Top researchers at UTPA honored at celebration Feb. 9
Posted: 02/12/2009
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Twenty-two faculty and staff members were recognized at a luncheon Feb. 9 for their accomplishments in obtaining sponsored research awards for The University of Texas-Pan American.

"Thank you for joining us in this celebration of research. As we prepare and transform the scholar at this University, you are playing a critical role," said Dr. Paul Sale, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs and acting UTPA president, who spoke to the gathering in a videotaped message.

Joined by other leading grant and funding recipients at the University, attendees were also greeted by Dr. Wendy Lawrence-Fowler, vice provost for Research and Sponsored Projects, who praised their performance, indicating that from 2000 to the end of fiscal year 2008, the amount of sponsored research awards at UTPA totaled more than $306 million. Additionally, Sale noted UTPA's significant increase in the past five years in publications in Tier One journals, the increase in intellectual property, patents and copyrights and the increase in the commercialization of intellectual assets, licensing and initiating the creation and incubation of startups.

Pictured at the first UTPA luncheon held Feb 9 to honor faculty and staff achievements in sponsored research awards are left to right Dr. John McBride, Dr. Bruce Reed, Dr. Jose Pagan, Dr. Wendy Lawrence-Fowler, Dr. Martha J. Yanes, Dr. Jamie B. Curts, Dr. Miguel Gonzalez, Dr. Van Reidhead, George Bennack, Dr. Edwin LeMaster, and Dr. Richard Fowler.
"We are making great progress in creating new knowledge and in translating that new knowledge to benefit UTPA, the Rio South Texas region, North America and even internationally. We value your talent, creativity and especially the opportunities you create for your colleagues and your student researchers in training to benefit from the research funding you bring to UTPA," Sale said.

Recognized for obtaining awards (monies received and processed) totaling more than $1 million from 2000 through September 2008 were Dr. Bruce Reed, Dr. Karen Lozano, Dr. Karen Watt, Dr. Cindy Wedig, Dr. John McBride, Dr. Eva Miller, Marilyn Hagerty, George Bennack, Dr. Martha Cantu, Richard Trevino, and Dr. Edwin LeMaster.

Honored for obtaining awards totaling more than $1 million as well as an individual award of $1 million or more were Dr. Miguel Gonzalez, Dr. Wendy Lawrence-Fowler, Dr. Ana Maria Rodriguez, Dr. Jamie B. Curts and Dr. Martha J. Yanes (co-principal investigators), Dr. Olga Ramirez, Dr. Hassan Ahmad, Dr. Richard Fowler, Dr. Jose Pagan, Dr. Yuankun Lin and Dr. Van Reidhead.

Sale said he hoped to make this an annual event to recognize the pioneering work by University faculty and staff in building a culture at UTPA focused on research and the partnerships researchers have made with other academic institutions, corporation or government that advance opportunities for further research and commercialization of intellectual assets. He offered institutional support to further the University's research focused mission and goals.

"We need to have a more entrepreneurial approach, to leverage our research and synergies both within and across disciplines and to seek opportunities in new and emerging fields of research that provide social, cultural and economic benefit. Let me assure you that we are continuously working to improve the infrastructure, policies and procedures to expedite your knowledge of opportunities available, your ability to efficiently and effectively manage your award and your ability to leverage your awards into even greater opportunities," he said.

For more information on research at UTPA, log on to the Office of Research and Sponsored Project's Web site at