UALR recognizes faculty excellence at 27th annual awards ceremony

Faculty Excellence award winners for 2015: Jeff Gaffney, Nitin Agarwal, Tom Tudor

Drs. Jeffrey Gaffney, Nitin Agarwal, and Thomas Tudor are the 2015 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 three professors received the awards at a ceremony held at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 16, in the UALR George W. Donaghey College of Engineering and Information Technology Auditorium.

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. The ceremony recognized college-level and university-level winners in each category.

For the past 27 years, the free, public event has provided a way to recognize outstanding UALR faculty. The awards program is made possible through the contributions of The Bailey Foundation, Pepsi Beverages Co., and the UALR Chancellor’s Circle.

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

More about the winners:

Dr. Jeffrey Gaffney has used research on climate change to make the world a better place by providing data to influence energy policy and participating in community outreach. As the mentoring coordinator for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Global Change Education Program, he has aided student research and fellowships with the goal of increasing scientists prepared to address climate change. The program was designed while Gaffney was at Argonne National Laboratory. Gaffney has also contributed to the Southeast U.S. National Assessment of Climate Impacts. His efforts were recognized by a nomination for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, andEngineering Mentoring, given by the National Science Foundation. Gaffney has Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in chemistry from the University of California at Riverside.

Dr. Nitin Agarwal is a pioneer in the social computing discipline who has helped open many doors for innovation for the scientific community. He studies the modern and complex systems of information communication technologies, which is a connection between humans and computers that give rise to many interesting sociotechnical behaviors—a prime example of which is social media. These behaviors also include cyberactivism, crowdsourcing, health 2.0, hacktivism, and cyber warfare among others. Agarwal has received eight federal grants – seven of which are currently active – with total funding of more than $2 million. By analyzing the social media-led campaign organization efforts of the Saudi Arabian women, Agarwal is developing methodologies to advance the understanding of interconnected collective actions conducted through modern social and information systems. Agarwal has a Ph.D. in computer science from Arizona State University and a B.Tech. in information technology from the Indian Institute of Information Technology.

Dr. Thomas Tudor is constantly updating his knowledge in the discipline of human resource management and challenging his students to learn. He remains involved in the Society for Human Resource Management and the Central Arkansas Human Resource Association so he may continue to replenish himself in the human resource (HR) field. He has also published research involving worker attitudes, work stress, environmental uncertainty, corporate giving, and neglected employment legal issues. Tudor grades participation and fully utilizes technology in the classroom to track participation and engage students. Tudor’s use of a wireless device allows students to participate and alleviates the necessity to raise hands if students know the answer. This method helps students not only learn, but also makes learning fun. He has a Ph.D. in management and an MBA in general management from Virginia Commonwealth University and a B.S. degree in marketing from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

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