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New Mexico State University

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NMSU honors faculty members during fall convocation

New Mexico State University kicked off a new semester with its fall 2009 convocation ceremony, a semi-annual event where the university honors some of its top faculty members.



Left to right: Convocation award recipients Katherine Giles, Elizabeth Titus, Manoj Shukla, Eric Butcher, Meghan Starbuck, Yu-Feng "Winnie" Lee, Kathryn Fuller and J. Sean McCleneghan. Far right: Glenn Kuehn who accepted the award for Jeremy Smith. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Yu-Feng "Winnie" Lee and Manoj Shukla were awarded the Patricia Christmore Teaching Award. The award recognizes and rewards superb junior tenure-track faculty members for excellence in teaching.

Lee, an assistant professor of economics and international business, consistently receives excellent teaching evaluations and high rankings from her students. She previously received the Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award from the College of Business.

Shukla, an assistant professor in the plant and environmental sciences department, has helped revive the soil physics program, which now attracts students from different programs of study. During his time at NMSU, he has garnered almost $1 million in research funding as a principle investigator.

The University Research Council Early Career Award was given to Eric Butcher, Jeremy Smith and Meghan Starbuck.

Butcher is an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and is the inaugural holder of the Dwight and Aubrey Chapman Endowed Professorship. Since coming to NMSU, he has been a principle or co-principle investigator on grants from NASA, the Air Force, Los Alamos National Laboratories, the U.S. Department of Education and other agencies.

Smith is an assistant professor in the chemistry and biochemistry department. His research focus is on the design, synthesis and reactivity of transition metal complexes as chemical models for important biological and industrial transformations. His work is currently being supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Starbuck is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics and International Business. Currently, some of her projects focus on fossil fuels, water and economic development in New Mexico. She also is working with Luz-Elena Mimbela from NMSU's Institute for Energy and the Environment to create a dynamic model of an algae-based biofuel in New Mexico.

The University Research Council Distinguished Career Award was presented to Katherine Giles, the director of the Institute of Tectonic Studies. As director of the institute, Giles funds and performs research with a focus on salt tectonics in the U.S., Mexico and Australia. She is a Fulbright Scholar, a fellow in the Geological Society of America, an honorary member and past president of the New Mexico Geological Society, and has been an American Association of Petroleum Geologists distinguished lecturer.
NMSU's Outcomes Assessment II committee, which focuses on student life, awarded the Outstanding Outcomes Assessment Award to the NMSU Library. The NMSU Library has consistently performed assessments that focus on the needs of students and faculty. Their reports reveal that assessment is an important part of the fabric of the unit's yearly planning and implementation of services.

J. Sean McCleneghan and Kathryn Fuller were awarded the Excellence in Academic Advising Award.

McCleneghan, a professor in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, has taught at NMSU since 1982, and served as department head for 12 years from 1982-94. His innovative teaching, research productivity and contributions to public relations higher education have won him numerous awards. McCleneghan directs the department's paid internship program and has earned 688 undergraduates more than $2 million in summer media job experiences from 1983-2009.

Fuller began her career at NMSU in 2000. Currently, she is the admissions and records coordinator for NMSU Alamogordo. She says she appreciates the life-changing value of higher education, and is thankful for the opportunity to serve students and help them achieve their dreams. An example of her service to students includes being an adviser to student organizations such as Phi Theta Kappa and Campus Christian Fellowship.