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UA Little Rock Donaghey College of STEM Announces Faculty Excellence Winners

The UA Little Rock Donaghey College of STEM has announced John Talburt, Noureen Siraj, Anne Turner, Michael Moore, and Sujan Ghosh as the winners of the 2024 Faculty Excellence Awards.

The UA Little Rock Donaghey College of STEM has announced John Talburt, Noureen Siraj, Anne Turner, Michael Moore, and Sujan Ghosh as the winners of the 2024 Faculty Excellence Awards.

The university-level Faculty Excellence winners will be announced at the April 4 ceremony at 5:30 p.m. in the Schueck, McCarty, Lexicon Inc. Auditorium in the Engineering and Information Technology Building.

More information on the Donaghey College of STEM winners and excerpts from their nomination letters are below:

Faculty Excellence Award for Research and Creative Endeavors

Dr. Talburt is the director of the Information Quality Graduate Program at UA at Little Rock, a professor of information science, and Acxiom chair of information quality.

Talburt has been very active in scholarship over the past five years. He has played a major role in projects that involve graduate assistantships for master’s and doctoral programs, which provide great opportunities to students of those programs.

In addition to securing funded research grants, Talburt has historically published several research articles each year, often co-authoring with students and alumni to help UA Little Rock students establish research credentials. He has also given many presentations in campus and industry talks and conferences.

Faculty Excellence Award for Public Service

Dr. Siraj is an associate professor of chemistry at UA Little Rock. Siraj has served in numerous committees in the chemistry department, including the awards committee, the schedule committee, chemical safety committee, chemistry program technology committee, among several others. In addition to her service within the chemistry program, Siraj has also served in various university committees, such as the faculty senate honors and awards committee, the students research and creative works committee, and the college combination task force, among others.

Siraj has also been involved in professional and community service outside the university. The Central Arkansas American Chemical Society honored her with two prestigious awards in 2023; Central Arkansas Professor of the Year and Volunteer of the Year. Over the past five years, Siraj has mentored 22 middle and high school students for their science fair projects, three of whom have won awards at the Scientific Review Committee for International Science and Engineering Fair.

Siraj has played a significant role in the community by helping build pathways to STEM careers for underserved children in Little Rock, as well as encouraging students, especially female students, to follow their STEM-related interests.

Faculty Excellence Award for Teaching

Dr. Turner is an assistant professor of construction management and civil and construction engineering at UA Little Rock. Turner has exhibited great dedication to providing an enhanced educational experience to students within her program. In 2019, Turner secured two grants that significantly advanced teaching resources within her department.

Turner employs an innovative approach when it comes to teaching, integrating traditional lectures with interactive approaches and accommodating different learning styles. She strives to foster a positive educational environment of inclusivity where students feel heard and valued. Turner goes above and beyond for students by analyzing student feedback and adapting to their educational needs.

Faculty Excellence Award for Social Justice

Dr. Moore is the Learning Assistant (LA) program coordinator at UA Little Rock, the director of undergraduate research, as well as the director of the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participants (LSAMP). When asked to lead LSAMP, the program had not had leadership for over a year. Moore worked hard to revive the program by recruiting more students to attend UA Little Rock as part of the LSAMP program cohort, and built a program that includes weekly activities such as career mentoring, professional training, and service opportunities.

The Learning Assistants program allows students who have recently completed a course to help the next group of students who take the class. During their first semester assisting in the classroom, LAs take a course on pedagogy to help them facilitate learning for other students. As Learning Assistants program coordinator, Moore has expanded the LA program participation from four to 12 faculty members who now use 35 LAs. Moore also partnered with Dr. Mark Baillie and Dr. Lundon Pinneo to write a grant which allows LAs to receive stipends for their leadership roles.

As director of undergraduate research, Moore has doubled the number of student applications for research grants. The diversity and number of students who have their research funded has vastly increased under his leadership.

Faculty Excellence Award for Rising Faculty

Dr. Ghosh is an assistant professor of engineering at UA Little Rock. Over the past two years, Ghosh has demonstrated his commitment to student success, teaching three courses each semester and performing well in all of them. Ghosh has joined the Mobile Institute of Scientific Teaching and Academy for Teaching and Learning Excellence in order to become an even more effective instructor, and has established a successful research and education program in thin film fabrication and characterization.

Ghosh is known for his team-player mentality, which has facilitated the establishment of research partnerships between universities and more. Currently, Ghosh is involved with two projects with faculty from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and Arkansas State University.

Ghosh is also very involved in supporting the research endeavors of undergraduate and graduate students with his mentorship, and several of his undergraduate mentees have received signature experience grants from UA Little Rock and Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship grants from the Arkansas Department of Higher Education. These students have presented at the UA Little Rock Student Research and Creative Works Expo and received recognition for their work.