Prestigious Award Winners Honored by The University of Texas at Austin

Jan. 28, 2009

AUSTIN, Texas — The Tower of The University of Texas at Austin glowed bright orange Tuesday, Jan. 27, honoring the 2008 recipients of some of the most prestigious awards given by the university.

President William Powers Jr. hosted an honors dinner at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center to recognize the award winners. The awards included the Presidential Citation, Civitatis Award, Arno Nowotny Medal, President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award and Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award.

The Presidential Citation for 2008 was presented to Dr. William W. Cooper, former U.S. Under Secretary of Education Sara Martinez Tucker, Executive Vice Provost Stephen Arion Monti and former Ambassador Robert S. Strauss.

The Presidential Citation was created in 1979 to recognize extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the university's commitment to the task of transforming lives. The university does not award honorary degrees, and these citations are designed to salute those whose service exemplifies the values shared by The University of Texas at Austin community. Four students will receive a Presidential Citation Endowed Scholarship, one each in honor of the recipients.

Cooper is the Foster Parker Centennial Professor Emeritus of Finance and Management in the Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management in the McCombs School of Business. He was inducted into the Accounting Hall of Fame in 1991.

Tucker, the U.S. under secretary of education from 2006-2008, is a former president and chief executive officer of the Hispanic Scholarship fund, former regional vice president for AT&T and was a Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient in 2005.

Monti, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the Department of Chemistry, has held positions in academic administration since 1974 and advises the provost in the areas of academic program administration, institutional policy and procedures, and resource management.

Strauss, a partner with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld LLP, was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation from 1991-1993. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1981 and the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1982.

The Civitatis Award was presented to Dr. Alba Ortiz, director of the Office of Bilingual Education. The award is presented to faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary citizenship throughout a career of service at the university. It recognizes dedicated and meritorious service to the university beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research and writing. Ortiz is the President's Chair for Education Academic Excellence, Department of Special Education.

Dr. David Drum, a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology, and Adjunct Associate Professor Stephen S. Janes, Department of Educational Administration, received the Arno Nowotny Medal, which recognizes staff members of the Division of Student Affairs who render meritorious service to students during their careers at the university. Drum was an associate vice president for student affairs from 1986-2006 and Janes was an associate vice president for student affairs from 1992-2005.

Professor David E. Crew, Department of History, received the Chancellor's Council Outstanding Teaching Award, which recognizes a senior faculty member for a distinguished career in teaching at the undergraduate level. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to teaching excellence.

Executive Vice President and Provost Steven W. Leslie presented the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. The recipients were Assistant Professor Daniel Birkholz, Department of English; Associate Professor Diane Davis, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Associate Professor Sam Gosling, Department of Psychology; Daniel S. Hamermesh, the Sue Killam Professor/Foundations of Economics, Department of Economics; Professor Daron Shaw, Department of Government; and Professor Robert A. Van De Geijn, Department of Computer Sciences.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of the President, 512 475 7847.