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Two UTA professors named Fellows of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Media Contact: Louisa Kellie, Office: 817‑272‑0864, Cell: 817-524-8926, louisa.kellie@uta.edu

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Two professors

Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, and Barbara Shipman, associate professor of mathematics and a UTA Distinguished Teaching Professor

Two University of Texas at Arlington professors have been honored as 2016 Fellows of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers in recognition for their leadership in education and commitment to improving learning across the University of Texas System.

Kevin Schug, Shimadzu Distinguished Professor of Analytical Chemistry, and Barbara Shipman, associate professor of mathematics and a UTA Distinguished Teaching Professor, will be inducted into the Academy in Austin on April 19. Schug and Shipman represent two of the three 2016 inductees into the prestigious UT System organization.

“Both Dr. Schug and Dr. Shipman are outstanding educators with a true passion for teaching,” said UTA President Vistasp M. Kharbari. “They are also innovators who are advancing new models for collaboration and engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, which is a national and statewide priority. Both also are outstanding researchers, emphasizing the focus that UTA has on ensuring that excellence in teaching and research go hand in hand at a premier research university.”

UT System Academy Fellows serve as an advisory and advocacy group dedicated to fostering classroom innovation, promoting interdisciplinary perspectives, and catalyzing the sharing of best practices across campuses in the UT System. Members must be previous recipients of the Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award and this year’s inductees have expertise that range from mathematics to psychology. 

UT System Chancellor William H. McRaven applauded the new Fellows, saying: “Teachers are of the noblest profession, and the Academy honors the best of the best, not only for their teaching excellence but also for their impact and advancements across the UT System.

“But this is an honor that has strings attached. From now on, these exceptional educators will be asked to collaborate with their follow Academy members to promote educational excellence and innovation throughout UT System institutions.”

Schug joined the UTA College of Science in 2005 and is widely known for his leadership in separation science and mass spectrometry. He is part of an innovative team that has created a new enriching undergraduate research and engagement curriculum that leads freshmen through a three-course progression, providing them experience in discovery and inquiry through undergraduate research. The program has doubled in size since its initial cohort of 24 students in 2014.

Schug previously won a National Science Foundation CAREER grant focused on mass spectrometry research. Included was the support of efforts to develop an educational program called DISCUS, or Diversity in Science in the United States, which now has more than 1,000 teachers registered to have free access to over 150 peer-reviewed K-12 lesson plans that enhance science learning for everyone. Many of these lessons were focused on developing STEM skills for students with limited English proficiency. His work to develop learned outcomes and keyed assessments applicable to first-year college chemistry programs across the country also has won acclaim.

“It is an honor to be named Fellow of this prestigious Academy,” Schug said. “I look forward to using my experience as a teacher and as a mentor at UTA to promote new interdisciplinary perspectives across the UT System.”

Shipman joined the Department of Mathematics in 1998 and is widely recognized for her work in re-thinking foundational structures and concepts in new and insightful ways, both in differential geometry and in her teaching-related projects. Shipman has received support from the National Science Foundation for her creative work in the classroom, and she is in the eighth year of a collaborative program supported by the National Science Foundation that offers scholarships and mentoring to select undergraduates with financial need. Among her many awards is a 2012 recognition by the UTA student chapter of the Mathematical Association of America.

Shipman's teaching and mentoring have had a lasting impact on students, among whom are Raytheon engineer John Hudlow, who said he remains inspired by her teaching after seven years on the job; and Catherine Costello, an assistant professor of mathematics at Tarrant County College who recently won the TCC Chancellor's Award for Exemplary Teaching.

Shipman also supervises the UTA Math Clinic, in which undergraduate tutors provide assistance to students enrolled in selected mathematics courses, and mentors students in the Honors College.

“Helping my students to see the amazing beauty in mathematics, by learning how to think about it and understand it in a free, creative way, is a highlight of my career” Shipman said. “Through my role as Fellow in the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers, I look forward to working closely with colleagues across many disciplines on new, symbiotic teaching-related projects.”

Previous UTA Fellows of the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers are Kenneth M. Roemer, English professor, Piper Professor, Distinguished Teaching Professor and Distinguished Scholar Professor; and Mary Lynn Crow, professor of Education, inaugural winner of the UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, member of UTA’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers and a Piper Professor.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie “highest research activity” institution of more than 51,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.