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December 2010

Release Date: Dec. 10, 2010ASU Logo

Chancellor’s Council Honors Two ASU Scientists

Two Angelo State University faculty members – David Bixler of physics and Loren K. Ammerman of biology – have been named 2010 recipients of the Texas Tech University System (TTUS) Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching and Research Awards.

The annual awards, the highest given by TTUS to faculty at member institutions, were announced Friday, Dec. 10, by Chancellor Kent Hance. Bixler received the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award and Ammerman received the Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Research Award.

“These outstanding faculty members exemplify the quality and character of the professors in the Texas Tech University System,” said Hance. “Their passion and dedication to academics and research is unmatched and is apparent through their hard work and numerous achievements. It is my pleasure to once again award these honors to such deserving faculty members.”

At the announcement ceremony, ASU President Joseph C. Rallo introduced the Angelo State recipients, who received medallions and $5,000 checks from Hance. Eight faculty members from Texas Tech University and six from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center also were honored at the ceremony.

Bixler was honored for his ability to teach physics to all types and levels of students, regardless of their major fields of study. He has been described as “a master at communicating the wonders of understanding the natural world to the full spectrum of students that he encounters. In his hand, a piece of chalk becomes a magic tool that can do everything from convincing a future elementary school teacher that physical science is indeed not something that ‘they are just not good at’ to helping a class full of bewildered physics students see that light at the end of the quantum tunnel.”

He was also described as “masterful as a teacher because of his deep integrated understanding of the physical world combined with his ability to express his understanding in such a wide variety of ways that every student in the class can ‘get it.’”

Ammerman was honored for her sustained efforts not only to conduct and publish her own research, but also to mentor both undergraduate student research and graduate student master’s thesis research. She developed a DNA research program that has generated grant money, publications and acclaim for ASU’s Biology Department.

She has also been instrumental in helping her undergraduate and graduate student researchers acquire their own grant funding through organizations like the Texas Academy of Science, Beta Beta Beta, Texas Society of Mammalogists and Southwestern Association of Naturalists. She has collaborated with researchers across the U.S. and has conducted field studies in Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Malaysian Borneo.

Bixler, an associate professor of physics, joined the ASU faculty in 1998. He holds his bachelor’s degree from Tarleton State University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from Rice University.

Ammerman, an associate professor of biology, began teaching at ASU in 2002. She holds her bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and her doctorate from the University of Texas.

The TTUS Chancellor’s Council raises funds for student scholarships and recruitment, faculty awards and support, and other programs.