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Two new members inducted into UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers

The University of Texas System Academy of Distinguished Teachers inducted two exceptional educators during a ceremony today at the UT System administrative building in Austin.

Giulio Francia, associate professor of biological sciences at UT El Paso and Ramon Lopez, professor in the Department of Physics and co-director for the UTeach Arlington

Established in 2012, the Academy recognizes educators who have demonstrated leadership in education and are committed to improving learning across the UT System. The Academy fosters improved teaching and learning, as well as educational innovation, across the UT System and promotes educational discourse and initiatives across the state of Texas.

“Each year, the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers selects the most extraordinary candidates for induction out of a pool of highly qualified nominees,” said Steve Leslie, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor for academic affairs. “Each UT academic institution followed a rigorous campus-based selection process to nominate only one faculty member, all former UT System Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award recipients, and from those eight only two were selected. We are proud to recognize these truly remarkable faculty members.”

Here are the 2019 inductees to the Academy of Distinguished Teachers:

  • Giulio Francia, associate professor of biological sciences at UT El Paso, earned his doctorate from Cancer Research UK, formerly Imperial Cancer Research Fund, in London, England, and he studies new treatment strategies that can delay the growth of cancers that have spread to other organs.
  • Ramon Lopez, professor in the Department of Physics and co-director for the UTeach Arlington teacher preparation program at UT Arlington, is the author or co-author of over 120 peer-reviewed publications as well as the popular science book “Storms from the Sun.” Lopez is the president of the National Society of Hispanic Physicists for 2018 and 2019 and the winner of numerous awards for his work in space physics and science education, including the 2002 APS Nicholson Medal, the 2010 SACNAS Distinguished Scientist Award, the 2012 APS Edward A. Bouchet Award, and two NASA Group Achievements Awards.

“Both of this year’s nominees are truly deserving of this honor for their unwavering dedication to exceptional undergraduate teaching,” said Beth Brunk-Chavez, president of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers and dean of the Extended University and professor of rhetoric and writing studies at UT El Paso. “We are excited to collaborate with these new inductees on strategies to improve student success and learning outcomes.”

The Academy recently digitally published “The Little Orange Book,” first published in hard copy in 2015, to assist new faculty and graduate teaching assistant with tips on classroom management and approach. The Little Orange Book can now be downloaded for free through Apple iBooks.

More information can be found on the UT System Academy of Distinguished Teachers website.

About The University of Texas System
For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $19.5 billion (FY 2019), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce nearly 59,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and almost two-thirds of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 7.8 million outpatient visits and 1.6 million hospital days last year. Across UT institutions, research and development expenditures total $2.7 billion – the second highest among U.S. public higher education systems – and the UT System is regularly ranked among the top 10 most innovative universities in the world. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and nearly 85,000 health care professionals, researchers, student advisors and support staff.

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