Dr. Dionne T. Bailey of the Department of Mathematics, Dr. Bruce E. Bechtol Jr. of the Department of Security Studies and Criminal Justice, and Dr. D. Rozena McCabe of the Department of Kinesiology are the winners of Angelo State University’s 2022 President’s Awards for Faculty Excellence.
They, along with 33 other faculty nominees, were honored at the 13th annual Faculty Recognition Ceremony sponsored May 9 by the ASU Faculty Senate.
Bailey is the award winner for Faculty Excellence in Teaching. Bechtol received the award for Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor. McCabe is the award winner for Faculty Excellence in Leadership/Service. Each received $2,500 and Signature Presidential Recognition Awards. Bailey and Bechtol will also be ASU’s nominees for the Texas Tech University System Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Research.
Bailey, a professor of mathematics, joined the ASU faculty in 2001 and has become a leader in curriculum development and teaching for her department. She is also primarily responsible for ASU mathematics students maintaining a 100% passing rate on the TExES teacher certification test for secondary mathematics. She has taught nearly every mathematics course offered by ASU and has developed several new courses, along with the overall curriculum for the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies (B.I.S.) degree in mathematics that includes teacher certification. She regularly volunteers in the Math Lab, advises all math students seeking teacher certification, and provides a two-week TExES “crash course” after the end of each fall semester. She annually mentors student research and independent study projects, and she conducts her own research on trends and changes in the Texas teacher certification process. She is an active member of her department’s problem-solving group and has submitted over 200 accepted solutions, with over 50 of them being published in various journals and then applied in her classes. She was the project director for a Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant that resulted in the implementation of new programs and equipment aimed at recruiting students and improving results in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. She is director of the Calculator Applications Contest at the UIL Regional Competition hosted annually at ASU, and she maintains membership in the Mathematical Association of America and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Bechtol, a professor of political science, joined the ASU faculty in 2010 and has since been one of the university’s most visible and prolific researchers in terms of research quantity, quality and impact. An internationally-known expert on North Korean political and military issues, he has garnered over $300,000 in grants to fund his research, and has published numerous books, book chapters, research studies and journal articles. His book research alone has taken him to South Korea, Israel, Cambodia, England and elsewhere in the Middle East and Africa. His most recent books include “North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa” published in 2018 – and “Rogue Allies: The Strategic Partnership Between Iran and North Korea” that is under contract to be published soon. His publications also appear in the most renowned journals in his field, including Foreign Affairs, Journal of Peace and War Studies, and Korean Journal on Nuclear Proliferation and Energy, among others. He has also given numerous research presentations at high-level conferences hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations, Cornell University, Executive Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, One Korea Network, and many more. He has given joint briefings to the U.S. State Department and Department of Defense, has twice briefed the National Security Council, and is regularly consulted by members of the U.S. Congress on national security matters. He is also frequently sought for comment on North Korean issues by major national and international media, including FOX News, Voice of America, Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, BBC, Korea Times and several nationally syndicated radio shows. A retired U.S. Marine and former analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency, Bechtol also leads ASU’s nationally recognized online master’s degree program in global security studies.
McCabe, an associate professor of kinesiology, has been an ASU faculty member since 2016 and has demonstrated her love of service by dedicating herself to numerous areas of leadership and service across the ASU campus, the community and her profession. She has served on numerous campus committees, including the President’s Cabinet, Dean’s Council, Gender Studies Committee, and Archer College of Health and Human Services Curriculum Committee, among others. Perhaps her most notable leadership and service stems from her time as a senator, vice president and president of the ASU Faculty Senate, and as a member of the COVID-19 Employee Returning to Campus Committee. That committee was vital to ensuring faculty and staff could safely return to campus to continue face-to-face learning for students while successfully limiting the spread of COVID-19. Within the Department of Kinesiology, she has served as the student retention liaison with the Freshman College and has mentored several honors student research projects. She is also the faculty advisor for the Rams Plus LGBTQ+ student organization. In the community, she has been an active supporter of the Family Shelter, Open Arms Rape Crisis Center, Sonrisas Trails Therapeutic Riding, and Cassie’s Place animal rescue. She has also removed over 200 pounds of metal and plastic trash from Lake Nasworthy through her hobby of magnet fishing. In service to her profession, she is an active member of the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD), holding various leadership positions, assisting with annual conventions, and presenting more than 20 professional programs. Her level of leadership and service consistently goes above and beyond the highest expectations.
In addition to the overall winners, four semifinalists in each category received a $500 award.
For Excellence in Teaching, the other semifinalists were: Leah D. Carruth, associate professor of teacher education; Mohammad S. Haque, assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Kristen N. Lyons, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction; and Gayle L. Randall, senior instructor in management and marketing.
For Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor, the other semifinalists were: Heather J. Braden, professor of physical therapy; Drew A. Curtis, associate professor of psychology; Donna B. Gee, professor of teacher education; and Aldo R. Piñón-Villarreal, assistant professor of civil engineering.
For Excellence in Leadership/Service, the other semifinalists were: David A. Faught, professor of Spanish; Carlos A. Flores Jr., associate professor of teacher education; Regina H. Shipley, assistant professor of teacher education; and James F. Villers, associate clinical professor of physical therapy.
Other nominees in the Excellence in Teaching category were: Laura N. Wilson, assistant clinical professor of physical therapy; Allison L. Dushane, associate professor of English; Rebekah O. McMillan, assistant professor of history; Charles C. Allen, professor of physics; Larrimore W. Hettick II, instructor in management; Landri L. Ognowski, instructor in accounting; and Michael J. Conklin, assistant professor of business law.
Other nominees in the Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor category were: Robert M. Briwa, assistant professor of geography; Linda A. Kornasky, professor of English; Kenneth W. Carrell, assistant professor of physics; Simon D. Pfeil, assistant professor of mathematics; Michael J. Conklin, assistant professor of business law; and Juehui Shi, assistant professor of management.
In the Excellence in Leadership/Service category, the other nominees were: Eduardo V. Martinez, senior instructor in intelligence and analysis; Michael S. Powers, assistant professor of history; Eddie F. Holik III, associate professor of physics; Michael C. Holcomb, assistant professor of physics; Travis W. Humphrey, instructor in mathematics; William A. Kitch, professor of civil engineering; Ruben Ceballos, assistant professor of management; and Biqing Huang, professor of finance.