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UTA honors Kribs' teaching, research with 3 major awards

The bookshelf in the Pickard Hall office of Christopher Kribs doesn't have room for any more books. That's in part because a sizable portion of it is filled with medals, plaques and certificates of distinction collected during over two decades of research and teaching.

In April, Kribs, a professor of mathematics at The University of Texas at Arlington, received three prestigious University awards - induction into the UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers and the UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars, and the UTA President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, Tenured Faculty.

Kribs is the first UTA faculty member to be inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and the Academy of Distinguished Scholars in the same year. He joins Jonathan Campbell, professor of biology, as the only College of Science faculty members to be inducted into both academies (Campbell was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 2000 and was a member of the inaugural class of the Academy of Distinguished Scholars in 2004).

"I was quite surprised to receive so much recognition at once, but I'm very honored by it," Kribs said. "The academy inductions in particular signal a shift toward leadership roles, in that the academies have responsibilities for recognizing, and ideally nurturing, the professional development of other faculty in the respective areas. I look forward to being able to participate in that work. I love both teaching and writing, and it's especially enheartening to be recognized for endeavors that I really value."

The awards recognize Kribs' outstanding contributions in applied mathematics research, mathematics education research, student mentoring and teaching innovations at UTA.

The UTA awards are the latest honors for Kribs, whose research focuses in large part on mathematical biology. In 2016 he received the UT System Board of Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award, as well as the UTA Distinguished Record of Research or Creative Activity Award, which recognizes a faculty member for achieving a distinguished record of research and scholarship or creative activity over an extended period of time. He was presented with the UTA Chancellor's Council Award for Innovation in Teaching in 2008, and in 2007 he received the UTA Research Excellence Award, sponsored by the office of the provost.

"This is a tremendous achievement for Dr. Kribs and a testament to his excellence in both teaching and research," College of Science Dean Morteza Khaledi said. "Being named to the UTA academies of teachers and scholars, and receiving the UTA President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, speaks to how well he is able to balance his research with his teaching and do exemplary work in both."

Jianzhong Su, professor of mathematics and department chair, noted that Kribs' teaching boosts UTA's efforts to strengthen STEM (science, education, technology and mathematics) education, while his research - much of which is focused on mathematical modeling of Chagas disease, a chronic and ultimately fatal illness - furthers UTA's emphasis on Health and the Human Condition, one of the main pillars of the University's Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions|Global Impact.

"Dr. Kribs has done an outstanding job of teaching and mentoring students, while also maintaining an active, continuously funded research program which has produced many important publications," Su said. "These awards are a very fitting tribute in recognizing his contributions and they bring great honor to himself, the College and the University."

Kribs successfully bridges science and education, with joint professorial appointments in both the Department of Mathematics and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education. He has been recognized for his work teaching both pre-service and practicing mathematics teachers, as well as for his mentoring of student researchers in mathematical biology.

Among other achievements, Kribs developed a series of 10 innovative mathematics education courses that blend mathematics and pedagogy. As a scientist, he has directed small groups of undergraduates doing research on his National Science Foundation-supported disease-modeling project for Chagas disease, which affects more than 10 million people throughout the Americas.

Kribs came to UTA as an assistant professor in 1997. He was promoted to associate professor in 2003 and to full professor in 2011. He received undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering (1988) and Mathematics (1989) at Duke University, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1991 and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1997. He served as a visiting professor at Cornell University in 2001 and 2003, was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Colima in Mexico in 2003-04 and was a Marie Curie Fellow at the University of Lyon in France from 2009-11.

Christopher Kribs with the awards he received from UTA in April, along with the UT System Regents Outstanding Teaching Award he received last August.

UTA Academy of Distinguished Teachers College of Science members (year inducted)
Christopher Kribs, mathematics (2017)
Theresa Jorgensen, mathematics (2016)
Thomas Chrzanowski, biology (2015)
James Alvarez, mathematics (2012)
Martha Mann, psychology (2011)
Carl Lovely, chemistry and biochemistry (2010)
Lauri Jensen-Campbell, psychology (2009)
Barbara Shipman, mathematics (2006)
Minerva Cordero, mathematics (2005)
James Robinson, biology (2005)
Bernard Frye, biology (2003)
Jonathan Campbell, biology (2000)
Roy Rubins, physics (1998)
Robert Neill, biology (1998)

UTA Academy of Distinguished Scholars - College of Science members (year inducted)
Christopher Kribs, mathematics (2017)
Chaoqun Liu, mathematics (2015)
Daniel Armstrong, chemistry and biochemistry (2014)
Ping Liu, physics (2014)
Purnendu "Sandy" Dasgupta, chemistry and biochemistry (2013)
Rasika Dias, chemistry and biochemistry (2012)
Paul Paulus, psychology (2010)
Robert Gatchel, psychology (2008)
Richard Timmons, chemistry and biochemistry (2007)
Christopher Scotese, earth and environmental sciences (2006)
Alex Weiss, physics (2006)
William Ickes, psychology (2005)
Jonathan Campbell, biology (2004)
Krishnan Rajeshwar, chemistry and biochemistry (2004)

UT System Regents' Outstanding Teaching Award - College of Science faculty recipients (year received)
Ashley Griffith, earth and environmental sciences (2016)
Christopher Kribs, mathematics (2016)
Kevin Schug, chemistry and biochemistry (2014)
Seiichiro Tanizaki, chemistry and biochemistry (2013)
Nilakshi Veerabathina, physics (2012)
Monica Ramirez Basco, psychology (2011)
Lee Ann Frederick, biology (2011)
James Alvarez, mathematics (2010)
Lauri Jensen-Campbell, psychology (2010)
Theresa Jorgensen, mathematics (2010)
Barbara Shipman, mathematics (2010)
Minerva Cordero, mathematics (2009)
Jimmy Rogers, chemistry and biochemistry (2009)


About the College of Science
The UTA College of Science is addressing the nation's pressing need for a larger and better-prepared STEM work force. The College has 42 undergraduate and graduate degree offerings in six departments and is equipping future leaders in science through award-winning classroom teaching and lab training. The College's internationally acclaimed faculty is leading the way in innovative research and is finding solutions to some of the world's most challenging problems. Visit www.uta.edu/cos to learn more about how the College of Science is changing the world through education and research.

Posted May 25, 2017