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Faculty Recognized With 2014 Excellence Awards

May 30, 2014
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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University President Gibson and Provost Hebert atanding with recipients of faculty excellence awards
The 2014 Faculty Excellence Award winners, with SHSU President Dana Gibson (far left) and Provost Jaimie Hebert (far right), include, from left:  Bobby Lane, professor of soil and crop sciences; Doug Ullrich, professor of agricultural and industrial sciences; Jose Santiago, assistant professor of kinesiology; and Craig Henderson, associate professor of psychology. — Photo by Brian Blalock


Four Sam Houston State University professors whose teaching, research, service and academic engagement stand out from among their peers have been selected to receive one of SHSU’s Faculty Excellence Awards.

The 2014 winners include professor of soil and crop sciences Robert “Bobby” Lane, Excellence in Teaching; associate professor of psychology Craig Henderson, Excellence in Research; professor of agricultural and industrial sciences Doug Ullrich, Excellence in Service; and assistant professor of kinesiology Jose Santiago, the David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award.

Excellence in Teaching

Robert Lane has spent the majority of his professional career fulfilling various roles, from lecturer to chair, within the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences. However, the role that has most touched the lives of generations of Sam Houston State University students is that of “teacher.”

Currently on a .75 teaching/.25 research appointment, Lane teaches classes in soil fertility and fertilizers, sheep and goat production and management, fruit and vegetable production, forage crops and pasture management, food and fiber crops, and advanced crop protection, among others.

He conducts agronomic research, advises graduate and undergraduate students as well as develops curricula for the horticulture and crop science discipline. He also develops, organizes and teaches international classes offered by the department in Australia, China and Costa Rica.

“Dr. Lane is a kind, caring, student-oriented teacher, who is appreciated in the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences, Sam Houston State University, and the agriculture industry for his high morals and education skills,” said a nominator.

“One of his most amazing qualities is that in addition to his research and professionalism in the classroom, he always finds time to spend with his students. His office door is always open and he commits time for every student, whether it’s for academic or personal consultation,” the nominator said.

“Dr. Lane makes his students want to learn by presenting the information in an interesting way. Additionally, he has extended his educational and teaching efforts to conducting workshops and short courses throughout the state for adult populations in agriculture. I know of no one in our institution with a teaching and research appointment that exhibits as much enthusiasm for teaching, advising and mentoring.”

Active in numerous agriculture and education organizations throughout the state and nation, Lane has served as president and board member of the American Association of State Colleges of Agriculture and Renewable Resources; president of the Agricultural Consortium of Texas; Texas State Director of the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture; and is the current president of the Walker County Fair Association.

He has been recognized for his contributions in many areas by being selected for the Sam Houston State University Excellence in Research Award; the SHSU Alumni Service Award; the Texas Education Agency Outstanding Career and Technology Alumni Award; and the Texas FFA Honorary Lone Star FFA Degree.

Last year, he received the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Teacher Fellow Award and the Distinguished Educator Award from the Non-Land Grant Agricultural and Renewable Resources Universities organization.

Excellence in Research

The guiding principle of Craig Henderson’s research is that it must ultimately better human lives and contribute to the common good of the community in which he lives.

Henderson, associate professor of psychology, has focused his efforts on studying the treatment of adolescent substance abuse. Along those lines, he has recently undertaken research on achieving health improvements among college students by increasing exercise, improving nutrition and decreasing problematic alcohol use.

He has published more than 60 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and has been a principal or co-principal investigator on 19 research grants, most of which were awarded by the National Institutes of Health.

“Dr. Henderson has received these awards despite the increased level of difficulty investigators have encountered in receiving federal funding in recent years,” said one of the nominators.

“Not only has he applied for funding for himself, Dr. Henderson has given selflessly of his time, offering department-supported grant workshops and mentoring students on dissertation and fellowship grants.

“His productivity has appeared to inspire other faculty to set the same goals, as several of our faculty have applied for and received grants, one from the National Science Foundation, and several of our new faculty hires have expressed similar intentions to apply for grant funding.

“His grants have funded student assistantships and provided travel funds for students to make conference presentation. These resources, as well as the mentorship he provides, have jump-started several of his students’ careers as researchers and faculty members,” the nominator said.

In addition, Henderson has been selected to participate on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment expert panel, designed to develop consensus statements on the research support underlying substance abuse treatment practices in the United States.

During the past five years, his research has impacted substance abuse treatment research and policy with the publishing of four papers from a five-country international cannabis treatment trial. The work led to the international dissemination of research-supported substance abuse treatment in eight Western European countries, the United States and Canada.

Excellence in Service

In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Doug Ullrich serves as coordinator of the industrial technology program and coordinator of the Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences program.

He also devotes his time to recruiting, assisting the Texas Agricultural Education high school programs, advising the collegiate FFA, assisting with teacher and program standards development with the Texas Education Agency, and developing scholarships, endowments and funding sources that benefit students and teachers of science, technology, engineering, agriculture and mathematics. As an adviser in the university’s SAM Center, he guides more than 1,500 students per year as they work toward their academic goals.

He has also focused his efforts on developing funding sources to support educational outreach efforts and to fund graduate and undergraduate research assistants. During his time at SHSU he has obtained over $2.3 million in grants, contracts and donations. Almost all of the projects he has brought to the university are used to hire graduate students, pay for graduate research, and create professional development projects for teachers and to bring high school students to the SHSU campus.

“As the coordinator of the BAAS program, Dr. Ullrich has enabled many non-traditional students to complete a four-year degree,” said a nominator. “He has worked collaboratively with in-state and out-of-state universities on research projects that have received national recognition.

“In addition to his service to the university, Doug has been active in activities outside of the university, especially those of the national FFA organization,” the nominator said. “He has judged many local, state and national events; developed materials used in FFA competitions; led the effort to establish a statewide collegiate FFA association; and chaired leadership events and conferences at the district, area and state levels. Three events that Dr. Ullrich annually co-chairs collectively bring more than 4,000 students and parents to the SHSU campus.

“Dr. Ullrich’s authoring of materials for FFA competitions generates approximately $15,000 annually for the SHSU Collegiate FFA, without him receiving any personal compensation. In the last 10 years, he has helped generate in excess of $100,000 for the student group. Part of the money was used to establish a scholarship endowment at SHSU in honor of a retired faculty member.”

Adult professionals have also benefited from Ullrich’s work. He has conducted professional development workshops in horticulture, agricultural mechanics, work-based learning, advanced animal science, safety, and youth leadership.

David Payne Academic Community Engagement Award

In his classes within the Department of Health and Kinesiology, Jose Santiago goes beyond the classroom by teaching his students how to work with children, adolescents and adults with special needs in local public schools and non-profit organizations such as the Special Olympics—Texas, Region 6 Heart of East Texas, and the YMCA.

In 2009, Santiago began a partnership with the Huntsville Independent School District to meet the district’s need for additional resources for students with special and help train SHSU kinesiology students.

In his courses, SHSU students develop individualized training plans for students with disabilities in Pre-K through 12th grade. The Sam Houston students then work directly with the HISD students to implement their training plans.

“In this way, Dr. Santiago’s SHSU students gain experience working directly with students with disabilities as well as an understanding of their professional roles as future educators,” said a nominator.

“The benefits of the program last well beyond the SHSU campus as the cohort of kinesiology students graduate and enter positions in which they continue to demonstrate their awareness of the unique needs and talents of students with disabilities and their skills in teaching them,” the nominator said.

“These efforts are also gaining recognition beyond the region as Dr. Santiago and colleagues publish research tracking the success of the ACE pedagogy in academic journals.”

Santiago’s article about the influence of service learning on kinesiology students’ attitudes toward P-12 students with disabilities will soon appear in Adapted Physical Activity Quarterly.

In addition to 2014 Academic Community Engagement Award, Santiago was also the recipient of SHSU’s 2013 Academic Community Engagement Research Award. He also received the 2013 College of Education Outstanding Award in Teaching and was named the College/University Physical Educator of the Year Award recipient by the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.


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