Texas A&M University and The Association of Former Students have selected 24 outstanding members of the school’s faculty and staff to be honored with 2017-2018 Distinguished Achievement Awards. The university-level Distinguished Achievement Awards were first presented in 1955 and have since been awarded to more than 1,000 professionals who have exhibited the highest standards of excellence at Texas A&M.
AFS University-Level Distinguished Achievement Awards List

The 2017-2018 recipients along with their departments/affiliations are as follows.


Norma Arizpe
Senior Lecturer
Department of Hispanic Studies
Norma Arizpe was born in Donna, Texas, a small community in the Rio Grande Valley near the U.S./Mexico border. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Pan American University in nearby Edinburg, Texas (now part of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley), and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan. Teaching has always been part of her being. Early in her career she was a junior high school teacher in the Donna ISD as well as an English-as-a-second-language (ESL) instructor in San Juan, Texas, and Detroit, Michigan. Her first job at Texas A&M was as an ESL instructor in the English Language Institute before becoming a member of the Department of Hispanic Studies (then known as the Department of Modern & Classical Languages), where she started out as a Spanish lecturer. Based on the merits of her outstanding performance in the classroom, she soon earned promotion to senior lecturer. In Hispanic Studies, Ms. Arizpe teaches undergraduate courses in first and second-year Spanish and many of 300-level courses. Over the last few years, she created three courses in medical Spanish in conjunction with the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC); so, Medical Spanish is now firmly embedded into the HSC’s curricular offerings. These courses have been a huge success, and mirror the achievement Ms. Arizpe has found throughout her career as an instructor. She has been honored for her commitment to teaching as a Fish Camp namesake in 1992 and as a T-Camp namesake in 1996. In addition, she was chosen to lead planning for the “¡Siempre! 130 years of Hispanics at Texas A&M” exhibit housed in the Cushing Library and was selected for The Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Award in Teaching in 2009.

Glenda Byrns ’07
Associate Clinical Professor
Department of Educational Psychology
Glenda Byrns earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Southwest Texas State University and a doctorate from Texas A&M University. She joined the faculty of the College of Education and Human Development in 2005.  Dr. Byrns has served in leadership capacities at the department and college level. As the program coordinator for the Undergraduate Special Education (SPED) Program, Dr. Byrns coordinated a state-mandated degree plan revision that required realignment of courses. When serving as the college’s coordinator for educator preparation, she authored the differential tuition for undergraduate teacher preparation proposal that helped to fund scholarships, travel-abroad programs, and supervision for students in field‐based experiences. Additionally, she facilitated the collection and organization of data for accreditation. Currently, she serves as the Special Education Division Chair and as the associate department head for academic affairs in the Department of Educational Psychology. Dr. Byrns teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level courses in both face-to‐face and online formats. SPED 630, a synchronous distance education course that Dr. Byrns teaches, has received Quality Matters (QM) designation. Additionally, Dr. Byrns has been recognized as a Texas A&M Exemplary Distance Educator. Every semester, she takes undergraduate SPED students to a day‐long internship in a large urban school district where they engage with students and teachers and observe educational supports. To advance the use of technology in classroom settings, Dr. Byrns distributes iPads to students in upper‐level SPED courses. Additionally, she developed iBooks for students’ use in flipped classes. Dr. Byrns received the Student Led Award for Teaching Excellence and was a Howdy Camp namesake.

Don T. Conlee ’94
Instructional Professor
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Don Conlee earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana, Monroe, a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School, and a doctorate from Texas A&M University.  He joined the faculty of the College of Geosciences in 2009.  Dr. Conlee has more than 30 years’ experience in operational meteorology and instrumentation. Before coming to Texas A&M, he served as a department head at the Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center in Monterey, California, and as a Strike Warfare Office for the U.S. Navy Enterprise Battle Group Staff. He teaches courses in weather forecasting, weather analysis, instrumentation, and severe weather. Students say these courses are rigorous, practical, and inspiring. A former student commented “his courses prepared us for the real-world applications in ways I continue to use in my career. They were challenging courses that encouraged us to think in new ways and make new connections.” His teaching extends far beyond the traditional classroom and continues long after regular business hours. He has developed several high-impact learning experiences, including a study-abroad program that focuses on meteorological phenomenon found in other parts of the world. He built a Weather Center that displays current charts and forecasts so that students could have a room of their own to study and discuss current weather situations. He actively involves freshmen and sophomore students in research projects and activities, including launching weather balloons to collect data for the National Weather Service. A former student said “one of the defining characteristics is the teaching he enables beyond the classroom.  He always encourages his students to get involved and shares a contagious desire to become a life-long learner.”

Joanne Hardy
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences
Joanne Hardy earned doctor of veterinary medicine and master’s degrees from the University of Montreal and a doctorate from The Ohio State University. She is a Diplomate of both the American College of Veterinary Surgeons and the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care. She joined the faculty of College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2003. She previously was a member of the faculty at The Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine where she rose through the ranks from clinical instructor to become an associate professor with tenure. While serving on the faculty at The Ohio State University, she received the Faculty Clinical Teaching Award, and was nominated for both the Norden Distinguished Teaching Award and the Dean’s Award for Creativity in Teaching. At Texas A&M, Dr. Hardy provides 25 hours of didactic instruction and 62 hours of laboratory instruction in 9 different courses within the professional veterinary curriculum, in addition to having a significant time commitment to clinical instruction integrated with patient care in the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital.  She has coordinated a foal-care elective and has developed two other hands-on elective educational opportunities, the trauma team and the colic team. These electives are the embodiment of high-impact learning, combining a small amount of didactic material to provide fundamental and essential background information and then allowing students to have first-hand experience with events like the birth of foals, traumatic injuries to horses, disaster relief experiences as occurred with Hurricane Harvey, and medical emergencies like colic. Since becoming a member of the Texas A&M faculty, Dr. Hardy has received the Richard H. Davis Award for Excellence in Clinical Teaching and the Clinical Service Award.

Mark T. Holtzapple
Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
Mark Holtzapple earned a bachelor’s from Cornell University and a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. After his formal education, he served at the U.S. Army Natick R&D Center where he developed miniature air-conditioning systems to cool soldiers encapsulated in chemical protective clothing. After retiring from the Army as a captain, he joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 1986. A passionate teacher, his teaching awards include: Faculty of the Year, First Year Faculty Fellow, the Fluor Distinguished Teaching Award, Professor of the Year, the Corps of Cadets Teaching Award, the Tenneco Meritorious Teaching Award, the Dow Excellence in Teaching Award for Tenured Faculty, the General Dynamics Excellence in Teaching Award, and The Association of Former Students University- and College-Level Distinguished Achievement Awards in Teaching. A gifted researcher, Dr. Holtzapple focuses on technologies that enhance sustainability, such as biomass conversion to fuels and chemicals, high-efficiency engines, and water desalination. For his research, Dr. Holtzapple has received national and international recognition, including the Odebrecht Award for Sustainable Development, the Walston Chubb Award for Innovation, the McGraw-Hill Environmental Champion Award, and the President's Green Chemistry Challenge Award, which was awarded by the President and Vice President of the United States. To commercialize his technologies, the following start-up companies have been formed: Terrabon, Earth Energy Renewables, StarRotor, CaliRotor (China), Theion, Cascade, and OF Water. Dr. Holtzapple infuses his real-world experience and entrepreneurial spirit into his classrooms and laboratories.

Xenophon Koufteros
Department of Information & Operations Management
Dr. Xenophon Koufteros earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University and a doctorate from The University of Toledo. He joined the faculty of Mays Business School in 2007 after serving on the faculties of The University of Texas at El Paso and Florida Atlantic University.  Dr. Koufteros has taught a variety of courses at the bachelor’s, master’s, executive master’s (average student age is 40), and doctoral levels, as well as in the Center for Executive Development which focuses on non-degree teaching.  His signature class is Supply Chain: Sourcing and Procurement, the focus of his academic research and a class that did not exist at Texas A&M before his arrival.  For this class, he has created two case studies with different firms to give students the opportunity to solve real-world problems and then present their solutions to executives of the firms depicted in the cases. He believes that involvement with the corporate community is good for both his students and the school. Beyond the cases, his course materials show the care he takes in ensuring student learning.  Far from teaching to an empty room, enrollment for his elective classes typically are at capacity and he has successfully taught core business courses with class sizes of more than 100. Dr. Koufteros has justly earned several teaching awards, including The Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching and The Association’s University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Individual Student Relationships. Among student-voted teaching awards at Mays, Dr. Koufteros has won in all the categories for which he was eligible in both 2016 and 2017. In addition, he is highly esteemed for his teaching by his peers.

Krishna R. Narayanan
Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Krishna Narayanan earned a bachelor’s from Coimbatore Institute of Technology, a master’s from Iowa State University and a doctorate from Georgia Institute of Technology. He joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 1998 and is the holder of Eric D. Rubin ’06 Professorship. Dr. Narayanan has been an innovator in education, an inspiring and caring teacher to thousands of students at Texas A&M, and a personal mentor to several undergraduate and graduate students. In the last few years, he has distinguished himself as a passionate advocate of activities that enhance and personalize the educational experience of students at Texas A&M. His research interests are in coding theory, information theory, and signal processing with applications to wireless networks, data storage, and data science. He is passionate about technology-enabled teaching and innovative pedagogical approaches. Among his honors and awards are the National Science Foundation Career Award and the Best Paper Award from the IEEE Signal Processing for Data Storage Technical Committee, recognizing his work on soft decision decoding of Reed Solomon codes. He was elected a Fellow of the IEEE for contributions to coding for wireless communications and data storage, and he serves as an editor for coding techniques for the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory. He was elected to the board of governors of the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2015. He has also received the Professional Progress in Engineering Award given each year to one outstanding alumnus of Iowa State University who is under the age of 44. In addition, The Association of Former Students College-Level Award in Teaching, and a Dean’s Excellence Award from the College of Engineering.

 Michelle D. Pine ’02
Clinical Associate Professor
Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences
Michelle D. Pine earned bachelor’s and doctor of veterinary medicine degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She was a practicing veterinarian and a USDA Veterinary Medical Officer before coming to Texas A&M to earn her doctorate in toxicology. While a USDA Veterinary Medical Officer, she received a Certificate of Merit. As a doctoral student, she received a Texas A&M Regents Graduate Fellowship. Dr. Pine excelled in research during her graduate and postdoctoral training, publishing 14 research manuscripts and, in 2006, receiving the best reproductive toxicology publication of the year award from the European Teratology Society. Dr. Pine joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 2004. At that time, she began to focus more on her passion for teaching. Since then, she has been awarded a Texas A&M Teaching Excellence Award and was one of several College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences faculty members selected to participate in the national Bayer Animal Health Communication Project Faculty Program. She has also been honored by Texas A&M students as a Fish Camp namesake. Dr. Pine has been awarded several grants for teaching innovations, including an Instructional Technology Services grant, “Flipping Your Course,” which she very successfully accomplished, and a Texas A&M Classroom Instructional Technology Matching Grant to improve Gross Anatomy educational instruction in the college. In 2015, Dr. Pine and her collaborators received a Texas A&M University Tier One Grant. Dr. Pine has fostered advancement of both research and teaching through her active participation in numerous professional organizations, including The American Association of Veterinary Anatomists, the Society of Toxicology and the Society for Neuroscience.

Cynthia A Riccio
Department of Educational Psychology
Cynthia Riccio earned a bachelor’s from the University of Connecticut, a master’s and a specialist diploma from the University of Hartford, and a doctorate from the University of Georgia. She joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1997. In addition to her appointment in the College of Education and Human Development, she is also a member of the interdisciplinary Texas A&M Institute of Neuroscience. She has received the Lightner Witmer Award from the Division of School Psychology of the American Psychological Association, a Texas A&M University Faculty Fellowship, The Association of Former Students College-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching, and an Outstanding Service Recognition from the College of Education and Human Development. Dr. Riccio has attained Fellow status in both the American Psychological Association and the National Academy of Neuropsychology; she holds all credentials in her field. In addition to serving as director of training for the School Psychology program for the past 12 years, she has successfully obtained and managed training grants providing up to 4 years of support for 25 doctoral students with an emphasis on the preparation of bilingual school psychologists. She worked with students to establish a Texas A&M Chapter of the Student Affiliates in School Psychology as an official student organization for which she continues to serve as faculty advisor. She has published more than 76 refereed journal articles, 29 book chapters, first-authored two texts, and co-edited three texts. Across these scholarly activities, she engaged students in publication and presentations. She has chaired 33 School Psychology doctoral committees and serves on graduate committees across the college and university.

Gary Wingenbach
Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Gary Wingenbach earned a bachelor’s and two master’s degrees from Oregon State University and his doctorate from Iowa State University. He joined the faculty of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2009 and was appointed as a senior scientist in the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture in 2011. He has more than 30 years' experience in international agriculture and extension education, starting as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Guatemala. Currently, Dr. Wingenbach develops international education and research opportunities for students and faculty. He teaches courses on international agriculture issues, field research methods, and adult education strategies. Dr. Wingenbach's interests in study abroad began when he led more than 100 Aggies to Mexico for rangeland restoration workshops. He established and now co-leads programs to Guatemala, Namibia, and Costa Rica. These high-impact experiences help students gain valuable intercultural understanding, combined with service learning and research. He is very proud of the research published nationally and/or internationally by more than 25 former students. Dr. Wingenbach received the Kenneth L. Clinton Study Abroad Award from The Texas A&M University System. His research focuses on international agriculture and human resource development issues and has resulted in more than 80 refereed articles. He has successfully managed federally funded international projects totaling more than $2.4 million and worked as a bi-lingual (Spanish) educator and professional development specialist from Mexico to South America for the U.S. Agency for International Development, USDA-Foreign Agriculture Service, and the U.S. Departments of State and Labor.



Nancy M. Amato
Regents Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Nancy Amato is Unocal Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Computer Science where she co‐directs the Parasol Lab. She is also senior director of Engineering Honors Programs in the College of Engineering and co‐coordinator of the Computer Science and Engineering Track of Engineering Honors. She received bachelor’s degrees from Stanford University, a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign. Her research focuses are motion planning and robotics, computational biology and geometry, and parallel and distributed computing. Dr. Amato was program chair for the 2015 IEEE International Conference on
Robotics and Automation (ICRA) and for the 2016 Robotics: Systems and Science Conference. She is an elected member of the Computing Research Association (CRA) Board of Directors and previously of the IEEE Robotics and Automation
Society Administrative Committee. She has served as co‐chair of the CRA's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research and was co‐chair of the National Center for Women in Information Technology Academic Alliance. She has directed or co‐directed the CRA‐W/CDC Distributed Research Experiences for Undergraduates (DREU, formally known as the DMP) since 2000; DREU is a national program that matches undergraduate women and students from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities and persons with disabilities, with a faculty mentor for a summer research experience at the faculty member's home institution.

Perla B. Balbuena
Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering
Perla B. Balbuena earned a bachelor’s degree from the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional, Argentina, a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania, and a doctorate from the University of Texas. She joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 2004 as a Professor of Chemical Engineering with joint appointments in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and in the Department of Chemistry. Previously, she was a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of South Carolina. Her research focuses on the first principles analysis and characterization of materials for catalysis, separations, and energy storage and conversion. She has published more than 250 scientific papers in her field of research and has an h-index of 53 with more than 10,000 citations according to Google Scholar. Dr. Balbuena’s research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Vehicle Technologies Office (Battery Materials Research), by the Catalysis Division of Basic Energy Sciences, and by Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute. Among her awards, she has received a CAREER from the National Science Foundation and a Young Investigator Award from the University of South Carolina. She has twice been named a TEES Fellow and once named a TEES Senior Fellow. In 2013, she was elected an AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science “for distinguished contributions to the theory of interfacial processes, through molecular simulation of electrochemical reactions and materials properties at the nanoscale.”

Andrew Dessler
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Andrew Dessler earned a bachelor’s degree from Rice University and a doctorate from Harvard University. He also did postdoctoral work at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and spent nine years on the research faculty of the University of Maryland.  He joined the faculty of the College of Geosciences in 2005 and holds the Earl F. Cook Professor of Geosciences at Texas A&M University. Dr. Dessler’s scientific research revolves around climate sensitivity ‒ how much warming of the climate system occurs per unit carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere. As part of this, he has researched individual climate feedbacks, in particular how water vapor and clouds act to amplify an initial temperature perturbation of the climate system. He is widely recognized to be among the world’s experts in this area. During the last year of the Clinton Administration, he served as a senior policy analyst in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Based on this, as well as his research experience, he has authored two books on climate change: The science and politics of global climate change: A guide to the debate (co‐written with Edward Parson), and Introduction to modern climate change. This latter book won the 2014 American Meteorological Society Louis J. Battan Author's Award. He was named a Google Science Communication Fellow in recognition of his work communicating climate science to the public, and he received the American Geophysical Union’s Ascent Award from the atmospheric sciences section to reward exceptional research achievements by a mid‐career scientist. In 2017, Dr. Dessler was elected an AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for “outstanding research in atmospheric chemistry and physics, teaching, writing, and community service.”

Catherine Eckel
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Economics
Catherine Eckel earned a bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a doctorate from the University of Virginia. She joined the faculty of the College of Liberal Arts in 2012 as the Sara & John Lindsey Professor of Economics. She was named University Distinguished Professor in 2015. Dr. Eckel’s primary research is in the areas of experimental and behavioral economics. She has made important contributions on topics that are both policy-relevant and of interest to the academic community. Examples include studies of the effect of subsidies on charitable giving, measuring risk preferences, and discrimination by race and gender as evidenced in games of trust. Her hundred-plus papers published as journal articles and book chapters have garnered over 11,000 citations (Google Scholar). In a recent published world ranking of over 1,500 researchers in experimental economics, Dr. Eckel is ranked 14th (top 0.1%). She is the number-one-ranked female experimental economist in the world. She is or has been a principal investigator or co-principal-investigator on 23 grants from the National Science Foundation, totaling more than $4.4 million. Dr. Eckel is currently president of the Economic Science Association, the professional association of experimental and behavioral economists. She is the past-president of the Southern Economic Association, the largest regional association in economics. She also served as Economics Program Director at the National Science Foundation. In January 2013, Dr. Eckel was awarded the prestigious Carolyn Shaw Bell Award, which is given annually by the American Economic Association Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession to an individual who has furthered the status of women in the economics profession, through example, achievements, increasing our understanding of how women can advance in the economics profession, or mentoring others.

Mladen Kezunovic
Regents Professor
Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Dr. Kezunovic earned a diploma of engineering from the University of Sarajevo and a master’s degree and doctorate from the University of Kansas.  He joined the College of Engineering in 1992. He is a Regents Professor at Texas A&M University where he has served for 31 years and is currently professor and holder of the Eugene E. Webb Professorship. Currently, he serves in several leading roles at the university: director, Smart Grid Center; site director, Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSerc); and director, Power Systems Control and Protection Lab. He is also the principal consultant, as well as president and CEO of XpertPower Associates, and has been providing consulting services to over 50 customers world-wide for over 25 years. He was a consultant for EdF’s Research Centre in Clamart, France, and a visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Kezunovic was an Eminent Scholar at Texas A&M University in Qatar and is an Expert Visiting Scholar funded by the Brazilian Government. He served three terms on the Board of Directors of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel initially established by NIST. He has been recently appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Energy to serve on the U.S. Department of Energy Electricity Advisory Committee. Dr. Kezunovic has been a principal investigator on over 150 research and development projects, published more than 550 papers and given over 120 invited lectures, short courses and seminars around the world. He is an IEEE Life Fellow and Distinguished Speaker, CIGRE Fellow and Honorary Member, and Registered Professional Engineer in Texas. He is the recipient of the Inaugural 2011 IEEE Educational Activities Board Standards Education Award “for educating students and engineers about the importance and benefits of interoperability standards” and of the CIGRE Technical Committee Award for "remarkable technical contribution to the study committee B5, protection and automation" in 2013.

Daniel A. Singleton
Department of Chemistry
Daniel A. Singleton earned a bachelor’s degree from Case Western Reserve University, a doctorate from the University of Minnesota, and was then an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. Dr. Singleton joined the faculty of the College of Science in 1987 and is a Davidson Professor of Science. He received the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society, and he has received a series of four teaching and mentorship awards at Texas A&M, including The Association of Former Students University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching and the Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Mentor of the Year. Dr. Singleton is a recognized international leader in two research areas. The first of these is the field of kinetic isotope effects on chemical reactions. In 1995, Dr. Singleton’s group developed methodology for the combinatorial simultaneous measurement of all of the kinetic isotope effects for a reaction at natural abundance. Dr. Singleton then advanced the interpretation of kinetic isotope effects by finding that they could be predicted accurately if the reaction mechanism, transition state geometry, and reaction physics were each accurate. In this way, the combination of experiment and theory provides one of modern chemistry’s most powerful tools for the identification of reaction mechanisms. Dr. Singleton’s second area of leadership is in the area of “dynamic effects” on reactions. Dynamic effects are experimental observations that cannot be explained within the standard statistical paradigms of chemistry. Dr. Singleton’s group has provided the bulk of the experimental evidence for dynamics effects on reactions, and it has been a leader in the development of a theoretical understanding of these phenomena.

Individual Student Relationships

Angela Hairrell ʼ91
Director, Academic Support Services
Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College of Medicine
Angela Hairrell earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate from the Texas A&M University. She joined the College of Medicine in 2011. In addition to serving as director of the Office of Academic Support Services, she is an assistant professor of humanities. Academic Support Services offers a variety of programs and services aimed at enhancing student learning.  Dr. Hairrell has played a vital role in building this department and developing programs that include one-to-one student appointments aimed at addressing any learning, supplemental instruction, and guidance for board exam preparation and small- or large-group seminars designed to provide an overview of proven strategies to prepare students for class, board exams, and certifying exams. She develops many close relationships with the students as she helps them develop the skills to transition from beginning medical student to practicing physician. Dr. Hairrell has become a leader in the field of medical student success as evidenced by more than 20 invited presentations in the last 5 years. She currently serves as the co-principal investigator for the Aggie Doctor Initiative funded by Minority Health Research and Education Grant Program sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, and she serves as MedCamp Director for this program.

Daniel A. McAdams
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Daniel McAdams earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s from the California Institute of Technology, “Caltech,” and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.  He joined the faculty of the College of Engineering in 2008 after serving as a faculty member at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. A professor of mechanical engineering, Dr. McAdams serves as associate department head for graduate programs and was recently awarded the Robert H. Fletcher Professorship. He teaches undergraduate courses in design methods, biologically inspired design, and machine element design, and graduate courses in product design and dynamics. Dr. McAdams’ research interests are in the area of design theory and methodology with specific focus on functional modeling; innovation in concept synthesis; biologically inspired design methods; inclusive design; and technology evolution as applied to product design. He is best known for the creation of the Functional Basis and its application in the creation of new methods to improve engineering design. Dr. McAdams was awarded the 2017 Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, the 2016-2017 Herbert H. Richardson Faculty Fellow Award from the College of Engineering, the 2015 Mechanical Engineering Industrial Advisory Council Outstanding Faculty Contribution Award, the 2014-2015 College of Engineering Dean’s Fellow designation, and the 2012 Design Studies award, for the best paper published in the journal Design Studies. He has edited a book on biologically inspired design.


Nagamangala “N.K.” Anand
Executive Associate Dean
College of Engineering
Nagamangala Krishnamurthy “N.K.” Anand earned a bachelor’s degree from Bangalore University, a master’s degree from Kansas State University, and a doctorate from Purdue University. He is the executive associate dean in the College of Engineering and associate director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES). He is also the James and Ada Forsyth Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Anand has served at Texas A&M University for 32 years, seven of those years as Executive Associate Dean in the College of Engineering. In his role as executive associate dean, he serves as chief operating officer for the College of Engineering, overseeing 13 departments with more than 500 faculty members. He was named a Regents Professor by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents in 2014 and received The Association of Former Students University-Level Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching in 2001. His research has also been recognized with many honors and awards over the years and he was elevated to the grade of Fellow with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1996. Since joining Texas A&M, he has held numerous administrative leadership positions. In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he served as graduate program director and associate department head. At the college level, he served as assistant dean for graduate programs, interim department head for the Department of Chemical Engineering, associate dean of graduate programs, associate dean for research, associate director of TEES, interim executive associate dean, acting vice chancellor, interim dean, and acting director of TEES. For his outstanding service and dedication, he was awarded the Charles W. Crawford Service Award in 2006.

Extension, Outreach, Continuing Education and Professional Development

Ellen R. Jordan
Professor and Extension Dairy Specialist
Department of Animal Science
Ellen Jordan earned a bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, and a master’s and doctoral degrees from Oregon State University. As a dairy specialist, Dr. Jordan oversees all aspects of dairy management educational programs for dairy producers in Texas, including nutrition, cow comfort, herd health, water resource management, labor training and management, heifer development, environmental protection, and reproduction. She has worked with dairy producers throughout the country troubleshooting herd productivity issues and environmental concerns and has participated in dairy seminars or workshops throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico, China and the Kyrgyz Republic. In collaboration with the Borlaug Institute and industry partners, she has provided training for many international visitors from Russia, Japan, Panama, Morocco, Turkey, Iraq, and Afghanistan. She has authored or co-authored 15 refereed journal articles, more than 300 popular press articles, and more than 1,600 radio programs. Dr. Jordan has been interviewed or served as an information source for media outlets, such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune, as well as being interviewed for ABC, CBS, NBC, WB, and Fox affiliates on such diverse topics as BSE, Foot and Mouth Disease, product safety, dairy industry trends, hormones in milk, and drought. She has generated more than $2.2 million in support of dairy extension programs from diverse sources, including the Texas Association of Dairymen, American Jersey Cattle Association, USDA, Texas Animal Health Commission, Southwest Dairy Farmers, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™, PepsiCo Foundation, and nutrition and pharmaceutical industry allies. She has edited the proceedings for over 35 state, national, and regional technical conferences in reproduction, nutrition, labor management, and environmental management.


Samuell R. Hawes ’81
Assistant Commandant for Recruiting
Division of Student Affairs
Colonel Samuell R. Hawes, USA (Ret), received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and master’s degrees from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College and the National Defense University. He has been a member of the commandant’s staff since September 2009 and previously served with the United States ROTC program at Texas A&M before his retirement from active duty. While a student at Texas A&M, Col. Hawes was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He achieved the rank of cadet major, commanded Company A-1 as a senior cadet, and was a member of the Ross Volunteer Honor Company. As an ROTC cadet he completed U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger School, received the Marshall Award as the most outstanding senior Army ROTC cadet at Texas A&M, and was recognized as an Army ROTC Distinguished Military Graduate.  Upon graduation, he was commissioned as an infantry second lieutenant. He served 28 years in the Army in many of the Army’s most storied units, including command of the Second Battalion, Twenty Eighth Infantry Regiment.  He served his final three years at Texas A&M as a professor of military science and retired from the Army in 2009. As the assistant commandant for recruiting with the Teas A&M Corps of Cadets, he has helped the Corps grow to more than 2,550 cadets, the largest Corps in forty years. In 2014, he was appointed as the Honorary Colonel of the 28th U.S. Army Infantry Regiment. He also serve as a class agent for the Texas A&M Class of 1981. 

David Wentling ’13
Director of Student Services
College of Architecture
David Wentling earned a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University, master’s degrees from St. Thomas University and Texas A&M University, and a doctorate from the University of Tulsa. He joined the staff of the College of Architecture in 2012 and has worked for Texas A&M University for 22 years. He currently serves as director of the Office of Student Services. His responsibilities include: supervising office staff consisting of eight academic advisors, one program coordinator, and five student workers; counseling and providing academic advice to students who are scholastically deficient; processing administrative information flow between the College of Architecture and other university administrative units; providing information to the associate dean for academic affairs; and monitoring the academic progress of all undergraduate students in the College of Architecture. Before joining the College of Architecture, Dr. Wentling worked in the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies and at Texas A&M University at Galveston. During his career at Texas A&M, he has received a number of honors and awards, including the George W. Kunze Award from the Texas A&M Graduate Student Council and being selected as a Fish Camp namesake. In 2017, Dr. Wentling was inducted in Phi Kappa Phi, which is the nation’s oldest and most selective multidisciplinary collegiate honor society recognizing superior scholarship. He currently serves as the secretary and treasurer for the Texas A&M chapter.

Graduate Mentoring

Noah D. Cohen
Department of Large Animal Clinical Services
Noah Cohen earned his bachelor’s degree and his doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s of public health and doctorate in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University. He completed a residency in large animal internal medicine at Texas A&M University. He joined the faculty of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in 1991 and has been employed by Texas A&M University for 29 years. He is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine – Large Animal and of the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society. Dr. Cohen is known as a leading expert in the epidemiology of equine infectious disease, in particular the intracellular pathogen Rhodococcus equi. He has made significant contributions to strategies for prevention and management of Rhodococcus equi and has co-developed a vaccine that has been effective in initial challenge studies. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed articles and was among the first to influence our knowledge of the epidemiology of many equine diseases. Dr. Cohen has been the principal investigator or significant co-investigator for nearly $2.5 million of funding from extramural granting agencies for research to impact animal disease. This is unprecedented given that these agencies have far fewer dollars available than their counterparts working to solve problems in human diseases.

J. Timothy Lightfoot
Department of Health and Kinesiology
Timothy Lightfoot earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northeast Louisiana State University in Monroe and a doctorate from the University of Tennessee.  He completed post-doctoral study at John Hopkins University. He joined the faculty of the College of Education and Human Development in 2010 and is the Omar Smith Endowed Professor of Kinesiology and Director of the Sydney and JL Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance at Texas A&M University. He previously was a member of the faculties at Florida Atlantic University and the University of North Carolina. Dr. Lightfoot has published over 70 scientific, peer‐reviewed articles on the genetics of daily physical activity and exercise endurance, as well as the physiological response to high‐G exposure. Among his many honors and awards, Dr. Lightfoot is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), an ACSM Certified Exercise Physiologist, a Registered Clinical Exercise Physiologist, a past‐president of the Southeast Regional Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine, and a past member of the Board of Trustees for the American College of Sports Medicine. He has been named Teacher of the Year at three different universities, was awarded the Henry Montoye Research Scholar Award by the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine, received the Outstanding Exercise Science Alumni Award from the University of Tennessee, and gave the keynote lectures at the 2013 Performing Arts Medical Association meeting and the 2014 national American College of Sports Medicine meeting. He will be awarded the national ACSM Citation Award in May 2018, and was recently named the Pease Family Scholar at Iowa State University. He is a native Texan and married to a brilliant and beautiful woman (Faith), used to race automobiles for fun, and has a passion for playing the bass guitar, which he does in live settings with a variety of bands.