Faculty Excellence University-Level Winners

In 1988, the UALR Foundation Fund Board instituted awards for faculty excellence at both the college and university levels. Three categories of awards are given – in teaching, public service, and research or creative endeavors – and each award consists of a cash gift and a framed certificate. The college-level awards are in the amount of $1,000. The university-level awards are in the amount of $5,000 each for public service and research, and $10,000 for the award in teaching.

Gary Geissler, Shucheng Yu, and Adjoa Aiyetoro are the 2016 recipients of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Faculty Excellence Awards in the categories of public service, research and creative endeavors, and teaching, respectively.

The faculty received the awards at a ceremony held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 14, in the EIT Auditorium at UALR. A reception followed in the lobby.

Each award consists of a framed certificate and a cash gift of $10,000 for teaching and $5,000 in research or creative endeavors and in public service. College winners are recognized and university winners are announced at the annual ceremony.

Since 1989, when the first award was given, the event has provided a way to recognize the great work of UALR faculty and is made possible through the valued contributions of The Bailey Foundation, Pepsi Beverages Company, and the UALR Chancellor’s Circle.

Winners were selected by a panel of national judges who reviewed the achievements of the college-level winners.

The college-level winners receive a $1,000 cash award and framed certificate.

Gary Geissler Gary Geissler

College of Business

Dr. Gary Geissler is known for his learning-centered approach that focuses on utilizing the most effective teaching tools, techniques, and technology for students to best learn different subject matter. He has taught more than 20 different marketing and advertising courses. His teaching method includes the client-based class project.

To date, he has directed more than 150 of these semester-long projects, greatly benefiting thousands of students and well over 100 businesses, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Besides his client-based project teaching method, Dr. Geissler has also demonstrated his teaching quality by mentoring and sponsoring student teams in marketing competitions.

Shucheng Yu Shucheng Yu

George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology

Dr. Shucheng Yu’s main research areas include data security, privacy in cloud computing, applied cryptography, and wireless network security. His most influential work, “Achieving
 Secure, Stable, and Fine-grained Data Access 
Control in Cloud Computing, represents 
a milestone in the field of cloud computing
 security and has been cited over 1,000 
times. In the past five 
years, Dr. Yu and his graduate students have 
published 37 research articles.

Yu has also been awarded six grants that total more than $1 million. In his National Science Foundation-funded grant, “MRI: Acquisition of a Cloud Computing Infrastructure for Research and Education,” Dr. Yu successfully built the first private cloud in the state
 of Arkansas. This cloud has served as a critical platform for researchers as well as others outside 
the university on various research and education projects.

Public Service
Adjoa Aiyetoro Adjoa Aiyetoro

William H. Bowen School of Law

Professor Adjoa Aiyetoro has been a leading voice in ending racial disparities in the criminal justice system. Her public service centers on researching and resolving racism and its effects in the United States, particularly raising awareness of the need for racial justice.

In 2011, she served as the inaugural director of UALR’s Institute on Race and Ethnicity. As director of the Racial Disparities in the Arkansas Criminal Justice System, Professor Aiyetoro developed a team and began researching records of hundreds of Arkansas prisoners to determine the reasons for significant racial disparities within the state’s criminal justice system. Her work on this project resulted in a conference in August 2015 sponsored by 
the Racial Disparities Project’s Steering Committee and has contributed to legislation to obtain support for racial impact.

She has also worked as a board member of the Arkansas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. While working with this coalition, Professor Aiyetoro successfully convinced the Senate Judiciary Committee to hold a hearing on the death penalty and assisted the introduction of a death penalty abolition bill that was voted “do pass” out of the Committee. This was the first time an Arkansas legislative committee had endorsed such a bill since the 1968 foundation.

The celebration of UALR’s top faculty has been a tradition since 1988 when the university set aside an evening to honor the contributions and achievements of the faculty. The university winners, selected by a panel of national judges from college-level winners, were announced at a ceremony at the EIT Auditorium.

Past University Award Winners


Teaching – Adjoa Aiyetero
Research – Shucheng Yu
Public Service – Gary Geissler


Teaching – Thomas Tudor
Research – Nitin Agarwal
Public Service – Jeffrey Gaffney


Teaching – Brian Berry
Research – Anindya Ghosh
Public Service – Kristin Mann


Teaching – Margaret E. “Beth” McMillan
Research – Nidhal Bouaynaya
Public Service – Nancy Landrum


Teaching – James Levernier
Research – Ann Robinson
Public Service – Mark Geise


Teaching – Gary Geissler
Research – Alexandru S. Biris
Public Service – Mary Parker


Teaching – Thomas Tudor
Research – Jeffrey T. Walker
Public Service – Jeanne Rollberg


Teaching – Paul Yoder, English
Research – Hussain Al-Rizzo, Systems Engineering
Public Service – Juliana Flinn, Anthropology


Teaching – Andrew Eshleman, Philosophy and Liberal Studies
Research – Xiu Ye, Mathematics and Statistics
Public Service – C. Fred Williams, History


Teaching – Hussain Al-Rizzo, Systems Engineering
Research – Robert Ulmer, Speech Communication
Public Service – Ashvin Vibhakar, Finance


Teaching – Charles Chastain, Criminal Justice
Research – Stephen Leslie, Earth Sciences
Public Service – Carol Snelson, Center for Developmental Skills


Teaching – Linda M. Pledger, Speech Communication
Research – Robert H. Bradley, Teacher Education
Public Service – Roby D. Robertson, Public Administration


Teaching – Steve Anderson, English
Research – Wei Zhao, Chemistry
Public Service – Johanna Miller Lewis, History


Teaching – Rama Reddy, Systems Engineering
Research – Dennis Baeyens, Biology
Public Service – Lana Strickland, Nursing


Teaching – Dale Ferguson, Biology
Research – Gary Thompson, Applied Science
Public Service – Ashvin Vibhakar, Economics and Finance


Teaching – Peggy Scranton, Political Science
Research – Tom Kaiser, History
Public Service – Ann Robinson, Teacher Education


Teaching – Carol Thompson, Speech Communication
Research – Ralph Burns, English
Public Service – Jeffrey Connelly, Earth Science


Teaching – Linda Rimer, Nursing
Research – Linda J. Dorn, Teacher Education
Public Service – Rosalie Cheatham, DISLS


Teaching – Wayne Chapman, Theatre Arts/Dance
Research – Charles R. Bowlus, History
Public Service – David Sink, Institute of Government


Teaching – David McAlpine, Spanish
Research – David Jauss, English
Public Service – Daniel Littlefield, English


Teaching – Charles M. Anderson, Rhetoric and Writing
Research – Carl Moneyhon, History
Public Service – Thea Spatz, Health Education


Teaching – Thomas J. Lynch, Biology
Research – Jerry Darsey, Chemistry
Public Service – Art English, Political Science


Teaching – Howard Hodges, Chemistry
Research – Ronn Hy, Public Administration
Public Service – Cal Ledbetter, Political Science


Teaching – Ranko Oliver, Law
Research – Ann Robinson, Gifted Education
Public Service – Roby Robertson, Public Science


Teaching – Frank Kenney, Religious Studies
Research – Daniel Littlefield, English
Public Service – Cay Holbrook, Special Education


Teaching – Michael Kleine, English
Research – Robert Bradley, Educational Foundations
Public Service – William Geiger, Special Education


Teaching – Mary Prentice, Special Education
Research – Bettye Caldwell, Early Childhood Education
Public Service – Alan Marks, Gerontology


Teaching – Lee Williams, History
Research – Tito Viswanathan, Chemistry
Public Service – Myra Taff-Watson, Rehabilitation