr. Grady Price Blount, dean of the College of Science, Engineering and Agriculture and professor of physics, accepted the award.
“I think it is so important that we, as an institution, celebrate and recognize the things that we value. And certainly research, discovery, exploration and creation of knowledge have to be some of the core values of any great university,” said Jones. “Congratulations to all of you for the great work that you do. We’re proud of each and every one of you. You’re all moving our university forward.”