Graduate School Professional Awards for 2012
Graduate School honors alumnus, faculty, and staff for accomplishments
Each year the Graduate School presents awards to recognize four individuals for their contributions to excellence in graduate education.
The Outstanding Alumnus/a Award recognizes an alumnus/a of the Graduate School for academic or professional achievements since graduating from the university.
H. W. Brands, an alumnus of the Department of History at The University of Texas at Austin and Dickson Allen Anderson Centennial Professor of History and Government, has been named the Graduate School’s Outstanding Graduate Alumnus for 2012.
Brands, who earned his doctoral degree from UT Austin's Department of History in 1985, has authored twenty-six books and edited or coauthored seven more. He has written many scholarly articles, book chapters, oped pieces, and magazine articles. He writes on American history and politics, with books including Traitor to His Class, Andrew Jackson, The Age of Gold, The First American, and TR. Several of his books have been best sellers; two, Traitor to His Class and The First American, were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. He lectures frequently on historical and current events, and can be seen and heard on national and international television and radio programs.
His excellence as an historian can be measured not only by the quantity of books and essays ha has written, but also by the broad scope of his audience, which includes undergraduates, graduate students, fellow historians, and UT alums. One measure of his success in reaching a broader audience is the number of times he has been invited by the annual Texas Book Festival to be one of its featured authors. Started in 1996, the TBF has hosted Brands eight times in the last thirteen years–in all likelihood a record number of featured appearances for any one author.
Besides compiling a record as an excellent teacher of both graduate and undergraduates, Brands is a hard-working ambassador for the Department of History and the university. Since coming to The University of Texas at Austin in 2005, he has played an active role in the governance of the Department of History, and served on numerous committees.
Visit H. W. Brands Web site. Photo by Marsha Miller, Office of the President.
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 $3,000 is presented to the recipient. Arumugam Manthiram, Professor in Mechanical Engineering and Director of Texas Materials Institute is being recognized with this year’s Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award.
Arumugam Manthiram, Ph.D., Joe C. Walter, Jr. Chair in Engineering
Professor, Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Manthiram directs a large, productive research group in electrochemical energy technologies with 27 graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. His current research is focused on lithium-ion batteries, fuel cells, solar cells, and supercapacitors. Specifically, his group is engaged in developing new, low-cost, efficient materials for these clean energy technologies, novel chemical synthesis and processing approaches for nanomaterials, and a fundamental understanding of their structure-property-performance relationships. Read more about Dr. Manthiram.
The Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award recognizes a graduate adviser for exemplary service to a graduate program, and the award includes a $3,000 prize. Desiderio Kovar of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering is this year’s winner of the Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award.
Desiderio Kovar, Ph.D., William J. Murray, Jr. Fellow in Engineering. Professor, Department of Materials Science and Engineering.
Dr. Kovar's areas of study involve microstructure/property relationships in ceramics, metals, and composites. He has studied the influence of grain size, grain shape, and grain size distribution on the fracture resistance and mechanical reliability of toughened ceramics. At The University of Texas at Austin, he developed a lower cost method for fabricating bulk, highly textured alumina ceramics and studied the influence of texture on fracture resistance of this material. He has also studied the fracture resistance and high temperature mechanical behavior of laminates and other low-cost ceramic composites. His current research interests center around processing/microstructure/property relationships in nanostructured metals and ceramics and on processing strategies for producing microarchitectured honeycomb ceramics with tailored properties. More recently, he his research has involved processing and characterization of thin films, coatings, and nanostructured materials. He is actively involved in a multidisciplinary research project aimed at producing high volume quantities of nanoparticles by laser ablation from microparticles. The nanoparticles are impacted at high velocity to create thick films at lower temperatures than is possible using conventional powders. Nanoparticles and nanostructured films of WC, PZT, silver, CdSe, and Terfenol have been successfully produced using this technique. He is also involved in a collaborative research projects aimed at fabricating lower cost, higher performance solid oxide fuel cells and high performance honeycomb ceramics..
The Outstanding Graduate Coordinator Award recognizes a graduate coordinator for distinguished service in support of the Graduate Adviser and other faculty in the administration of a graduate program. An award of $3,000 will be presented to Marilyn next spring.
Marilyn Lehman, Graduate Coordinator in the Department of History
Marilyn has served as Graduate Coordinator for the Department of History since 2002. "As the History Department’s Graduate Program Coordinator II, Ms. Lehman is the consummate professional," says Jacqueline Jones, Professor and Graduate Adviser of the Department of History. "At the same time, she goes above and beyond her job description to render service to the Department—and the university—in a variety of most extraordinary ways. Her long-standing dedication has played a pivotal role in making the History graduate program such a success in terms of its administrative efficiency and its responsiveness to the Department’s graduate students, faculty, staff, and applicants and potential applicants for admission. She played a major part in helping the History Department revamp its graduate program in 2006 as part of the Carnegie Committee on the Doctorate initiative here at UT."
Read about the 2012 student award winners. The University Co-op provides the funding that makes all of these awards possible.