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UT Austin faculty members to receive El Paso Energy Foundation faculty achievement awards

Three University of Texas at Austin faculty members will be recognized for their teaching excellence at a private lunch coinciding with UT’s UTexas@117 celebration on Tuesday (Sept. 19.)

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AUSTIN, Texas —Three University of Texas at Austin faculty members will be recognized for their teaching excellence at a private lunch coinciding with UT’s UTexas@117 celebration on Tuesday (Sept. 19.)

Associate Professor Anitesh Barua of management science and information systems, Associate Professor Eric D. Hirst of accounting and Professor Rebecca Richards-Kortum of electrical engineering will each receive an El Paso Energy Foundation Faculty Achievement Award, an honor that recognizes innovative instruction and active involvement with students. The lunch is planned for noon at the UT Club.

The El Paso Energy Foundation offers awards to high achieving faculty to encourage quality teaching and to retain the best teachers and scholars at its participating colleges and universities. The foundation represents the El Paso Energy Corp. and its operating companies.

In attendance at the lunch will be Molly Ladd, manager of El Paso Energy Foundation, who gave final approval of the nominations; Vice Provost Lucia Gilbert; Mark Peterson, director of the Office of the Vice President for Resource Development; award recipients Hirst and Richards-Kortum; and Dr. Patrick Jaillet, who will represent award recipient Barua.

Nominees were selected by a special committee at UT Austin based on such criteria as course rigor and content, student performance and involvement and teaching evaluations.

Barua was nominated for his consistently high teaching evaluations over the past three years in the undergraduate Management Information Systems (MIS) Program. He also designed a groundbreaking electronic commerce course to offer students training in creating Internet, intranet and extranet applications for companies.

Hirst received near-perfect instructor ratings last year. His elective course in financial statement analysis is in high demand with students, and his classes are considered to be extremely challenging. He also has mentored junior faculty in his department and has designed programs and courses that are being implemented in locations throughout the United States, the Caribbean and Latin America.

Richards-Kortum has devoted much energy in the College of Engineering to retaining new students and has been instrumental in creating and improving introductory coursework with this goal in mind. In addition, she secured funding last year for three innovative proposals to incorporate novel teamwork and on-line instructional exercises into engineering courses.