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Ten Faculty Members Honored With College Teaching Excellence Award

Ten Faculty Members Honored With College Teaching Excellence Award

​The Teaching Excellence Award in the College of Natural Sciences seeks to promote and recognize outstanding teaching in the college by honoring faculty members who have had a positive influence on the educational experience of our students. 

Alex Macedo

Alex Macedo is a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. in mathematics (supervised by Professor Felipe Voloch) from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017. He previously received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in 2010 and 2011 respectively. From 2011 to 2012 he taught at Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, and he has been teaching at The University of Texas at Austin since 2018.

Amelia Wolf

Amelia Wolf is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at The University of Texas at Austin, where she leads a research group examining how climate change and biodiversity loss affect plant communities and ecosystem processes. She teaches a course for non-science majors on science literacy and critical thinking. After finishing a bachelor's in chemistry at Colorado College, she worked for four years at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center examining the effects of rising atmospheric CO2 levels on wetland plants. She received a Ph.D. in ecology from Stanford University, looking at how interactions between plants and animals affect nutrient cycles in Kenya and Costa Rica. Wolf's postdoctoral research, at the University of California–Santa Cruz and Columbia University, continued to examine the effects of global change on plant communities and nitrogen cycling. In her spare time, she tends to a rather large collection of house plants. Her family thinks she does not need any more plants, but they are mistaken.

Angela Beasley

Angie Beasley is an assistant professor of instruction in the Department of Computer Science at The University of Texas at Austin, where she teaches both introductory programming and machine learning. She is passionate about getting others interested in and excited about computer science and believes that in today's digital world every undergraduate degree should include at least one computer science course. Beasley enjoys demystifying complex topics like machine learning, as well as discussing both the harmful and the beneficial social impacts of the increasing use of this technology. Prior to teaching, Beasley worked for 15 years as a software engineer on projects for the U.S. Navy, including submarine and surface ship sonar systems, periscope systems and unmanned underwater vehicles. Beasley received her master's in computer science with a concentration in machine learning from The George Washington University and her bachelor's in computer science from The University of Texas at Austin.

Deanna Buckley

Deanna Buckley is an associate professor of practice in UTeach. She earned her Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin, and her master's and bachelor's degrees from the University of Southern Mississippi.She has enjoyed a variety of professional educator roles. She taught biology and chemistry in public high school for nearly 20 years, and after a three-year research experience developing curriculum in biomedical engineering at UT, returned to the classroom for another 15 years at ACE Academy, an independent non-profit school for highly gifted students where she taught K-12 science classes and designed the middle school curriculum using project-based learning. At the university level, she has taught for Texas A&M, UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences, College of Education, and USM's College of Science and Technology for teaching methods courses, content courses, and supervising student teachers.She has taught UTeach Outreach as well as serving as professional development coordinator and co-investigator, for the High School Research Initiative, a 5-year program that trains high school teachers to use open inquiry. 

Johann Eberhart

Johann Eberhart, a professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences, grew up in Topeka, Kansas. He attended Bethel College where he obtained bachelor's degrees in biology and psychology and discovered his love for developmental biology. He obtained his master's. degree in biological sciences at the Wichita State University, where he also met his wife, Mary Swartz. He went on to get his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where he studied axon guidance in chicken embryos. He went on to do a postdoctoral program at the University of Oregon in Charles Kimmel's lab. There he used zebrafish in order to apply genetics and live imaging to visualize the amazing dynamics of development. In 2008, he joined UT Austin, where he continues to use zebrafish to answer questions relevant to developmental biology and where he found his passion for undergraduate teaching.

Laura Gonzalez

Laura Gonzalez, assistant professor of instruction in the Biology Instruction Office, earned her bachelor's degree in biology in her native Mexico and came to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico. She completed a postdoctoral program at University of California – Santa Barbara and taught ecology at SUNY Stony Brook. She has spent most of her academic career at The University of Texas at Austin as a professional track faculty member in the College of Natural Sciences. She teaches Introduction to Biology II, Ecology and Ecology of Novel Ecosystems, all courses where students have experiential learning opportunities: coming up with scientific questions, writing their own independent proposals and gathering and analyzing their own data. Her instructional goal is for her inclusive teaching strategies to help students acquire critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her family, friends and dog, as well as running, watching tennis and going to the movies. 

Micky Marinelli

Michela "Micky" Marinelli is an associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience, with affiliate appointments in two Dell Medical School departments (Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences) and in the College of Pharmacy's Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Marinelli runs a research lab examining the neurobiological basis of drug addiction, with an emphasis on biological and environmental factors that enhance susceptibility to addiction. Marinelli's passion for teaching led her to teach a breadth of courses at UT Austin, including on experimental design, statistics, neurological and psychiatric disorders, foundations for inter-professional collaborative practice, communication skills and responsible conduct of science. She also participates in the UT summer discovery program for high school students and in the Women in Neuroscience summer internship. Marinelli created the course Analytical Skepticism, a course that led to her being awarded the Texas 10 award in 2020. With former students from this course, Marinelli is now embarking on a new research project, which examines common errors in published scientific literature.

Pamela Garrison Elias

Pamela Elias is a professor of practice in UTeach, who earned both of her degrees at The University of Texas at Austin. She has taught for Austin ISD as a high school and middle school mathematics teacher and Austin Community College as a part-time mathematics faculty member. Elias has worked at UT as the coordinator of the Math/Science computer-media lab for what is now known as the Sanger Learning Center, taught calculus and GRE review classes, supervised university teaching assistants and served as an academic advisor for the Cockrell School of Engineering. She is currently the coordinator for student teaching for the UTeach Natural Sciences Program and a mathematics instructor for the Department of Mathematics. Almost every spring since 2003, she has coordinated the UTeach France Exchange Program. Elias consistently provides professional development for public school teachers and inspirational lectures to public school students to include commencement addresses. Since 1988 she has taught, tutored and mentored students and teachers.

Tim Riedel

Timothy "Tim" Riedel earned undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy from The University of Texas at Austin in 2001. After graduating, he interned at the NASA Ames Astrobiology Institute for a year exploring the viability of life on Mars. Riedel returned to UT to study directed evolution and earned a master's degree in cell and molecular biology. After a year of working abroad in Thailand, Riedel joined the geobiology program at the University of Southern California, where he focused on bacteria in ocean sediments and participated in multiple oceanographic expeditions, before a postdoctoral stint at UCLA. Riedel joined the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI) Program as a research educator in 2013 and developed the DIY Diagnostics Lab, which creates next-generation diagnostic technologies for use at home. Riedel also helped found the FRI Maker Space, the FRI Urban Ecosystems Lab and the CNS Inventors Program, which helps students graduate career-ready through project-based entrepreneurial experiences. Riedel has three young boys who are a constant source of at-home diagnostic ideas.

Zachariah Page

Zachariah "Zak" Page is an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. He obtained his bachelor's degree in chemistry at Juniata College, where he began research in organic synthesis under the guidance of Prof. I. David Reingold. After graduating from Juniata, Page carried out his Ph.D. studies in the laboratories of Prof. Todd Emrick at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. His doctoral research focused on the synthesis and characterization of novel conjugated polymer zwitterions and their integration into organic solar cells. In 2015, he began his postdoctoral research with Prof. Craig J. Hawker at the University of California-Santa Barbara, studying photochemical transformations in the areas of organic electronics and 3D printing. Since joining the UT faculty in 2018, he has run an active research program in the area of light-driven macromolecular chemistry and instructed Organic Chemistry I, Macromolecular Chemistry, Advanced Polymer Synthesis and Texas Undergraduate Mentoring System (TUMS) courses.

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Tuesday, 29 November 2022

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