The University of Texas at Austin
  • Graduate School honors faculty and staff

    By Tara Chandler
    Published: May 29, 2008

    Four University of Texas at Austin faculty and staff were honored by the Graduate School for their contributions to excellence in graduate education in May.

    Hank Dittmar, who received a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning in 1980, is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Graduate Alumnus Award. The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award winner is Dr. Anthony Woodbury, professor of Linguistics, and the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award recipient is Dr. Wayne Lesser, associate professor of English. All three received their awards at the Graduate School’s Doctoral Convocation Ceremony on May 17.

    The Outstanding Alumnus or Alumna Award recognizes Graduate School alumni for outstanding achievements in academic or professional careers. A $5,000 fellowship in the name of the Outstanding Alum is awarded to a graduate student in the program from which the alum graduated. This year, the Hank Dittmar Fellowship has been awarded to Leah Hollstein, a doctoral student in Community and Regional Planning.

    Dittmar is Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, an educational charity established by the Prince of Wales to teach timeless and ecological building design. As an international leader in urban planning, transportation systems management, and sustainable development, Dittmar has served on important national and international committees. He is the recipient of numerous awards and the author of The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented Development.

    The Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award honors faculty members for outstanding teaching at the graduate level and for excellence in mentoring of graduate students. An award of $4,000 is presented to the recipient.

    Woodbury is being recognized with the Teaching Award for his extraordinary work in and out of the classroom as a specialist on the documentation and preservation of endangered languages. His research on indigenous populations in Alaska and Mexico is effectively integrated with his teaching, which receives tremendous praise from his students. In an innovative program that serves faculty and students alike, Woodbury has recruited native speakers of indigenous languages to enroll as graduate students at UT Austin. Woodbury’s teaching also extends into Alaskan and Mexican communities as he advocates for the documentation and research of these little-known languages.

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