Dr. Narayan Bhat, associate professor in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas-Pan American, was honored with The University of Texas System 2005 Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award Sept. 21.
Bhat, who has been with UTPA for nine years, teaches organic chemistry and currently directs research in organic/organometallic chemistry in the College of Science and Engineering.
The UT System honor is a first for Bhat, who in 2001 was the recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Research Award from the UTPA College of Science and Engineering. Bhat said his dedication and hard work in transmitting knowledge to UTPA undergraduate students is what led to the recognition.
Dr. Edwin LeMaster, dean of the College of Science and Engineering, said he is very proud of the honor bestowed on Bhat because it shows that the faculty in the college are working well with undergraduate students and developing their thirst for knowledge in science and engineering. LeMaster said it also confirms the faculty are doing more research, writing more proposals for external funding, and publishing more research results.
"I am so pleased that one of our outstanding faculty members in science and engineering is recognized by the UT System Chancellor for his achievements. This is a milestone that indicates that we are achieving some of our central goals as a college," LeMaster said.
LeMaster said Bhat has been a consistent research professor who works greatly with students on his projects and he always encourages students with a patient and competent attitude.
"Our College of Science and Engineering has a goal of involving our undergraduate students in research to give them the experience of discovery in doing research. We believe that Dr. Bhat, especially, displays an excellent mastery of being both a teacher and a scholar. That is the balance that we all should seek in our academic careers," LeMaster said.
Before joining UTPA in 1996, Bhat worked at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. for eight years as a research associate and was a personal research assistant to Dr. Herbert C. Brown, a 1979 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry.
Bhat is currently engaged in the research of synthesizing new organic/organometallic compounds and biologically active compounds such as medicinal drugs. He is working on the research with 18 undergraduate students. In addition, Bhat has received two external grants - one from the Welch Foundation of Texas for $150,000 for three years and the second from the National Institutes of Health-MBRS for $360,000 for four years.
The UT System Chancellor's Council established the teaching award in 1991 to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching. A recipient is selected from each of the UT System campuses and is provided a $5,000 grant. The Chancellor's Award is granted to a Minnie Stevens Piper Award nominee who is a tenured or tenure-track undergraduate teacher.