Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Javelina Alumni Honor Distinguished Teacher, Researcher

KINGSVILLE - January 15, 2008

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

The Javelina Alumni Association presented its Distinguished Teacher and Researcher Awards at the General Faculty Meeting, held Jan. 14 in the auditorium of the Biology and Earth Sciences Building.

These awards honor deserving faculty members who show outstanding service to the Javelina community through education and student activities. Each award carries with it a $2,000 stipend, funded by the Javelina Alumni Association.

The 2007 Distinguished Teacher Award was presented to Dr. Roberto Vela Córdova, assistant professor of Spanish and the Distinguished Researcher Award was presented to Dr. Maribel González-García, associate professor of chemistry.

Vela has been with A&M-Kingsville since fall 2002. During that time, he has led the re-design of the Spanish heritage track and taught the new Spanish journalism minor program. He also originated courses on professional Spanish and films of the Caribbean, as part of the doctoral program in Hispanic studies. Vela was an academic leader in the Study Abroad program during spring 2007, and is an active member of the Graduate Council and the Publications Committee. Previously, he was a recipient of the Felipe Ortego Hispanic Heritage Faculty Award and was a nominee for the Student Adviser Award. From 1996-2002, Vela served an associate instructor at Indiana University, where he earned both his M.A. and Ph.D.

Some of González-García’s recent research efforts have focused on the biochemistry of proteins and nerve regeneration. She has been a faculty member at A&M-Kingsville since 1998. In that time, she has received the Olan Kruse Science Faculty Award, and was previously nominated for both the Javelina Alumni Association Distinguished Teacher and Researcher Awards in 2005. González-García has presented for the American Cancer Society and the Texas Academy of Science, and has authored numerous published works. Prior to A&M-Kingsville, she was a research scientist at the University of Michigan. González-García earned her Ph.D. from the University Autonoma de Madrid.

The awards were presented by association president-elect Manny Saenz, B.F.A. ’93 and M.S. ’94, of Edinburg and President Rumaldo Z. Juárez.

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