Under the leadership of Dr. Alex Huk, members of the faculty steering committee serve as mentors to Polymaths, review applications, and determine program policy.
ALEX HUK, Faculty Director
Alex Huk is Associate Professor of Neuroscience in the College of Natural Sciences and Director (Interim) of the Imaging Research Center in the College of Liberal Arts. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 2001 and did his post-doctoral work at the University of Washington (Seattle) before joining the UT faculty in 2004. Dr. Huk's primary research program focuses on how the brain processes movement and integrates this information over space and time to guide action in a dynamic world. He teaches the undergraduate-level Laboratory in Psychophysics and the graduate-level Ethical and Professional Development in the Sensory Neurosciences.
Richard Aldrich is Professor and Chair of the Section of Neurobiology in the School of Biological Sciences and the Karl Folkers Chair II in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research. He received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Stanford University and did his postdoctoral work at Yale University in Physiology. His research is directed towards understanding the mechanisms of ion channel function and the role of ion channels in electrical signaling and physiology by using a combination of molecular biology, electrophysiology, biophysics, cellular and systems physiology, and computational biology. Dr. Aldrich has served on the council and as president of the Society of General Physiologists, and is a Fellow of the Biophysical Society.
Ruth Buskirk is Distinguished Senior Lecturer in the Section of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology and Fellow of Worthington Endowed Distinguished Senior Lecturership for Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in Plan II. Her research on behavior and physiology includes work of spiders, dragonflies, baboons, and unusual animal behavior before earthquakes. She has taught introductory biology, honors biology, and honors genetics at the University of Texas at Austin for over 20 years. Dr. Buskirk received the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009 and is a three-time recipient of the Texas Exes Teaching Award (1988, 1991, 1998).
Caryn Carlson is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Psychology. She earned her Ph.D in psychology from the University of Georgia before continuing on to do her postdoctoral work at Indiana University. Though she now focuses on positive psychology, well-being, and life satisfaction, she previously studied the functioning of children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). While studying that field, much of her work was dedicated to distinguishing ADHD subtypes. As a professor, she has taught the highly coveted psychology course Positive Psychology and the Good Life for many semesters. She has also won numerous awards including the Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowship, the Eyes of Texas Award for excellence in service to the University, and the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award.
Mia Carter, Associate Professor in the Department of English, received her Ph.D. from the Department of English and Modern Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1992. Her awards and honors include induction in the Academy for Distinguished Teachers, the Texas Excellence in Teaching Award, the Chancellor’s Teaching Award, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award, The Eyes of Texas Award for Student Service, the Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Liberal Arts College Teacher of the Year Award. Her fields of specialization are Gender Studies and Cultural Studies and Postcolonial and British Film and Literature. Currently, she is working on a study of Virginia Woolf and the aesthetic and ideological intersection of modernism and imperialism.
René Dailey is interested in communication in families and dating relationships. In her research on families, she focuses on how acceptance and challenge from parents and siblings are related to children’s psychosocial adjustment (e.g., self-esteem, identity), communication patterns (e.g., openness), and more recently, weight management. In her work on dating couples, she is investigating communication in “on-again/off-again” relationships and how communication in these relationships differs from other dating relationships. Her work has appeared in Communication Monographs, Human Communication Research, and Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. She teaches courses on personal relationships and nonverbal communication.
Arturo De Lozanne
Arturo De Lozanne is Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology. He is interested in the study of cell motility and its role in different aspects of cell biology. His current research is focused on the understanding of the molecular basis of cytokinesis. He received his Ph.D. in cell biology from Stanford University and received the President’s Associates Teaching Award for outstanding achievement in the classroom in 2004 and the Holloway Award for Teaching Excellence in 2006. Dr. De Lozanne participated in the UF Evolution Debate in 2009.
Wendy Domjan, Distinguished Senior Lecturer in Psychology, received her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1977. She is the recipient of the Chad Oliver Teaching Award from Plan II Honors; The Harry Ransom Teaching Award and the Raymond Dickson Teaching Fellowship from the College of Liberal Arts; and is the first recipient of the Psychology Department’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Her most recent teaching interests have focused on the psychology of religion, the psychology of fundamentalism and the psychology of hope and virtue.
Thomas Garza is Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and Director of the Texas Language Center. His research interests include contemporary Russian youth and popular culture, teaching the cultural component in foreign languages, applications of authentic media—especially film—in language teaching, and vampires in Slavic cultures. Garza’s research on vampires was featured in the History Channel’s docudrama, “Vampire Secrets,” and in HBO’s vampire documentary to launch the “True Blood” television series. Garza has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and National Award for Post Secondary Teaching.
An Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences, Marci Gleason's research focuses on how transitions or stressful contexts influence both individual and relationship processes. Currently she is investigating the role of social support in regulating emotion, health, and relationship functioning as couples become first-time parents. Other topics of interest are: 1) how family togetherness influences important couple and parenting outcomes, 2) how pathological personality traits present in older adults, 3) the influence of personality disorders on health and relationship functioning as individuals age, and 4) how intensive longitudinal designs can be used to better understand both between- and within-person processes.
Judith Jellison is Mary D. Bold Regents and Distinguished Teaching Professor of Music. She also serves as Head of the Division of Music and Human Learning and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in children’s literature and performance, observation and evaluation, and music in special education and therapy. Dr. Jellison currently serves on the editorial boards of the “Journal of Research in Music Education” and the “Journal of Music Therapy.” She has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Music Educators Research Council and the Society of Research in Music Education of MENC and served on steering committees of the National Endowment for the Arts and the United States Department of Education.
Mike Mauk is Professor of Neurobiology at the University of Texas at Austin. He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University and did postdoctoral work in the Neurology Department at Stanford Medical School. Dr. Mauk’s research focuses on computation and mechanisms of learning in brain systems, particularly in the cerebellum and prefrontal cortex. The hallmark feature of his research is the combined use of experiment and computer simulation to address what brain systems compute and how their neurons and synapses accomplish this computation. Dr. Mauk’s ultimate goal for his research is to understand brain systems well enough to build fully functional replicas.
Brian Roberts is a Professor in the Department of Government and Director of the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory. His research interests include American political institutions, interest groups, and positive political economy, with a focus on the intersection of politics and financial markets, corporate political participation, and distributive politics. He has published papers in the fields of political science, economics and finance and holds an appointment in the new Department of Business, Government and Society in the McCombs School of Business.
Trish Roberts-Miller is a Professor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. Her field of interest involves the history, theory, and pedagogy of public argumentation. She has taught many different courses at UT including Demagoguery, Principles of Rhetoric, Deliberating War, History of Public Argument, Rhetoric of Racism, and Propaganda. She received her Ph.D., in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley and taught at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro as well as the University of Missouri-Columbia before coming to UT Austin in 2000.
Sonia Roncador is Associate Professor of Brazilian Literature in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Her topics of interest include representations and strategic uses of domestic servants in Brazilian literature. She is the author of the book Poéticas do empobrecimento: a escrita derradeira de Clarice (2002) and has also published articles on Clarice Lispector’s and other Brazilian women’s fiction and testimonial literature.
Stanley Roux is Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Section of Molecular Cell and Developmental Biology. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University. Dr. Roux’s research studies how the environmental stimuli of light and gravity alter patterns of growth and development in plants using molecular approaches to characterize proteins that are critically involved in mediating the coupling of light and gravity stimuli to morphogenic changes in plants. He has been published in numerous journals and is currently identifying genes that are differentially expressed in microgravity and examining the role of these genes in mediating the gravity response. Dr. Roux was honored as a Piper Professor by the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation in 2002.
Lorenzo Sadun is Professor of Mathematics. He received his B.S. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of California in Berkeley. He has been awarded with a Distinguished Teaching Award by the U.C. Berkeley Physics Department. He has written several op-ed columns for the Austin American Statesman. Lorenzo Sadun has been teaching at the University of Texas in Austin since 1991 and is the Associate Chair in charge of the graduate program in the department of mathematics. He ran for the Place 10 seat against Cynthia Dunbar at the Texas State Board of Education election in 2009 and for congressional candidate in 2004. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles in academic journals.
Rosa Schnyer is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. Dr. Schnyer's research focuses on the use of complementary therapies, especially acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in the management of stress, depression and anxiety disorders, present alone or as part of complex, chronic conditions. Specifically, Dr. Schnyer is interested in evaluating the effect of acupuncture and Chinese herbs on sympathetic and parasympathetic function, inflammatory markers, stress hormones and clinical symptoms in patients with depression and anxiety. Dr. Schnyer is interested in developing novel treatments that can be delivered to large populations at low cost and that encourage and support patients to participate in their own care.
Mike Scott, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, received a B.S in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University followed by a M.S. in Computer Science from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute. His research interests include computer science education, introductory computer programming, and computer science at the high school level. In 2013 he was named one of the inaugural UT Austin Provost Teaching Fellows, and in 2012 he was awarded the President's Associates Teaching Excellence Award.